Can Cats and Kittens Get Along?

Get tips on how to introduce young kittens to older cats and how to help both cats get along.

By Marilyn Krieger, CCBC

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Kitten and Older Cat
Kittens and cats can get along with a few guiding principals, but a bond might be better between cats of the same age.
Q: I am thinking about getting a new kitten. I already have one male cat who is approximately 6 years old. Would he react badly if I got a female 2- to 3-month-old kitten?

A: Consider a few factors before adopting a cat or kitten to keep your adult cat company: the age, the personalities and the histories of both your resident cat and the newcomer.

I usually do not recommend pairing a kitten with an adult cat, although there are always exceptions. The age discrepancy between your adult cat and a kitten can be a challenge. Your 6-year-old resident cat is not as active as a kitten. Kittens, by definition, play incessantly, whereas adult cats prefer napping in between moderate to small amount of playtime.

Your resident cat might enjoy and bond with a new cat. If your resident cat has a history of successfully living with other cats, then he will probably do fine with a new friend, as long as you introduce your cats gradually to each other. Every cat is different. Some would rather remain the King and Queen of their households and are not willing to share their people and their territory with other cats.

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Reader Comments

donna    tenino, WA

10/12/2014 5:13:17 AM

I have two cats they are brothers but one is being mean to the other one.can you tell me why.

steven    Gatesville, TX

9/25/2014 11:32:27 AM

Hello
I have a question. I have 3 kittens I rescued all from same litter. They are about 10 to 12 weeks old. Very hyper and playful kittens who are now well feed and taken care of. My question is I just adopted a female adult cat. She is very shy and mellow. My kittens hate her. They attempt to attack her and us ally poop all over the place when they see her. What can I do to help the kittens become friendly with new cat?

nicola    International

8/22/2014 11:26:39 PM

I've tried one kitten with an older cat and so far what I have found is the best is when you have an older cat and you want to introduce a kitten get two. They play with each other and the older cat can play with them when they feel like instead of constantly being ambushed. Also go through all the steps they suggest for slowly introducing cats. I had my kittens in one part of the house and left the rest of the house for the adult cat. she could come and go into the kitten's territory but they couldn't go into hers.

Riley    Avon, MN

7/28/2014 9:21:09 AM

I have five cats and I just got a new kitten that was a stray its about 6-7 weeks old and my older cats dont like the new cat what should I do?

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