Is introducing a female kitten to 4 year old male cat a recipe for disaster?

posted 2 weeks ago in Pets
  • poll: Get a female kitten for our fur baby?
    No : (5 votes)
    29 %
    Yes : (8 votes)
    47 %
    It depends but I’ll explain below : (4 votes)
    24 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    245 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    I think introducing a kitten is easier than a full grown cat… and given that it’s a female I wouldn’t think a male cat would be super territorial? I could be wrong on that. I’ve got two inseperable cats. When we introduced a male kitten to our older female cat she didn’t like him AT ALL… but eventually she got over it, maybe 2 weeks at most. Then she just accepted it and eventually they became friends. 

    Post # 4
    Member
    245 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    Tisa85 :  there was no process, we just bought the kitten home 

    Post # 5
    Member
    190 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: March 2019

    We had considered getting a kitten to keep our 3 year old male cat company, but after observing him around other cats (they were 1 year old, 2 males and a female) we weren’t sure it was a good idea. He’s a rescue and was apprently bullied by the cats in his previous home, as well as his foster home, so I find he has a hard time with social cues from other cats (won’t give them their space which doesn’t allow for proper introductions). I imagine he would be better with a kitten, but the more time I spend with our little guy the more I realize he is probably best suited to be an only cat. He loves his people, is always wherever we are in the house, and sleeps with us every night. We might get him a canine companion in the future (he also grew up with a dog) but for now we’re letting him enjoy being the “king of the castle” ☺️

    Post # 6
    Member
    180 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

    We introduced a female kitten to our 3-year old male cat.  You just have to introduce them properly and take the time to make sure they are comfortable with each other.  We kept them separate at first and had supervised introductions.  As soon as our cat hissed or showed signs of being upset, we separated again.  Gradually giving them more and more time together.  It took him about 2 weeks to fully accept her and now they play and cuddle and groom each other.  It is precious.  But if you do not take the time to introduce them correctly, it could end with them hating each other or getting super territorial.  The biggest thing with cats is they have to feel like they have enough resources.  Make sure their litter boxes are clean and there is plenty of food and water and they should have no problem coexisting.  There is a lot of information online on the proper steps to introduce cats so read through those and make a game plan.  A kitten, especially a female kitten, is best bet for your male cat to accept.  Hope that helped a little!  

    Post # 7
    Member
    582 posts
    Busy bee

    +1 to everything 1111makeawish said.

    Male cats can be very nuturing and can absolutely bond with kittens. It really depends on the cat.

    Post # 8
    Member
    531 posts
    Busy bee

    I would say no. One it is a baby and the grown cat will notice. That and the fact cats have so many different personalities. 

    I don’t think any hierarchy will be established till the kitten is grown as well.

    Post # 9
    Member
    1303 posts
    Bumble bee

    Tisa85 :  So maybe we are just jerks, but we introduced two older female kittens (they were 8 months old about) to an older (6 years) male cat all at once and it was all good. 

    At first he ignored them, then he swatted them when they were curious and got too close and he did looked kind of annoyod with them for about two months. I have to say: the female kitties loooooove him and are always trying to get as close to him as possible. 

    Now (4 months after introduction) and he is teaching them all kinds of cool stuff (hunting etc) and he is defntely more playful and relaxed. We make sure he gets lots of cuddles and he’s perfectly happy. He is also kinda cute with the wee females (not exactly cosy with them yet) but you can tell he really enjoys having a harem of adoring females and when they get to wild in the appartment, he has been known to gt up and give them a smack. He’s like a grumpy, lovable uncle. It all worked out. 

    But this has been just our experience. 

     

     

    Post # 10
    Member
    2278 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I have 5 cats, all varying in ages (I rescued and fostered). For the first few days, keep the cats separated and introduce them only through a closed door. They can smell each other, but not interact. Interaction at this stage, even supervised, can make the older cat feel threatened or territorial, and cause aggression towards cat 2. You can also take a blanket the kitten has slept with and leave it out so the older cat can smell it. After those first few days proceed with the supervised introduction. The Feliway will help, but again, I’d strongly advise you to introduce them slowly. 

    There’s not really any extra expense associated with one more cat, besides the usual vet bill, flea meds, and kitten food. I highly recommend you get an extra litter box. The general rule is to have one for each cat in the household. I think cats do very well in pairs, and they‘ll adapt to one another. The gender of the other cat will not matter.

     

    ETA: i know many people will essentially just throw the two cats together, and sometimes they’re fine. I did this myself as  a teenager, because I didn’t know anything different. Having rescued and fostered, I‘ve seen firsthand very nasty injuries one cat can cause another when not properly introduced. Please just take the extra time. It’s so much less stressful for the cat.

    Post # 11
    Member
    710 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2018

     Google how to introduce them PROPERLY – it saves sooooo much stress for both you and the kitties. Cats are territorial creatures and you really need to respect your original cat’s territory (your house) for his sake and also the kitten’s sake. It takes a little while, 1-2 weeks before they’re fully integrated, but it’s so worth it. 

    As for cost, 2 cats are hardly more expensive or more work than one. Once you get past the initial costs of spay/neuter and vaccinations, there’s not a big difference. 

    des- :  100% agree

    Post # 12
    Member
    165 posts
    Blushing bee

    Even if hes mean at first and hisses etc he will get used to her ive had a lot of cats lol just recently got a kitten with my full grown cat and they hissed and slapped eachother at first but not they wrestle n play all the time

    Post # 13
    Member
    3065 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Tisa85 :  Our male cat was about 10 years old when we got a female kitten. Our male cat was getting old and we noticed a decline in him. We took him to the vet where a health issue was ruled out as a reason for his decline. Our vet said that the was at the age where he had most likely lost his territory to younger cats in the neighborhood and the decline was most probably a result of our male cat dealing with that. He recommended a new friend for our male cat that would allow him to assert his dominance over another cat.

    So basically that is how we ended up with female kitten. We slowly introduced them to each other over a 2 week period. The male cat acted indifferent. The female cat would go up to him and do typical kitten things. Four years on and they are friends. We noticed a huge improvement with the male cat. He was never a pick up and cuddle cat.(adopted as a five year old) He tolerated pats but would give you a warning bite when he’d had enough. After our female cat came into our home, our male cat learnt how to be a pet. He now tolerates/enjoys pats and cuddles.

    They are friends even though our female cat purposely goes up to annoy him. They’ve learnt weird behaviours from each other. The female cat always flicked cat biscuits out of the bowl onto the floor to eat. The male cat now does the same! A few weeks ago hubby and I spent ten minutes sneakily watching our cats outside. They were laying in the sun, the male cat spent ten minutes  lovingly licking the head of the female cat who was comatose. He finally stopped, she woke up and tapped him as if to tell him ‘ keep going I was enjoying that’. The male cat got annoyed and gave her a good smack in retaliation. (He usually does this when she pisses him off) About an hour later we see female cat lovingly licking male cat on the head for 20 minutes whilst he was laying comatose in the sun!

    They are really funny to watch and the dynamic is hilarious! I think that a female kitten shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to your male cat. He won’t see her as a threat to his territory and hopefully should be OK with her. Introduce them slowly and in supervised visits until you know they are OK together. They may not get along so have a back up plan in place. Maybe ask a friend who is looking for a kitten to be the back up adoption plan if the dynamics don’t work. Definitely don’t get a male kitten because you may end up with a territory battle or a problem of them spraying to mark territory and that stinks literally metaphorically and physically!  Multiple cats are awesome if they like/tolerate each other! 

    Post # 14
    Member
    5598 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Please follow the advice Des gave above.  That’s a much better way to introduce cats.  Take a few days to properly introduce them.

    Post # 15
    Member
    232 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: A vineyard

    Yeah that’s a great question. I would think it depends on his personality. At my dad’s we have four cats. The oldest and the first to live with us was a 2 year old male. All the others to follow were 1.5 to small kitten age. He does great with all of them. They seem to think he’s a sort of daddy and love to sit by him and let him groom them.

    That said I did try to introduce them all slowly(except for one. She kinda escaped and made the house her home immediately) I tried to keep them separated a bit by doors or large cages so they could all get used to each other being there but be safe. I had more trouble with the female who came after the male accepting the other females but after a couple months they all ended up loving each other. 

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