How long will it take for our cat to get on with a new kitten?
by David Mallonee
How long will it take our 6-month old cat to get along with a 5 week old kitten we just got last night?
6-month old cat is extremely jealous of kitten and won’t let us hold him.
Hi David…. thanks for visiting and asking. I will rely mainly on experience in answering this and I would hope one or two of the regulars will chip in.
Cats are adaptable especially when there is a reliable source of food in the area! There are very few cases in my experience where existing cats never fail to get on in some shape or form with a new cat introduced to the household.
But it can take longer than we expect sometimes. It can take a domestic cat 6 months and more to get used to a new home/area so the same timescale can apply for an existing cat to accept and get used to the presence of a new cat.
That said, it is a very flexible timescale. I can remember some visitor stories on PoC in which there has been an almost immediate acceptance and liking. It depends on the characters of the cats concerned and the age of the cats too I believe. Younger cats should be more open to change.
The answer to your question is up to about 6 months, in my opinion.
I have introduced a new cat to an existing on two occasions. Lately the new cat has been Charlie a three legged cat. The existing cat is Binnie and 18 year old cat.
Binnie didn’t like it. It has been about 9 months now and she fully accepts Charlie. They cohabit just fine. They don’t play or sit together but neither do they show any animosity. The relationship is neutral and that state of play arose at about 6 months. They talk to each other.
The whole thing turns on the concept of the individual cat’s “home range” – the territory that he or she considers their home. Wildcats seek it when they become adult and protect it. This can lead to deadly fights but the feral cat often forms colonies around sources of food such as fishing ports as a commonsense way of finding methods to survive. For cats in colonies individual cat home ranges are very small. Individual wildcat home ranges can be hundreds of square miles.
The Social Organisation of Serval Cats as just one example of a wild cat.
I think the key for cat caretakers is to be patient and to manage the situation sensibly and with commonsense until they are settled. A hierarchy may form.