New Kitten Introduction: Day One

by Melissa R. on October 3, 2012

1st night home

1st night home

We currently have three cats in our home: a 10-year-old black male, Kai; a 3-year-old Silver Ocicat female, Cirrhi; and a 3-year-old male Chocolate Ocicat, Ritter. We also have a 13-year-old Border Collie! After a loss of a pet earlier, we decided it was time to get a new kitten. We had always admired Bengals, and were fortuitous enough to find a 16-week-old male available in our area. Here is how we introduced him to our household.


First night: We picked up our new kitten around 6pm, and brought him straight home. As we entered the house, he was safely contained in his travel sack. We set the sack down for a few minutes for our other three cats to sniff, and see him. Our big, oldest male cat, Kai – didn’t care and continued on. Cirrhi, our young female was highly curious, and got in a few good hisses once she realized what it was. Our youngest male, Ritter, didn’t seem to care at all, and in fact, sat right down by the kitty sack! Our new kitten was hissing at Ritter though, so we decided that was enough, and brought him into his safe room.

His safe room is our office, outfitted with a litter box, food, water, many toys, beds and some scratching posts to keep him busy. It is important to keep new kittens away from your current cats so they can get comfortable and confident. Cats are very territorial, so all the cats also need to get used to each other’s scents. We will be swapping bedding & pads back & forth from the office to our bedroom (where the other cats sleep mostly) so they all get accustomed to the different scents. Read more about introducing a new cat to a multiple-cat household here.

He quickly darted off under the desk or bookshelf, for several hours, refusing to come out for treats, toys or anything. Getting his bearings, I am sure! After some time, we decided to just leave him on his own, and checked in on him from time to time. He did let us sleep all night though, which was good. I was afraid he’d decide to get comfortable at 2am and start crying.

1st Day Home

1st Day Home

First full day: Around 5am, I heard some noises from the kitten’s room, so I ventured in. He was sitting up on the office desk, and proceeded to hide under it when I approached him. I was happy to see he had eaten a good deal of food, and used his litter box as well. I sat on the floor for a while and he finally ventured out, cautiously. After some time passed, he decided maybe he could play a little bit and seemed to be getting more comfortable. I left to get ready for work.

Around 7am, after checking in on him a few times, I left the door open a bit, and one of our other cats cautiously crept in, for only a few minutes, doing some very serious sniffing. Kitten was nowhere to be seen at the time. After our cat left, I shut the door again, and got out his food bag to refill his bowl. Interestingly, this seemed to animate him to meowing, and creeping out from under the bookshelf! On top of that, he proceeded to circle me and start rubbing up against me – all EXCELLENT signs! He was marking himself on me, which is what we want. Then he decided to play and we had some excellent playing, rubbing and petting going on.

He does still put on a good show of hissing at us when we come in, or initially when he sniffs us. He is much more territorial than other kittens we have introduced. I think it may take longer to introduce him to the entire household than it has in the past.

Tonight I plan to herd up the other cats into his room while I get him out to be on his own in the house for a bit so we can get their scents intermingling some more. Once they are all used to each other’s scents, we should be just fine – getting over that is the important part.

Stay tuned!

About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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