Need to know how to get outdoor cats to get along with kittens?
Recently, a friend wanted to know how to stop an older outdoor neutered male cat from being upset when two female kittens were present.
If you’ve got the same or similar problem, we’ve got your back with 5 incredible tips on cat introductions.
Just keep on reading.
5 Unique Tips on How to Get Outdoor Cats to Get Along with Kittens
Cats might be fond of people\other pets, but they aren’t fans of sharing food, attention, and territory with unfamiliar felines.
So, It’s normal for an outdoor cat to be upset about any new kittens that sneak into the yard for a snack.
Bringing an indoor kitten might also stress an outdoor pet and lead to behavior changes.
Fortunately, in many cases, older cats and kittens can get along or learn to tolerate each other.
You just have to employ the right strategy and be patient.
Let’s see five tips that can help your outdoor cats to get along with your new kitten.
#1 Make Slow Introductions
Usually, you introduce new pets by keeping the animals separated and letting them get used to each other’s presence through a barrier.
However, that might be difficult for outdoor cats and stray/feral kittens that come into their territory.
Try feeding your outdoor cat and the kitten in close but separate locations.
You want the two parties to connect each other’s presence with positive things, such as food but without triggering a negative response.
When your outdoor cat seems less upset about the kitten’s presence, you can move the food bowls closer. Keep shortening the distance in small steps.
If your older cat is upset by your new indoor kitten, you might take the kitten outside in their carrier. Then let your outdoor cat approach to sniff the kitten.
Keep the little one in the carrier until both cats are calm and don’t hiss or yowl at each other. In time, you can allow short supervised interactions.
#2 Manage the Environment/Resources
If the kitten upsetting your cat is an outdoor one, make sure that it has separate food/water bowls, beds, and toys.
Cats are protective of their belonging and become territorial and aggressive, especially around food.
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If the kitten is inside, you might consider keeping the little one in a room where the outdoor cat doesn’t have access.
The adult cat will calm down if they can’t smell or see the kitten.
After a while, bring something belonging to the kitten and let your outdoor cat get familiar with the scent. Then start the introduction process.
Also, to stop your outdoor cat from being upset about new kittens, spend enough quality time with them.
You don’t want your pet to feel neglected or become jealous of the kittens.
#3 Observe, Intervene, and Reward
Cat specialists tell you never to leave a kitten and older cat alone before they can tolerate each other’s presence.
However, it’s almost impossible to do so when you’ve got an outdoor cat and kittens in the yard.
Still, observe how your outdoor cat and kittens interact whenever possible. Hissing, swatting, and angry meowing is expected at the beginning.
Don’t intervene as long as the behavior doesn’t escalate into a fight. Instead, reward your adult cat and kitten whenever they’re behaving well around each other.
Choose something delicious (tuna treats, for example) that both kitties won’t resist and give it every time the cats are calm and relaxed.
If there’s a fight, you should stop it as soon as possible before someone gets injured. Then leave the cats to calm down before you approach them again.
Don’t punish or use any negative reinforcement. It might make the cats more hostile against each other.
#4 Provide Physical/Mental Stimulation
Kittens are small balls of endless energy, and all they want to do is play with everyone and everything in sight.
On the other hand, older cats spend most of their time sleeping, grooming, and patrolling their territory.
As such, kittens are often overwhelming for senior cats because of their playfulness and naughty behavior.
Make sure that you provide enough physical and mental exercises to keep the kitten happy.
In this way, the little one won’t bother the older cat and will be too exhausted to get into trouble.
When your older cat starts to accept the kitten’s presence, you can let them play with each other.
#5 Consider Pheromones
Pheromones can be an excellent solution to your problem and stop your outdoor cat from being upset when kittens are present.
It can make the socialization process easy and remove the tension and anxiety between the cats.
These pheromones are available as sprays, diffusers, or wipes. Nutritional supplements can also be useful in relaxing a cat.
Talk to your vet about which calming aids are most suitable for your older cat, especially if your pet has a chronic condition.
How to Deal With Kitten Vs. Kitten Aggression?
So, you’ve got your outdoor cat to accept kittens. However, what do you do if the kittens are hostile against each other?
While kittens tend to make friends quickly, aggression isn’t that uncommon, especially among kittens from different litters.
Aggressive behavior can be due to excitement, fear, or resource guarding. Bossy kittens also tend to bully shy/timid ones, no matter if they are related or not.
So, here are some tips on stopping an aggressive female/male kitten versus a non-aggression kitten:
- Put a bell on the aggressive kitten to give the non-aggressive a chance to escape before they’re under attack.
- Play with the kitten as much as possible to burn off their energy. An exhausted kitten is unlikely to go looking for fights.
- Spay/neuter the kittens as soon as possible. Both female and male kittens can be quite territorial and dominant, especially when in heat or pregnant.
- If the kittens are from different litters, start the introduction process anew. Separate the little ones and slowly get them used to be in each other’s company.
- Provide suitable hiding places for the shy kitten.
- Break up fights and don’t allow them to escalate.
Unfortunately, some kittens don’t play well with others. They might bully the older cat around to establish dominance or chase them away from the territory.
If your older cat is really upset, they might find another home/yard where they can be a single pet.
So, think about turning your outdoor cat into an indoor one or talk to a feline behaviorist.
What do you think about these 5 tips on how to get outdoor cats to Get Along with kittens? Tell us about how your cats get along Below!
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.