Cats/Introducing new kittens to an older cat
I have a 4 year old cat called Ginger who loves being outside. We where really worried about him as he seemed to spend 12 hours a day outside when we where at work. We thought he might be lonely (as we used to have another cat but he died about 2 years ago) so after thinking long and hard we brought 2 kittens. We have had them for 4 days but they haven't meet yet. Ginger does sniff the door and seems interested but after 5 minutes he keeps going back outside. We are scared if we introduce them he will run off outside and not come back. Ginger is eating and sleeping at home but should we lock the cat flap whilst he is meeting the new kittens or should we let him do what he feels he needs to do?
Thank you, Amiee
well let me first say, unfortunately you have made a very common mistake in thinking that a cat will be lonely without other cat companions. cats are not pack animals like dogs and indeed prefer to have their own territory. the fact that he was out for 12 hours a day is not something to worry about as he would be carrying out all his natural cat instincts and loneliness would not have come into that. As I say this is a common mistake as we humans think cats are like us in this respect.
Ok so regardless of what I have said, you have the kittens now and so you will have to try and introduce them in such a way that they may be able to accept each other or at least tolerate each other. However there are no guarantees.
the best process for introducing cats to each other is in a controlled environment where they can all feel safe. i have written a page about the process on my web site here
Hopefully after a while they will get along but it is important the the kittens are neutered as soon as they are old enough as this will also help to cut down on any conflicts.
Some cats are more sociable than others and if they have been used to other animals in the past should be able to settle down with the other cats. Normally what happens is that they all just find their social place in the group.
best wishes Kate