Will Male Cat Accept New Kitten?
We have a big male cat and are thinking of getting a kitten. Because he has always been 'master' of the house, we are not sure if he will take to the new kitten. Can we get a kitten? (James Watt - Wisconsin)
Cats are very territorial and like to have their own 'patch'. Male cats generally want more territory than females and neutered cats want the least. Acquiring a kitten will certainly be seen as less of a threat than an adult, although it is very difficult to forecast exactly what will happen. In most cases there are relatively few problems.
There will be an initial period of hissing and spitting from both cats at first. The older cat will retire to glare at the kitten from a distance. It is essential that both cats have the opportunity to feed quietly and on their own. Allow them to meet periodically throughout the first few days (but always remain present) and you may find they begin to accept each others' company. This is provided the kitten can resist chasing and playing with the older cat - which may irritate him (Tip: buy a relatively sedate looking kitten).
Our advice would be to go ahead and get the kitten since all will probably be OK with perseverance.