My two barn cats went missing while I was stuck indoors very ill. My husband did an excellent job towing the line with everything while I couldn't get out of bed, but he did forget to feed the two barn cats a few days (it's normally my job). They were gone for about two weeks. My favourite cat of all time, the male, returned last night. We gave him loads of cuddles and let him stay indoors until he kept waking us, then let him outside.
The problem is, the female is still missing and I fear the worst. We have a lot of wild predators in our woods (lynx, cougar, bear, coyote...). We have a significant mouse problem without the assistance of cats so I can't delay replacing her. So I've decided to get a kitten. The little guy is arriving tomorrow and I'm wondering if anyone has tips on how to introduce my recently returned male to the kitten. I don't want him to run away again, but I also want the kitten to be safe.
I'm thinking perhaps I can keep the kitten indoors during the day to help him acclimatize to our family. At night I could keep him in our feed barn as he'd be too small to open the cat door, and that way the grown cat still has access to his food, water, and bed, and the kitten can't get hurt outside. Pros/cons/other ideas?
In other news, I'm interested in advice about the relationship between my favourite male cat and our recent puppy addition. The dog is about 5 months old. He's good about hollering alarm if he anticipates predators, and he lives outdoors full time. The problem is he's still playful and wants to pounce around the cats but hasn't shown any signs of being actually dangerous. Unfortunately, just two weeks after we brought him home we had a friend visit with a similar looking but older dog. That dog chased my male cat to the point that I was afraid he was a goner. It was very close, and we weren't able to stop it. The cat now doesn't trust my puppy, though he's done nothing wrong, just looks similar. Anyone have advice on how to help the two become friends?