Behavior – Cat dislikes new kitten


Cat dislikes new kitten
Cat hates new kitten

Dear Your Own Vet,

I got a kitten about 6 months ago and introduced her to the two cats that live in my house. One of them is 14 and the other is 3. The 14 year old at first had a problem but now she and the kitten, who is now 8 months, are fine. The 3 year old on the other hand, started off being fine with the kitten after the initial hissing and they would play together all the time but now she growls and hisses at the kitten. The 3 year old will eventually play with the kitten but they are very sporadic. The 3 year old cat will not like to even be in the same room as the kitten. She usually just comes inside, after being outside most of the day, and goes straight up to one of the bedrooms. I thought at first that it might be a bed territorial thing, so I started to have the kitten sleep with me in my room, and the problem got a tiny tiny bit better… but not by much. I feel very bad for the 3 year old cat because before the kitten was brought into the house, the 3 year old cat was a lap cat and was very social and now she is not. I have not seen any fighting between these two cats, just growling and hissing from the 3 year old toward the kitten. Please Help! I want the 3 year old to get along with the kitten and feel like she belongs in the house! Any advice???

cat dislikes new kitten
Cat jealous of new kitten

Hi there,
It is always difficult when introducing a new cat into an existing household of cats. Somehow we believe that they are all going to get along. However, that is often far from the truth. Just like humans, animals too can take a dislike to another animal.
This could be the case with your one cat. It is not happy with the new kitten coming into her home and getting all the attention that she used to get. The older cat has accepted the kitten and this too could have upset your 3 year old, as they were friends before the kitten.
So, it is not an easy situation and you just need to show the 3 year old that she is still loved and the kitten is bottom of the hierarchy.

Pheremones like those in Feliway help to calm the cat
Feliway used regularly reduces stress

I would suggest that you go to your vet and get a product called Feliway and spray this around the house, or use the diffuser that plugs into the wall. You can also get a calming collar. All these have a calming pheromone and it has been know to help in these situations.
If all else fails, try to get hold of a behaviourist in your area who could come to your home and assess the situation and give help.


Kathy Clayton

Chairman of the Animal Behaviour Consultants of SA (Registration Number: SAABC/1998/008/CF)

Chairman of Dancing with Dogs in Africa

Accredited Companion Animal Behaviourist &Professional Dog Trainer 011 783 3042 082 454 1750

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