Is My Cat Depressed Because of New Kitten? (9 Signs)
If you have noticed a change of mood in your cat since introducing a new kitten you may be wondering if it is depressed…
Do Cats Get Depressed Because of New Kittens?
Cats can get depressed because of a new kitten. This can happen for several reasons such as getting less attention from its owner or the contact nagging from the energetic kitten. You need to learn to read the signs of this to check.
So, now you know that they can. But, why do kittens stress out some cats? is hissing normal when a cat and kitten are introduced? Will your cat ever accept the kitten? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more…
Why Do Cats Get Depressed Because of New Kittens?
As discussed, it is possible that your older cat may get depressed because of the new kittens. Let me explain each of these issues in more detail:
01. Lack of Attention
Sometimes, when you give a lot of attention to your kitten, your older cat may feel neglected.
Now, while some cats may show aggression, some of them may seclude themselves and become depressed.
02. Constant Nagging From The Kitten
Kittens love playing around and they may annoy the older cat. For instance, some kittens may bite and scratch your older cat.
Due to this, your cat may try to stay away from everyone, which may lead to depression and anxiety.
03. Different smelling pheromones
Cats, unlike us humans, rely heavily on their scent. Not only as a means of identity but also as a calming factor. Meaning, that a familiar scent, can calm them.
To do this they rely on pheromones. They use this to mark zones in your home as ‘theirs’, which, in their mind, claims it as their territory.
Therefore, when your new kitten comes running through the door it can throw them off. Why? Because there is a whole new scent. In their mind, this disrupts their pheromones and all sense of calm.
04. No idea who this kitten is.
When your new kitten comes rushing in through the door it feels threatened. Why? Well, it has no idea who this cat is. And yes, it may look like a small, and cute, bundle of joy to you.
But, to your cat, it is an unknown cat that just kicked its door in. So, it will take time to adjust. And, unfortunately, during this time it can get depressed getting used to it.
What can you do if this happens?
To prevent any fights between your kitten and older cat, you may try to keep your cat in a separate room. If your cat isn’t used to separation, it may develop depression if you make them stay away for a long time.
Why Do Kittens Stress Out Older Cats?
Kittens are a huge ball of energy. They love to play around and get into mischief. Even though this may seem extremely adorable to you, it may not be the same for your older cat.
They hate quiet games
First of all, kittens don’t like peaceful play, they love to bite, and scratch whoever they play with. Now, this may stress out an older cat who is habituated to a silent and calm environment.
Just like messing around
Sometimes, your kitten may also pick a fight with your older cat in a playful manner. This could also stress out your cat.
9 Signs That Your Cat Is Depressed About Your New Kitten
If you are not sure whether or not your cat is depressed about the new kitten or not, look out for these three major signs!
01. Not As ‘Chatty’ As Usual
If you have a chatty and cheerful cat, you may want to look out for any changes in their voice and talking frequency.
Firstly, if you notice that your cat is talking way less than usual, then it may be a sign of sadness. Secondly, their purrs may also sound unhappy and low-pitched. Your cat may also purr for a lot of time to comfort themselves.
So, keep observing their ‘meow’ to know whether they are depressed or not.
02. Hair Standing Up
Another sign of depression could be a change in body language. For instance, you may notice the hair on your cat’s body standing up more often than before.
Lastly, you need to look out for oversleeping in your cat as well.
Keep in mind that normally cats do tend to sleep or nap a lot. However, if your cat is practically sleeping all day long, even during their playtime or mealtime, they may be depressed.
04. Acting withdrawn
If your cat is acting withdrawn or hiding away from you, this could be another sign that they are feeling negative about the arrival of your new kitten.
In some cases it could be quite subtle, in other extreme cases, it could be very obvious. If you see this then it’s time to think about what you can do to help.
05. Hissing & aggressive
Every cat is different and while some will act withdrawn, others may act aggressively. This is obvious. You may see it hissing, chasing, or even attacking the new kitten if this is the case.
In some cases, it will blow over with time. In other cases, you may need to take a proactive approach and separate them, even if it’s just temporarily until your resident cat adjusts.
06. Losing weight
If you have noticed that your cat has lost some weight, and it seems to be linked to the arrival of your new kitten it could well be.
This can happen if your cat is feeling depressed and starts to lose its appetite. As this happens, it consumes less, and after a short while, it may drop weight.
07. Excessive scratching
If your cat is feeling depressed or threatened by the addition of your new kitten then there is a good chance that they will want to reclaim their territory.
Unfortunately, this may include it scratching your furniture to shreds while they do this. If this is happening, it should be quite obvious. And, is a good time to focus on your resident cat.
08. Changes in grooming behavior
When a cat is like this it can start to neglect its grooming activity. This could mean its fur coat starts to deteriorate. The problem with this is it may take some time to be noticed.
Unlike excessive scratching, which is obvious, your cat’s fur may look ok for a short while until it adds up. However, a deteriorating coat from neglect is one thing, but some cats do the opposite.
This means some may overgroom. Meaning over licking their fur or biting their nails.
09. Peeing outside the litter box
Another classic sign is your cat peeing outside the litter box. This is not an accident. It is more likely to be a conscious choice to reclaim its territory.
Similar to scratching, cats will use the pheromones in their urine to mark their territory. Unfortunately, it’s a big problem for you because you will need to clean this up.
How Long Will It Take for My Cat to Get Used to My New Kitten?
Cats may develop feelings of jealousy and possessiveness if a new kitten is introduced. So, it may take them some time to get used to a kitten.
The time usually depends on the nature of your cat. If they are well-trained, friendly, and mixing, they may become friends with the new kitten in a few weeks or months.
However, some cats are kind of aggressive and not friendly (Click here to see the best solution for them). In this case, after a few weeks or months, they’ll learn how to tolerate the kitten but they won’t play with them.
Is Hissing Normal When Introducing Cats?
Yes, it is extremely normal for a cat to hiss while introducing to another cat. Most of the time, it can imply two things:
01. To Back Off
Some cats don’t like to have another cat or even a human invading their space and privacy. So, to give them a warning, they hiss.
For these cats, hissing means to back off.
Sometimes, kittens or cats may hiss if they are scared of anything or they feel like a victim.
It is more of a defensive action here rather than offensive.
Will a Grown Cat Accept a Kitten?
Yes, most of the time a grown cat can accept a kitten way more easily than an adult cat. Yet, here you need to keep in mind two things:
- Don’t go for a kitten that exhibits aggressive behavior and may get into a fight with your older cat
- Make sure you know the personality of your cat. If they are too possessive of you, it may not be easy for them to accept a new kitten or cat in the same house
How Do You Settle a New Kitten?
Given below are 10 tips that may help you to settle and welcome a new kitten into your house!
- Designated Room: Firstly, make sure you give them their own designated room so they can explore and get familiar in peace. Don’t forget to put some clean cat litter there regularly!
- Provide them with healthy meals. Don’t give them milk as it may risk allergies and diarrhea. Moreover, make sure you have fixed meal times and the food bowl is away from the litter box.
- Give them their cozy bed (Click here for my best one) where they can rest after a hectic and playful day.
- Make sure you introduce them slowly to things like vacuum cleaners and cars, so they don’t get scared and run away.
- Cat Proof your house if possible. Also, get rid of any sharp, ingestible objects that may harm your kitten.
- Introduce existing pets: If you have any existing pets, introduce them to each other first. Ensure that throughout the day you give both of them equal attention.
- Safe outdoor areas: If you want to take your kitten outdoors, ensure that it is a safe area, and is wind/rain-proof.
- Toys: Give your kitten a couple of toys (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) to entertain them while you’re busy with work or other chores.
- Collar: For identification and restraint purposes, consider having a collar (Click here if you struggle with this) for your kitten after some time.
- Give them some time and attention to earn their love and trust. However, don’t over spoil them by feeding them extra food or letting them sleep on your bed.
Follow these tips and your kitten will be well settled in!
How Can You Give Your Older Cat Some Time Alone?
If your kitten is annoying your older cat too much, you may want to give your cat some time alone.
For this, you can keep both of the cats in two separate rooms so that the new one won’t irritate your older cat. Moreover, you can also do this while feeding them to give your older cat some peace of mind.
But, make sure you don’t overdo it and seclude your cat entirely.
No, even if your cats become best buddies, don’t make them share their things. It is because cats don’t possess the quality of sharing. This may result in a huge fight too.
So, make sure you get your kitten everything new, from their litter box to their toys to their food bowl.
What Should You Do if Your Cats Start Fighting?
There are chances that your cats may start fighting. Given below are a few tips to follow to stop them from fighting.
- Try to distract them by throwing a towel, or any other item between them. You can also make a loud noise to distract them.
- If possible, try to get one of your cats inside their room. Here, make sure that you don’t pick up any cats as they may scratch you if they’re angry
- Keep them separated for a few days until both of them seem calm
How can I help my depressed cat?
If you are getting concerned about your cat, since the introduction of your kitten, you may be thinking of ways that you can help your cat get over it. Here are some suggestions:
More quality time
To avoid your resident cat getting jealous you need to make more time for it. This can be as simple as offering it more cuddles or just laying on the couch watching a TV show with your cat in your lap.
Whatever it is, use this time to give your cat some assurance that you still care for it and appreciate it.
Increase your playtime
Playing with your cat will help it to get over its depression. This is a great activity for both of you. You will enjoy its response to you, and your cat will feel reassured that they are still loved.
Also, it’s great for their fitness. And, as cats age, it’s important to keep them active to avoid getting overweight, especially for indoor cats.
Give your cat some private places
A depressed cat may appreciate a private place to hideaway. This can be helpful for them to calm down and regain their composure.
Therefore, it is a good idea to have a location for them to feel safe and away from the new kitten. Truthfully speaking, they are more likely to find their place rather than take what you offer.
And, they tend to choose a place that you would least expect. But, either way, the main thing is they have somewhere where they feel comfortable.
How can I get my cat and kitten introduced?
Understanding if you have a depressed cat or understanding how to deal with it is one thing. But, a more proactive approach, in the future, is to learn how to introduce them to the best way, to avoid this ever happening. Therefore, here are some tips..,
Preparation of your home
Rather than waiting for your kitten to turn up and ‘working it out’ it is better to be proactive and prepare your home, ahead of time. This sounds more spectacular than it is.
All you need is small things like another litter tray, or two. I say two because it’s better to have more than you physically need.
Other things include separate toys, water bowls, and sleeping arrangements. You may assume your kitten can just sleep with you, but it’s best they have their own space when they first join you home.
This will allow them to get used to their environment and also reduce the chance of your resident cat getting jealous.
Getting your resident cat ready
One tactic is to use pheromones to help to calm your cat ahead of time. This can be as simple as offering it a pheromone collar, or diffuser.
These devices will expel natural pheromones that are known to calm cats. And, if this is used before your new kitten turns up, it can help to prepare your resident cat for its arrival.
Getting the introduction right
The key to a good start is keeping your kitten separated at first. You need to let your cat sense the kitten’s arrival but not have it running around and antagonizing it.
Therefore, simple things like keeping the kitten in a separate room, or even using a cat carrier for the kitten so your resident cat can see and get used to its scent first.
Get them to play together
Once your cat and kitten show signs of getting used to each other, for example, they are not hissing at each other, then you need to get them to play together.
However, this should not be forced, it needs to be done in their own time. You can encourage this but never force it.
When I say ‘encourage it’, I mean little things like offering them treats together or playing with their toys together. It may take some trial and error to see what works best for your cats.
Is my cat jealous of my new kitten?
The chances are, yes, it is jealous. I say this because this behavior is quite common in cats when a new kitten or cat is in its home.
In some cases, this will change with time, as it gets used to the kitten. But, it is important to look out for any aggressive behavior. This can be dangerous for your new kitten, as you can imagine.
How can you be sure your cat is jealous of your kitten?
If you notice some difference in behavior from your cat since your kitten has been on the scene. Then, you may be keen to understand how you can be sure it’s jealousy, or something else. Here are some signs to look out for…
This is an obvious sign that your cat is feeling jealous. This can be in the form of physically pushing the kitten around, stealing its food, or hissing at it.
When you see this happening you need to keep a close eye on this going forward to keep your kitten safe.
Becoming overly clingy
If your cat is feeling threatened by the new kitten then you may see it always wanting attention from you, this is it acting clingy.
This can be as simple as always wanting cuddles, or rubbing against you to request attention.
Refusing to use the litter tray
It may be a shock to see cat poop outside of the litter tray because cats are naturally tidy animals. SO, when you see this from your resident cat, it is a sure sign of jealousy.
This is their weird way of expressing their discomfort. Or, if it’s urine, a method to mark its territory to tell the kitten to back off from its territory.
Can my cat’s personality change because of a new kitten?
Yes. A cat’s personality can change because of the arrival of a new kitten. However, this behavior is usually a temporary change and should not last.