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My Cat Stopped Purring When I Got A New Kitten – Why?

If you have noticed your cat has stopped purring, and it seems to be linked to the arrival of your new kitten, you may be wondering why, if it’s normal, and what, if anything, you can do about it…

Why did my cat stop purring when I got a new kitten?

Cats sometimes purr to help reduce their stress, but this is not always the case. The odds are very high that your kitty is stressed about a new kitten in their territory and probably a little confused about why you would bring them in the first place.

You’ll need to be patient with the introduction process. That your cat is not acting aggressive is already a good sign, but you’ll want to make sure that all visits are supervised and it wouldn’t hurt to give your older cat some treats and extra attention during this time.

Once your cat adjusts to the new kitten then they will relax and start behaving more in the manner that you’ve become accustomed to.

Is it normal for a cat to stop purring because of a new kitten?

A brown and yellow kitten indoors staring.

A tabby kitten indoors staring.

Yes, it is completely normal for your cat to stop purring because of a new kitten. Cats are creatures of habit, and this new animal in their domain makes them curious, uncomfortable, and sometimes even aggressive.

Thankfully, your cat’s ‘purr box’ isn’t broken, but you’ll need to be patient. Some cats take to a kitten right away, while others take weeks, and a few may never even like the kitten – though they will learn to at least tolerate it.

How can I help my cat and kitten to get along?

When introducing a kitten to your older cat, the first thing that you should do is invest in a plastic crate, so that your cat may sniff the kitten without there being a safety risk. Introduce them this way, speaking softly to both felines, and be sure to give the adult cat lots of treats and attention during this time.

If it goes well, then you can try the next introduction without the crate, but it must be supervised – this is a delicate time and your cat will be on edge. Kitty toys and treats can help, as your cat will begin associating those fun times with both you and the new kitten.

Once you see them playing together safely, cuddling, or grooming each other, then you should be able to relax a bit, but keep an eye on them until you are positive that they have become fast friends.

Is my cat mad at me for getting a new kitten?

Your cat will be upset that there is a new kitten, but this is normal and should subside over time as your kitty gets used to the newcomer. During this time, don’t be surprised if your cat hisses or even swats at the new kitten. As long as the scratching isn’t drawing blood, then this is completely normal.

Cats are very territorial and the older cat is just teaching the kitten who the ‘boss’ is. Just keep letting them visit each other, provided that you are supervising, and be liberal with the treats and attention that you give the older cat.

Eventually, they will relax more, but first introductions are often quite tense for a few days up to a couple of weeks!

How do I know if my cat likes my new kitten?

An orange cat and a kitten lying outdoors next to a green plant.

A ginger cat and a kitten lying outdoors next to a green plant.

Probably the strongest sign that you will see is when your cat is grooming the kitten. The kitten will not necessarily like it, but let them complain because grooming is a huge sign of feline trust. Cats that get along often groom each other regularly and once you see that, you can be 100% confident that all is well.

Do cats ever purr when unhappy?

Yes. Sometimes kitties purr when they are stressed, as the soothing rumble helps them to relax. While this is uncommon, it does indeed happen that way with some cats.

Most, however, will purr when they are feeling happy but you should be careful when petting them for too long – often the purr lingers longer than the cat’s appreciation, and they might become annoyed and swat you while still purring away!

As you get to know your kitty’s body language, this will be less of a worry, but for the most part, a purr is usually a good sign.

What happens if you introduce cats too quickly?

Introducing cats too quickly is a recipe for disaster – especially if unsupervised. Cats view your shared home as their territory and a new cat in the wild would be quickly attacked and chased off!

Take your time with introductions and be sure to supervise them completely until you know that both cats are getting along.

Can cats get depressed with a new kitten?

Yes, it is possible that your cat will become depressed. Cats dislike change of any kind and even a simple thing like a new couch can stress them out and even cause spraying behaviors to occur – all because it is different and that couch doesn’t smell like your cat.

With kittens, it’s even harder for your cat, as they will feel the need to establish their dominance – if they don’t outright chase the other kitty away. You’ll need to give your older kitty lots of extra love and attention, so that they know that everything is okay, and begin building happy associations with the new kitten nearby.

Your cat will perk up once they know that they are not being replaced and that the kitten is not a threat to them, but rather a possible new friend.

Are there cats that will never purr?

Yes. While most cats will purr (some much more than others), some cats do not do this and it’s completely normal. If your cat doesn’t purr then don’t worry – it doesn’t mean that they are unhappy and there are many other ways that they can show you when they are!

Do cats get tired of purring?

No, cats don’t seem to get tired of purring and they don’t control it, either. The signal that the cat’s body gets that tells it to purr come from the central nervous system and it runs on ‘automatic’ until it is sent a signal to stop.

The actual purring is produced when your cat breathes and its glottis (by your cat’s vocal cords) dilates rapidly. Air vibrating over the laryngeal muscles produces that familiar rumble that your cat is making and once the nervous system tells it to stop, then the purring will cease.

While we can’t ask your cat for sure if they might like to turn off their purr from time to time, the lack of distress that they display with prolonged purring periods seems to indicate that it doesn’t bother them in the slightest!

Lindsey Browlingdon