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My Cat Is Obsessed With My New Kitten (Why?)

If your cat is acting besotted with your kitten you may be wondering why and if this behavior is normal…

Why is my cat obsessed with my new kitten?

While some cats will immediately assert their dominance over any new cat (even a kitten), this is not the case with all cats. Some will ‘adopt’ the little one and try their hand at parenting! Watch your cat closely and you’ll see all kinds of interesting behaviors.

It’s not uncommon to see a lot of grooming, for instance, as this is a bonding ritual with cats. Your cat might even take up the habit of always lying comfortably near where the kitten is playing and keep watch.

It’s adorable to see, really, and basically, it is exactly what it looks like – your cat has borrowed a page from the ‘bird book’ by taking your new kitten ‘under their wing’.

Is it normal for a cat to be obsessed with a new kitten?

Black and white kitten lying down.

Black and white kitten lying down.

Cats are curious by nature and they are also sticklers for habit. When ANYTHING changes in the environment, even something as minor as moving some furniture, your cat will take notice and investigate.

As such, it’s not uncommon at all for them to ‘scope out’ a new kitten. This can be a mild and friendly thing, though it can also go sour. That said, don’t panic unless your cat is harming the kitten.

Even bites can be innocuous if they don’t break the skin and cats feel compelled to establish dominance early on. While this might not be the case with your cat, you should be mentally prepared just in case!

Do all cats get along with kittens?

No, not all cats will get along with a new kitten, and some might even become downright hostile. Hissing and biting may occur, but as long as the bites aren’t piercing the skin you can simply keep an eye on them and it should subside over time as the cat and kitten get used to each other.

If you see body language that indicates actual hostility, such as a flattening of the ears, hair raising on its end, or actual biting that is breaking the skin then you’ll need to separate them.

You can slowly reintroduce them, with the kitten safely in a crate and under your supervision for the meeting. During this time, you should talk to your cat in a reassuring tone and be liberal with the treats – that way you can build good associations with the kitten – and after a few days, you can try reintroducing them without the crate.

Why is my male cat looking after my kitten?

Some male cats could care less about ‘throwing their weight around’ and seem to enjoy taking on the role of ‘favorite uncle’ or even ‘stepfather’. When this happens, it’s a wonderful thing to see, and the cat and your new kitten may become ‘thick as thieves’.

During this time the adult male will do things like share their food, teach the kitten how hard they can safely bite during play, and show them all the fun and comfortable spots around the house.

If you see your adult cat and new kitten acting like family, then we recommend enjoying your good fortune – they’re building a friendship, right in front of your eyes, and it can last a lifetime!

How can I stop my cat from obsessing over my kitten?

There is not a lot that you can do when this happens. Cats are curious by nature and they are also wired instinctually to assert their dominance in their territories so that it is clear to everyone who the ‘boss’ is.

This behavior should lessen over time, however, because a cat’s interest is intense, but also a fickle thing. Once your cat gets bored of the kitten, they’ll start finding other things to do, and a few new toys can help to speed up the process if you are so inclined.

If the attention has you worried, you could try installing tag-locked cat doors, so that the kitten can escape to another room, but the faster adult is likely to make it through that same door eventually.

If you are worried that the kitten might be harmed in your absence, you might just want to put them in a separate room with food, bedding, and a litter box and simply shut the door until you return. It’s not ideal, but if you fear for their safety then this might be the necessary approach for now.

How long should I give my cat to adjust to a new kitten?

In most cases, your cat will adjust to the new kitten in around a week. This is not always the case, however, so you need to make sure that all meetings are supervised until the two get used to each other.

Cats are very set in their ways, but usually, once dominance has been established, they will start getting along and may even eventually become the best of friends. For now, however, your cat just sees the new kitten as an interloper who is getting all of the attention and intruding on ‘their’ space.

Be sure to give your cat some extra attention during this time, as this can go a long way when it comes to your cat accepting the new kitten as part of the family.

Why does my cat chase my kitten?

White cat walking on a yard.

A white cat walking in a yard.

Chasing is not always a bad thing, though sometimes it might mean that your cat could use a few more toys. While sometimes perceived as ‘lazy’, cats have a lot more energy than you think, they’re probably just expending it at night when you can’t see.

Try giving your cat a few new things to do and see if this helps. If it doesn’t, as long as the chasing doesn’t involve any fighting that draws blood, then it’s not a cause for worry. They could just be playing, after all, or simply setting the ‘ground rules’ for future interactions.

Can cats get depressed with a new kitten?

Yes, cats may become depressed with a new kitten in the house, and it’s quite common. This will manifest in the form of behavioral changes, such as grooming or eating less, moping about, or even acts of aggression.

Cats don’t do well with change, but over time your cat should get used to the kitten. In the meantime, you can help out by giving your cat a little extra love and attention.

This will get their mind off of the new kitten and remind them that they haven’t been replaced, but rather the family has just gotten a little bigger.

How do I know if my cat is hurting my kitten?

Watch your cat’s body language and you may quickly determine their intentions. When you see things like raised hair all over the body or even just on the tail, flattened ears, and compacted defensive postures, then your cat isn’t annoyed – they are feeling threatened and considering violence.

You can also check for bites that have drawn blood and if this is occurring, you need to separate them immediately and slowly reintroduce them, with a crate for the kitten so that it’s slow and safe.

Can I leave my cat and kitten alone?

No, you can’t leave your kitten and older cat alone together, at least not until they’ve had time to get used to each other. Until this happens, you need to prepare a room with some bedding, a litter box, and a food and water bowl so that you can keep them separate when you can’t be with them at home.

Don’t worry – usually, it only takes a week or two for the felines to become friends, or at least to become tolerant of each other. Until then, however, you need to make sure that they are not left alone together. It’s simply not safe for the kitten.

Lindsey Browlingdon