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What Is Normal Play Between a Cat And a Kitten?

If you have a new kitten and are fearful because of the way your older cat is treating it, you may be wondering what is acceptable or to be expected.

What is normal play between a cat and a kitten?

Cats and kittens will often play-fight. This is part of their growth and you should expect your cat to join in. However, you need to monitor it, especially when the kitten is new to the cat, to make sure none of them are getting hurt or going beyond play-fighting.

So, now you know what is normal play. But, how can you tell if the playing has gone too far? Do older cats get jealous of kittens? Why are older cats frustrating for some kittens? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

How do I know if my cat is playing with a kitten?

What is normal play between a cat and a kitten?

A kitten playing with a ball.

To work out if your cat is just playing with your kitten you need to study their body language. This includes the sounds as well as their actions. For example, is there more hissing than meowing? Or, is one of them getting bitten aggressively? Then, this would suggest they are fighting.

I remember growing up I would argue and fight with my brother all the time. Sometimes the playing would get quite intense. But, to the outside world, the thing that indicated it was playing was our faces and the words we used.

This is similar to cats. It is a fine line between fighting and playing. But, with time, you will just know.

Is it good to get a kitten with an older cat?

If the cat and kitten get along it may be good for the owner of the cats. But, for the older cat, it is normally a hassle for them. The older they are the more settled into a routine they are. And, a kitten will undoubtedly change that.

This is one of the reasons that you can have some conflict with the cats. The kitten just wants to play and has high-energy. But, the older cat just wants to relax, sleep, and eat. It is a complete contrast in fact.

Do cats get jealous of a new kitten?

Cats can get jealous of a new kitten. This mainly happens because they have built their rapport with their owner and can feel that the kitten is causing a disruption. Also, it may feel that it owns the territory and the kitten is infiltrating.

I remember when I was young, and my mother was pregnant with my brother. “The bump” started to get all the attention and I felt jealous. So, one day, while in the bath, I decided to scream out loud to get back some of this attention.

Unfortunately, my mum fell over with the fright and had to get checked out. At that point, I knew I went too far. Luckily she was fine and so was my brother. But, it shows how this rivalry can also affect us humans, as well as cats.

Are 2 cats better than 1?

If the two cats get along well having two cats can feel better than one. But, if they are constantly fighting and do not get on then it is better to have one. There are other factors such as cost which also make having one cat more appealing for others.

If you think about it, it’s like having two children, right? One child on its own can get lonely, but cheaper to care for. On the other hand, if you have two children that get along they can be great to keep each other company.

How do I get my older cat to accept a kitten?

It can be challenging getting your older cat to accept your kitten. But, here are some techniques that you can use to make this easier:

01. Gentle introduction

When you first bring your kitten home it’s important not to just put it in with your cat and hope for the best. You need to have a dedicated room for your kitten and start there first.

When you do introduce your kitten to the older cat (Is it licking the older cat too? Click here) make sure it is supervised. Meaning, have a barrier. Either you as the barrier by guarding the kitten (Could your cat really hurt it? Click here) or a physical barrier like a pet gate (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) or a suitable door.

The idea is to get your older cat to get used to the kitten’s scent, and vice-versa, before leaving them alone together.

02. Allow your cat to be the boss

There may be some times when your cat plays rough like bitting its neck, or the belly. But, this can happen while it establishes who is the boss. Your old cat needs to feel that it maintains its hierarchy with it on top.

03. Keep your cat calm

If your cat is overly aggressive you may want to try a calming diffuser to calm it down (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad). The pheromones in these devices help to calm aggressive cats.

04. Play with them together

To help them build a rapport you need to make sure that they get time to play together. The best way to do this is to include your new kitten in the games that you used to play with your older cat.

This can be a simple interactive cat toy (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), or any other game you used to play.

Can 2 cats share a litter box?

Cats can share the same litter box but it is not recommended. For litter usage, they tend to prefer their own privacy. Therefore, it’s better to get at least one litter tray per cat. And, if possible an extra one.

You may have been hoping to cut costs and have just one litter tray and useless cat litter but it is more hassle than it’s worth in the long run.

What can you do if your cat & kitten can’t get along?

If you have tried to introduce your cat to your kitten and it’s not working you need to take a step back for a while. Meaning, separate the cats. After a while try and introduce them again, but make sure it’s supervised.

In between the next attempt to introduce them, you need to make sure that they are separated. This may sound difficult and annoying, and to be truthful it probably will be at first.

But, it is necessary to keep them safe until they get along better.

What can you do to get your cat to get along with your kitten?

Each cat is different but in general to get your cat used to the kitten you need to be patient and wait for them to have a safe introduction. Then start to socialize them together by playing games.

But, initially, this needs to be monitored to see how they get along. There will need to be a bit of common sense used to know when this happens. But, you will know when they are playing well together.

Why is an older cat frustrating for a kitten?

A kitten can get frustrated with an older cat because it does not have the same energy level. Meaning, a kitten has high-energy and wants to play all the time. Whereas a cat may just want to relax, sleep, and eat.

This is why you may see your kitten keep harassing the older cat. It is prompting it to play with it. But, the older cat may not want to at that time.

Lindsey Browlingdon