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Why Does My Cat Chase My Kitten?

If you have noticed that your cat keeps chasing your kitten you may be wondering what to do and why it’s happening…

Why Does My Cat Chase My Kitten?

Your cat could be chasing your kitten just to play, which can be confirmed by the lack of fighting, or it could be the older cat establishing its territory. As long as they aren’t hurting the kitten, then there is no need to worry.

Whenever you bring a new animal into the house, chasing, hissing, and eventually a little grooming is simply par for the course.

If your cat is stopping short of actually harming the kitten, then everything is okay. Cats love schedules and predictability, so the addition of the new kitten just takes a little adjustment on their part.

Does my cat mean to hurt my kitten?

A kitten outdoors walking on grass.

A kitten outdoors walking on grass.

Short, sharp bites that don’t draw blood are designed to get the kitten’s attention. It could be a way of saying ‘don’t do that’ or ‘don’t go here’ and as long as the nips aren’t piercing the skin, then harm is not intended.

Keep your eye on the results, rather than your kitten’s protest, and if you are worried you can always keep the new kitten close while also giving your older cat some extra treats. Your cat will adjust to the kitten’s presence in time – it takes a little patience on your part.

How can I tell if my cat means to harm my kitten?

Watch for attacks that draw blood or remove fur. Your kitten’s attitude is also important. If you notice that the kitten keeps going up to the cat anyway, even though it ‘looks’ like they are fighting, then your kitten isn’t being stupid – they are just being cats!

A certain amount of territoriality is to be expected and the older cat is going to make it clear that they are ‘senior’ and it’s their place… they’re just ‘allowing’ the kitten to stay there. So, don’t be worried!

Not all older cats will greet a newcomer with open arms, but rather with the act of ‘setting some house rules’ and eventually softening to the kitten’s company. That said, if blood or missing fur does indeed occur, then get your kitten into the vet for treatment and your next steps.

Is it normal for my kitten to chase its littermates?

A gray kitten staring and another in the background.

A gray kitten staring and another in the background.

Yes, this is completely normal behavior. Cats love chasing things – after all, they are still predators, even if they are small, fuzzy, and adorable ones. They will ‘hunt’ each other for play, with a lot of chasing and mock-fighting, but this isn’t just for practice.

These little games also help to establish dominance among the cats in your house. It’s completely normal, so let your little ones play and chase each other to their heart’s content. They’re just learning how to be the cats that they will eventually grow up to be!

Should I try to stop my cat from chasing my kitten?

Unless your cat is hurting the kitten, then it’s better to let them play. While the sounds can make you think that something brutal is going on, they are completely normal, and you’ll notice that your kitten tries to ‘give as good as they get’.

The kittens will walk up to the older cats, hide in little nooks to pounce on them, and occasionally walk slowly up to the older cat’s food bowl to ‘innocently’ sample their food. This is just standard cat behavior, as they get to know each other and forge an agreed-upon set of rules about which cat is the boss!

What can I do to keep my cat and her kittens happy?

If your cat has just had kittens, the best thing that you can do is to make them a nesting box that is soft and comfortable and also located somewhere quiet. Make sure that the sides are raised, so that kittens can’t easily wander out, and put plastic on the bottom with newspaper on top.

This will make the box easy to clean and still quite comfortable for your kitty. Put your cat’s food close by and make sure that there is also a clean litter box within easy reach so that mom doesn’t have to go far when she is hungry or needs to potty.

Beyond this, just try not to harass mom by playing with the kittens all of the time. They need to eat every 2 to 4 hours, currently, and their playtime also helps them to socialize, how to play without hurting each other, and develop other good habits for when they are older.

What causes territorial issues between a cat and a kitten?

With a kitten that is not the child of your older cat, the most common reasons for territoriality are going to be the addition of the new, unfamiliar cat, and the time when that kitten ‘comes of age’ by reaching a young maturity.

This is to be expected, and as long as the fighting isn’t removing fur or causing the kitten to bleed, then just let them sort it out.

Your cat will warm up to the kitten eventually, in most cases, and at the very least they will learn to ‘tolerate’ them as a member of the household – even if they don’t like the kitten.

Is it normal for a cat to chase a new kitten?

Yes, this is normal behavior, as your older cat is establishing their territory and letting the kitten know who is boss. While the fighting might look scary, as long as no blood is being drawn and no fur is being chewed off, then the best response is to simply let them.

If you pull away from your kitten and take them somewhere else, then you are ‘rewarding’ your cat by giving them full access to that space. Let them hash things out on their own – they’ll get along, it’s just going to take a little time.

How do I get my cat to stop chasing my new kitten?

You need to let the chasing occur. While it seems a little scary and you’ll worry about the kitten, if you take them away then your cat will see it as a confirmation that they shouldn’t have to share their territory. This can make them MORE of a bully, rather than less of one.

In extreme cases, you can put the cat in the other room for a 15-minute time out every time that they chase the kitten, just be sure to give your cat a treat afterward to show that the ‘time out’ wasn’t spiteful.

Your cat will learn in time that every time they chase the kitten, you will give them a time-out, and this behavior should begin to subside once both the cat and the kitten have shared enough time to realize that they need to get along.

Is my cat jealous of the new kitten?

Cats that have lived alone with one person and that were weaned early often don’t have social skills. Socialization is very important, as it teaches cats how to get along with other animals and other people.

If a cat is poorly socialized, then they can get a little codependent on your attention and be jealous when they don’t have it. To combat this, spend a little more time with your older kitty, and also make sure that they feel less like they have ‘lost their territory’.

Put your kitten’s food bowl in a separate area, for instance, and if there is ‘food stealing’ going on, then you can use a microchip feeder, as these will keep the food covered until they sense that the collar-microchip is close by. With a little extra love (and treats wouldn’t hurt, either), your cat will become less jealous.

For now, though, be patient with them – even well-socialized cats HATE when anything in the house changes, and the new kitten is a change for them.

Lindsey Browlingdon