Senior Cat, New Kitten

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by island_girl, Jul 17, 2017 at 1:44 AM.

  1. island_girl

    island_girl TCS Member Kitten

    Hey all! Recently I rescued a 5 week old (now almost 3 months) male kitten from where he had fallen and lost his mother. We also have a 12 year old male at home, who has been mostly the lone king of the house for his whole life.

    We kept kitten and cat separate for about 3-4 weeks, only occasionally seeing each other, and they were fine. Once the kitten got his shots we released him and it's been a few weeks. Kitten harasses the senior cat a little, but nothing too dramatic (they're definitely not cuddling yet thought). Around a week ago, our older cat went in for a routine check up. We changed some meds and foods on him as a result of his tests, and for the past few days he has seemed severely depressed. Drinking very little water, eating very little food, dripping water from his chin-- not at all his usually very bright and loving self. Could this be a result of feeling replaced by the kitten? Or did we just change too many things in his life at once? He seemed fine for the first weeks when we let the kitten out but I'm afraid it's manifesting a little later. Will try to rehome the kitten if this keeps upsetting our cat but I don't want to make a rash decision!
  2. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ TCS Member Young Cat

    Jun 1, 2017
    Woah, slow down! Yes, active kittens can *definitely* stress older inactive cats, you are 100% correct about that. But if this happens in the normal way, it is very very clear because the older cat will start hissing, growling and swatting at the younger cat. If that is not happening, the active play is not bothering the older cat that much. Now behavioral changes because of a new cat is a more subtle issue. Certainly a real one, but absent visible hostility from the older cat to the younger, the changes are normally pretty modest, like becoming a bit less affectionate/playful with humans. I'm sorry to say that the changes you mention sound more like a "health" issue - in which I'm including not getting enough to eat because of the new food or having an allergy, as well as other health issues your vet may have missed. Did the vet do a blood test? They cost extra, but when your cat is 12 and displaying changes in behavior, you need to know if there is any decline in kidney function.

    Bottom line, I'm not saying you won't have inter-cat problems as the kitten gets a little bigger, but if there is no hissing, growling and swatting, this is likely something else.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 5:44 AM

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