Senior Cat, New Kitten

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by island_girl, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. island_girl

    island_girl Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jul 17, 2017
    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 Adult 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
  3. margd

    margd Chula and Paul's roommate Staff Member Advisor

    Feb 24, 2015
    Maryland USA

    Since your older cat demonstrated the altered behavior after the vet visit and not before, it is far more likely that he is reacting to the changes made in his meds and food than a delayed reaction to the kitten. It sounds like things are going pretty well with the kitten, to be honest.

    Without knowing what meds are involved, it's impossible to know for certain, but to me, this sounds like a reaction to the medication. I would call the vet and describe your cat's altered behavior and discuss the medication with him or her. Since you just had an office visit, you are perfectly within your rights to call the vet on this issue. And let us know what he or she says - your poor kitty really does sound unhappy right now.

    Welcome to TCS by the way. sgreeting_welcome_100-100.gif Please take some time to explore the site. It's a terrific resource and contains a massive amount of information about all things cat. You'll also find that we're a vibrant community of cat lovers and are always delighted to have new members. When you are up to it, please consider posting an introduction in the New Cats On The Block Forum. :catrub: And include photos! We love photos!

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