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How To Deal With Cat Depression After Getting A New Kitten!

Although many cats will take to having a new kitten in the house without issue, there are a small number that can end up feeling a little depressed.

With people spoiling their pets more and more with each year that passes, this does seem to be becoming more of an issue as a once spoiled cat ends up getting depressed when a new kitten enters the home and starts to take attention away from it.

After seeing a huge spike in the number of people reaching out to ask about cat depression after getting a new kitten and how they are able to make their old cat happy again, we wanted to publish this dedicated article going over the subject.

Thankfully, it is usually easy to get your existing cat to warm up to a new kitten in the home and in the majority of cases, you should easily be able to make your cat and your new kitten friends.

The main thing that you have to factor in is that the process does take time and although we will be going over a number of tips and tricks that you are able to use to your advantage to speed the process up in the article, it is still not an overnight fix.

That said though, you may be able to get your new cat to get back to its old self and warm up to your new kitten in only a few days but planning for a week or two minimum is usually the best option for most people in this situation.

Can A New Kitten Make My Cat Depressed?

A cat and a kitten laying side by side.

Although most older cats will take to a new kitten into their home without issue, a new kitten can make some older cats depressed or anxious.

This will usually fade within the first few days or weeks with your old cat returning to normal after it gets used to having the new kitten in the home and realizes that the new kitten is not a threat to it.

Keep in mind that a new kitten that is full of energy can just tiresome older cats out making them need to rest or sleep more often making people think that they are depressed.

If your older cat still eats the same amount of food and drinks the same amount of water as well as plays with your kitten throughout the day, it is more likely that it is just tired from playing with your new kitten and is not actually depressed.

If your older cat is depressed due to your new kitten then it is common that it will not eat or drink as much as usual and may start to attack your new kitten too.

We will go over the various tips and tricks to discourage this behavior below as well as what you are able to do to prevent your cat from being depressed too.

If needed, you are able to book a video call with an online vet to have them check over your cat and offer you the best course of action for moving forward too.

How To Deal With Cat Depression After A New Kitten!

It tends to be easy to solve cat depression after getting a new kitten and the majority of the time, simply making a fussy over your old cat to make it feel included can help the situation.

Doing your best to have separate kitty litter trays and feeding bowls can also help as it reduces the internal threat feeling of the kitten encroaching on your older cat’s space and territory too.

If your cat is depressed after getting a new kitten then the majority of people will only have to take simple steps to solve the issue but the main issue is, most people go in the opposite direction than they should and try to force their cat and kitten to bond.

Most of the time, the best route to take is to keep their kitty litter trays, food bowls, and water bowls separately to remove any potential threat feeling in your older cat and then let them bond naturally over time as they walk around your home.

Unfortunately, most people get joined food and water bowls and try to use a single kitty litter tray in an effort to get their cat and kitten used to each other.

This will often backfire and can cause any potential depression or jealousy in your older cat to develop further.

Try keeping their food and litter trays separately and be sure to play with your older cat just as much as you play with your kitten and then within a few days, your older cat should start to warm up to your new kitten.

How Do I Get My Resident Cat To Like My New Kitten?

The easiest way to get your resident cat to like your new kitten is to try and treat your resident cat the way that it has always been treat.

Most of the issues that people find in their older cats when introducing a new kitten is due to jealousy or territorial disputes with the new kitten.

The majority of cats will not do well if you suddenly expect them to share their food bowl, litter tray, and bed with a new kitten so avoiding these can help your cat and kitten get along.

You are also able to introduce a set of new cat toys to your cat and kitten too.

As the toys are brand new to the home, your resident cat should not feel much of an attachment to them helping it leave your kitten to play with the new toys without getting protective.

Remember to include your resident cat in any games that you may play with your new kitten if possible too so it doesn’t feel left out.

Some high-quality cat treats can be a good motivator for positive reinforcement when your cat and kitten interact together in a way that you desire too.

Always remember to give a treat to your cat and your kitten and trying to give your cat its treat first and then your kitten its treat second is often the best method.

That said though, using cat treats in this way can be hit and miss when trying to get a resident cat and a new kitten to bond so if you don’t start to see results quickly you can usually leave the practice.

How Do I Stop My Older Cat From Attacking My New Kitten?

Some older cats will attack a new kitten in the home due to feeling jealous or territorial over the new kitten.

Keeping their food, water, bed, and litter trays separate is usually a quick and easy way to reduce this.

If your older cat is used to being to main focus of your attention and then you suddenly leave it out and put your attention onto your kitten, this can cause an older cat to be aggressive to the kitten too so always try to divide your time equally if possible.

A very common mistake that we see time and time again is that people will try to switch over to using joined feeding bowls in an attempt to get their older cat and kitten to bond quicker.

This should be avoided as you have removed your cats old feeding bowl that it is used to and then forced it to sit next to a new kitten in the home while eating potentially causing food aggression to develop in your older cat.

Ideally, you will keep your older cats food bowl for as long as possible but if you do need to get a new set then go with a set of separate feeding bowls and try to place your older cats in an area where it usually eats and your kittens in a different area.

It is usually easy to move your kitten’s feeding bowl into the same area as your cats once they have bonded rather than making more changes to your older cats’ routine.

Another common mistake is trying to get your older cat and your kitten to share a litter box. You can easily pick up a cheap litter box for your kitten to use until your older cat and kitten have gotten used to each other.

There are other variables involved and territorial aggressiveness is not as common in cats as it is in dogs but simple changes like this can be a quick and easy way to end it in your cat and stop it from attacking your kitten.

Make sure that you spread your attention between your older cat and your new kitten as evenly as possible too.

It can be hard at first if your older cat attacks your kitten each time they are near each other but some cats can get jealous of their owners, even if they don’t usually show affection to them.

Although it is a rare cause for an older cat to attack a new kitten, it can still happen and spreading your attention between the two is usually a quick and easy fix to prevent it.

As a last resort, you can use a cat carrying unit as a sin bin and put your older cat into it each time it attacks your kitten but this is not a very effective for of training and can be hit and miss on the results.

This is why we wouldn’t recommend it unless you have tried everything else to try and get your older cat and new kitten to bond first.

How Long Does It Take For My Cat To Accept A New Kitten?

Although some cats will accept a new kitten into the home instantly, some will take a few days while a smaller number will take a few weeks.

This is a process and the more you try to force it and rush it the more damage you often cause so letting the process develop naturally is almost always the best course of action to take.

A quick and easy trick that you can try that delivers results is to put your new kitten into a different room before physically introducing it to your cat.

This will let your current cat get used to the sounds and smells of the new kitten before physically seeing it.

Although this may sound like a strange practice to try, it does actually have a high success rate with a number of people reporting that they have successfully done it on social media.

This trick allows your cat to get used to the scent and sound of the new kitten in your home without actually physically seeing it.

We would guess it helps your cat get used to the kitten in the home and then once it does get to see the kitten, it realizes that it is just small and poses no threat to it and can help to get your cat to accept your kitten quicker.

Will My Cat Hate Me If I Get A New Kitten?

A cat and a kitten sat side by side in a cardboard box.

Although some cats can get sad if you get a new kitten, it is unlikely that your cat will hate you.

There is a chance that your cat may develop some resentment for your new kitten though and the two should be introduced correctly to minimize the chances of having any issues between the two in the future.

If you do stop giving your older cat attention and put all of your time and effort into your new kitten then this resentment may pass from your new kitten to you too.

This is why we always stress that you do your best to split your time and attention between your old cat and your new kitten so it doesn’t feel left out.

You can try to offer your pet cat treats to warm it back up to you if it does start to show signs of resentment towards you after introducing a new kitten to your home though.

Just be sure to also give your new kitten some treats too so that it does not start to develop resentment to you or your older cat.

Is My Cat Stressed By My New Kitten?

Although rare, some older cats can end up getting stressed when having a new kitten introduced to their home. This can be problematic to deal with as it is usually a clash of the kitten’s high energy and an old cat’s lack of energy.

Doing your best to ensure that your older cat has somewhere to go to relax away from your new kitten and not be pestered is one of the easiest ways to reduce your older cat’s stress levels.

Depending on how bad the stress is, you may want to get your cat a top entry litter tray and a sheltered cat bed to try and offer your older cat as much privacy and seclusion as possible.

If your older cat is your kitten’s only friend throughout the day due to you being at work though, this can backfire as your kitten may follow your older cat constantly anyway. A calming collar can be an excellent investment for your stressed cat as they offer excellent results are removing stress from a cat while only costing around $15 too.

Due to most kittens having a huge amount of excess energy, it can be hard to tire them out sufficiently so they will not pester your older cat too.

This is why some people try to separate the house into two by closing a door and giving each cat their own part of the house to play in.

Provided each cat has everything they require such as food, water, and a kitty litter tray, they should be fine and it gives your older cat an area to relax and de-stress in away from the younger kitten.

Is It Normal For My Cat To Growl At A New Kitten?

It can be normal for an older cat to growl at a new kitten being introduced to the home but it does not necessarily mean that the older cat will be aggressive towards the new kitten.

It can just be a show of force and as most kittens will not actively be aggressive towards the older cat, nothing more will come of it most of the time.

If your cat does growl at your kitten try not to get involved unless the older cat starts to act aggressively and move towards your kitten.

Removing the kitten from your cat each time it growls at it can reinforce that if the cat growls at the kitten, the kitten will be removed and end up encouraging the behavior if the cat is getting territorial.

Over the course of a week or two, the growling should stop, especially if you are offering your cat and kitten food and water in different areas of the home to each other to reduce any potential competition for food.

Additionally, as we touched on earlier in the article, separate beds and litter trays can also be a good idea and help to reduce the chances of a fight between your older cat and kitten.


That brings our article going over cat depression after getting a new kitten to an end. We hope that you have found our article helpful and that we have been able to help you prevent depression in your older cat as well as reduce the chances of any aggression and help your cat and kitten get along better. The majority of the time, you are able to easily treat the depression in your cat without the need for medication or professional help but in some cases, it may be essential.