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Question: My boyfriend adopted a new kitten about a month ago. He already had a cat a very friendly, loving, sweet, and docile 8-year-old female cat and we hadn't really anticipated them having troubles getting along.

The new kitten is eager to make friends, but his older cat wants none of it. She's been SO sad constant hissing, general unhappiness and sadness, and most recently, she stopped eating. We introduced them by keeping the kitten in the bathroom for a week or two, but now we wonder if we should have extended that period. It's been a month now, and she doesn't seem to be getting happier. Any advice?

Answer: I do have one FAQ on introducing a kitten to an older cat, which is somewhat related. But your boyfriend's situation is also about the depression of the other cat. I'm not sure if keeping them separated longer would have prevented it. In any case, there you are with a young kitten that needs play, exercise, and companionship; and an older cat who feels displaced by this intruder, and alienated from your boyfriend.

Before starting the program outlined below, I'd like for the older cat to go to the vet to eliminate any physical cause for her apparent depression and weight loss. Hopefully, that will be ruled out and you can start your Kitty Behavioral Therapy plan.
Photo Credit: © Franny Syufy

More Behavior FAQs:

Please help me help my scaredy-cat!
Can this relationship be turned around?
Help! I'm sleep-deprived because of my cats.


May 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm
(1) ocdmbfan says:

I recently got a kitten too and had problems with one of my cats who was the closest to me. But in spending time with him alone and during that time focusing on him through petting, brushing, and telling him over and over he was still my baby… he has now come to accept the kitten and they play together quite a lot. She still gets on his nerves sometimes but I have also created a ‘Safe’ place for him to hide when she becomes more than he can handle…
thanks for all your great advice franny!

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