Sudden Aggression in 4 yr Old Cat

Cat Maizy is 4 yrs old, not fixed - we rescued a kitten approximately 6 wks old last week - they did not take long to take to each other, guessing because the kitten is so young. In fact the kitten had been trying to nurse & we have been trying to stop that. We also have two dogs, 7ys german shorthair, 3yr basset hound, been around cat for 3yrs+.

The kitten cried out when closed in a closet in error two days ago, not in pain but fright, but now the older cat has taken to attacking the shorthair, he is hyper at times, but did nothing wrong - and will not attack her back. This is no way for any of the animals or people to live. We have been keeping them in different rooms but it has not stopped. What can we do? Is this normal? We had another kitten two years ago , who passed away unexpectedly, but Maizy did not act this intense with her.

Any ideas?

Thank you

I'm sorry to hear you've hit this bump in the road with introducing your kitten to your older kitty. I wish I had more advice to offer, but the only real answer is to give it time.

Ignore the fuss between your two felines, unless your older cat is really hurting the kitten. If Maizy is hurting your new kitten, then very quietly and gently separate them, being sure not to yell or push. Often the best tool to use to separate two cats is a bath towel or a soft pillow that you can just gently slide between them.

Also keep in mind that your body language can make things better or worse. Try to remain relaxed and stop separating everyone. Also, when you are discouraging the kitten from nursing, do so very gently so the older cat doesn't get the impression you are upset with the kitten.

Ultimately, you have to go back to normal. Give extra attention to your older cat. Share fun times with the two of them together, using treats, toys, petting, brushing, or whatever it takes so they experience pleasure in each others' company. I would also get the older cat neutered right away.

Especially considering their ages, I can see no reason whatsoever why this can't work out easily if you take the time and have the patience to let them work it out.

Dr. Neely

Return to Comments about Cat Behavior.