Can my cat get depressed because I got a new kitten?

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Page last updated: 28/10/2022

Can my cat get depressed because I got a new kitten?

This article will discuss if your car can get depressed once you get a new kitten. It will show why this can happen, and what are ways you can help them, and make their relationship easier.

Can my cat get depressed because I got a new kitten? 

Yes, it is possible that your older car will get depressed once you bring a new kitten home. This may not happen to all cats, but it will most likely happen the older they are, and if you only have them in the house. Your cat can get depressed when you bring a new kitten home for various reasons.

The first one has to do with the loss of your attention. They may feel like your love, which up until that time was all theirs, is now going primarily to the new kitten, and this may lead them to feel depressed. It may also happen because they feel their area is being invaded.

Cats use pheromones to mark the place they live in. This makes this place theirs, so your older car may have this idea that this place, your house, is their territory. As you bring another kitten, that will have its different pheromones, your older cat may feel threatened, and their space is being taken away from them. 

The insecurity of not knowing if they can trust the new kitten or not can also lead your older cat to feel depressed. They can feel on the edge, and may even be aggressive towards the new kitten. 

So if you brought a new kitten home, know that this can happen, and be aware of the signs that your kitten may be depressed. Let’s discuss what they are.

What are the signs my cat is depressed?

If your older cat is depressed because you brought a new kitten home, here is how they will behave.

Isolate or become too clingy 

It can happen in one or both ways, your cat may begin to isolate themselves, or they will most likely begin to follow you around anywhere you go. This means they are looking for your attention. They may also need to feel safe and reassured by you.

On the other hand, when they become isolated, it can be because they have lost interest in everything. Just like any person with depression, they can not feel playing or being around others. They may begin to hide more and in different places in your house when they are depressed.

Can my cat get depressed because I got a new kitten?

Too much scratching 

Scratching is not only important because it helps them keep their claws sharp, but it also marks their territory. And if they feel like that is being invaded, they most likely will begin to scratch a lot more.

This also helps them feel more at ease, so if they are stressed, and depressed because of the new kitten, they can begin to scratch a lot more.

Changes in appetite 

Most cats, when depressed, will eat more than they usually did. They may do that as a way of getting some comfort. But in some cases, your cat may stop eating or drinking together. And this can be life-threatening if it goes on for more than 3 days. Be sure to pay attention to that.

Changes in their sleep 

Although cats usually already love sleeping, when you get a new kitten they will probably sleep a lot more, and this can mean they are depressed. But be aware that if they are also lethargic it can be that they have another medical condition.

Overgrooming or under-grooming 

Cats are often extremely hygienic. They love to keep themselves clean, but when they are depressed, they can begin to show changes in that. They may begin to care too much for themselves, and may even bite their nails, as a way for them to deal with stress. This can make them even go through hair loss.

On the other hand, some cats may stop grooming themselves altogether. And this may be a sign that they are depressed. That will happen because they will lose interest in pretty much everything.

Having bathroom accidents 

When cats are depressed, that is extremely common. They can begin to urinate outside of their boxes, and this has a purpose. Their urine has pheromones, which may help set their territory to the new kitten. By doing so they are trying to regain their space.

Changes in how they vocalize

If your older cat is depressed, chances are they will become more vocal than before. They can begin to hiss at the new kitten, and have lower yowls. But other older cats can become quieter. The key rule is to understand if they have changed from their common behavior.

What can I do to help my cats to get along? 

If you brought a new kitten home, the first thing to help them get along is to help your older cat feel more assured. You can do that by spending more time together with them and taking some time to play with them. This will help them since cats with depression tend to lose interest in things.

Giving them new places to hide can also help. It will give them a chance to have their space, and retreat when they feel too stressed about the new kitten, and all the changes. 

So as you bring a new kitten home, you should also prepare your house to have two cats in it. Buy their food platter, new toys, and the litter box a few weeks before you bring the new kitten in, this will give your older cat a chance to adjust.

To calm your older cat for the new arrival, you can get them a calming cat collar, or start to use some pheromones spray at the house. And as you bring the new kitten home, know that they should be completely separate. 

Put the new kitten in one room, and leave the older one with the rest of the house. This will allow them to notice there is another cat in the house, but not to feel as threatened.

And if you realize they have stopped hissing at each other, this means it is time for them to be out together. Let them explore the space, and walk freely in the house. A good suggestion is for you to use one of your old cat’s toys to get them to play together.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can my cat get depressed because I got a new kitten? 

How long does it take for my old cat to get used to the new one?

As each cat is different, it is not possible to say how long exactly it will take. But it can take from weeks until months. This long process will go step by step. First, both cats will begin to adjust to the other, and not be aggressive towards one another.

But to become friends, can take even more. And some cats may never be open to the new cat as a friend, they will just tolerate them. But others may be open to making friends right away.

How can I make my depressed cat happier?

If you feel your cat is depressed, there are some things you can do to help them. The first thing you can do is try to understand what is happening. Try to discover if something has changed in their environment, if you changed something around the house, or if there is a new member of the family. Knowing that will help you help them.

You should spend more time playing with them. This interaction is great in improving their mood. Try to spend 15 minutes at least once a day playing with them. And if you are going to spend some time away from home, try to leave things around that will stimulate them.

Taking them out will also help them feel better. That is especially true during the winter months when there isn’t a lot of sunlight. Find a way to let them go outside a little, just try to find a safe way to let them go outside. And even though it can be stressful at first, try to consider having a new cat to keep them company. 

But if you feel that none of it is working, you should consider taking them to the vet. They should be checked to see if there isn’t anything more going on with them. And if there is, the vet will be able to take proper care of them.

What can cause a cat to get depressed?

Some matters can make a cat get depressed. It can happen when there is a loss in the family, this means that if someone moves away for a day, the cat can react to it by getting depressed. If you move to a new house it can also be that your cat will get depressed until they adjust to this new environment.

Your cat can also get depressed if there is any change in the family schedule. For example, if your work schedule changes and you spend more time away from home, you can become depressed. And finally, your cat can be depressed if they are going through some change in their physical health.

Is it better to get two cats at once?

If you get two kittens from the same litter it may be easier to bring them home to adjust. They will get to your house together, and adjust to this new environment together. If you get one and later decide to get another cat, they will have to adjust not only to the house but also to each other, which can take longer.

What are the signs of a happy cat?

There are some signs your cat will show that they are happy. The first one is that they will Purr a lot. Their soft and gentle purr will let you know that they are feeling happy. When a cat is kneading like they were mashing a dough of bread is another sign they are feeling happy.

You can also tell your cat is happy by taking a look at their facial expressions. If they are showing bright eyes, with alert ears, it is a sign they are feeling happy. It will also show in their alert tail. 

A cat is also happy when they are curious about its environment. So if you notice they are inquisitive during their activities, it is a sign that they are happy.

Conclusion 

This article centered on discussing if your cat can get depressed, once you get a new kitten. It explained why this can happen, and what are ways you can help them get along.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.

References

https://askmycats.com/cat-depressed-after-new-kitten/
https://www.thesprucepets.com/is-your-cat-sad-553922

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