Cat behavior change after meeting new kitten?

by Sarah

I have recently decided to get a male kitten who is 6 weeks old. As I introduced him to my current female cat, who is 7 months and 2 weeks old, she started to hiss at him. I find this completely normal. However, when I started to pet her afterwards she began to hiss and growl at me.

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Redirected aggression
by: Kurt (Admin)

Any major change in a cat's behavior, and some minor ones, can be an indication of a change in your cat's health. Assuming your cat is perfectly healthy, though...

Given the recent signs of aggression your cat has shown toward the newcomer, it sounds like you might have a case of redirected aggression.

Cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett has an article on how to deal with redirected aggression in cats. She writes, in part:

This common type of aggression is the result of a cat becoming agitated by something and then lashing out [at] the nearest human, cat or dog within reach. Redirected aggression is frequently misdiagnosed as idiopathic aggression because the cat can stay reactive for quite a while and by the time the cat parent sees the aggressive display there may be no apparent trigger visible.

If she were my cat, I would give her some space and time to calm down. I would place the new cat back into a safe room and keep them separated for a while. I would then attempt to reintroduce them using the slow cat-to-cat introduction method we talk about so often around here.

I hope she calms down and things go more smoothly.

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