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Cat Depression After New Kitten – 8 Signs To Look Out For

Cat Depression After New Kitten – 8 Signs To Look Out For

Have you ever wondered about or encountered cat depression after new kitten? Do cats tend to be depressed after they give birth to their new babies? Cat owners have experienced this, I’m sure.

We all need to understand that every cat’s personality is different, and cat behaviors after birth will differ according to that. Still, the positive thing is that depression is usually short-lived.

Stick with our article to see the most common causes of cat depression and how to deal with it properly.

Causes Of Cat Depression After New Kitten

Cat hugs kitten and presses his face to the kitten

There are a number of potential causes of depression in cats after the arrival of a new kitten. Considering that cats are creatures of habit, they can have issues when it comes to any kind of change in the household. Some of the possible causes of cat depression include:

Change in routine: The addition of a new kitten to the household can disrupt a resident cat’s established routine, which can cause stress and depression.

Loss of attention: The new kitten may be getting more attention from the owner, leaving the older cat feeling neglected and depressed.

Competition for resources: The new cat may be competing with the older cat for resources such as food, water, or the owner’s attention, which can cause tension and lead to depression.

RELATED: Is It OK That My Kitten Keeps Eating My Older Cat’s Food?

Jealousy: Some cats may experience feelings of jealousy towards the new kitten, which can lead to depression.

Changes in social dynamics: The arrival of a new kitten can change the social dynamics of the household, which can be stressful for cats and lead to depression.

It is essential to keep an eye on your older cat and make sure they are getting the attention, care, and affection they need.

If you are concerned about your cat’s mental well-being, lack of energy, or any other health condition, you should consider consulting with a veterinarian or a professional cat behaviorist for guidance.

8 Signs Of A Depressed Cat

cat scratching the sofa with overgrown claws

While some cats will get used to a new kitten in their household, others will not, and it is likely that they will develop depression. This is very likely for senior cats that are used to having all the attention and affection from their favorite human.

Cat depression after new kitten will be easily noticeable as they are some signs that will indicate that, such as:

1. Excessive Scratching

Cats enjoy scratching things to maintain the sharpness of their claws. Another aspect of territorial marking is this behavior. Pheromones are emitted from the paw pads of cats onto the thing when they scratch it. This gives your cat comfort and aids in delineating the boundaries of its territory.

Therefore, cats who are anxious or unhappy have a tendency to scratch things more frequently. They are attempting to let go of the negative energy that has been building up inside them and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

As a result, if your older cat starts scratching more frequently after you bring a new kitten home, it may be an indication that they are having trouble adjusting and may even be melancholy.

RELATED: Why Does My Cat Scratch The Sides Of The Litter Box?

2. Clingy Or Withdrawn Behavior

depressed sphynx cat looking to the side

When she’s down, my cat follows me around, even to the toilet, which is frequently the case if you just brought home a new kitten. Your cat is vying for your affection and focus, which are currently being shared between the two of them.

In addition, because you are the person they love the most, they will want to be near you when they are down in order to seek comfort from you. However, some cats will withdraw rather than become overly attached.

Cats with depression can become socially reclusive, much like depressed people can. They entirely lose interest in social interaction and give up on having fun. As a result, if your cat hides and behaves strangely, this may be a sign that they’re depressed.

3. Sleeping More Than Usual

Cats are known to enjoy sleeping. In actuality, our furry friends sleep for between 12 and 16 hours each day. But excessive sleeping can also be a sign of depression in cats.

When you bring your new kitten home, if you notice your cat sleeping more than usual, you can be pretty sure that their arrival is what started the trend. Has your cat recently become lethargic and frail?

Oversleeping is a sign of depression, but lethargy and weakness typically indicate a more serious underlying medical condition. As soon as possible, take your cat to the veterinarian so they can properly diagnose and treat them.

RELATED: Why Does My Cat Sleep Pressed Up Against Me?

4. Changes In Cat’s Appetite

cat refusing to eat dry food

After bringing your new kitten home, have you noticed any changes in your older cat’s appetite? This may also indicate that your cat is not feeling well and is happy about the new situation. Cats occasionally eat more than usual to comfort themselves.

This is similar to how some people who are experiencing mental distress may comfort eat. In other cases, your cat might completely lose its appetite. When you set their dinner down each day, they will stop enjoying their favorite treats and become unenthusiastic.

It is significant to remember that a cat can become seriously ill after going three days without eating or drinking. You should contact your veterinarian right away if your cat doesn’t eat or drink anything for more than 24 hours.

5. Bathroom Accidents

Depressed cats frequently have accidents in the bathroom. Despite being trained to use the litter box, they might begin to urinate elsewhere. This is because they use their urine, which contains pheromones, to mark their territory and spread their scent throughout your home.

They become more at ease and content as a result. High vantage points in your home or areas where your new kitten spends a lot of time are a couple of the places you might find your cat urinating.

6. Undergrooming Or Overgrooming

cat licks its paw

Changes in cats’ regular grooming habits can sometimes be a sign of sadness and anxiety. Typically, cats enjoy keeping themselves tidy.

However, many unhappy cats quit grooming altogether because they lose interest in the previously enjoyable behaviors as a result of their unhappiness. Their fur coats will appear matted and messy as a result of this.

On the other hand, some melancholy cats overgroom and gnaw their nails. They use grooming as a kind of comfort and a means of coping with stress.

Cats who overgroom may begin to lose their hair as a result of the repeated cleaning damaging the hair follicles. If your cat frequently passes hairballs, this may also indicate that they are grooming and consuming more hair than usual.

7. Changes In Litter Box Habits

If your cat is using the litter box less frequently, it could be a sign of a behavioral issue such as stress or anxiety.

Stressful events like moving, introducing a new pet, or changes to the cat’s routine can cause cats to become anxious or depressed and make them less likely to use the litter box.

8. Changes In Vocalizations

One of the most obvious signs of depression after getting a new kitten is vocal clues. There will be a lot more vocal than usual cats who are unhappy. Additionally, the sounds will alter; instead of their typical meow, you might hear low-pitched yowls and rumbles.

Hissing at the new kitten is also typical, and cats frequently purr to comfort themselves, so purring can also be a sign of sadness. On the other hand, when they are depressed, some cats may exhibit unusually quiet behavior.

An unhappy cat will typically exhibit the opposite behavior from what they typically do. The tendency is for chatty, loud cats to become much quieter, while the opposite is true for quiet cats.

What Are Some Signs Of A Cat Being Depressed?

Sad sick young gray cat lies on a white fluffy blanket

Signs of depression in cats besides those mentioned above are: 

Loss of appetite: A depressed cat may lose interest in food and stop eating or eat less than usual.

Decrease in activity level: Cats who are depressed may become less active and spend more time sleeping or hiding.

Change in grooming habits: A depressed cat may neglect its grooming or start over-grooming, which can lead to hair loss and skin problems.

Lack of interest in social interaction: Cats who are depressed may become less interested in playing and interacting with humans or other animals.

Difficulty sleeping: Cats with depression may have difficulty sleeping or may sleep more than usual.

Hiding: Depressed cats may tend to hide and avoid human or other animal interactions

Lethargy: Cats may seem to lack energy and are slow to respond to things around them.

Vocalizing more than usual: Depressed cats may mew, yowl, or meow excessively.

Weight loss

Changes in body language

Why Is My Cat Depressed, Is It Because Of New Kittens?

Frightened little white and red kitten cuddles to cat

Cats are aggressive animals that mark your home as “theirs” with pheromones. They feel secure and comforted by this, and they are aware that this is their home and where they belong. Your cat won’t like the distinct pheromones that a new kitten emits.

As a result, they experience a sense of invasion and theft of their personal space. They also don’t know the identity of the new kitten. Do they have their trust?

Your cat is still learning how to do this on their own at first. Your cat may hiss at newborn kittens as a warning to back off or to gauge their reaction.

Finally, because they are suddenly not the only object of your attention, your cat may be depressed. Compared to your older cat, your new kitten likely gets a lot more love and care.

Sadly, your elderly cat will notice this and sense the absence of affection they are accustomed to. Your elderly cat may become depressed as a result because it feels like it is losing more than just its home—it also feels like it is losing you!

How To Help A Depressed Cat?

woman pets cat

Your cat becomes anxious and possibly depressed due to their new presence. To get over the sadness and depression, your furry friend will require a lot of your patience and kind reassurance.

Your sad cat may only require prompt treatment to recover from depression. You might want to provide some delectable treats to your pet if they seem uninterested in eating. Get to know your cat better.

 Let the playtime be more frequent. Play around with some brand-new interactive toys and games, or just cuddle up to your feline friend.

To give your cat a feeling of security and stability, stick to a regular schedule. Any changes should be kept to a minimum while your cat is exhibiting depressive symptoms.

The good news is that your cat’s depression should pass quickly, and your pet’s condition will quickly return to normal with a bit of care from you and assistance from your veterinarian.

How Can I Help My Cat To Adjust To A New Kitten?

Adorable little tabby newborn kitten sleeping in woman hands

Introducing your new kitten properly is one of the best ways to keep your elderly cat from feeling down. This requires some planning, perfecting their first encounter, and encouraging your cats to interact gradually over the ensuing days and weeks.

Here are my best recommendations for how to introduce a kitten and an older cat in a way that upsets neither cat.

1. Prepare The Rooms

You must get their separate rooms ready for when kittens leave their mothers and join your family as the newest members. For the newest addition, you must purchase a new litter box, new food and water bowls, and new toys.

Unsure of the best place for kittens to spend the night? You must also arrange for their sleeping arrangements because you shouldn’t let them sleep in your bed or let them roam free.

It is crucial to make these new purchases in advance and to start preparing your home a few weeks beforehand. Your old cat will have a chance to get used to these new things in your home by doing this. Cats are extremely sensitive to even the slightest environmental changes.

2. Prepare Your Old Cat

Young woman and cat on sofa in the room

You should also get your old cat ready for the new kitten’s arrival. Before the newest member of your family arrives, you want to make sure their stress levels are kept to a minimum. As a result, they are better equipped to handle any added stress and are less likely to experience depression.

Using pheromones to help create a very calming environment is one solution. You can buy pheromone sprays, diffusers, or comforting cat collars.

These are fantastic because they are all natural and safe for animals. Additionally, because they only contain feline pheromones, they won’t affect you or any other pets in your home.

Before adopting a kitten, you should visit the vet with your resident cat. To make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations and to perform a general checkup. Kittens are more prone to illness because they are weaker.

The last thing you want is for your kitten to become ill and infect your aging cat, and their mental health may worsen as a result of this.

3. The Introduction Should Be Perfect

When your house and cat are ready, it’s time for the actual introduction. But you shouldn’t dive in headfirst. Your old cat and new kitten should be kept apart entirely at first.

Allow your kitten to have their own space in one room with everything they need while your older cat is free to roam the rest of your house. Your elderly cat will still be able to detect a new animal in its environment.

Even better, keep your old cat in the same room as the cat carrier you used to bring your kitten home. To help them get used to the smell of your new kitten, let them explore and sniff this at their own pace.

Then, you can gradually acclimate your older cat and kitten to one another. Feed your cats on different sides of the same door, or try switching their bedding.

You can allow the cats to be in the same room under supervision once they both appear at ease with it, gradually lengthening your time spent with each other. Make sure your elderly cat has a way out, though, in case they feel overstimulated.

4. Let Them Spend Time Together

You can allow your cats to freely roam your house once they stop hissing at one another and appear more at ease doing so. Never make the two cats interact, and they must establish a new hierarchy naturally as they get to know one another at their own pace.

As a result, you can encourage quality time spent together to hasten the process. To get the two of them to play together, try using your older cat’s favorite toy. You can feed your cats simultaneously and treat them all at the same time. But always remember not to push it!

Wrapping It Up

Woman in white dress together with the cat on the terrace

Cat depression after new kitten is pretty common, so you shouldn’t worry that much. Cats don’t handle change well and sometimes feel as though their home and favorite people are being taken away from them.

Changes in behavior are how this shows up. For instance, cats who are depressed may alter their grooming routines, vocalizations, sleeping patterns, and appetite.

The advice in their article can assist in making your cat feel happier again if you suspect they are depressed. If unsure, consult your veterinarian. It is possible for an old cat and a young kitten to get along well; sometimes, it just takes a little time and patience.

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