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Cat aggressive with new kitten.

Species: Cat
Breed: Long Hair
Age: 6-12 months
I just got a new kitten but one of the cats in my house is attacking him. Ever since I got the new kitten the other 4 cats have been aggressive towards each other. I don't want them to fight. I don't want to get rid of the kitten. What can I do?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You sure have a houseful of cats! Almost any time we have a large number of cats in a house there will be some kind of intercat aggression. However, there are some things that you can do to help.

First of all, if any of the cats who are older than 6 months are not spayed or neutered, then it is important to get this done. Hormones can cause cats to do awful things!

You may want to look into a product called feliway. It is available at most pet stores. It is a little pricey but often works well. Your best bet is to get the kind that is available as a wall plug-in. It diffuses a substance that is similar to a feline pheromone and has been proven to help with intercat aggression and other feline behavioural problems.

Next, you could consider asking your vet for medication for the aggressor cats. I will sometimes prescribe amitriptylline or prozac for the aggressive cats. It would be a short term fix and you could probably wean them off of the medicine after a few months.

Another thing you can try is putting a bell on the aggressive cats. Sometimes this helps. Also, you should keep the cats separated as much as possible and do supervised visits when you can. Keep a big blanket handy and it looks like the older cats are going to pounce the throw the blanket on them.

Until the cats are doing better we need to offer the kitten a safe place with her own litter box.

And finally, you may want to consider talking to your vet about a consult with a veterinary behavioural specialist. These vets are amazing at advising in cases like this. They will tell you whether medication may help and give you many ideas on what you can do.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.