I recently adopted 2 kitten sisters and they are 3 months old now. They play together everyday, with toys and each other, chasing each other or play fighting, climbing and other activities. However, for the past 2 weeks I've noticed that one of them gets very possessive of certain toys or objects in the house and will growl at her sister. It happens even if her sister isn´t near her, but still in sight; although it does keep her sister at a distance, so she just sits and stares at her playing and growling.

My husband and I fear this might lead to a fight between them if her sister comes too close or just distance them from each other, because she won´t play with her sister when she has those toys or objects.

I´d greatly appreciate your help with this matter to maintain a happy feline home.

  • 2
    just what i think about this,it do sound to me like the cats respect and understand eachother so this is not likely to end in a fight. Jan 28, 2019 at 8:49
  • If they're specific toys, and the possessiveness is particularly aggressive, you may wish to choose to eliminate those toys. Cats tend not to "resource guard" as much as dogs do, but they can, and the best option to eliminate that problem is to eliminate the trigger and find them another toy. My own cats have a couple of toys that have been removed because the largest of them resource guards those toys.
    – Allison C
    Feb 9, 2021 at 21:23

2 Answers 2


My kitties, while not related, were adopted at the same time and rarely share toys or play together (they used to, and the decided they didn't want to anymore). They've each picked out their favorite toys and don't like to share (which they've learned). Alfiq loves strings and sticks, while Kynareth loves pompoms and paper stars.

While it's disappointing they don't share or play together, they do get along just fine. They have their bickers from time to time, but that's not surprising for any two cats who live together. Cats are fast learners, and each cat will eventually learn to not play with certain toys. Of course, cats being cats, one might play with the other's toy because she wants a reaction from her sister. So, they may fight, but it shouldn't be bad. Just let them fight it out, or make a loud, distracting noise (like a clap), which will usually disperse the cats. Just remember, it's just a little sisterly love ;)


You have two options.

The first option is let the cats sort it out, as mentioned by @Gwendolyn and @trondhansen

Your second option is to intervene and personally I will always advice you to intervene, but that's just me.

If you do decide that you have to intervene then you have to invest a lot of time. So first ensure that you have ample spare time.

When kitten A, the stronger one, starts growling at kitten B, start petting kitten A. This will distract kitten A's attention towards you. Also don't forget to allocate some petting to kitten B. Otherwise, this might have negative mental impact on kitten B.

If kitten A starts relaxing, give her a treat, her favorite one. If not continue trying other methods to relax her, and then offer the treat. This is a type of positive reinforcement which your kitten understand as, if she doesn't growl at her sister a pleasant thing is going to happen.

Sometimes remove all the toys and put the two kittens in close vicinity and be alert so that no hostility breaks out. Don't play with them. To pass time read some book, listen to some music or do whatever is your favorite thing to do in past time. Don't let yourself to get bored. But let the cats get bored. Even if they nudge you don't play with them. Instead trying pitching up the kittens together. Use you hands to hold their body and simulate play fight among them.

If they don't show interest continue reading your book and don't play with the cats. Ultimately, the patience of one of the kittens will break, and the kitten will start play fighting with the other kitten. Continue this under your observation for a week.

Then give them back the toys. But ensure everyday, for at least 1 hour, the three of you must play when toys are not present.

Whenever, other than play time, hostility breaks out, take preventive actions. Like during meal time, if hostility breaks out, stop feeding them and pat them calm. Then start feeding only when they get calm. This is yet another positive reinforcement. They get the message that, when something as pleasant like eating food is going on, if they show hostility, they will get the food no more. But when they calm down the peasant experience will start again.

Do this type of positive reinforcement, whenever hostility breaks out. Like at sleep time, whose bed is which one, etc. Try to constantly improvise.

Hope this helps. Thank you.

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