I got a kitten a few weeks ago. At first my older female was unhappy with it of course, but no severe fighting, just a hiss or two.

Now she’s recently started to hiss and pin her head down randomly. But yet, she cuddles her and licks her until there’s nothing left to lick.

I am not sure if she likes her or what’s going on. The kitten acts submissively anytime she does that, but she just did it and proceeded to kiss her so? I’m a little confused.

  • This sounds like mothering behavior. Maybe your adult cat is adopting the kitten.
    – user19705
    Jan 23 at 21:41

Cats hiss to intimidate another into not attacking, and pinning a cat stops any attack physically plus establishes dominance.

It’s possible your older female is still a bit nervous around the kitten; it’s another predator in “her” territory, after all, plus kittens tend to be rather energetic and “attack” their siblings and mothers as a form of play. So, she is making it clear to the kitten this is grooming time, not playtime. Once the kitten calms down and/or develops a better sense of when she is willing to play, the hissing and pinning will probably stop.

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