I have an older cat (13), very much a cuddler and a lap kitty, who was used to being the only cat in the house. About 2 years ago, we adopted two feral kittens. They are also very snuggly, very well socialized and well-adjusted. The younger cats (they are brothers) get along well with each other and are friendly and gentle with humans; the older cat is a little more standoffish with new humans but very friendly to those she trusts.

The problem is, she cannot stand the boys. Neither of them are aggressive towards her (one occasionally tries to "play," but the other just wants to sniff at her and groom her), but she reacts with fear and hostility. Whenever either of them is even close to her, she growls and hisses, and will flee if they get too close. I thought it would get better with time, but it’s gotten worse - she won't leave "her" corner of the house (food and water have to be brought to her), and it's causing litter box issues. (The smaller of the two younger cats is also getting bolder about trying to play, despite her reaction - picture a bratty little brother teasing his sister because he thinks it's funny when she gets mad and you'll have a good idea of the vibe.)

All three cats are spayed/neutered. They're healthy, although old age is starting to creep up on my girl and she's a little frail these days. I don’t want her to have to be afraid in her own home, but the boys aren't actually doing anything wrong! How can I convince her to chill out?

1 Answer 1


It may be too late now, but bringing in two younger cats may not have been the best thing to do in the first place. Image yourself being 65 years old, and all of a sudden two adolescents you don't know come and live in your house, sitting on your chairs and sleeping in your bed. No matter how friendly they are, it's not strange to get at least a little annoyed by that.

I don't really have an answer, because I'm not sure much can be done, besides waiting it out until the younger ones settle down a bit.

However, one thing you could try, if possible in your house, is to keep them as separate as possible, each having their own place to sleep and eat, and having their own litter boxes. As a rule of thumb, the number of litter boxes should be the number of cats plus 1, so in your case, 4.

Another thing I have used myself is a calming spray such as Feliway Classic. I'm honestly not sure if it did anything for my cat, but it may be worth trying.

If all else fails, I believe it would be best for the cats if you found a new home for either the older one, or the two youngest.

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