You are here:

Cats/6 Month Old Male Cat Attacking Kitten


Hi Karen,

I adopted a stray 8 week old cat a few months ago, and he is 5- 6 months at this time.  When I got him I wanted to get a playmate for him and got the big litter box for multiple cats.  I had some personal issues with work that kept me from adopting for a few months.  

They had a promotion at the humane society a week ago, and I got a cat.  She was six months old and my cat tried to play with her which she didnít like and then it progressed into a fight with him being the aggressor.  I took her back in less than 24 hours and got a male 3 month old kitten that looks like him because he has tried to play with himself in the mirror thinking it was another kitten.

When I first brought the kitten home, he tried to pounce on him and it looked like he went for his front side/neck.  He doesnít hiss or growl, but just attacks.  He is twice the size of the kitten and I refuse to let him attack him.  It really worries me that he doesnít growl and went for close to the head of the kitten.  I have kept the kitten in a separate room for 9 days now.  I feed them together with the door cracked, and they play some under the door.  

However, there have been several times when my cat wanted inside and I had the kitten out.  My cat clearly wanted to attack him, but couldnít because I held him in my lap.  They have both scoped out the otherís living quarters.  He figured out I was letting the kitten out when he went outside and progressed to going outside and then wanting back in after a few minutes to see if I had let the kitten out.  He would run to the kittenís room first thing every time.    

Yesterday I tried to put the kitten in a large carrier in the common space, and my cat tried to swipe him and bite him through the carrier.  Today he tried to swipe at him through a cracked door.

It has been over a week, and I see no progress - my cat seems to resent a newcomber.  I am feeding them together where they can see each other through a cracked door and encouraging them to play under the door.  Both cats, especially mine have plenty of toys and get plenty of interactive play.  I am very hurt to see him swiping at and trying to attack this kitten half his size.

I am so hurt right now, I cannot think about it without getting upset.  Seeing my cat try to attack this kitten half his size with little biddy kitten teeth and paws half his size is so disturbing.  I have read that male cats are territorial and may not ever warm up to another male cat.  If it isnít going to work, I want to go ahead and return the kitten so he can get a good home.  I feel like a total failure to the kitten and to the humane society if it doesnít work.  

Since my cat is attacking without growling or hissing and hasnít changed his attitude, how long should I give this or should I give it before I give up or should I let it go and return the kitten now?

Hi Amy,

This is just a territorial dispute. You need to start over and use a cat intro protocol. Follow the suggestions here.

You might want to get some Feliway Comfort Zone to help relax the cats. And you can try giving the older guy this or something like this to help lighten things up.

Hope this helped. Good luck and take care.

Ciao, Karen


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Karen Craft


I can give advice on cat behavior. I can help about newborn kitten care. I can help with senior cat care. I can answer questions about cat proofing a home or making it cat friendly. I can answer diet questions. I can answer home treatments questions for cats. At present I have 13 cats in home and two ferals outside. And there's always room for one more!


I have over 40 year's experience with cats. Father was a veterinarian and I assisted him in his work. I have 15 cats at present. Most are shelter or feral rescues. I have one purebred cat. I have done cat rescues and foster care. Some thoughts to carry with you. A Cat's 10 Commandments My life is likely to last 15-20 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful. Give me time to understand what you want of me. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainments. But I have only you. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it. Before you swat me, before you strike me, remember that I have teeth that could draw blood. And claws to strike back. And yet I choose not to attack you. If I don't act right then have me checked to see what is wrong. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old. On the difficult journey, on the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there. Because I love you so. Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful thing without God's critters. Pass this on.

I have an A.A.S.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]