What makes a cat dislike another cat?

I have had a cat for about six years now. Callie. She’s calico and neutered and all that stuff.

In the time that I’ve had her, I’ve had, also:

Another female cat that wasn’t neutered/spayed.
A male cat that was.
A dog
A rabbit.

And she’s lived peacefully under the same room with all of them (singlely, not all at once) often doing things like playing and chasing and even sleeping together.
But now I have this new kitten…she’s maybe a month old but in that stage where she’s able to run around and play and have fun.

Callie, on the other hand, since I got rid of the other female cat (the one that wasn’t spayed), has seemed to be very lonely all this time so I figured getting another cat in the house would cheer her up and give her another cat to be around and play with.
But ooooooohhh, she doesn’t like this new one for some reason. Even from the start she was hissing and growling. And even now, two days later, she still hisses loud and growls when the kitty tries to approach.

Why is this? She’s been fine with other female cats before…and even un-neutered ones. What is the difference here? Could it be the age? Because this one is a kitten? How do I get them to get along? I read the topic on here a week or two ago about putting the cats in different rooms for awhile and then cracking the door a bit and letting them see and hear and smell each other but I can already tell you that is not going to work here. Not with Callie because she would be just happy enough to never go “investigate” the new cat.
Is there no hope for these two? Do cats, once one forms a seeming immediate dislike for another, always hold those same grudges? Will Callie always hiss at little Patches? And what’s the reason for it? I mean she’s gotten along with a DOG and RABBIT for pete’s sake…plus two other cats… why is this one making her angry?

Give it more time. It’s only been a few days. The odds are the cats will get used to each other sooner or later, even if they never become friends.

You brought a younger, prettier and more exuberant female into the house and you wonder why Callie is pissed? :smiley:

Yeah, but the way Callie is acting… It makes me wonder. She’s done nothing but hiss and growl any time the kitten comes within three or four feet of her and has even lashed out a little with her claws to chase it farther away once or twice. Just seems overly aggressive which is not usually like her. Like I said, she lived with a female, unspayed cat before (for three years) and a male cat for six months…so what’s the difference here? I’m just wondering if there’s a specific reason like maybe the age of the kitten.

And you really think she’ll get used to the kitten eventually?

Hahaha, good point when you put it that way.

But she’s never been the jealous type. She’s gotten along great with other cats and animals often and many times. I guess I was just curious to know what it is about this specific cat that makes her angry and tips on how to stop it.

I’m also wondering (more than anything else) if this is how it’s going to be for the rest of time (or at least the rest of Callie’s life). Hissing and growling and all.
Do/Could cats always fight (and never get used to one another) if one’s already taken an extreme dislike for the other?

It basically comes down to cats being pure, unalloyed, unvarnished, unapologetic, baby-breath-stealing evil.

Aside from the evil thing, cats are extremely territorial (my cats go nuts when they see another cat IN THEIR YARD!!!1!!!). My two cats were brought together as adults (both spayed females), and they will never be friends. They have achieved armed truce, and that’s as good as it is going to get. I think you might have a better chance since one is a kitten - she’ll never stop trying to play with Callie, and Callie might un-bend enough to actually play with the little fuzzball. Female cats usually have a strong maternal instinct, too, which might work in your favour. I’d give it more time and see if they can’t reach an agreement.

I am not an expert on cat behavior, but I do have two cats of my own: a very friendly adult male and an adult female who loves people but kind of hates other cats.
It took a while for the female to stop growling and hissing at the male when I first got them, but they did adjust to each other. Eventually, I started seeing them sleeping curled up together occasionally, and they often groom each other, so I think they are friends now.
Maybe part of the issue might be that because the kitten is so much smaller than your adult female, the adult feels more comfortable being dominant towards the kitten than she did with the other animals (who I presume were larger). Or maybe the kitten hasn’t been socialized enough yet to understand the etiquette of cat social interactions and is annoying the older cat with its antics.
(Just some guesses - like I said, I am not an expert :slight_smile: )
I have read that even if two cats aren’t friends, they still benefit from the stimulation of having another cat around to interact with versus just sitting around alone all day, so that’s why it’s so often recommended to get two cats instead of one.

Thank you for your insights, everyone. :slight_smile:

It is most likely they will become friends or at least be able to tolerate each other - but there is a chance Callie will never come around.

I have eight cats - all moved in one-at-a-time. Valentino is the oldest, but I had Gwen and Chessie when I got him so he’s never lived alone. Then I bottle raised Bill and my husband said we had to keep him because he was so ugly he’d never be adopted. A friend had to give up Mr. Spock, so he joined the crew. Yogi was a former clinic cat at the vet clinic I where I used to work, so I nursed him back to health from hip surgery. Dax, Cricket and Sugar Magnolia were rescues. Chessie and Gwen passed away. There was peace in the cat suite.

Then came Magic. I don’t know why, but Dax and Sugar Magnolia HATE Magic. They react to him with hisses and bared claws. He’s been here for about 3 years and they have shown no sign of accepting him. My husband says it’s because he looks like a cross between a space alien and Yoda. (He’s a Cornish Rex.)

The others get along with him fine.


All right ,everyone! I see Charter Members, Dopers with post counts into 4 and 5 digits, it’s a cat thread. WHERE’S THE PICTURES!?

Taps foot I’M WAITING!

Good question. Since I have a new webcam that takes stills, I’ll take some right now of them both (obviously they won’t be in a photo together).

Dude, they’re not evil. They’re true neutral. Or possibly chaotic neutral, depending on the puss. Basically they don’t give a shit about you.

Dearest, though you and I both love THUNDERcats, you must remember that their Terran analogues are quite different. Being Satan’s nephew, I am privy to the list of all entities on Earth whose primary purpose is to do Uncle Lucy’s bidding, and I assure you that list, rather that listing any feline by name, says “Every flipping housecat on Earth. Also lynxes.”

And yet, oddly enough, none of the many cats I’ve known have ever harmed me without being provoked*. Deer on the other hand…

as in, I was pestering them. A lot. To get them to hurt me. Because I’m not real bright.*

** The one cat that bit me hard enough that we thought I was going to need stitches doesn’t count either. He was scared out of his mind.

Alright, alright - here are the ladies, having a sunbath. That’s about as close as they get before the hissing and swiping starts.

Well here’s proof I was mean to at least one of my kitties. Actually I did it to all three, but he was the only one who tolerated it long enough to get a picture.

omg, i almost pee’d my pants! That was awesome!

Unfortunately, i dont have any advice myself since our two cats get along.

Of course, Kitty-Bella was the one who hissed at the slightly-older male cat when he was brought home by Projammer. Spartacus is very easy going, though, and only hissed back when Bella was getting into his face… literally. Now, he plays with her but usually ignores her for the most part. She continues to pounce on him but no longer hisses.

They may still be fine, it’s only been a few days.

I so lucked out with my cats. We only had one (neutered male) for about eight months, but he was visibly upset and lonely when we had to leave him for any length of time, so we decided to get another kitten.

So we picked up another male kitten (daring, I know), and when we brought him home, Gary spent a few hours chasing him around and showing him who was boss, but by the end of the night they were snuggled up together on a chair, albeit with a bit of passive aggression.

Now they’re BFFs, and very seldom apart. They play together, lounge together, sleep together, and plot against us. :wink:

Cats are like people. Sometimes they just rub each other the wrong way for no reason at all, and some of them are just plain cranky and hate everyone.

Take my older cat Ariel, for example. She hates everything and everyone (I’m tolerated because I am The Provider of Food), and she was most displeased when Morgan made her first appearance. I’m talking hissing, growling, bared claws, swiping at her, bullying her away from the food bowl… the whole nine. It took about two years before they achieved a truce of sorts, and even so, it’s not unusual for Ariel to whomp Morgan when she gets too close.

It’s a rare sight to see them cuddle, though they have been known to do it from time to time.