Do Kittens Get Sad When Separated from Siblings?

Are you frightened of your kitten looking gloomy when their sibling was separated?  

You have to make sure to remember your kitten’s emotional needs are critical for their well-being as well as their development.  

If you disregard their emotional needs they can easily victims of anxiety, aggression, and other behavioral problems.  

So, here we guided you on how to understand your kitten’s social and emotional development, signs after separation and how to prevent separation anxiety, and so on.  

Understanding Kittens’ Social and Emotional Development  

The Importance of Siblings in a Kitten’s Development  

Your kitten’s growth and welfare are determined by its social and emotional setting. In my own experience know my kitten was greatly let down when his baby sister separated from him.  

Because both of them always prefer their company to each other and they learn communication, play, and aggression control from their littermates.   

Understanding Kittens’ Social Behavior and Emotional Needs  

As a cat owner, you have more responsibility for your kitten’s well-being. That does not mean providing healthy food and comfortable bedding rather that their happiness and littermate companions are also important.  

Besides, a study was conducted to recognize the separation-related problems of domestic cats in 2020 and published in PLOS ONE journal, suggesting that how often cats spent solitary and the absence of other animals in the house can prone to those issues in cats.  

The Impact of Separation from Siblings on Kittens’ Emotional Health 

I also experienced my kitten getting weak, frightened, isolated, and depressed when his baby sister is away from him. So, I provide more love, affection, and safe surroundings restored than pasted time to get better my kitten.   

If your kitten is away from their littermates so that can lead to negative impacts on the kitten’s emotional health. Such as they can easily get victims of stress, anxiety, and depression. 


All of you  knows  prevention is better than cure so don’t wait until your kitten get sad, depressed and victim of separation anxiety and take preventive action before that.  

Signs That Your Kitten Is Sad After Separation 

Behavioral Changes to Look for in Your Kitten  

It is more important to know about what are the behavioral changes of your kitten when he or she is separated from their siblings. 

Your kitten may look withdrawn, lack interaction as well as loss of interest in their favorite foods and play.  

a kitten looking worried at her owner
kitten looking worried

Your kitten meows excessively when their littermates are away from them. Because they are communicating with littermates using meows. 

When they have been deprived their littermates seek more love, affection, or clinginess from you than ever to relieve their sadness. 

I also experience my kitten looking more aggressive like biting or scratching when they are away from their baby sister because they trying to change to the new setting.   

Physical Symptoms of Stress in Kittens 

Other than their behavior changes we can observe their physical symptoms of stress after separation.   

Sometimes I have noticed my kitten’s sleeping patterns are changed such as sleeping the whole day or sleeping more time than general. Other than their sleep have some troubles when they are separated from their siblings.  

Otherwise, you can observe digestive problems in cats such as vomiting and diarrhea. Your cat looks tired or lacks energy after separating from their siblings. 

The stress occurred by kitten separation anxiety cause for respiratory infections more easily than ever. Furthermore, your kitten begins grooming itself excessively after separation.  

How to Help Your Kitten Cope with Separation? 

So, how can you help your kitten to get rid of separation anxiety? First of all, you need to take care of your kitten more than before. 

 Spend time, cuddle, and talk with your kitten in a soothing voice. You can provide comfortable bedding, toys, delicious treats, and scratching posts to ensure a safe and enthusiastic setting around the kitten.  

Now you can gradually introduce novel experiences such as play and exploring something, new people, sounds, and smells to underwhelm your cat.  

If possible you can adopt another kitten as a companion to your kitten that could lead your kitten much better than any other method.  

The metropolitan veterinary center also proves those signs after the separation of siblings of cats.


All of you  knows  prevention is better than cure so don’t wait until your kitten get sad, depressed and victim of separation anxiety and take preventive action before that.  

Preventing Kitten Separation Anxiety  

Tips for Preparing Your Kitten for Separation 

It is better if you can prepare before your kitten separates from its siblings which may ease your kitten to goodbye to its littermates.  

Before separation, you can keep alone them short period of time and gradually day by day increase the time for ease of goodbye for their littermates. That can support for the kitten to adapt to live independently and develop confidence. 

Kittens play with their siblings inside a bucket.

You can socialize your cat with other neighbor cats and human companions and promote social skills and decrease stress levels and adapt to the new setting.  

How to Minimize the Negative Impact of Separation on Kittens

You can keep an eye on your kitten’s physical signs of anxiety such as loss of desire for food, and vomiting. Or else your kitten always hiding corner of your home means the kitten got stressed. According to that, you can take immediate action. 

You can provide them with toys and playtime to distract them from being separated from their siblings and create a good setting to safeguard your kitten.  

Furthermore, you can adopt your kitten for a daily routine such as constant playtime and feeding time. That will enhance their safety and reduce their stress levels. 

Importance of Early Socialization for Kittens 

You can socialize your kitten at an early age generally 2 to 7 weeks age. Because that is useful for shaping their social and emotional health.  

Early socialization involves for reduced the fear and anxiety of your kitten because they expose to various experiences and grow up their confidence to face those situations. So, this can help to better handling of separate anxiety. 

Moreover, early socialization helps to kitten close relationships with human companions. So, this familiarity reduces their littermate separation anxiety.  

Socialization can involve equipping for better-coping mechanisms in the kitten. Because this can lead to more effectively handling their anxiety when separated from littermates.  


All of you  knows  prevention is better than cure so don’t wait until your kitten get sad, depressed and victim of separation anxiety and take preventive action before that.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do cats remember their siblings? 

Yes, your cat may remember their siblings but we can’t exactly mention to what extent they can remember because it can depend from one cat to another.  

Do cats get sad when their siblings leave? 

 Yes, your cats can feel sorrow after separation from their siblings but the extent of sadness may depend on the individual cat and the bond between the two kittens.  

Do cats spend time with their sibling?  

Yes, of course, your cats spend time together with their siblings at a younger age. But as they grow up they prefer to live independently and may not spend much time with their siblings.  

Do cats get sad when their siblings died?  

Yes, a cat may feel sad when their siblings died but that may vary with each kitten and the bond between siblings.  

How long does a kitten remember their siblings?  

We can’t exactly mention how long a kitten can remember their sibling because that may vary with individual cat and their bond between siblings.  

Wrapping Things Up  

Are you know about the separation anxiety of cats? The separation anxiety of a kitten may be new for most cat lovers. But you can’t ignore the sadness of cats after leaving their littermates. So, here we brief most of the useful stuff such as how to understand your kitten’s social and emotional development, how to identify your kitten getting sad after separation, and how to prevent your cat from separation anxiety. So, keep an eye on your kitten more and more on their separation from siblings.  

Update History of Our Article

  • April 4, 2023: 90% of the article was rewritten according to the latest information.
  • March 25, 2023: Added new scientific evidence, new content sections, and images.
  • Nov 2, 2021: First published the article.

Amelia Kteylor

Amelia Kteylor, DVM, attended the University of Georgia. She is a cat expert with 20 years of experiences in field. She has a passion as a writer and editor for pet publishing industry too. Amelia contributes to numerous pet magazines in the areas of pet health and groom. Further, she volunteered in cat rescue centers in her leisure time.

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