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View Full Version : Should I get another cat? UPDATE: Picture of kitty on second page!


trollgirl
10-17-2007, 12:54 PM
I have a cat who is about a year old. She's quite the diva, but absolutely adorable. Sometimes when I'm knitting she'll walk up, stare at the ball of yarn, and then casually pick it up and walk away with it like she owns it. Which technically she does I guess, since she claims everything in the house as her own. :teehee:

On weekends when we're home, she always seems content and happy, but I wonder if she gets lonely. She's very affectionate and sometimes gets a bit demanding if she doesn't get attention. I've been playing with the idea of getting another cat, but have put off actually making the decision because I'm afraid she'll react badly to an intruder in her home.

Anyway, this morning, one of my co-workers, Jaina (not her real name) told me about a cat she found dumped :grrr: outside another co-worker's house. Let's call this other co-worker Arthas. The cat is a six month old male and Jaina said he seemed healthy, just hungry and lonely. Right now, the cat is with Arthas and his wife, but they already have three cats and a son, and Arthas's wife looks after Jaina's baby when she's at work. They can't keep the new cat and are hoping they won't have to send him to the shelter.

Anyway, I am so tempted to take in this cat, but I'm afraid my first cat is going to get mad at me. I'm financially stable so money isn't an issue. My cat gets her regular vet check-ups, vaccinations and is spayed, and the new cat will get the same. I've read up on introducing cats to one another and know about keeping them seperated for a while, and supervised while they get to know each other, but I'm still worried that getting another is going to be a bad decision. Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone ever tried to introduce a new cat to the household with disastrous results?

UPDATE: OMG. I just talked to Jaina again and apparently the cat isn't living with Arthas right now because of their many existing cats. He's just outside sitting on the doorstep and wandering around their neighbourhood :cry:

stirsmommy
10-17-2007, 01:00 PM
We have three cats. The first one was three when we got the other two that were a brother and sister. It took about a week for them to figure it out and how to work as a group. The first few days they were kept separated. Our older cat did have his nose out of joint for a bit but he got over it. Now he and the other male are all buddy buddy.

vaknitter
10-17-2007, 01:05 PM
I don't have cats, but I have dogs and I brought a puppy home to my 12yr old dog without any problems. They don't curl up and sleep together, but they play and the older one is always excited when we get home to let the puppy out of her confinement.

From my time working at the SPCA, we always suggested a slow introduction, keep the new kitty in the carrier and let the old kitty sniff it out. Have plenty of treats on hand for the old kitty as he/she approaches the new kitty without hissing/spitting that way he will associate good things with the new kitty.

I say GO FOR IT !! I don't know what I did when we only had one dog and I will never have just one again b/c I absolutely love having 2 and I really think they do enjoy the company.

Feef
10-17-2007, 01:49 PM
I have 6 cats, and I understand how anxious one can be in deciding to take in another cat.

I have a few suggestions that should make the transition easier:

1. Understand that your resident cat is to be treated as such. Meaning, for a while they should be fed in separate rooms so the newcomer isn't tempted to steal from her.

2. The rule of thumb is 1 litter box per cat plus 1, so you'll need to get 2 more litter boxes.

3. Make sure you have a spare room to isolate the new cat until it can be vetted for any health issues.

4. Keep the new cat in that spare room for at least 3 weeks ALONE, not allowing your resident cat in. This helps the newcomer to feel safe.

5. When it's time to begin the introductions, they must be done slowly. Put the newcomer in a carrier/cage and allow the resident cat to approach. This teaches the newcomer who's boss. They can sniff at each other, but both will be safe from harm.

6. After several days of the cage sniffing (several times per day), allow the resident cat into the newcomer's room, watching closely for any signs of aggression from either cat.

7. Puchase a product called "Feliway" that comes in both a spray form and a diffuser. It's a synthetic pheromone that mimics the pheromones that cats produce from their scent glands.

When cats rub their faces against people and objects, they're placing their scent on those things, and that thing/person becomes familiar. It's also a sign of affection.

This product plugs into an electric outlet and continuously sprays the area with that pheromone, making the entire room smell familiar.

8. Scent transfer--take a wet washcloth and wring it out. Wipe down the resident cat, then go wipe down the newcomer (without rinsing); then go back and wipe down the resident cat. Doing this transfers their scents onto each other, so when they sniff each other, they will also smell themselves.

I hope this helps!

cftwo
10-17-2007, 02:08 PM
I got my then 2 yo female cat a male kitten. It has worked out well. For a number of years the female was top cat. I think they may have been renegotiating this recently, but IMO she's winning.

Introducing the cats: I took the advice of a Natural Cat book. I took the kitten right to the vet before I brought him home, and had a friend bring him in. I kept the kitten shut up in another room (until older female let him out) and spent the next few days wondering out loud when she was going to come pick up her cat. I showered attention on the female and largely ingored the male (I'd put him on the floor if he jumped into my lap, for example). Then I caught her grooming the kitten and figured, since SHE had let him into HER house, it was OK for me to acknowledge the kitten, too. I've had them both for 9 years or so now and they get along well.

AnnaT
10-17-2007, 02:15 PM
I don't have much time to write now, but my first thought is that since your first kitty is only a year old, and the new kitty is only six months old, it's a good time to add to the family. The older your first kitty gets, the harder it will be to introduce another cat.

Sharly
10-17-2007, 02:24 PM
You can do it. I once had one kitty. Now we have 9 that co-exist nicely. All strictly indoors, too. Having a companion kitty will be good for your baby, and it really takes no additional effort once the transition is done. Sounds like you are doing your homework, and there is some fine advice being given here!

Ingrid
10-17-2007, 04:03 PM
We had one 3-year-old cat and then got a kitten. It only took a few days for them to become best friends. I'll never have a single cat again. It's so great to see the older one (who was a lump) running around the house with the little one.

Abbily
10-17-2007, 05:07 PM
My husband and I each had a cat when we got married, and both cats were about 3 years old when we got married. The 'mixed family' was a bit tentative at first, but after a few weeks the cats could be found curled up together, grooming each other. :) I say, go for it, and bless you for caring for that kitty! :)

Sharly
10-17-2007, 05:11 PM
... and bless you for caring for that kitty! :)

Yeah! I forgot to say that!!

Mulderknitter
10-17-2007, 06:11 PM
Anyway, I am so tempted to take in this cat, but I'm afraid my first cat is going to get mad at me. I'm financially stable so money isn't an issue.
I thought the same thing when I introduced our 10 yr old Mulder to brand new kitty Itchy, who was only 3 weeks old when we found him and decided to keep him. I was afraid really that Mulder would kill him out of jealousy. So when we were at work they were seperated and we monitored them together when we were home for a good month. When Itchy got bigger and it was clear that Mulder just didn't like him, they were allowed alone together. I REALLY reccommend a playmate for kitties, and would never have a solo cat again. Even though they are independent, they need the socialization of other cats around. Think of it this way, you like your time alone, but who wants to live alone forever???:pout:
I think that things happen for a reason, whatever that may be. Itchy literally was found in our lilac bush. We didn't want another cat. But he is a joy, really, and I wouldn't trade the day we found him for anything. :muah:

Babyduck87
10-17-2007, 07:18 PM
i also say go for it! as long as you can support both of them (which it seems you can!)

we need more ppl in the world with your helping heart!

jodstr2
10-20-2007, 04:35 PM
I recently (end of Aug) got a 12 week old kitten. my older cat is 6. I have their food in separate rooms as well as their litterboxes in separate rooms also.
I kept them totally separate (kitten in her own room with the door closed for the first week, with us going in there frequently to visit), then gradually stepped it up by letting her out when we were home, then gradually letting her stay out overnight.
we make sure to let the older cat know that we still give her attention and think of her.
they're still getting used to each other. there are still the occasional fights and growls and hisses. 95% of the time the kitten who instigates trouble by walking up to the older one and pouncing on or grabbing her. if we're home we step in to end it.
but it's looking better. they can lie together now, snuggle up together, and sleep, providing the kitten isn't in a hyper mood.
I hesitated bringing a kitten home for years because I didn't want to hurt my older cat's feelings, but all is okay, AFAWK. it's been a lot easier than I thought it would be.

doreen116
10-20-2007, 04:52 PM
I'd get a friend for your cat. I got my first cat about 8 years ago and as I was researching on how to best care for him, I read that cats who live with other cats live longer. By that time I was totally in love with my little fella and I got him a friend, a female. They didn't get along at first, but within about 3-4 months, they were cuddling together and grooming each other...well, it was more the female grooming and looking after the male, but isn't that how it usually is, lol?

They are still great pals, and when the play tag around the house, they are enjoying themselves AND getting exercise, which we are not always able to provide. My girl won't play with toys and is a bit sedentary, but when my guy gets to chasing her around the coffee table, she gets moving!

Hope that helps...Doreen

trollgirl
10-24-2007, 01:41 AM
Thank you, everyone, for all the advice! I took the cat home on Thursday and got him all set up in his new room. After a day hiding under the futon he settled in and became really affectionate. He's such a sweet boy. I took him to the vet on Monday and she gave him a clean bill of health and his vaccinations. She also said that he is about two years old, and not under a year like people estimated. Anyway, all that's left for me to do now is to slowly introduce him to my resident kitty. I hope it goes well.

Here's a pic. I managed to get one picture of him where he wasn't a complete blur, or trying to snuggle up to the camera. He's a very pretty cat.

scout52
10-24-2007, 02:24 AM
OMIGOD he's so pretty. he looks kinda like my Elena!! just a little smaller!!

KnittingNat
10-24-2007, 05:50 AM
Such a pretty cat!
When i got a second kitty, i didn't have the possibility of a separate room for him, so he was together with my dog and older cat from the beginning. The dog actually raised him and they are the best friends ever now. The dog even misses him when we're outside. I tell her the cat's name and she goes home! Bur the older cat is such a snob that she barely pays any attention to the dog and the younger cat. She lets them be there :roflhard:. The younger one chases here frequently just to try to play with her, but she gives him a soft smack on the head (without the claws) and he stops.
Good luck and enjoy your new friend!

PurlyGyrl
10-24-2007, 08:19 AM
Oh, pretty kitty! :heart:Makes me want to snuggle him (or her)

Sharly
10-24-2007, 08:54 AM
He is a beautiful kitty!! What's his name? Give him a cuddle for me!!

Abbily
10-24-2007, 09:52 AM
Oh, he's beautiful!! I want a kitty.... :)

jjminarcik
10-24-2007, 10:49 AM
He is so cute!!!! I know he will be a great addition to your family.

jodstr2
10-24-2007, 11:30 AM
:inlove: pretty kittah! congratulations! :cheering:

cheesiesmom
10-24-2007, 08:32 PM
We have 3 cats. They eventually learned to live/deal with one another. Your baby looks like my first "Kitty".

They'll be fine...eventually.

jennylozano
10-25-2007, 05:26 PM
Such a pretty cat!
When i got a second kitty, i didn't have the possibility of a separate room for him, so he was together with my dog and older cat from the beginning. The dog actually raised him and they are the best friends ever now. The dog even misses him when we're outside. I tell her the cat's name and she goes home! Bur the older cat is such a snob that she barely pays any attention to the dog and the younger cat. She lets them be there :roflhard:. The younger one chases here frequently just to try to play with her, but she gives him a soft smack on the head (without the claws) and he stops.
Good luck and enjoy your new friend!

:roflhard: KnittingNat, your post is soooo funny!! I can imagine your older cat smacking the younger one and the dog playing around with him :inlove: How beautiful.

I have two kitties two. I took my second one around 6 weeks after I took my first one. Still, the first one was kind of upset. I did not have the possibility of isolate the newcomer, so she spent about a week under the bed and trying to jump in a chair, but the resident cat would chase her every single time. Yeah, it took a lot of hissing and intimidation from both parts, but what helped the situation al lot was that we moved to a new apartment. The new place provided a neutral space where none of them owned the territory. So, then things started to be smoother. They have never been best friends, but I do not regret having both of them together. I can see how good it is for them to have a companion. Sometimes they play wresling or chasing and sometimes they seem kind of violent with each other but that's just their way of playing :teehee: Sometimes they just don't want to be that close or just ignore each other.
Isn't it wonderful how cat's nature is??!!
Thanks for this thread. I love cats' stories :muah:

cspooks
10-25-2007, 05:34 PM
One cat is never enough (for me anyway)! We just got a new one when one of ours died suddenly. I know they say to introduce slowly and all that, but our resident cat got in the room right away so we gave up. They get along all right - mostly they do their own thing.