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Old 10-17-2007, 12:54 PM   #1
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Should I get another cat? UPDATE: Picture of kitty on second page!
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.

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 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

Last edited by trollgirl : 10-24-2007 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:00 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:49 PM   #4
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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!
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:08 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:15 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:24 PM   #7
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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!
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:03 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:07 PM   #9
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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!
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Abbily View Post
... and bless you for caring for that kitty!
Yeah! I forgot to say that!!
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