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Does she need a friend?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi. My cat, Mi-ke, is about 4.5 years old. I got her from a shelter, where she was housed with her siblings. She was a crazy and destructive kitten but has settled down now.

I've occasionally wondered whether she'd like a cat friend or not. The cat I had growing up was an only cat, so that's the arrangement I'm used to. But then, she had me, my brother, and my parents. Mi-ke just has me, and I'm out for about 10 hours a day.

She usually greets me happily when I come home and then follows me for a bit. Lately, she's been spending practically the entire evening asleep, more than she used to. Personally, I spend my evening on the computer, etc., so it's not a very exciting household. Plus I shut her out of my room at night.

I don't know how she feels about other animals exactly. Of course, she had littermates as a child, and she seems to have lived with a dog and children then, too. I know of only a few "encounters" since then (with dogs and cats). In those instances, she displayed curiosity about the other animal and no aggression or particular fear. Of course, she was only encountering the animals through doors, etc., not face-to-face.

I'm in an apartment and really don't have a spare room to use to ease the introduction of a new animal, so that'd make things tricky.

All in all, I just don't know. I mean, maybe she's fine by herself and a new cat would bother her. But maybe she'd like someone to talk to when I'm not there. I can't ask her--well, I can, but I wouldn't get a useful response--so I don't know which way to go. I wouldn't want to bring someone home just to have them rejected, but if I don't try it, am I doing her a disservice?

I can pretty much manage with just one--I mean, I only have one lap, anyway. So the issue is what she wants, not what I want. I guess.

Thoughts? Thanks.
post #2 of 12
Two cats are always better than one, you'd be surprised how many cats can fit on your lap

Quote:
Originally Posted by rushrulz View Post
Lately, she's been spending practically the entire evening asleep, more than she used to.
Have you seen a vet about that? Also do you play with her at all when you get home? My cats chase the laser pointer for a good 1/2 hour every day, then we play with other toys. They really enjoy it after us being gone at work all day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rushrulz View Post
I'm in an apartment and really don't have a spare room to use to ease the introduction of a new animal, so that'd make things tricky.
That could be a problem as introductions have to go slowly, you could use the bedroom or bathroom as new kitty's safe room.
post #3 of 12
I think she might like a laid-back young neutered male (about 1 yr old). You could use the bathroom as a temp place while they are in the introduction phase. Or a large dog crate/kennel would work too.

She would be more accepting of a male then another female.
post #4 of 12
I would definitely suggesting getting her a friend since you are gone for so long during the day and she's also alone all night. It sounds like a pretty lonely existence!

I read online that an anti-cruelty act was passed in Switzerland that requires people acquiring a pet dog or pet cat to get two of the same species so that the animal has company of its own kind.

We've recently adopted a 12 week old kitten to give some company to our 4.5 year old female. We had fully intended on getting a male kitten, as everyone on here and on other sites told me that a male would be calmer and the female would accept him easier. Imagine our surprise when we took our new male kitten to the vet... and the vet tells us that it's actually a female! WHOOPS! The people we got her from, their vet had sexed her incorrectly. Of course we were completely in love with her by this point and she wasn't going anywhere!

Happily we used the introduction technique (isolation in the bathroom for a few weeks), and it worked WONDERS. I highly recommend it. The two get along quite well (it's been one week today since the introduction), and things get better every day.

Our older cat seems a little stressed, but she's playing a lot more now and seems happy to have a little friend!

I would recommend getting a young cat instead of a kitten. Kittens are a handful for you... and stressful for an older cat who can't match their energy level!
post #5 of 12
This is absolutely none of my business, but...

When I first adopted my Clyde, I wasn't sure how I felt about having him sleep in my bed, because I'd always been persnickety about such things. But he was too little to be alone, so I kept him with me "just for awhile."

Now I can hardly sleep a wink without both of my kitties in the bed, and sometimes one or two of my mom's cats as well! A little cat hair on the sheets is a small price to pay for the deeply bonded relationship you develop with a kitty by snuggling together at night.

Just a thought for you to consider. Good luck finding a companion for your baby!
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your replies. I realize now that I should have adopted one of her siblings as well, which would have prevented much of her kitteny destruction. So I feel sort of guilty that I didn't let them continue as they were, but I could hardly bring them all home, either.

The bed's been off-limits because she kept waking me up with jumping on things, meowing, etc. Of course, she wouldn't be as annoying now, I suppose, but that's our arrangement. I suppose it was also influenced by her suckling behavior. In fact, any new creature that comes along is going to have to mentally prepare him/herself for playing "cat mommy" with her.

I think I'd have a lot of jealousy concerns--thinking that she'd be jealous (even if she didn't indicate that she was) and uncertain of how to divide attention. Her "only cat" status isn't just something she feels; it's something I feel. She's my "best kitty." So what would another kitty be?
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rushrulz View Post
Thanks for all your replies. I realize now that I should have adopted one of her siblings as well, which would have prevented much of her kitteny destruction. So I feel sort of guilty that I didn't let them continue as they were, but I could hardly bring them all home, either.

The bed's been off-limits because she kept waking me up with jumping on things, meowing, etc. Of course, she wouldn't be as annoying now, I suppose, but that's our arrangement. I suppose it was also influenced by her suckling behavior. In fact, any new creature that comes along is going to have to mentally prepare him/herself for playing "cat mommy" with her.

I think I'd have a lot of jealousy concerns--thinking that she'd be jealous (even if she didn't indicate that she was) and uncertain of how to divide attention. Her "only cat" status isn't just something she feels; it's something I feel. She's my "best kitty." So what would another kitty be?

My "best kitty" just got a little 'sister' about 2 weeks ago for exactly the same reasons you are thinking of. She is an only kitty, I am out for work, for 10 hrs, I lock her out of the room at nicht, because she kept pestering me all night trying to eat my hair etc.
And then I took the step because I found it cruel that she can only see me for 3-4 hrs a day (max!) - and althoug I almost gave up, I am really happy I did this...
It's a very tough step to take and it requires tons of patience! (See my thread "how long does it take?"
But since almost one week we have managed to keep the two unisolated without hissing and they really get along well. I wouldn't call them 'best' friends yet, but they are playing, eating from the same bowl, peeing in eachothers toilets, etc.

I say GO FOR IT
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
If I decide to do it, any ideas on introducing them? I'm in a one-bedroom apartment, so I really don't have extra rooms to use. The bathroom's small, and of course, I use it. I can't keep Mi-ke out of the bedroom because the bed is where she hides when she's scared, and I can't deny her that. One of my closets is full of clothes and junk, and the other's full of old boxes and junk.
post #9 of 12
We have a small apartment too, and we used the bathroom as an isolation room for the new kitten.

Of course we'd go in and out of there frequently throughout the day, but that gave us some time go play with her. I'd also do my reading for college in there so I could spend more time with the kitten!

After the first couple of days, when the older cat was sleeping peacefully in our bedroom, we'd close that door and let the kitten out to play in the rest of the house for an hour or so. This got her familiar with the rest of the house, and she got her smell everywhere.

They would also play together under the door of the bathroom, and we fed them a couple times right at the door so they could smell each other while they ate.

The two didn't meet face to face until the 2nd week, and they've both been out ever since!

Here are lots of great suggestions! I used most of these ideas, and my cat introduction went REALLY well.

It's fun having two cats! Don't worry about one being your "best", just like when people have more than one kid, there is plenty of love to go around.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just thought I'd update this. I went ahead and applied for a 5-month-old black-and-white male named Oreo (although I'll change that). He's very playful and friendly and is surprisingly heavy for his age (another cat there is much lighter but is 1 month older). We'll see how Mi-ke takes to this. It should be interesting.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rushrulz View Post
I just thought I'd update this. I went ahead and applied for a 5-month-old black-and-white male named Oreo (although I'll change that). He's very playful and friendly and is surprisingly heavy for his age (another cat there is much lighter but is 1 month older). We'll see how Mi-ke takes to this. It should be interesting.
I was gonna agree with the others and tell you to get another cat but I am glad to learn you decided to go ahead. Keep us updated on how the introduction goes.
post #12 of 12
Anyone here would say to get another one I think!! They are all about the peer pressure

I bet you will not regret your decision to get another
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