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Does my feline need a friend?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I've been a fan of this site for some time and FINALLY decided to join so I can get your advice on my small kitty crisis...
I have had lily since she was 8 weeks old - she is now almost 3. since we've been together, I've always had roommates - there have always been 3 people in the house, and most for the past 6 months, another cat. Very recently lily and I moved into our own place - and I'm so worried that she's lonely!! I'm away from the apartment at least 9 hours a day. Most of the reading I've done says that 2 cats are usually better than one, although I've also read that some cats prefer being an "only cat." How can I tell?! I just want lily to be happy - I don't want to upset her by bringing another cat into her place, but if the companionship would make her happy...you see my dilema!!
incidentally, one article I read said either way is fine - the cat will adjust, so if I want to get one, get one, and if not, don't. Well OF COURSE I want to get another cat, but honestly, it would be a bit of financial strain for me (although the cat would be VERY WELL CARED FOR with proper vet care, etc. - I would just go w/out other things). I truly just want my favorite girl to be happy!
So sorry for the epic post here, but please help...any advice is greatly appreciated!!
much thanks,
post #2 of 7
Did Lily spend alot of time playing with the other cat? Does she seem depressed? Are there alot of toys for her to play with? I think she can tell you if she needs company better than anyone here can. Just watch her and see what she tells you by her actions. Good luck and let us know OK?
post #3 of 7
I think if you want another cat you should go for it so long as you know you can take care of it.
post #4 of 7
Cats are by nature social and love to be with their owners or close to them at least. There are some cats who love to be alone, but if bringing another cat into your home is a financial hardship, there are ways to work around this to make your cat happier when you are not at home.

Furnish her special toys that she only can have in your absence. Keep them away from her any other time, but right before you leave for work, just take them out lay some out in the open and hide the other ones, hiding catnip toys turns into a real treat for the cat to find them
Get a nice big cat condo she can run and play on, install it somewhere that she can look out the window and see things, or buy a hammock for her and install that by the window. Lay out you old sneaker you wore on the weekend, in the middle of the floor- it will smell like you and keep her calm knowing you are near, or use a sweaty shirt the same way, if you don't have anything sweaty, pull the pillowcase off your pillow and leave that lying around.

Hide treats in the house too so the cat has to work to find them, only make sure you aren't putting them somewhere that a cat can get trapped accidently like a closet or something.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Lily didn't necessarily spend a lot of time "playing" with Maizy - but once they got used to each other, they were definitely companions. they shared space to look out the sliding glass doors, and took turns chasing each other.
since we've been on our own, Lily has rediscovered her love for "fetch" - her stuffed mice have all made a reappearance, and she has begun sleeping with "baby" again. (a toy so named b/c when she got it as a kitten she carried it around in her mouth everywhere she went like it was her baby...)
also, although she's always been affectionate, she now has to be RIGHT ON ME whenever I'm sitting still. laying near me is not sufficient - she must be ON ME in some way (or spooning at night while we sleep). don't get me wrong - I love the added affection, but again, I want to do what's best for her!!
is there any way I can tell if she would not take kindly to another cat on her turf? all of my reading says you don't know until you try...I wish she could talk and just tell me if she wants a friend or if she wants to be an only cat!!
Much thanks,
Stephanie and Lily
post #6 of 7
Aqtb4u, I had the same issue last year. I got Suni (she's now 2) from the shelter in March, and after a few months wondered if I should get her a companion. She's very low key so I couldn't tell if she was depressed, lonely, or the such. Suni just wasn't telling me what I wanted to know! Finally, in October I decided to adopt a friend for her. I fell in love with Mollie, a 4 month old tuxedo kitty. Suni was NOT happy when I brought Mollie home, and that continued for some time. I shed many tears over it. I was sad because I only wanted Suni to be happy, and if bringing in a new baby was going to make her unhappy, well, that would break my heart. I'm such a cat mom! One morning after about a month, and a bucket of tears, I found them both sleeping on my chair--not next to each other, but close enough! JOY! Suni is still pretty low key, and Mollie (at 7 months) is still very much a kitten, but they are now friends, and I am very happy that I got Mollie for Suni and me. Good luck with whatever you decide.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
thanks all for the advice and suggestions!
I've been doing a lot of thinking about getting Lily a companion, but have decided to put it off for now. I'm going to let her try to adjust a little bit more to life as an "only cat." I've been trying some of hissy's suggestions and enjoying the exclusive attention we've been giving each other. if in a bit I decide that she's lonely and in need of a friend, I'll go ahead with it then (maybe when finances are a little better...)
again - thanks to all for your thoughts and suggestions!
~Stephanie and Lily
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