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So I'm training cats now? What do you think?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Okay, a bit of background, but I'll try to keep it brief.

Moses is about a year now, I've had him since he was tiny. We actually got him way before we should have (he was 6 weeks) but the pet store lied about his age and we didn't know any better.

He's kind of a spunky little guy, and I really believe that he doesn't know he's a cat. He thinks he's a person. He uses the litter box and grooms and all, but he's not the typical cat-personality. We think this is great.

I've been working more, and Moses is such a social guy that I feel bad leaving him alone all day while I work. So, I've been planning to get another kitten in the next 2-3 weeks or so. I'm going to change my work schedule so I'll be home a lot for the first little while.

Moses has these little stuffed animal friends that he carries around like his babies and tries to feed. (Cute, but kinda sad).



So, I think that he'll be a great "momma cat" to a new kitten. I also think that if we get a young kitten, it will pick up Moses' personality/habits a bit. So, we'll end up with 2 cats like Moses - which is exactly what we want.

Now things get complicated...My parents adore Moses (they live out of town) and want to get a kitten, but really want one with Moses' "i'm just a furry little person, not a cat" personality. So, they've asked me to get another kitten, for them, have it "learn" from Moses for a few months, and then they'll take it home with them in May. So I'll be getting 2 new kittens, but only one to keep.

Am I crazy? My biggest concern is that Moses or the new kittens will have a difficult time being separated in May. I don't want 3 cats permanently, and I also don't want to depress Moses by taking a new friend away. I think that I will likely get 2 new kittens from different litters, and not at the same time, so I was hoping that Moses would become more attached to one than the other, and the one he's not as crazy about can go to my parents.

I think that Moses' orange-ness has something to do with his personality. The vet told us that orange cats are usually spunky and active and friendly. Is this true? What about Calico cats? What about white and grey cats? What about white,grey,and orange cats? (Is this Calico?)

Do you think that a young kitten will develop qualities of a "foster" parent? Am I out of my mind?
post #2 of 17
Assuming anything about cat personalities is dangerous territory. Most non-cat people just don't realize how different cats are.

Just as a warning, multiple cat households are way over-represented in shelter turn-ins, especially due to inappropriate elimination.

Wherever you get a kitty, be sure to go directly to the vet, if you can, to get him checked over.

If I were you, I'd get a kitten just a little younger and smaller than Moses, so he won't feel so threatened by the newcomer.
post #3 of 17
Your first mistake is trying to find a kitten like Moses (personality). EACH kitten is different and there is no way you can predict future behavior or try to make the kitten a certain way.

So try to get that OUT of your mind (and your parents too - they should not expect an exact of Moses).

You can probably find a similar type of cat/personality, but if the kitten grows up completely different then you expect you have to live with it.

With "breeds" they are usually a little more reliable in general as to personality, but still not a sure thing. When we get Charlie's brother, I know he will not be exactly like Charlie but should be outgoing, etc.

In my experience, most red/cream tabbies like Moses are more outgoing and get into "trouble" more often. But that is not 100% true of all. Same with calicos, etc. - you really cannot predict certain behaviors in colors or mixed breed cats.

Torties for the most part tend to have "tortitude" and are more fiesty, complaining, dominant, etc. Almost every tortie/calico had this basic personality. However, I had one bluecream (dilute tortie) that was totally opposite - she was so sweet and loving.

I'd search for a similar activity level rather then a personality thing - kittens are unpredictable. Personality is more set in the adult cat
post #4 of 17
Honestly, I think you might be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Getting a kitten playmate for Moses does sound like a great idea to me, because I'm a big believer that most animals do well when they can interact with their fellow species (or even other species). But I'm not crazy about this "foster" plan for your parents, though. As others have said, there is simply no way of predicting whether he will be willing and able to teach anything to a newcomer. Nor is there any way of knowing how much the newcomer will learn. For that matter, it's not even necessarily a sure thing that Moses will get along with any new cat. Those stuffed animals that he plays with don't chase him, swat at him, hiss at him, steal his food and mom's lap and attention, or attack him while he's using the litter box!

On the other hand, what if Moses gets obviously attached to both kittens? Then which one goes to your parents? You already acknowledged the possibility of making Moses depressed if one of his friends were removed. For that matter, isn't it likely that the kitten that you would keep would miss his friend as well?

It's an interesting idea, but I just think that there is much more potential downside than upside. I'm sure that Moses is a great cat, don't get me wrong. But the amount of influence that he would actually have on new kittens is questionable. I'm also sure that there are plenty of kittens languishing at shelters who would be a great fit for your parents IF your parents are willing to give the kitten a chance to let its own personality shine through --- and not to be unfairly compared to Moses.
post #5 of 17
And of course no one's even mentioned how your parents' cat will feel when his mentor is taken away.
post #6 of 17
I'm not sure where you got the idea that one cat will influence the behavior of another cat or kitten. Its never happened to any of my cats - they were who they were.

And one other thing to keep in mind for anyone who's lost a pet. Its not a good idea to go out and get the same color or sex of the cat you lost. When you do, many times you "expect" the cat to behave like the old one and its not right for you or the cat. That's why I won't adopt a blue tabby and white cat - cause it would look too much like Mitten and I'd expect him to act similar.
post #7 of 17
As has been mentioned above, cat personalities are very difficult to predict. I have two sister cats, who were raised exactly the same way and have lived together since birth (probably under a house for the first month or so and with me since we adopted their mother and her litter) and couldn't have more different personalities.

If you or your parents want a cat with a specific personality, adopt an adult cat with the personality you want. From what I've read, breeds are more likely to have more consistent personalities, so adopting a kitten of a breed that generally has the personality you like might be also work. Personally, I'd suggest adopting an adult shelter cat with a personality you like, but either way might work.

However, if you do end up adopting two kittens to be "trained" by Moses, I wouldn't worry about them being heart-broken. Cats really do seem to be more attached to territory than to individuals, so, while moving is disruptive, having a "friend" disappear usually isn't. I buy that cats can get bored at home alone and can be less bored with a "friend" to play with, but I think they rarely notice if a long-time friend disappears. That litter I adopted; we never got one of the kittens inside, another died from apparent poisoning about 7 months later, and my mother got the mom. The mom and two sisters expressed no apparent emotion when their sister died in my arms in the hallway, and my two cats also expressed no apparent emotion when their mother disappeared.

So, because of all this, I'd suggest to your parents that they go looking for an adult shelter cat who is known to like to live without other cats and who has a personality they like.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
But that is not 100% true of all. Same with calicos, etc. - you really cannot predict certain behaviors in colors or mixed breed cats.

Torties for the most part tend to have "tortitude" and are more fiesty, complaining, dominant, etc. Almost every tortie/calico had this basic personality. However, I had one bluecream (dilute tortie) that was totally opposite - she was so sweet and loving.

I'd search for a similar activity level rather then a personality thing - kittens are unpredictable. Personality is more set in the adult cat
i have a bicolor, a black, a silver tabby, a calico & a torbie... the torbie is showing signs of the famous 'tortitude' but she's still a kitten, so it might just be kitten hi-jinks. the calico is one of the sweetest, non-dominant cats you've ever seen. the silver tabby rules the roost [aside from the kitten, she's also physically the smallest]. the bicolor [senior] is also very non-dominant, as is my lone male, the black. 4 were adopted as kittens, the male as a adult. i would suggest, for your parents, that if purrsonality is what is most important to them, that they adopt an adult [maybe 1-2 years old]. my Chip is such a sweetheart, just as he was advertised on Petfinder. Pixel & Chip are my big lap cats - the other 3 were foundlings, so i took what i got, & while now i wouldn't trade them, i will probably choose to go adult next time if i have that option.
post #9 of 17
Poor Moses would probably be very unhappy if he had a friend and then it was taken away. I would not get a kitten with the intent of possibly rehoming him after they have bonded.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the advice. I've told my parents about the unliklihood of a new kitten picking up Moses' personality, and they understand. I think i'll just stick with my original plan of getting a new kitten to keep that can be pals with Moses, and let them figure out thier cat situation themselves.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley45 View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice. I've told my parents about the unliklihood of a new kitten picking up Moses' personality, and they understand. I think i'll just stick with my original plan of getting a new kitten to keep that can be pals with Moses, and let them figure out thier cat situation themselves.
That sounds good!
post #12 of 17
I think what you should suggest to your parents is that they consider adopting an older kitty - one that is like 3 or 4 years old. Then you can tell a LOT more about the personality of the kitty. They should visit shelters and ask the staff about the personalities of the cats there. Most places have a room where you can take the cats to spend a little time with them to see how you and the kitty interact together.

If they're not in a rush, I'm sure a kitty will pick them.

Laurie
post #13 of 17
I agree, your parents should look into an older kitten or young cat - somewhere around 10 months +. They could pick out the personality a lot better and also not have to deal with an active kitten. The adult would be more settled and they still could have interactive play with him/her.

If you want Moses to have a baby brother/sister, by all means go for it. Just be sure they are spayed/neutered before bringing them home.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'll suggest an older cat to my parents.

Quote:
If you want Moses to have a baby brother/sister, by all means go for it. Just be sure they are spayed/neutered before bringing them home.
We're actually going to start looking next week!!! And yes, the new kitten will definitely be spayed/neutered, and will get into my vet right away. I'm all about that!

Thanks everyone for the advice.
post #15 of 17
No advice, but I wanted to say that I have a dog named Moses (well, technically my mom has a dog named Moses).
post #16 of 17
I think it's just the cutest thing that your cat carries around stuffed animals and actually tries to feed them too. Your cats needs a companion really bad. You can't make cats act like your other cats. I know this first hand. My two year old cat helped raise our 9 month old kitten and they are nothing alike. They are close friends but with very different personalities.
post #17 of 17
my Chip carries around stuffed animals, too - it's so cute!
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