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Adding to the Family

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine recently (like within the past week or so) got his first cat. His only other experience with pets are through a few other people, and the occasional dog his family owned and kept strictly outside. Since I'm his only crazy-cat-lady friend, he's come to me for advice.

He keeps his cat indoors and is still getting used to having a new companion. So far, he seems to be doing all right by her, and bought all the items I suggested he have on hand above the bare minimum of a scratch box and food (namely toys and a scratching post). However, he keeps asking me if he should get another cat to keep the first one company. The idea that she's lonely or bored when he's not home concerns him deeply, but the novelty of having a cat hasn't worn off yet.

I have personally concluded that he should get used to having the first one first, especially since she was just rescued from the SPCA. I haven't met her yet, but his reports indicate that she's pretty undaunted by the change in scenery from getting a new home and that she's pretty affectionate. She is one year old.

I have advised him to post here and ask, because I'm torn. 1 year old is a good time to introduce other cats if you're going to, because that's an age that sees the benefit of a playmate. Is it better to wait until she's established that she has a home or will that just mean any newcomers are rivals? Is he able to handle adding a new cat to the home and all the potential violent consequences since he's inexperienced? Is the benefit of seeing another cat rehomed worth the potential stress of introduction on human and cat?

My biases have put me on the fence and I don't think I'm able to consider this objectively. Please, any thoughts on one?
post #2 of 10
I would get a playmate right away before the new kitty establishes territory. Intros should go smoother then.
post #3 of 10
If he's going to add another, do it NOW before the resident cat becomes too protective of her territory! Much easier on them that way IMO, and she's less likely to see a new arrival as a threat.

I've not had an easy cat introduction yet, and my boys are all between the ages of 1 and 2, I won't be doing it again in a hurry - it can be a bit of a nightmare if you ask me! Maybe when the boys are all old and grey I will have 2 kittens, but once one has become established in a territory it is much more difficult!
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Do it NOW:

Do you stand by that opinion even in the light of his inexperience?
post #5 of 10
Actually, I think it's like having kids - no one's ever really ready, there's no manual that covers everything, but somehow throughout history, we've kept going and surviving quite well. He will need some advice (e.g. about set feeding times where he monitors both cats so they both get all their food, about having at least two litter boxes - very important - getting them fixed ASAP, and being scrupulous about never letting them outside), but all in all I'm sure he'll manage!
post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by Lapis Kelinia View Post
Do it NOW:

Do you stand by that opinion even in the light of his inexperience?
Even more so, as long as he can afford to care for 2 - I think if anything it's his inexperience that has led him to only get 1 - most here will I am sure agree with me that 2 is better for them, and better for the humans as they are less likely to develop boredom related behaviour problems

Here's what I did - got 1 cat due to inexperience and then got another 6 months later having realised my mistake because the 1 cat was bored and I never got a moment's peace - then spent the next 6 months trying to persuade them to be friends while not really knowing what I was doing. One thing that taught me is that to get 2 at the same time is the best possible advice I could have received, had I asked beforehand. I never want to have to go through the stress of introducing a newcomer to established resident cats ever again - complete nightmare!
post #7 of 10
I would get another Kitten now. When we got our first Cat I was a Kid and my Parents had never had Cats before. We got 1 Kitten then when back a few days later and got his brother. I knew nothing then. It will work out good.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I really appreciate it!
post #9 of 10
I agree with the posters above - NOW is the very best time, and I honestly think that in some ways it is easier to take care of two or more cats than just one, as they are less needy than one that is alone and needs more human attention.
post #10 of 10
Now would be a good time.

I adopted my 2nd cat only 5 weeks after my 1st. (I would have adopted 2 together from the same litter but at the time I didn't think I would want more than 1 cat).

His inexperience with cats is not really a reason for him to NOT adopt a 2nd cat. It's not like you have to be an expert to provide a loving home for another kitty.
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