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Curious About Introducing A New Cat

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I wasn't sure where to post this exactly, but Behavior sounds like the right place. After losing Roscoe a few weeks ago, I was unsure if I could deal with a new cat. My other cat, Kora, seems to be dealing with the loss alright, but I can tell, during the day, she's bored and lonely. I get home and it's just something a parent can see, heh.

So I'm curious, since I got mixed answers at work, would it be better to get a kitten or a cat about Kora's age? She'll be 2 in May. I would love to get a kitten, but I'm afraid if Kora doesn't like her/him, she may hurt it. Do cats do that? I would hate to see anything like that.

I've read about the new cat staying in a different room until Kora can get used to her scent and vice versa, but how long does that take?

I just want Kora to have someone to play with when I'm not here.
post #2 of 16
Very good idea, and nice to hear that you are trying to move forward while still retaining happy memories of Roscoe.

I would recommend a male, around 1 year old, give or take a couple of months. Of course it varies from cat to cat, but females seem to be more territorial, and thus are more accepting of males than of females.

Sometimes it's not up to you --- you know the saying about how cats pick humans rather than the other way around --- but trying to match up personalities is ideal also. But keep in mind that this is often tough because a cat's personality at a shelter can be markedly different than in a home, for obvious reasons.

How big of a cat is Kora? I would only worry about the possibility of Kora hurting the kitten if there were a significant size differential. Which there likely wouldn't be if you go with a one year old.

There are plenty of articles and posts here about introductions. Start with this one http://www.thecatsite.com/Behavior/4...cing-Cats.html and use the search function.

Good luck --- you (and Kora) deserve it!
post #3 of 16
I would get a kitten, My cats have always accepted a kitten before a grown cat as a new member. They did alot of hissing, grumbling, and a swipe, but they never hurt the kitten. Then they start fighting amongst themselves, to reorder the pecking order in the house! Kittens are much more fun and get the older ones playing again once the storm has passed. Since Zoey has come into our house I have all my lazy cats playing again!!
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertM View Post
How big of a cat is Kora? I would only worry about the possibility of Kora hurting the kitten if there were a significant size differential. Which there likely wouldn't be if you go with a one year old.

There are plenty of articles and posts here about introductions. Start with this one http://www.thecatsite.com/Behavior/4...cing-Cats.html and use the search function.

Good luck --- you (and Kora) deserve it!
that's a great article. i'd also agree that a young cat vs. a kitten would be a better choice. ditto on the male vs. a female. if Kora got along well with Roscoe, she should do well with another cat [assuming that cat gets along w/others] since she's not used to being an 'only cat'.
post #5 of 16
I like getting kittens because my cats are more accepting to young'uns. No hissing or anything negative. But I'm also already planning on bringing a rescue home once I move out of here (no pets allowed apt) because I'm just so in love with him. More work, yes it'll be but so worth it.
post #6 of 16
Kittens are more work for both existing cats and the people who are caring for them. That said - we've found that our grown-ups are more accepting of kittens than other older cats.

The only problem with that is that you have no idea what kind of personality the kitten is going to grow into.

The usual recommendation is to get a cat of a different sex and a different age.

But your Kora isn't very old - she's a "baby" teenager. So she'll be more flexible (most likely) that if she were 8 or 15 years old.

Given all of that..... I think I'd take Robert's advice and go for a male that is around a year old. Young enough to be a kitten, younger than Kora - but old enough to be able to tell a little bit about his personality.

As to introductions, that is a great article.

I know it feels terrible keeping a new kitty confined to one room - but it really will help the introduction go more smoothly. I'd give it at least a week, and probably two, depending upon Kora's reaction to the situation. She will likely not be happy about this at first. Cats are territory oriented, and the reason it is suggested to take introductions slowly is because even though they may wind up being best buddies with the new kitty, at first they are usually not happy about sharing.

I just posted about introductions in this thread - scroll down to post 12 and 13. http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=159880

Laurie
post #7 of 16
With most females its a longer time to adjust to a new kitten. I'd pick out an easy going neutered male kitten for best results.

She will hate him for awhile (took Ling more then 6 months to like Charlie - hated him for about a month). Ling was 2 yrs old at the time.

You'll have to separate them for awhile and read on the threads about introductions. Go slow and supervise when together. Expect hissing, growling and chasing. Be sure to clip all nails on both cat/kitten. Very rarely does it happen that one cat will really hate the other and be mean to it. So chances are that in time, she will adjust and accept.

One thing, be sure to giver HER attention first before you give it to the kitten (maybe look for a kitten about 4-6 months). And refer to the kitten as "her baby" - its not yours - its your cat's
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the information. Most of the adoption places around here offer cats for like $100 and that includes up to date shots, deworming and leukemia/fecal testing, microchip and spay/neutering if the animal is old enough. If they're not old enough, most give a voucher for 50% off the procedure, if not more.

I was looking at cat's a tad under/over 1 year old and male.

I was thinking, would it be easier for Kora to adapt since she always had another cat around? She's NEVER been by herself except for the past few weeks. And this may sound silly, but, Roscoe was black with a little white patch on his belly, would it be confusing to Kora if I got another black cat? In a way I don't want to get a black one, as I don't want to mess myself up mentally and call it Roscoe, heh. But do you think another black cat would confuse Kora since the black cat she knows, is Roscoe?

I appreciate all the help and I know Roscoe is sitting on my shoulder helping me pick a new buddy for his sister.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Almost forgot, I have a small condo. Bascially one bedroom, so the only room I could keep a new pet in would be a small bathroom, which I would really not like to do, or my bedroom. Now the issue with the bedrrom is that Kora likes to sleep in there when I'm in there.

It seems like during the day, I could be with both, switching between the 2, but at night, I would have to be with just one and I wouldn't want to confuse Kora even more.

What about putting the new cat in a carrier or somethign and bringing them out so they can interact?
post #10 of 16
I have in the past added kittens/cats to my family of already older cats and to be honest; the kittens almost always (in the long run) ended up getting along better with the cats that I already had.

I would definately look at your cats nature and temperment to determine whether you should bring in a new cat at all. Some cats prefer to keep to them selves and that will never change. I also agree that a young male cat would be better then a female (only because female cats are too hormonal and if both are not spayed they may fight and end up not getting along in the end when the kitten reaches maturity).

I would personally put the newest addition in a different room for a couple days (not only to get your cat use to his/her new scent) but also to make sure your newest addition is healthy before exposing your other kitty to him/her. Of course a vet check on the way home from getting your new kitten would be ideal to ensure he/she is in good health any ways. Then rub the new kittens scent on different object in the house and let your new cat get his use him/her for a couple of days (without actually "seeing" your new kitten). By bringing a kitten in your cat will not be as threatened. She can "train" the new kitten to abide by her rules (dominancey) where as bringing a new cat in may results in fights to determine who is more dominant (and we wonder where the term "CAT FIGHT" came from for us women!)-- the kitten will just listen, lol. Always make sure to give your cat extra attention and love so she knows that the newest addition is not replaceing her.

I have never had any trouble with introduceing new cats. They at first may growl/hiss a little but almost right away they are playing and cleaning eachother and are best of friends. lol.

So, my vote is a young kitten. Male or female, as long as they are spayed/nuetered to stop the rageing hormones, lol.

Best of luck!!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
The whole disease issue with the existing cat is a concern, which is why I would like to adopt from one of these shelters that check that before even putting them up for adoption.

So up to what age would you consider a cat, a "kitten"? Someone earlier mentioned that because Kora is almost 2, she's an older "kitten". SO if I got a cat about a year old, that still counts as a kitten?
post #12 of 16
Yes and no about the shelters in my opinoin. I hate to say that because I really am FOR shelters and think that they are wonderful for saving all the needy animals that the can however I have known more then one person to get a kitten/cat from a shelter and they have been sick when they got them home.

Shelters have so many cats and dogs that they unfortunately cannot guarentee that any one of them will go to your home 100% healthy. That would be impossible to do. They can do their best to ensure this but with having so many cats and dogs coming in and going out you never know what each one is carrying.

HOWEVER purchaseing a kitten from some one else can result in the same thing happening!! So I think it would be great of you to rescue a kitty from a shelter.

I still personally feel that a younger kitten 6 months or younger (again, my opinion only) would be best. Cats develope their own "ways" of doing things very early and if you get a older kitten it may be harder to persuade him/her to change his/her ways.

Hope this helps
post #13 of 16
a cat is a kitten until at least 18 months. Firefox is 9 months old, still has lots of kitten traits. so i'd suggest an older one, 9-15 months. since Kora's never been an only cat, intros should not take as long, especially since she's just barely out of kittenhood.
i hear you about your living space - i have a 2 bedroom/1 bath house [927 square feet, including the laundry room - non-cat accessible] & the only interior doors are on the laundry room, bathroom & closets. so i start 'newbies' out in the bathroom, but as soon as i know they're healthy [3 of mine are foundlings, so i had to get a vet check] i start letting them out. i was most protective w/Firefox, because she was so little & sick - but it was summer so i was home most of the time.
i've always done intros far faster than recommended, & it's worked pretty well. Cable's was the most difficult - i was working, the other two cats were both 7 years old, & this was the first new cat they'd seen in our house that 7 years.
but Pixel eventually got used to her. Mouse died before she got a chance .
post #14 of 16
oops, thought of something else. once you've made your choice, put vanilla extract on both of their heads [not loads, just a bit] so they'll smell alike. PM Gingersmom - she's done 3 intros in the past 2 years, all adult-to-adult, the hardest kind!
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatPapa View Post
And this may sound silly, but, Roscoe was black with a little white patch on his belly, would it be confusing to Kora if I got another black cat? In a way I don't want to get a black one, as I don't want to mess myself up mentally and call it Roscoe, heh. But do you think another black cat would confuse Kora since the black cat she knows, is Roscoe?
Nah. I doubt it. Cats are way more scent-oriented than sight-oriented, and their eyes aren't great in terms of discerning a variety of colors. The new cat, even if he shares Roscoe's physical characteristics, will naturally smell differently than Roscoe. I'm sure that Kora will not be confused.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertM View Post
Nah. I doubt it. Cats are way more scent-oriented than sight-oriented, and their eyes aren't great in terms of discerning a variety of colors. The new cat, even if he shares Roscoe's physical characteristics, will naturally smell differently than Roscoe. I'm sure that Kora will not be confused.
That's funny. Teppo likes to watch kitty/doggy photos/videos on the computer. He can obviously see what they are (I have tested many a time). The funny thing is when we look at our family album he is not highly interested at all at his brothers’ photos (who he sees on daily basis), however he taps and sniffs eagerly on his own photos as well as stranger cats photos. It’s as if he “knows those guys†and is disinterested but has to check the ones he does not know, himself included, as he does not spend much time in front of the mirror.

One thing we looked for when choosing Teppo at the shelter (who is our third and added to established brother duo) was whether he had any history of having been with other cats. We knew our two were used to others, and were more confident when we learnt that Teppo had shared a cage with another adult male at the shelter with no complications.
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