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Help, do we get another cat??

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We've got a soon to be 4 year old moggy Max, who's been an indoor cat all his life. We've seen an advertisement for a kitten which sounds very similar to him(in appearance obviously), and were thinking of viewing him/her. Would we be doing the right thing in getting a companion for Max, or should we leave things as they are? I just wanted to find out if he's too old to have a kitten friend, or would it be more sensible getting a slightly older cat as a companion, if at all?
Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 12
The introduction of any new cat often results in a lot of hissing/growling/swatting. Many owners do not realize that & return the cat/kitten within days (if not hours) thinking the resident cat will kill the new one.

If you go over the introduction process & give Max time to get used to the new addition, it just might work out. You must realize, though, that he may never get along very well with the new kitty. Or the new kitty might be his new best friend & they will be inseperable. You just don't know what will happen.
post #3 of 12
Generally speaking it's easier to introduce a kitten to another cat unless the cat is quite old (a rambunctious kitten can be too much for them). I agree with the previous post in that you can't tell if a cat will want a companion, but I don't think 4 is too old to try. I had two 6 year old cats who didn't really have much to do with each other and added a 5 month old kitten--now they all play together and the 6 year olds act like kittens themselves
post #4 of 12
My hubby and I just dealt with a similar issue. Neither of us were sure we wanted a second cat and we based our decision to take on another after we met Harley. He is 6 months older than our resident cat and had been in the shelter for four months.

We spent 10 minutes with him and we fell in love--but our biggest concern was whether our resident cat Jack would feel the same way.

We decided to go for it and I don't regret it one bit now. It was a week yesterday that we got Harley and things are great. We didn't do the 'recommended' intro process but things worked our regardless (which I know isn't always the case). The boys are now playing together and in time i see them being very good buddies. There was a lot of hissing and growling the first 3 days but none now.

We are having to adjust life alittle as we believe that the adopted cat Harley is deaf. We want to give him the best life possible.

We know we made the right decision to add another cat. Good luck and think long and hard whether it is the right decision for you and your resident cat.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies. Obviously our biggest concern is whether Max would accept another cat in his life, as he's been an only cat for almost four years. How he'd react to another cat in his territory,& not receiving all our attention.
We were also very lucky with litter training Max, as he used it instantly, would we be so lucky again? As you can tell I'm just thinking of the negatives at the moment, hopefully they would be outweighed by the positives.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Another thing, I've noticed on various websites that it's recommended to keep the new cat in a "safe room" for a week or so. This would be a problem, as we only have a very small place, which Max has the run of, & if for any reason he was excluded from a room he'd not be a happy boy!
post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by freig View Post
Another thing, I've noticed on various websites that it's recommended to keep the new cat in a "safe room" for a week or so. This would be a problem, as we only have a very small place, which Max has the run of, & if for any reason he was excluded from a room he'd not be a happy boy!
With a kitten a bathroom can often suffice as a "safe room", provided you eliminate any dangers and keep the toilet closed.
post #8 of 12
Our kittens all came together, but my husband had an experience of this before I met him. His family had a cat, Chloe. Very dominant, run of the house, lovely, happy, only cat. Then, one of my husband's friends was on vacation in Wales and found a small kitten by the side of the road. They couldn't keep it, but for some reason they brought her home to my husband's family. Anyway, Rosie and Chloe were never friends, but they tolerated each other and even played together from time to time. They were both indoor/outdoor cats (as were all of Rosie's kittens - after the first litter, though, Rosie was fixed!) and you used to see Rosie and Chloe prowling the streets together. Chloe was about the same age as your Max when Rosie was introduced....not a proper introduction, though - more like 'get used to this, Chloe!'.

It is natural to be nervous. I am sure Max will adjust after a few days and you would be doing a great thing by helping out a cat that doesn't have a loving home. They might not be best friends forever, but with time, they will probably learn to like each other....
post #9 of 12
Four years old is not old to bring in another kitten. As long as both are neutered/spayed, then you will have less problems. Do the normal slow introductions:

1. Put the new kitten in a room by himself with litter pan, food/water.

2. After 2-3 days, then switch rooms for awhile. Put the resident cat in the kitten room and allow the kitten to roam in the rest of the house (maybe for an hour SUPERVISED). This way they can get used to each other's scent without meeting face-to-face.

3. If all seems calm, you can then put the kitten in a carrier and allow the other one to check them out more. Expect some hissing or growling at first.

4. Before you let them physically together, sprinkle cornstarch baby powder on both and rub it in or use some vanilla extract on their chin and base of tail.

As long as they are not getting too physical and attacking (which probably will not happen) let them alone together in one room while you supervise them. Again, do not interfer with some hissing or swatting.

The older one will let the new kitten know who is boss. Neutered males usually are more friendly and adjust quicker to a new playmate then a female will

One other thing - get another litter pan now. If they share the one, fine, but you don't want problems by making them both use the same one.
post #10 of 12
I would get the Kitten and introduce them slowly. I start the Kittens out in the carrrier so they can get used to each others smells. Then I put the kitten in the bathroom.
post #11 of 12
I've never done a "safe room" although I do put the newcomer in a room by him/herself when I'm gone from home or at night for the first few days, especially if it's a little kitten. I just bring in the newcomer and put him/her down and let things work themselves out, and I have two 30 pound dogs on the scene as well. It has never been a problem and in most cases I think isolating the newcomer (esp for a week?) is very stress inducing for everyone. Just get it done and enjoy!
post #12 of 12
I just recently added two new furbabies to my family. Sammy arrived a week ago today - a handsome 10 month old boy. He and Diamond (my golden retriever mix) were relaxing together on the bed by day 2. And Sammy had several "hideaways" he could retreat to if Diamond ever got overbearing - she loves kitties, and we lost her lifelong friend just a month ago.

We just added baby Lexie Thursday evening. Lexie is about 8 weeks old and just pranced right in here as if to say "HI!!!! I'm home!!!". Sammy was previously fostered with about 20 other cats I'm told - so he took the introduction of a kitten in stride. Diamond was just happy to have yet ANOTHER kitty friend - after all - we MUST have gotten them just for her, right? And Lexie is non-plussed by Diamond.

While it's definitely not something I'd recommend to others, we have had no intentional separation of animals. The last two nights all three animals have slept together on the bed with us - some jumping down for water and litter breaks to rejoin the gang during the night.

And when we were both out of the house during the day today, when we came in, Lexie was curled up on the sofa asleep, Diamond was keeping watch out the window to make sure people she didn't know didn't approach and Sammy was in the window in the bedroom keeping watch from that room - and all strolled over to us from their respective locations when we'd come home.
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