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Cat companion?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'd like some advice. My only "cat" experience was 18 years with a beautiful female stray who quite literally adopted "me." Two months after I lost her, I knew I wanted another cat, and I adopted a 5-year-old male from the local shelter. I had intended to get a cat that needed to be an "only," as I am disabled and find caring for one cat enough of a challenge. However, I fell in love with this guy, and now I'm concerned that he may want a feline companion.

He's very, very social--loves everyone who comes in the door, and is extremely affectionate. I noticed at the shelter that when they let him out of the cage for me to hold, when I put him down, he immediately went to other cats in their cages--not at all aggressively; in a friendly manner. He was picked up as a stray, so I know nothing about his past life, although it's obvious that he was raised in a home.

He's very attached to me and would prefer that I be home 24/7. Some of that may be due to his past, as he may have been abandoned. I noticed that after a month here, he would go into other rooms to nap while I was at home rather than having to be with me all the time.

As a matter of fact, I am practically home all the time. I'm retired and actually prefer being at home. So he's rarely left alone. In fact, if I have to be out for more than four hours, there's a teen in my neighborhood who comes in to play with him and give him the "loving" he craves for at least an hour (I pay her). I also have regular play sessions with him every day.

Are there any "signs" that he needs a feline companion? Although I'd prefer to have only one cat, I don't want to deprive him if he'd be happier.

When I worried about my former cat (who would not tolerate other cats), my vet told me that cats are solitary animals and if provided with enough human companionship, they're just as happy alone.

Advice?
post #2 of 20
It really depends on the Cat. My 16 year old Coco has to stay in here because she has special food. She wants to be with the other Cats and gets very upset if she isnt with them. Some Cats are fine alone. My Sisters Cat Midnight was the only Cat for awhile. My Sister got Maui so he would have another Cat with him. She was a kitten when she got her.
post #3 of 20
I actually think it's easier having two cats because they can play with each other and are not so dependant on me. My Swanie is like yours, he's very social, likes other cats, etc. Cindy who we got at the same time, is a slightly older female and she's actually the dominant one (despite being half his size and weight). It took them a little time to adjust to each other, but now they're the best of friends. Actually, it took Cindy time to adjust, Swanie wanted to get acquainted right away, but Cindy didn't want any part of him.

They're company for each other, play together, but they're both bonded to me & DH. Swanie mainly to me and Cindy mainly to DH. I can't imagine only having one cat.
post #4 of 20
I agree...having two (or more) is more fun than just having one. Not to mention, if you get another male that's a bit younger, say about a year or two in age, they'll probably bond pretty quickly, and be good play buddies. Male/female pairs work great, but females tend to desire solitude with age, so you'd probably want to get a male.

Also, be sure to follow the introduction suggestions on this site...they're great!
post #5 of 20
When I got my last Kitten I had 4 females and a Male. Meeko and Coco were the two that were fine with Oreo. Coco my 16 year old let her try to nurse on her. my Male smacked Oreo and Sasha when we got them. Sasha hissed at Oreo when I got her. It depends on the Cat. My 16 year old Cat is very close to Oreo and they are 15 years apart. Oreo will be 1 this month and Sasha will be 2 this month. I am also getting a new kitten in Nov.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
I thank all who responded, and I really value your opinions, but I was actually seeking information about how to KNOW whether a cat wants a companion. For example, I kept getting people telling me that my former cat should have a companion, but when I tried to introduce another cat, she was miserable and didn't want any part of either the other cat or ME at that point.

I know it's conventional wisdom that more than one cat is best, but my female was quite happy as a singleton for more than 18 years. Once I read that a cat who craves feline companionship will tend to focus on stuffed animals, so when my female was young, I got her several small suffed animals to see how she reacted to them. Zilch--she didn't bother with them at all, although she loved to play with her cat toys. My boy is very similar in that way--he ignores stuffed animals, but plays happily with regular toys.

My question is --short of introducing a second cat, is there any way to know that he wants one? Are there signs to look for?
post #7 of 20
Thats hard to tell. Meowing alot is a sign he wants to be with another Cat. My Coco crys if she isnt with the other Cats. How does he act now since he is alone?
post #8 of 20
You seem to want/need to be 100% positive that your cat does in fact want a companion cat before you commit to anything.

But it doesn't work that way. It would be nice if it did, but it doesn't. Like everything else in life, it comes down to risk versus reward.

Simply put, there is only one way that you'll know for sure, and that's by taking the plunge and bringing home another age- and temperament-appropriate cat (refer to maherwoman's post for guidance), and slowly and methodically doing the introductions as described in the multitude of posts on this site. Your cat isn't going to write you a note letting you know his feelings about the matter one way or the other. And cats don't do "play dates" like dogs might.

In my experience, and I think most people here would agree with me, the odds are extremely good that the two cats will at the very least tolerate each other. And it's likely that they will become friends. Now understandably, I know that you want their relationship to be more than one of tolerance, but all you can do is give their relationship the best likelihood of long-term success by doing the things mentioned above. The rest is up to the individual cats.

To answer your question, to me it is obvious --- based upon the second through fourth paragraphs of your initial post --- that your cat wants and would benefit from the presence of another cat. Now, do I "KNOW" this with 100% certainty? Of course not. But very few decisions in life are made with 100% certainty.

Lastly, try not to let your experiences with your female cat influence your decision, because they really have no relevance. Like humans, cats have their own individual feelings, needs, quirks, etc.
post #9 of 20
With cats you cant really know anything they are a mystery.... I think the most important thing you said was you don't want more than one.... if you don't want more than one its not fair to the 2nd cat.

Its like having a child if you have a second that you really didn't want... well thats not a good situation.

I'm sure your kit will be fine being an only and you would be better off for it too.
post #10 of 20
It's hard to say whether a cat needs another cat as a companion. Most cats do really need another kitty around.

My advice is to read up on introductions, determine if you have the space/finances for another cat, & determine if both of you want another cat.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
It's hard to say whether a cat needs another cat as a companion. Most cats do really need another kitty around.
Not my Zane. He hates other cats. Loves humans.
post #12 of 20
I think many cats benefit from a feline companion. My cat is an only kitty and will remain that way but she has several inside dogs to play with all the time, which gives her companionship as they play, groom each other, and nap together.
post #13 of 20
my cats HATE each other...(blue hates all cats though...supposedly because shes not fixed yet) but even my moms last cat, a spayed female hated ALL other cats...kittens (which happened to be blue when she was about 5 months old, who loved smitty and tried to get next to her and was always rejected and hissed at and sometimes even jumped on, to the point of having to separete them to prevent injury to blue which might have had something to do with her hating all other cats now), neutered (and unneutered) males, and spayed females...there was a cat named sparkles that she REALLY hated and she was a spayed house cat just like her...it is very hard to determine whether another cat would help or worsen the situation so take caution before getting another pet
post #14 of 20
When I got Dillon, as a kitten I just knew he needed another cat as I wasnt enough to occupy him. I would come downstairs and he would be hanging on my leg as I went to the kitchen, He would run around like a lunatic and use me for entertainment until I was exhausted. I played with him all morning, then by lunchtime, gave him a load of sardines and he would fall asleep. I would be laid on the couch exhausted when my husband came home, still dangling a stuffed mouse on a piece of string!

When we introduced Toby, Dillons first reaction was to jump on top of him with excitement. Toby hissed at him. That night we put them in separate baskets in separate rooms and the next day rubbed a bit of Dillons urine on Toby. Two days later they were cuddled up together and that is how it carried on until they got old when they started to fight a bit when they played.

I think if Toby had come first he would have been happy alone, but being the sensitive little soul he was, he let Dillon take place as top cat and Tobes took second place. Dillon always protected Toby outside and they were best mates for years. I could just tell, with Dillon, that he needed another cat, he was always bored and looking for something. He was so happy when Toby came into the house.
post #15 of 20
They say that males tend to accept newcomers much better than females do. Females are more territorial.

No one can guarantee that your cat will get along with another, all you can do is introduce them slowly and hope it all works out. But, if you can't care for 2 cats then you certainly shouldn't get another.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmoc View Post
When I got Dillon, as a kitten I just knew he needed another cat as I wasnt enough to occupy him. I would come downstairs and he would be hanging on my leg as I went to the kitchen, He would run around like a lunatic and use me for entertainment until I was exhausted. I played with him all morning, then by lunchtime, gave him a load of sardines and he would fall asleep. I would be laid on the couch exhausted when my husband came home, still dangling a stuffed mouse on a piece of string!

When we introduced Toby, Dillons first reaction was to jump on top of him with excitement. Toby hissed at him. That night we put them in separate baskets in separate rooms and the next day rubbed a bit of Dillons urine on Toby. Two days later they were cuddled up together and that is how it carried on until they got old when they started to fight a bit when they played.

I think if Toby had come first he would have been happy alone, but being the sensitive little soul he was, he let Dillon take place as top cat and Tobes took second place. Dillon always protected Toby outside and they were best mates for years. I could just tell, with Dillon, that he needed another cat, he was always bored and looking for something. He was so happy when Toby came into the house.
Very sweet example of how sometimes they can take to each other.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
They say that males tend to accept newcomers much better than females do. Females are more territorial.

No one can guarantee that your cat will get along with another, all you can do is introduce them slowly and hope it all works out. But, if you can't care for 2 cats then you certainly shouldn't get another.
I heard that too but since working at the shelter I would say that is a myth. It is there personalities that determine if they will get along.
Mary is Queen Bee in my home. I thought for sure she would pounce on Lucia once they met. But Mary likes her. They nose greet and I saw them sitting together. It is so cute because I can tell Mary is taking her under her wing. Mary loves the company of other cats as long as they behave and don't annoy her. She is closer to Cleo than Seldon. Seldon is closer to the kittens Saffron and Sachi. Cleo hates Lucia and hisses and growls at her and he gets in an offense mode like he wants to attack her. When he gets like this Mary sits beside her and he calms down to just little hisses and wary looks because he has never, will never, try to dominate Mary.
So you never really know. I think it is best to pick a smaller or younger cat because that tilts the odds in favor of them getting along.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyRetired View Post
I'd like some advice. My only "cat" experience was 18 years with a beautiful female stray who quite literally adopted "me." Two months after I lost her, I knew I wanted another cat, and I adopted a 5-year-old male from the local shelter. I had intended to get a cat that needed to be an "only," as I am disabled and find caring for one cat enough of a challenge. However, I fell in love with this guy, and now I'm concerned that he may want a feline companion.

He's very, very social--loves everyone who comes in the door, and is extremely affectionate. I noticed at the shelter that when they let him out of the cage for me to hold, when I put him down, he immediately went to other cats in their cages--not at all aggressively; in a friendly manner. He was picked up as a stray, so I know nothing about his past life, although it's obvious that he was raised in a home.

He's very attached to me and would prefer that I be home 24/7. Some of that may be due to his past, as he may have been abandoned. I noticed that after a month here, he would go into other rooms to nap while I was at home rather than having to be with me all the time.

As a matter of fact, I am practically home all the time. I'm retired and actually prefer being at home. So he's rarely left alone. In fact, if I have to be out for more than four hours, there's a teen in my neighborhood who comes in to play with him and give him the "loving" he craves for at least an hour (I pay her). I also have regular play sessions with him every day.

Are there any "signs" that he needs a feline companion? Although I'd prefer to have only one cat, I don't want to deprive him if he'd be happier.

When I worried about my former cat (who would not tolerate other cats), my vet told me that cats are solitary animals and if provided with enough human companionship, they're just as happy alone.

Advice?
I am also retired and spend my days with Persi. We have another cat but she spends her days in her room and offers no companionship to either Persi or myself. Until bedtime. Persi truly follows me around from floor to floor in this three story home. We have a round plastic elevator and Persi will always race the elevator to where it is going and be there waiting when I arrive. Since Alley offers him no companionship he wants mine and right now. I have a whole row of Russian dolls on my massive desk that this laptop is on. When he comes around, he lies directly behind the laptop screen and waits for me to give him attention. If he does not deem that my attention is coming soon enough, he starts knocking the dolls to the floor, one at a time until I can no longer ignore him. The thing that he considers great fun (the elevator) is what terrifies my other cat and is why she stays in her room all day but I am also handicapped and need that elevator. So in my case, getting another female for Persi (a male) did not help. But then most cats are not nearly the fraidy cat that Alley is and after they come to bed for the night, they are best of friends.
post #19 of 20
Cats are, by nature, solitary. As kittens, they do best with siblings and mom, but once they reach adulthood, most are fine being by themselves. Our Punkin was perfectly happy by himself, but he didn't get any exercise. We got Sterling purely to excercise Punkin, and he does it very well.

It sound to me like your cat would do just fine with just you and him.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Cats are, by nature, solitary. As kittens, they do best with siblings and mom, but once they reach adulthood, most are fine being by themselves. Our Punkin was perfectly happy by himself, but he didn't get any exercise. We got Sterling purely to excercise Punkin, and he does it very well.

It sound to me like your cat would do just fine with just you and him.
based on your situation, I would have to agree with this. It sounds like your kitty gets plenty of love and attention from you, the only reason, to me at least, to get another cat is to provide companionship for your cat. Especially as you stated that it is difficult to care for 2, I would be comfortable thinking your kitty will be fine as an only. Most cats can either take or leave a pal from my experience. I regularly introduce new cats into my household and while all my cats get along, I would say that most of them just want my attention, none of them are what I would call "friends" and I have 13 cats, so, yeah,

It seems like your cat would except a new one, I really don't think he will be any less or more happy.
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