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Anticipating Possible New Cat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I have a series of questions and I know there aren't any real concrete answers but I'm curious to know what I -could- expect.

First the backstory:
I have a 10-year old cat, Stormy, I adopted the day after she was weaned (she was the size of a beanie baby!). For the first several years she was fine until a couple of years ago (around 2005) when she started peeing on things. It started with plastic bags and wrapping paper (the very first incident was Christmas morning) until it escalated to lots of chair cushions and our old dog's bed. We tried moving the litter box; got a second one. The vet didn't notice anything. At one point our old dog died and we adopted a puppy who tormented Stormy SENSELESSLY and the peeing (which had mostly disappeared) came back rapidly. I assumed maybe it was because her box and food was downstairs and that was the puppy's territory. I then moved her box and food into my room. Around the same time she was officially diagnosed with a UTI and given antibiotics. I don't know if it was the medicine and/or the moving of the stuff, but it worked and the peeing has completely stopped since the first time it happened three years previously. It's been about two years now since the move/medication and everything is just great.

Recently I've seen a precious 4 year-old cat at the same shelter we got Stormy from and am really considering the merits of adopting him but I have a lot of worries. My first worry is the fact that one assumption at my house is that Stormy's peeing incident was heightened by the appearance of a stray in our yard. I've also never adopted an older cat. I've only had kittens and was able to raise them and keep track of their behaviors.

So to summarize:
1.) Has anyone introduced a young male cat to an older female cat and had peeing problems? How did you deal with it?
2.) Are there actually any differences in bringing in an older cat than a younger one?

Sorry for the lengthy intro and story but I really want to think this over as my mom was at her wit's end when Stormy was getting bad and if there's even the slightest chance it could start up, I really need to forget the idea of adoption. :\\
post #2 of 6
Adding a new cat into the household is possibly going to cause Stormy to go outside the box again.

Has she ever lived with another cat?
If they do not get along - do you have the ability to keep them separated & happy for life?

Here are a few links to read:

The multi-cat household
Bringing home a new cat
Introducing cats
post #3 of 6
Since you're not sure whether her peeing was actually stress or UTI - or UTI brought on by stress - you run the risk of her peeing outside of the box if you adopt another cat.

Our females are never as good as our males are about new kitties in the home - though they are better about accepting a new male than other females.

In our experience, the females are more attached to us - or one of us - and tend to be more jealous than the males - about everything. About our time, about their territory... Our Spooky - who has seen fosters come and go and has survived the adoption of two more females and one more male - takes about six months to not hiss or growl or bat at the "new" kitty and a full year to actually accept the new kitty (as in be willing to lie down near, be on our bed at the same time).

It sounds like your kitty has never been around another cat... and the main issue with cat intros is that cats are territorial, and do not (usually) like another cat "invading" their territory - though if introductions are done slowly and properly, it can usually be made to work without too much stress. But you have to be willing to give it a LOT of time, and you have to have a room where you can keep the new kitty isolated - potentially for what may actually turn out to be several months in this case.

But given her history, you really do have to be prepared to have her stress pee - or develop a UTI that may cause her to pee outside of the box if you want to go ahead and try. In my opinion.

There are a lot of tools to help reduce the stress and increase the likelihood of her not peeing outside the box. Feliway, Cat Attract litter, harp music - the prolonged separation and VERY slow introduction... actions you can take to help her associate the new cat with good things....

I will say our females have been MUCH better about accepting new males. The last one we adopted was about 2 years old. Spooky was... 6, Ming Loy was... 4, Flowerbelle was... 5. Spooky was OK with Billy in about a month, but took a year to be OK with Ming Loy (though the active hating was over with in 6 months). But Ming Loy still growls at Billy - and he's been here 10 months now. Though it's weird - they also play together, so go figure.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the helpful responses, everyone. If I had my own place, I feel I could take a chance, but I really can't since I'm still living at home and as much as an animal lover my mom is, she's really fussy with cat pee on her furniture/cushions (an understandable annoyance I guess, haha).

At the very least I'll hold onto this information as it's something I never knew and am glad to know now.
post #5 of 6
As much as you want to adopt - it is wonderful that you are thinking about your kitties needs first, as many do not.
post #6 of 6
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
As much as you want to adopt - it is wonderful that you are thinking about your kitties needs first, as many do not.
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