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Lonely Old Cat - Companion or No?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I recently had to put to sleep one of my 2 cats. The one left is 13 years old and showing signs of loneliness. Jasmine has always had a feline companion as well as me to love her. Since she's so old, I'm reluctant to introduce another cat now, but Jazz cries for my attention all the time I'm home. I try to spend as much time with her as possible, but... some things are impossible to do with a cat in your lap! Help! If I did get another cat, should it be a kitten or an older cat? I love Jasmine so much, I hate to see her lonely, but don't know if another member of the household would stress her out too much.
post #2 of 18
First of all, I'm sorry about the loss of your other cat. It must've been hard for you to do but it was better in the long run..

I would recommend getting another cat if your cat has grown up with feline companions. My older cat (8 yrs old) is now getting on wonderful with my newly adopted cat (8 months old). I think any other cat will do as long as they are friendly. I would recommend another cat who's used to having other cats around, be young (1-3 yrs old?) so they'd be more flexible and get along better with Jazz... Just an idea. More people will share feedback on this with you soon.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response, Pamela! I'm tending toward getting another cat anyway because I love multiple cats! I'm only allowed 2 in the apt I'm in now or I'd have more! I appreciate your input and hope to hear from more members. I love this site! I'm so new to all this high-tech stuff that I blunder around a lot, but I hope to get better at it! What better combination than world-wide communication with fellow cat lovers!! Thanks again, Pamela.
post #4 of 18
Hi Topaz and welcome. Sorry to hear of your kitty. I hope you are doing okay.

I agree with Pamela a second cat is a lovely idea. I would not get a kitten. Rather, an older cat who needs a loving home. I have a four year old and recently got an 8 week old kitten. When Lily wants to sleep Molly wants to play. She won't leave her alone. Kittens have a lot of energy.

What were you thinking? Good luck with your decision.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply, Shannon. And I forgot to thank Pamela for her condolences on my loss of Pearl. That was a tough thing to do, but she was VERY sick--liver problems and it just didn't look good. I couldn't stand to watch her waste away. Okay, so I have to be truthful here--she was a pain in the butt all her life! lol but she deserved a little dignity in her death... I never had the heart to give her away or anything even though she was a constant nuisance. She had finer points--the biggest purr you ever heard, which she would share quite freely. Oftentimes, I'd pet Jasmine and Pearl would break into a purr several feet away! What a character!

But back to my present dilemma. Yes, I'm thinking I'd like to adopt an older cat. I have a soft spot for the Animal Protective Leagues and will probably "rescue" another cat from there. I always like taking the older cats because I know the kittens usually find homes. I'm thinking maybe a 2 or 3 year old cat? Hopefully one that has been in a home with other cats. I know Jasmine will hit the roof when I bring home a stranger. But I also know she loves to have a buddy to curl up with when the weather turns chill...so hopefully before long they can be friends.

Thanks again, Shannon, for your input.
post #6 of 18
I say go for it!!! I think Jasmine would love you for bringing home a companion. Well, eventually. It sounds like deep down inside you have figured it all out. Maybe you just needed great folks like us to help you along. :LOL:
Pearl definitely sounds like a one of a kind cat. Got to just love those loud purrs
post #7 of 18
What a delimma! On the one hand introductions of a new cat can be very stressful, but on the other hand, it can lead to wonderful companionship.

We just adopted an 8 year old stray into our household of four 8 to 10 year old cats. We did a VEEEEEERY slow introduction because we had a failed adoption of a 1 year old the previous year (he was very aggressive to the other cats so we found him a wonderful home where he could be a single cat). The adoption of the 8 year old has been wonderful. Since they are all older, the temperaments and behaviors of the new and old cats are similar and I think the old guy we adopted was so happy to finally have people who love him that his adjustment is better than that of a cat who has never faced hardship. He has had a few behaviors he has had to unlearn (like scratching furniture) but being an adult he learned very quickly and we have not had a problem since (it took less than a week to teach him where to scratch).

So...before we adopted him I would have suggested adopting a young cat, but since bringing this old guy into our house, I think I will always suggest trying to adopt kitties who have had longer lives and need a loving home.
post #8 of 18
Hi, Topaz.

I had to have a very dear cat of mine put to sleep some years ago because she had kidney failure. I was putting myself through college and paid hundreds of dollars for dialysis when I was barely making ends meet. The things we do for our pets! It was one of the toughest things I ever had to do, but I am convinced it was the best thing for both of us.

We recently adopted a kitten who gets along pretty well with our adult cat, but he is a very energetic little thing. He likes to wrestle and that includes biting and that kicking thing they do when they roll on their backs. Blackie is pretty accepting of it, but he does get fed up. Your older cat might have even less tolerance for kittenish shenanigans. I agree with everyone else that a young adult cat is your best bet. Still energetic but not wild.

Would it make a difference if you adopted cats of opposite sexes? I wonder with my 2 males if part of the wrestling is competition.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
THANKS EVERYONE! I really didn't know what to do, but it sounds like everyone agrees Jasmine needs a feline friend. I really think so too. She and Pearl were constantly grooming each other. Now, LOL, while I don't mind Jazz licking my knee or elbow industriously, I simply REFUSE to return the favor!!! LOL

I'm probably going to visit the shelter and find an adult cat which hopefully has been in a home with other animals. My apartment is small, so I hope the two will get along!

I'm kind of glad, really, to be getting an older cat. While kittens ARE adorable, I feel about them like I do children--they're just so much more interesting when they're past the bottle and diaper stage! LOL Of course, in the kitten's case, the diaper stage isn't, but that babyhood phase can be very trying.

So, I'll let everyone know how it goes. I thank you all for responding and look forward to seeing you around the site!
post #10 of 18
Congratulations on your decision to adopt another cat to keep Jasmine company!

I would encourage you to read other threads found in Behavior section on how to introduce new cats to each other and make it a less difficult experience for all.

Many people have shared wonderful strategies on how to introduce cats to each other and I have benefited from this greatly myself. Because of the advice given to me by the catsite members, I decided to adopt Zebra and now both cats loves each other. It took a while for them to adjust though!

Keep us posted!!!
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! I'm happy to report I have a new member in my household. I went to the local shelter on Saturday to find a roommate for Jasmine. Tough choice! There were so many adorable cats from which to choose. I was targeting an older female, but even so, it took quite a while to narrow the field. As it is, I picked a lovely lady who I named Josie (as in "and the Pussycats"! yeah, corny, I know, but it fits and sounds well with Jasmine!)

I think I really did Josie a favor because when I went to the desk to get information on her, they couldn't find her paperwork. She had already been there 2 or 3 months! When I learned that I said, "I'll take her." I was afraid they wouldn't keep her much longer before the Big E (euthanasia) and she's such a sweetheart! She nuzzled my hand when I put it in the cage and began purring and licking my fingers.

The staff thought she is 2 or 3 years old and was brought in by an owner, versus picked up as a stray. She was already spayed and declawed, which was nice since my apartment management requires that of our pets.

I think Josie has been well-treated because she has a healthy curiousity, exploring my apartment freely without fear. She doesn't shy away when I move toward her or at loud noises--i.e. my hair dryer.

Jasmine is being the typical cranky old lady. She hisses and growls at Josie and refuses to stay near her--although the distance between them has shortened in the 2 days. I really think in a matter of time they will be fast friends. The two cats have very similar personalities really--both very affectionate.

Meanwhile, Mom Sharon spends a great deal of time with each cat, petting and talking to her and reassuring that things will be better.

Wish me luck!
post #12 of 18
Yay! Sounds like a good match, though it does take a few days (weeks) for the kitties to settle in. Blessings on your new family member.
post #13 of 18
Your new family member sounds wonderful and I'm sure she is overjoyed at having been adopted after being locked in a cage for so long! Wooo Hooo!
post #14 of 18
Hi Topaz,

Sounds like you did a wonderful thing! I feel exactly like you do about older cats. I ablsolutely love kittens but the older guys are much less likely to get homes so I give shelter to kittens only when they are abandoned (as opposed to deliberately adopting).

I also blunder my way thru this hi-tech stuff but everyone on this site is very kind and understanding and seem to love all other cat lovers (as I do).

One question. Did you say cats have to be declawed to live in your building? How absolutely horrible! Thank God you found one that this was already done to!!! I never knew too much about the affects until I joined this site, but now I know what a torturous thing it is to have done.

Sorry, if I sound so judgemental, but I feel passionately about this subject and wish everyone could be as informed as the Cat Site has made me.

Anyway, welcome and keep us informed of your new furbabies progress with adapting. I think Josie and Jasmine are soooo cute names.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you Sunlion and Lotsocats for your enthusiastic good wishes. And thank you, Gap, for your comments. About the declawing: I agree with you. In a perfect world I would live on a farm with dozens of cats who had every claw they were born with and could use them as nature intended. Unfortunately, as man becomes more "civilized" and dwells together in urban areas, we must impose hideous sanctions on our beloved pets--or forfeit their companionship. I have agonized over whether I'm being selfish to want my "children" with me at such a cost...but I need their friendship. And I like to think that, as animals, they are unaware, after the initial painful operation, of the gross injustice we do them. At least I rationalize it because I want my kitties! And every apartment complex usually requires neutering/spaying and declawing. If you're fortunate enough to afford a rental house, that's not the case. When I lived in Denver I rented a house with a huge backyard where Jasmine and her sister, Jennifer, hunted to their delight (and my chagrin when they brought their prizes home!). But, when I moved with them to Cleveland, Jennifer was killed by a car only 7 months after the move. I vowed then to never let my beloved babies outside--and subsequent moves have necessitated that Jasmine and Pearl, and now Josie, have suffered the horrible fate. But I had to voice my feelings!
post #16 of 18

I really didn't ever know about places requiring declawing. I actually didn't know too much about declawing until I joined this site. I think most people (cat lovers) don't really know what all it entails.

When you have time go to the forum 'Care and Grooming'. About the l0th thread down is the subject on declawing. You may be surprised or you may already know but it's very interesting reading.

Once again, welcome and didn't mean to be putting you down at all. I'm just soooo happy that you adopted a kitty that was already declawed!!
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

No offense taken...I didn't think you were putting me down at all. I appreciate your concern. I know about declawing and am definitely against it. I won't do it to an animal again if I can help it. I've been fortunate that my cats had no behavioral problems from it (and least I hope Josie has none!).

Thanks again for the input. I did visit the sites you suggested, even though I already knew about it. It's gross.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
To all who've been following: an update on Josie in her new home. After two weeks, Jasmine no longer hisses and growls when Josie comes near. Josie has gotten BOLD and actually attempts to play with Jazz. Jazz being the old lady of 13 that she is tries to act her age. The two of them still stay pretty far apart until Mom comes home. Then they wind around my legs, each begging for her share of attention. Mom loves giving them both lots of kitty cuddles!

Truly, I think Josie was a perfect addition. I know as the weather gets cooler here in NE Ohio, my two feline fussbudgets will settle into one cozy, furry heap of cat comfort.

I thank all of you for helping me make this choice.

Not that I like to think about it, but I think having will Josie will ease the pain when the inevitable time comes to say good-bye to Jasmine. I do not think about that often, but she isn't the kitten she used to be! She's been such a comfort and pal all these years. That little cat and I have lived in 2 different states, 5 different homes, and with 2 different husbands!! (not to mention a boyfriend or two!). Wow! a lot of "stuff" together !!

Anyway, I'm enjoying both my ladies immensely and know they're going to be friends in time.

Bye for now and bless you all.
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