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New playmate?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Two days ago I had to put my cat (Pepper) to sleep. He just flopped over and started this awlful meowing. It was soo sad..

It appears he had FIDS. As such I will need to get his brother tested just incase in was passed on to him as well; although he seems fit as a fiddle.

I know the cat (Rusty) that I still have misses him dearly. He is requesting more attention, and meowing for him day and night. He is desperatly trying to get outside (inside cats) to look for him. Other than that he is doing great! Thank goodness, we all were pretty upset, but knew that Peppers time was coming to an end. We may have only had him for three years but Three years was not long enough.

Rusty is easy going, since day one whenever he sees another cat he starts cooing and scratching at the window to get their attention..."LOOK AT ME, WILL YOU PLAY WITH ME?!?!?" I have not worked outside the house until just last month. I don't want to put Rusty through any extra stress, but with his brother gone and with me off to work now too....I don't know. I know that I will be getting him a playmate at some point and he will be happy.

My biggest problem is finding him the right playmate. This ALPHA male is three years old, male, neutered, and extremley playful. Should I stick with a male, would the new male (if kitten) spray before I neuter.

I know I can never replace his brother but any suggestions. Thank
post #2 of 3
rotanga..soo sorry for your loss. As far as Rusty goes.....I'm definately no expert at when to bring a new cat/kitten into a household where one was recently lost.

If it were me, I would find a docile yet playful cat (male or female) for the companion for Rusty. I'd also find one that is close to Rusty's age because a kitten is still forming it's personality and there is no guarentee that Rusty and the kitten will get along. You may want to see about a rescue allowing you to "foster" a cat for a period of time to see if it works out...the rescue I volunteer with has a foster to adopt program. It is very useful for individuals looking to match an existing cat with a new cat.

I believe there is a thread on how to introduce cats to each other so I would recommend reading that.

Again...sorry about your cat...I would check back ofter as some of the mods have lots of cat experience and they sometimes post the next day. I only was giving you a suggestion based upon what I have read.

post #3 of 3
First of all, let me say I am so, so sorry for your loss. You're absolutely right - poor Rusty is grieving too. I've read that it can help to keep some of Pepper's things around, his smell should help in some small way.

As to what to do....I really don't know about the timing. At some point, I agree that it'd be nice for Rusty to have a new playmate, especially, if, as you say, he seems so social. But I'm pretty sure this is not a good idea until he's finished grieving. The advice is really the same as it is for people. Not until you're ready - only with kitties it's so hard to know when they're ready. For now, I think, just giving him as much attention as you can will help, and when he stops meowing and looking for his friend, perhaps then is the time to consider a playmate for him. Poor little guy!

I have limited experience with introductions. We rescued two kittens, and brought in several fosters (kittens) and then brought in (to keep) a cat their own age (actually littermates) when they were about six months and then again at one year old (again - another littermate, so same age). When the four that were permanently living here were about 1 1/2 years old, we brought in another rescued kitten. How they accepted her really depeneded upon the personality of the cat, though they were more tolerant of her than of cats their own age. The boys were good about it. Spooky (our female) was NOT.

My understanding is that most older cats accept kittens more easily than cats their own age. But as Katie pointed out, the problem with this is that you just can't tell what the personality of the cat is going to be. Our little Flowerbelle seemed like the cutest snuggliest quietest thing in the world. But once she got comfortable here and got a little older, it turned out she's energy-on-paws, constantly wanting play and attention. She makes it almost impossible to play individually with the other cats (thank GOD they're not jealous!), and she's got an aggressive out-going personality and takes all of her little dainty seven pounds and throws them into contests for position of Alpha against our 16-pound alpha male! There's no serious fighting, and they get along famously, but one of these days Shelly might get tired of all the defending necessary, and the itsy-bitsiest girl might end up as alpha of this home, LOL!

Sheldon and Flowerbelle cuddle together, play "run and seek" together - but she does constantly challenge him. I think it's possible he tolerates Flowerbelle more because she's younger than he is. When Spooky gets up the nerve to have a "go" at it, Shelly is much more aggressive with her, and it doesn't end as nicely.

All of our males are far more tolerant of new introductions than any of our females.

So.... all of this is to say.... the advantages of a kitten are that I think older cats are more tolerant of kittens. My experience is that male cats tend to be more social, and females tend to bond more with people. I'd lean towards adopting another male cat, because the idea is for a playmate for Rusty, not a snuggly cat for you. However, it would be best if it were a more docile kitty who didn't want to challenge Rusty's position. While older cats tend to be more tolerant of kittens, you never know what their personalities are going to be.

What about a younger cat, but not a kitten? If Rusty's three, what about a one or 1 1/2 year old cat, and using Katie's idea, one from a shelter - one that they know gets along with other kitties and isn't aggressive?

FYI, there are some great threads here too, about introducing cats to each other.

The article Katie referred to is here: Introducing Cats

And although this is a thread about socializing a feral, and it's a long thread, it's also got GREAT advice about bringing home a new rescue kitty (in this case it's a feral kitty), and GREAT advice about introducing two cats - an older pet kitty and a younger rescue kitty. Here's that thread: Socializing Lucky

Hugs to you all!!! I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Pepper was obviously very loved, and Rusty is a very lucky boy.
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