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Weighing Pros and Cons of Getting Another Kitten

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
The hubby and I are still considering getting another kitten, within a month or 2 range of Seth-chan, who is 6 1/2 months old or so (female). I wouldn't be so hesitant if I weren't worried about the introduction process. So I've been weighing out pros and cons...

Pros
1) Seth will have a friend to grow up with, which will possibly help her be less stressed.

2) We will have a new family member to spoil and love.

3) Seth can spend part of her neverending energy supply on her new friend
----------------------
Cons
1)Seth will have another cat around, which will possibly make her more stressed and grumpy ??

2) From what I've read, cats should be separated and introduced slowly. The only ways for me to do this are:

a) for the new cat to be in our bedroom, which is also a weightlifting room. I really don't want that because it is a dangerous area and my husband's and my private area. We also prefer not to have a litterbox in there because the kitty may become confused later once it is moved to the litterbox area in the bathroom. Seth pretty owns the rest of our medium-sized apartment!

b) for both cats to be in the same room, but for me to sleep out on the futon in the living room so i can monitor them (even at night).

I'd love to hear of your experiences with introducing cats! Seth is a moody little girl who was undersocialized when we got her. She's has warmed up to us a lot these past months, but she still has a way to go. She has lots of energy and loves playtime, hunting in the window, and taking naps in weird contorted positions.

We're hoping to match her up with a calm, cuddly, and confident kitty (possibly male, but we don't know yet). What do you guys think?
post #2 of 25
I am always pro 2 kittens...but isn't there a bathroom you could keep the new kitten in during the introductions? That is where I always put my fosters. Has your female been fixed yet?? She is definately within the age that she could be spayed.

Katie
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
She was spayed before we adopted her! I can't imagine how crazy she'd be if she weren't!

We don't have an extra bathroom--and our bathroom is where Seth's litterbox is located (and she loves to play in there as well). The lack of an extra bathroom or room to keep her/him in is what is frustrating me!
post #4 of 25
When we got Milo, Max was almost a year old. We kept Milo and a temporary litter box in our bedroom since we had a one bedroom apartment. It was not ideal, but we put up with it.

Max was a little grumpy and unsociable before we brought Milo home (he still is). I was worried with how he'd react to another cat in his territory.

When I got Milo, I could tell he'd be easy because he was very well socialized; he was fostered in a house with 7 other rescue cats. One of them hated him and hissed at him every time he walked past, but he just brushed it off and kept playing.

Using the slow introduction methods, we were able to leave them home alone together after about a week (which I admit is a bit fast, but it shouldn't take longer than 3-4 weeks). We let them together after about 4 days supervised, then put Milo in the bedroom when we went to work. For the first few days, Max was hissy and cranky. Especially the first time he laid eyes on Milo. But, he got over it, and now they're inseperable. Our house is rather large compared to our apartment, and if one cat loses track of the other they'll meow until they're reunited.

Milo did not have a problem with the location of the litter box moving (additionally, we have since moved and they never had a problem once I showed them where the new box is...but all cats are different).

Since your first cat is not a boy, you may be able to have them in the same room (she'll be less likely to spray than a boy), but I'd still reccommend keeping them separate at first. It'll make it a lot less traumatic for your kitties, and they'll be better friends for it.
post #5 of 25
The other reason to keep kittens seperate for a period of time is so that you have time to take the new kitten to be vet checked to be sure that it is healthy (no URI or ringworm which can be easily passed between cats/kittens).

Katie
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Max&Milo--thanks for your advice! I will talk it over with my husband some more. I will try to think of a way to make our room safer while introducing the kitties (if we get a new addition)...

TNR1--That's a good idea, but I'm almost positive the shelter we are going to tests for health problems and things before sending them to homes. I will, of course, be taking the new kitty to the vet just to be sure!

The adoption process is very lengthy, and our application has already been accepted! I just have to make an appointment to go visit the shelter (yes you have to schedule to see the cats! )
post #7 of 25
Sounds like you & I are in the same position!!

I am 100% looking at getting a new kitten, but with our 1 bedroom apartment, its going to be hard to keep 2 kittens seperate, since Harley has the run of our apartment now...

He sleeps in our bedroom every night, he HAS to be in the bathroom with us at all times whoever's in there at the time, but we have this storage room that I could re-do into a new kitty room....but I would feel so bad keeping a new little kitten in a room for a week or so!

We still have to send in our application to the Humane Society though!

I really hope that you get a new kitten fairly soon, good luck!!
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
we have large storage areas/closets in our apartment as well, but i just can't bring myself to put a kitten in there all night!

i will be home during the day to watch over both of the kitties, so i'm not particularly worried about them being alone in the house together.

so, i'm pretty much still confused on what to do here!
post #9 of 25
Quote:
TNR1--That's a good idea, but I'm almost positive the shelter we are going to tests for health problems and things before sending them to homes. I will, of course, be taking the new kitty to the vet just to be sure!
Depends on the shelter...some do a cursery health check....some provide shots etc. When kittens become stressed (ie: a new home) they will sometimes show symptoms of a URI that may have not shown up at the shelter. Always good to take the kitten to the vet after you have taken him/her home.

Katie
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
I definitely will
post #11 of 25
In my experience (lots of cats, lots of time) a good match could be a male (neutered!) who's likely not to get larger than Seth (giving her at least a head start), and possibly of a breed known to be on the quiet and gentle side - like a Maine Coon girl with a Russian blue boy. But it's also important that Seth not be the aggressor all the time, or the #1 (spoiled) cat, so the other can feel like he counts too.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke
In my experience (lots of cats, lots of time) a good match could be a male (neutered!) who's likely not to get larger than Seth (giving her at least a head start), and possibly of a breed known to be on the quiet and gentle side - like a Maine Coon girl with a Russian blue boy. But it's also important that Seth not be the aggressor all the time, or the #1 (spoiled) cat, so the other can feel like he counts too.
Of course! I spoil all of my family! As for Seth being the aggressor, we are very quick to correct if she acts up. She's a smart kitty and learns quickly, but she's just very prissy and moody.

We just wanted a gentle breed so they would balance each other out! We never considered getting a male kitten, but so many people here have recommended it!

On the topic of Maine Coons, Seth is a maine coon mix. We'd love to buy a purebred Maine Coon, Forest Cat, or a Ragdoll, but our bank account won't allow for it.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekomimi
we have large storage areas/closets in our apartment as well, but i just can't bring myself to put a kitten in there all night!

i will be home during the day to watch over both of the kitties, so i'm not particularly worried about them being alone in the house together.

so, i'm pretty much still confused on what to do here!
See...my problem is that John & I work all day, all week, so I'd be so worried as to leaving a poor little kitten in a room alone all day!

What I would really like to do is adopt our kitten on a Friday, so at least I could be there to see how things go all weekend!
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Seems like you are in a more frustrating situation than me! Hopefully things will work much more smoothly than we are both imagining. Maybe we are both just worrying too much!
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekomimi
Seems like you are in a more frustrating situation than me! Hopefully things will work much more smoothly than we are both imagining. Maybe we are both just worrying too much!
Possibly!! I just really don't want to be gone all day long with a new kitten at home. The main thing I worry about is HARLEY...he is so full of attitude

I mean, if I'm going to be bringing home a little kitten from the Humane Society, I want it to be in the best home possible for it, without much stress and being lonely...those poor kittens that are there without a home deserve to come to a loving caring home....so I'm working on setting up the perfect little home for our future little furkid!
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by babyharley
See...my problem is that John & I work all day, all week, so I'd be so worried as to leaving a poor little kitten in a room alone all day!

What I would really like to do is adopt our kitten on a Friday, so at least I could be there to see how things go all weekend!
i got both of my younger ones unexpectedly, so the bathroom was their home until vetting. i didn't worry too much about Cable, because Pixel & Mouse are/were both declawed on the front, so i thought she could probably hold her own. i was slightly more careful with Java, since Cable has all of her weapons but Cable was so glad to have someone to play with her, there was very little spitting! but they both stayed in the bathroom alone, away from the other cats, until i had them checked, & Java stayed there during the day while i was gone for the rest of the week, until the weekend came. then i was able to observe her with the others & see that everything was copacetic. the cts that usually accompanied me on my trips to the bathroom just had to do without during those times!
post #17 of 25
I'm gonna go WAY against the rules here, and say that I have had many cats and kittens in my life, and have NEVER done the keeping them separate thing. I just bring the new kitten home, and in the fray they go....I'm not saying it's the right way, but it's the way I've always done it, and I've not had a problem so far. (Man, I sound like that guy who won't spay his cat cuz he hasn't had any problems so far...ewwww....*shuddering*...) I bring the kitty home, put it in the litterbox/food room and let it wander from there. And not just kittens, I did that with Bob, who was 6 years old when I got him, and Timmy, who was 7 months old when I moved him into my house from down in the basement after trapping him as a feral. NOW, if we're talking about keeping them separate because of checking for diseases, fleas, etc, then YES, I keep mine separate by taking them to my work first and housing them there for a few days until all the appropriate tests are done and vaccines given. You MAY want to ask your vet if he's willing to do this. It might cost you something, but it's a place to keep him for a few days to make sure he's healthy first.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by menagerie mama
I'm gonna go WAY against the rules here, and say that I have had many cats and kittens in my life, and have NEVER done the keeping them separate thing. I just bring the new kitten home, and in the fray they go....I'm not saying it's the right way, but it's the way I've always done it, and I've not had a problem so far. (Man, I sound like that guy who won't spay his cat cuz he hasn't had any problems so far...ewwww....*shuddering*...) I bring the kitty home, put it in the litterbox/food room and let it wander from there. And not just kittens, I did that with Bob, who was 6 years old when I got him, and Timmy, who was 7 months old when I moved him into my house from down in the basement after trapping him as a feral. NOW, if we're talking about keeping them separate because of checking for diseases, fleas, etc, then YES, I keep mine separate by taking them to my work first and housing them there for a few days until all the appropriate tests are done and vaccines given. You MAY want to ask your vet if he's willing to do this. It might cost you something, but it's a place to keep him for a few days to make sure he's healthy first.
I will second the I didnt do it right ....

Kandie and Zoey never had any phyuscial confortation which is good since Zoey is fulled clawed and was 8 months vs Kandie who is front declwed and 16 at the time...

I will seprate Frankie upon her arrival , though I imagine it will be a short separation ....
post #19 of 25
I'm thinking of another kitten here, as well. Sophie is still playing too roughly with us, and I think she needs a little friend of the feline variety to run off some of her energy and learn appropriate play.
When I was growing up, we never did the separation period, either. I do know that it is necessary in many cases, though.
Since I'm home full time with my youngest son, there is plenty of time for me to take it all slowly. We'll see what happens. I still have some convincing to do with DH here.
post #20 of 25
Sunnicat, your hubby may be happy to know that I would suggest a BOY cat for Sophie, maybe a little younger than herself, if she plays so rough. That might tame her down a little! Maybe that will soften him up?
post #21 of 25
I think that we as humans think that if we wouldn't like it, neither would the cat. I found this to be absolutely false both when bringing the kittens home and when we moved to a new house. If I left them in a smaller room, they were much more calm. It was a new territory to explore and sniff and get comfortable with, but they started out small, with just the one room. I would let them out when I was home, but it took days before they'd venture out of their safe room on their own, and then,timidly. When we moved from our apartment to our house, it took a full week before Max came downstairs. For my boys, giving them free reign of the entire living space was intimidating for them. So I don't think you should feel bad for leaving the kitten alone in a room while you're at work or at night; it's their safe place where they'll feel the most comfortable until they're ready to explore the entire house/apartment.
post #22 of 25
Well, here's my problem,....when we first got Harley (he had 2 other kittens with him in the litter) and after we had Harley about a month-we brought over 1 of his sisters to our apartment b/c one of our friends adopted her. When his sister was there, Harley was VERY mean and would chase her around and hit her and everything, so I had to keep them seperate for awhile cuz I felt so bad. But later in the afternoon, they were both found sleeping together in one of my dresser drawers, so he adjustsed after awhile and then he was okay with her being there.

I just don't want to scare a poor little kitten, especially with Harley being the only one there now. I also was just concerned cuz Harley was having a slight peeing problem (which has not come up again) and I was just wondering that if we bring a new kitten home, if that would act up again, like as if he would be marking his territory?

I'm sorry if that sounds dumb or anything!
post #23 of 25
Rosie was nearly one year old when i got Sophie as a kitten, and while i was at work i kept Sophie in another room with her food, water etc... and only let them out under my watchful eye.

Rosie wasn't a happy kitty at first, but it only took her 2 weeks to accept Sophie, but i'd tell anyone to get at least 2 cats now because their such great play mates and snuggle pals
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
I still don't know how we are going to go about all of this, but I appreciate all of your great advice!

We will probably try to get an appointment with the vet the day we pick up the little one, and then work from there. It really all depends on how the two react to each other at first! At least I'm always at home so I can monitor them both!
post #25 of 25
First of all make sure all cats are neutered/spayed - that's half your battle.

6 1/2 months is a great age to introduce a playmate. Since it seems females are more territorial and resent other cats coming in, chose a mellow, laid back male kitten.

Put the new one in a carrier and let them check each other out - they will hiss and growl - ignore it.

One trick is to put a little baby cornstarch powder on each of them and brush it in - makes them smell the same.

In time they will make friends - ignore hissing and don't interfer unless they really are fighting.
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