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Question on getting a new cat

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My best friend and I have a 4 year old cat and 6 month old kitten - both males. I will be moving and taking the 4 year old cat. I want to get an older companion cat for him (he recently lost his sister and has never been alone), but I am wondering how much harder will it be to bring an older cat in the house - I'm thinking no older than 2-3 years old. I am familiar with the week-long process of getting them used to each other, I'm more worried about getting a cat with behavior problems like scratching the furniture or a former outdoor cat who constantly tries to escape out of the door. Is there anythng specific I should look for or should I not worry about these habits because they can be broken?

post #2 of 10
Just curious why you want an older cat if you already (will) have the 4 yr old and(?) the 6 mo. old (it's a little confusing as to who has which cat). We got a barely 6 wk old male last year and crossed fingers & toes re the reaction of our 11 yr old macho male (the youngest of 2 others). Well the second the baby saw Plato, he just launched himself across the room at him, Plato sort of lay down, opened his 'arms' and grabbed on, and they've been the best cat friends I've ever seen since. Age doesn't seem to matter at all - in case you were thinking about that.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am taking the 4 year old cat and want to get a companion for him. I am moving in the June-September time frame and thought it would be easier to get him a companion now and move with the two of them instead of moving with just him, having him get adjusted to the new place by himself, and then introducing a new cat.

I guess my real concern is getting an older cat that may be already set in his ways with some bad habits and what to look for when I am choosing an older cat.
post #4 of 10
I think that really, all cats do have bad/annoying habits like that, unless they have been trained from kitty-hood or are just a total angel to start out with. Especially if they have been an outdoor cat and you want them to be an indoor cat, or if they are used to a laid-back environment where they can scratch up the furniture. Those problems can usually be solved with a catnip-scratching post & things like that, though.

I'd say that if you want to get a companion for your cat, go for it, so long as you are willing to maybe train them or something like that. Habits like that usually can be broken, though it is usually more challenging with older cats.

It would be nice for your cat to have a friend to play with, especially when they are alone. Best of luck, hope it works out!

post #5 of 10
Shelters can usually provide background information on the cats. You should be able to find out if they were indoor or outdoor kitties.
post #6 of 10
What will happen to the 6 month old?
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
My best friend is keeping the 6 month old.

I have another question. When I went to the shelter yesterday, they suggested I wait until after the move to get a companion cat. She thinks I will avoid any territorial issues by waiting. I thought the move would be easier if he had another cat coming along...especially since he will be leaving the 6 month old. What do you think?
post #8 of 10
i think wait until after the move.

this is because otherwise your cat will have to get used to the new cat then you will move and he will have to get used to the new cat again in a different terriorty.

if you wait until you move then its like the new friend comes with the new house if that makes sense?

make sure you stock up on lots of feliway plugs in to relieve the stress!
post #9 of 10
While you can introduce 2 older cats, its a lot easier to introduce a younger one and older one. I think I'd go for a kitten 5-7 months old and neutered/spayed. Two older cats will have a tendency to argue more on top status.

No matter what cat you bring in, be sure they are neutered/spayed and follow these rules:

Put the new one in a carrier/cage for awhile and let them sniff each other. They will probably hiss and growl but ignore that.

Then put the new one in a small room by himself with litter pan, food/water bowls. He needs time to adjust to things.

Gradually let the cats see more of each other. You can put the new cat in another room and let the resident cat check out where the new one has been.

I find that if you sprinkle both with a little bit of cornstarch powder they will smell the same and less fighting will occur.

Hopefully in a few days/weeks they will get along.
post #10 of 10
Congratulations on getting an older cat! Too many people only want kittens. By getting an older cat you will help save a cat that otherwise might not get a good home. If you are very worried about bad habits, you might also want to look into the breed rescue groups. This is what I did when I took in my second cat - although at 1 1/2 years she wasn't really that much of an 'older' cat. They were able to tell me that she did well with other cats, that she played with them and yet was affectionate to humans, that her litter habits were good and that she had no major health problems. The breed rescues often keep fewer cats and therefor can tell you more about them. My third cat came from the local shelter and was only 11 weeks old when I got him and is a real sweetheart. However when I had problems with my oldest cat accepting him, I was able to contact the woman from the breed rescue to get reassurance that I was going about it the right way even though Eowyn - the cat I got from her, had accepted him with no problems.

The problems with breed rescues is that the selection is limited and they do 'vet' the homes rigerously requiring referneces from friends and vets. Anyway, I just thought I would offer that as an alternative. Good luck.
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