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Does she need a playmate?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello! My first post here, and I'm looking for some advice about my calico.

She's about six years old now. We found here at the Humane Society when she was about one and she demanded we take her home by purring loudly enough to be heard through glass, and performing somersaults of ecstacy when we took her out of her cage to meet her. After getting her home, she continued to purr for two days straight and then transitioned immediately into a somewhat non-cuddly but still playful cat. Since it was just my husband and myself, we had plenty of time to play with her and she was probably more than a little spoiled, as we were grieving a death at the time, but at no time did she seem to "need" us.

When she was about three, there was a lot of change. We moved to a larger apartment (which seemed to please her), and I became pregnant. She remained her standoffish yet playful self right up until the time the baby came home with us. Then things started getting a little difficult.

Her jealousy and boredom, over the course of the last two years, has taken the form of extreme neediness, overeating and a full-blown plastic-gnawing habit. While the newfound cuddliness is nice, I worry that the other effects aren't so great for her mental and physical health. The overeating and trash-bag chewing appear to be connected to boredom, the neediness to the jealousy she feels about the time I spend with my son. There aren't enough hours in the day to satisfy her need for attention now. I can and have played and petted her for hours, only to have her yowl for more when I go off to attend to other family matters. I've tried buying new toys to entertain her, giving her more time and attention, taught my son how to hold her cat-lure fishing pole to play with her, include her on trips to see other family, catnip, treats, special extras she never had before, my husband built a climber, and nothing satisfies.

Lately I've been considering getting her a playmate, adopting another cat from the Humane Society, but I have no way of knowing if that will work either. When I spoke with the attendant there, he said she might be too old to try integrating another cat into the house. I've long suspected she came from a multi-pet multi-child household originally, as she shows no fear of dogs and is a pro at avoiding my son (although he's incredibly gentle with her and every other animal he's met), but I've never seen her interact with other cats. If I did go with the adoption route, I wouldn't get a kitten (no matter how sweet my two year old is towards animals, that's not a risk I'd take), I'd look for an older cat instead but beyond that I'm just not sure what to do or aim for.

I apologize if this is in the wrong forum and I'm looking forward to see people's replies. Thank you!
post #2 of 3
I would probably adopt another cat for your cat that you have now. With the baby and two year old you can't expect to pay as much attention to your cat that you once did awhile back. Plus she might be more happy to have a campion. Just my thoughts.
post #3 of 3
As you've said, get an older cat. So long as you introduce them properly she will probably enjoy the company.
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