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Article About Adding Cats-Do You Agree or Not?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
http://shelterlife.blogspot.com/2006...e-7-years.html
post #2 of 14
I find it crazy that someone who works in a shelter would discourage a good home from adopting another cat because hers didn't like each other...

I think most people here are an obvious antithesis to this. Zissou likes other cats too, and the fact that many ferals live in colonies pretty much disproves that they are totally solo creatures. Yes, they aren't pack animals like humans and dogs, but they aren't hermits either.
post #3 of 14
I think it all depends on the individual cats, no so much on cats in general. My mom has always had tons of cats inside and out, and they all have their groups, and everyone gets along fine. On the other hand, I probably won't ever have another cat with Madden. Madden dislikes most any other cat, but loves my dogs to pieces. I think cats are very much like people and each most definately have their own personalities. Some people don't like other people very much, and some people are social butterflies. Why can't we look at our cats the same way?
post #4 of 14
IMO, no. I can't really get a feel for her cats in the article, but it sounds like she may not have given them a proper introduction.
post #5 of 14
I actually do pretty much agree with her. Nine times out of 10 we add a new cat to our family for our own benefit and not for the benefit of an existing cat. Some cats may be lonely on their own (one of the reasons I got Mosi was because I felt Jaffa was lonely) but not as often as we imagine. Especially if a cat is older, a newcomer is not always a welcome addition. Of course sometimes things work out well but a lot of the time cats in multi cat households just tolerate each other which is fine if you have enough room for 2 or more social groups to co-exist, but it can also result in stress related behavioural problems. I do think adding a cat to an existing cat household is something that should only done after a lot of thought and that's all the author is really saying - be prepared for the fact that they may not get on.
post #6 of 14
To some extent I agree. Once a cat has lived as an only cat for several years, they often do not want another cat. Some families solve that by getting 2 more cats...so the new kitties have each other as friends, yet are there for the older cat just in case.

I disagree that cats are happier alone 9 times out of 10. I think that in general most cats are happier with a kitty companion. And even a single cat will sometimes accept a kitten, with proper intros.

I don't think anyone at a shelter should be seriously discouraging adopters. Be honest with them, that the cats may not become cuddle buddies, but better to be adopted into a good home than stay in a cage at the shelter!
post #7 of 14
You know, the more cat's I've lived with, the more I feel that they are truly more social than we once thought. I do feel that it's difficult for an older single cat to suddenly accept a newcomer...but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen successfully with proper and gradual introductions.

But as mentioned before, many cats become friends with other cats...there is an obvious bond. And then there are cat colonies, as someone else mentioned. I would say that Fergus and Ripley (and this does exclude my kitten, Captain Steuben) are companions to each other. They sleep together, play together, and occassionally converse. Captain Steuben doesn't have the best manners yet (thinks that Ferg and Rip want to play and wrestle 9 hours out of the day), but I can slowly see him integrating himself into the household...the adult pair is finally starting to accept him.

I guess I agree with everyone else. A shelter worker is one of the LAST people who should be discouraging any adoptions, if the adoptee is devoted to caring for the animal for life.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
I don't think anyone at a shelter should be seriously discouraging adopters. Be honest with them, that the cats may not become cuddle buddies, but better to be adopted into a good home than stay in a cage at the shelter!

I sent the owner of the closest local shelter an e-mail detailing Pudge's personality and asked if they had what they felt was a compatible cat there. The owner for some reason asked what color she was and I told her.

She sent me back an e-mail saying that since Pudge is a dilute torbie, she doesn't want company (the owner has 3 calicos and there were about 6 torties/calicos at the shelter which she used as a basis of her behavior analysis) and that she's most likely happier alone.

I'd look at other shelters, but this one was the closest, and it's pretty far already, and Pudge has since stopped the behavior which was leading me to believe she was lonely (I think she was just testing boundaries), so any adopting will be a good ways down the road. (not because of the woman's email alone or even really because of it, but for a few other reasons)
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
I find it crazy that someone who works in a shelter would discourage a good home from adopting another cat because hers didn't like each other...

I think most people here are an obvious antithesis to this. Zissou likes other cats too, and the fact that many ferals live in colonies pretty much disproves that they are totally solo creatures. Yes, they aren't pack animals like humans and dogs, but they aren't hermits either.
Thank you. EXACTLY what I wanted to say.

And I person's experience is not professional advice, though I understand that these things take time. My cats took a year to integrate, but there were reasons for that.

I am just stunned that s/he's been doing this for seven years...
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
To some extent I agree. Once a cat has lived as an only cat for several years, they often do not want another cat. Some families solve that by getting 2 more cats...so the new kitties have each other as friends, yet are there for the older cat just in case.

I disagree that cats are happier alone 9 times out of 10. I think that in general most cats are happier with a kitty companion. And even a single cat will sometimes accept a kitten, with proper intros.

I don't think anyone at a shelter should be seriously discouraging adopters. Be honest with them, that the cats may not become cuddle buddies, but better to be adopted into a good home than stay in a cage at the shelter!
I agree. I had velvet for 6 yrs before abilene came along. Then Jasmine then Isabella. All the while i fostered throughout those years. All of my girls get along fine. Velvet definitely think she owns the place and doesn't usually have much to do with the other girls- but she get along with them. Jasmine and Isabella are inseperable- those two are always sleeping together and grooming each other- it's soo sweet. And Abilene loves to play with Isabella....so while not everyone is always the best of friends- they sometimes have "cat fights" too like normal women , they all get along fairly well, and i wouldn't have it any other way. Also, as someone who volunteers all the time at a kitty rescue, i was in charge of many many adoptions- i would never discourage a good indoor-only, no declaw person from adopting another kitty. Some cats are "only kitties" , but with the proper introduction, almost all animals can learn to get along and be civil- it just takes patience, understanding, and research. If a person isn't willing to take the time to properly learn how to socialize a kitty, they don't need it. But almost everyone that i ran across who was looking to add to their family was more than willing to take the necessary precations to help the kitty transition smoothly. Also, i do agree that if the kitties are bonded or little- they should go home in pairs if at all possible...they get lonely if they are suddenly taken away from their companion.
post #11 of 14
I can't agree much with the article - it just depends. For instance, my current group is Cindy, alone at our fixer-upper house; Joey, JC, AmyRose.Andy & Andrea here at the trailer with me. But for years, it was Sal (RIP), Miss Tobie (RIP), Icy (MIA) and Cindy. Cindy did excellent with those cats, as well as with a temp. foster named Jules and a foster named Snowy. She disliked Joey & JC from the beginning, though, and just ignored AmyRose & Andy. So when I had to move, temporarily,to our present place, I left Cindy there with my husband, and peace & calm returned. Then Andrea got added. All was well. And now my disabled daughter & her cat Christy have been added to the mix - everything still fine here. It just depends on the individual personalities of the cats. As for Cindy, I would love to find her another cat companion - I tried sending Andrea over there, but Andrea didn't like Cindy, although she gets along fine with mine here & my parents' cats at their house. Who can know the affairs of the heart? even a cat's, or should I say, ESPECIALLY, a cat's heart.
post #12 of 14
Hi all. I'm the shelter worker that wrote this blog. I was pleased to see our blog was being read by those that love cats.

I wanted to respond to some of your replies. I was in no way trying to discourage people from adopting cats from a shelter. I was, however, trying to give them a little slice of reality. I've worked with thousands of cats and thoundsands of people who adopt them. I've seen the success stories. And I've seen the cats that come back when people don't think it all through.

Many people do want to adopt a cat "for their other cat" who is "lonely". When that cat is a kitten or younger cat, then we simply warn them that their ideal of cats snuggling together 'may' not in fact come to fruition. It may, but I have to at least prep them for the possibility that it may not. With an older female who has been alone for a long time, there is still a possiblity that it will work well, but the probability is, based on what I have seen in the shelter, very low.

I agree that each cat is different and must be evaluted as an individual, but when a cat owner comes looking for a buddy for their cat, I want to give them the best change of success and not set them up for disaster. Most people who come to shelters to look for cats don't even know that some cats don't like other cats.

But you are right, if you care about both cats, then you can create an environment that works, to some degree, for both of them. Zeke and Noe were introduced properly (despite what one person thinks) and yet, still after 8 years hate each other. I still have them both and will for the rest of their lives.

Anyway...thanks again for reading our blog. If you'd like to see how I actually encourage getting cats together...read my blog entry called: We wish them long and healthy lives. http://shelterlife.blogspot.com/2006...d-healthy.html
post #13 of 14
There are always a pile of five cats on my bed, but it had not always been this way. There used to be two opposing groups in my home....until one day Basil decided to play daddy. Now my cats are inseparable.
post #14 of 14
I was told by a behavourist that cats aren't actually social animals, and I did point out that they live in colonies, but that apparently isn't due to them being social, it is more for food/protection. But I do know people that have cats that snuggle - I personally dont, I might have 3 that are willing to share the double bed, but all on different parts, and it is very rare to see any of them near each other, unless they are all trying to get a fuss out of me!! I have adopted out cats that had to be only cats, there was no way they would be able to live with other cats. So I think it does depend on the cat, and I think it is better for a rescue to warn that things might not go as smoothly as they want to prevent the cat being brought back due to not getting on.
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