or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Separating two older cats
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Separating two older cats

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Here's my situation, please offer your advice/opinion on this if you can bear with me:

I have been kitty-less for the last three months since the passing of my red tabby ("Skadi") due to heartworm disease, and I'm about ready to get another cat or two by the end of summer. My parents, who live only a few miles away, have two healthy 10-year-old black cats ("Killer" and "Fig", they were not littermates) which my mom adopted when they were kittens and I was still living at home. Needless to say, I enjoy their company when I visit my parents, and vice-versa. However, my parents also have a Lhasa Apso dog, and because their dog will eat about anything that resembles food (e.g., cat poop), they have had the cats stay in the garage/outside for the last 5+ years. Killer clearly enjoys the outdoors, as she is rarely in the garage except to eat and sleep. Fig, however, is much more sedentary and much prefers to be indoors, but she hates the dog. Fig needs to be on a lower calorie diet as she is nearly 20 lbs, whereas Killer is only 7-8 lbs and needs regular adult cat food.

I requested to my parents that I take Fig so that she can live indoors at my house (I live alone with no other pets right now) and have the "retirement" that she deserves: comfort, low stress, lots of sleep, and most importantly, much more attention paid to her by human(s). They are OK with this, but now I'm starting to waver on whether or not I should take her with me because of several factors: (a) these two cats, despite not being littermates and not being very close, have been with each other their whole lives, and (b) the stress Fig would be subjected to with this big move. I'm also a bit concerned how Killer will react.

So should I go ahead and take Fig, or not rock the boat and start looking for a cat at the local SPCA? Thanks.
post #2 of 12

Hi There,

I couldn't just vote and I did try...so try to bear with me.

Fig's an old cat and yes if she did live with you she'd get more attention and be away from the dog which is all good. I'm just worried about her stress levels. But I've come up with an idea of sorts.

Is it possible to take Fig over to your place for visits so she can wander around and get a feel of the potential new home. Bring her over with your parents and yourself so she can see that you all feel that the new place is safe for her too. And then gradually to overnight or weekend stays? It's ideal that Fig's current home is close by to yours.

And with that, you can determine whether Fig, Killer and the humans are able to handle the move. You can see whether Killer has separation anxiety during Fig's visits.

So I guess my vote is, yes break them up only if everyone can handle it.

Otherwise, I guess you could visit the RSPCA or SPCA for a different cat or kitten.


post #3 of 12
If it were me, I would take Fig to my place. You seem to indicate in your post that these two cats are not the best of buddies and there is less stress where you are living. Fig sounds like she could use less stress and would like living indoors. Since Fig knows you, the stress factor would be less then if she was thrust into the company of a stranger.

I think Fig deserves a chance to be with you, and if it doesn't work out and the two cats are closer than you think they are, you could always take her back to your parents. But I have a strong feeling that after a few days, this new arrangement will work out fine for all of you. Take with you some of her favorite toys, her bed, or something that she can respond to.

Most dogs will eat cat waste, they consider them treats. Cats eat so rapidly that the food is bascially consumed so quickly it is not really pre-digested. That is why the waste smells so attractive to dogs. There were other ways to get Killer to stop eating this stuff besides banishing these cats to the garage and the outdoors.

Good luck! Oh, and welcome to the boards!
post #4 of 12
I have to agree~
post #5 of 12
I agree with Hissy & Debra! I think Fig would work out great in your home, especially since she knows you!
post #6 of 12
I tend to agree. Yet, you will have to be the final judge, as you know Fig better than the rest of us.

Just remember that at her age, she may be more valrunable to stress induced illness. Keep a close eye on her to monitor her health after the transition.
post #7 of 12
I must agree with Hissy. If it were me, I would take Fig to my place, too. Poor Fig sounds like she would appreciate less stress and the "Indoor Life." Since Fig knows you, I bet the adjustment won't be too terribly traumatizing — mostly because your living space sounds so calm. I bet Fig figures out your lifestyle and rules real quick.

You sound like a very compassionate person! Delivering extra attention to Fig will be "second nature" for you and I bet you both will develop a very special bond.

Here's what you do! Look Fig in the eyes and ask him, "Hey! Where do you want to live?" I bet you'll find him in the driver seat of your car, with the clutch in-gear shifted into 1st.
(If that happens, please do take a picture) LOL!

Good luck to you!
post #8 of 12
Yup - ditto ditto.

Try it for a bit and see how all concerned get on.
post #9 of 12
Ok, I'll admit it I said get rid of the dog.

But in all seriousness, I think this is a very difficult decision that none of us can really make except you & your parents. I will tell you that when my cat was 13 I moved out of my parents house, I never thought twice about the fact that she would go with me. I will admit it was stressful for her, she had been in the same house since she was 8 weeks old, but she got over it & now she's 16 years old & acts as though she's never lived any where else. I think if you decide to take the cat you must be prepared for some issues such as refusal to eat. Personaly I think that everyone would adjust & if you truly think the cat would be happier it is the thing to do. I understand people have their resons, but I don't believe in having outside animals, there is just too much for them to get into & too much to hurt them. I also think it would be easier for you to work on the cat losing weight because you could give the extra attention the kitty requires. The truth is maybe the best suggestion is just to give it a try & if you think either cat really can't handle it then at least you did your best to make a good home for the cat.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to provide an update on this situation: my folks bought a new home for retirement a few miles away, and they will let me have both cats when they move later this month. So now the cats will be inside most of the time and living in a dog-free house, yayyy!
post #11 of 12
I was just about to give my opinion and then I saw your update. That's great Grinder
Now at least the problem is solved and you don't have those worries anymore. It worked out pretty well I'd say.

I guess it'll take them a while to feel comfy in their new home, but it's better then being separated and at least, as you say, they have a stress free environment without a dog
post #12 of 12
I just love happy endings! That really is great that everything worked out so well.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Separating two older cats