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Have a cat, thinking of adopting another...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm new to the forums, and I'm just seeking out some thoughts on my current situation. I apologize if this is long...

I have a 5 year old female cat that I have had since she was a kitten--she was the runt of her litter, but she made up for that and is now an overweight cat, despite the carefully managed, high quality diet she is on.

For the first 3 years of her life, she lived with one other older cat and she got along with him. She liked to rough house with him, mostly. I moved to a new place, and there was a year where she was the only animal in the household. I think she was pretty lonely during that year because I was no longer home as much (worked fulltime and no longer was in grad school). I moved again and shared a house with a busy single mom, who had 2 kids, 2 cats, and a small dog. It took awhile for my cat to adjust to the dog and other cats, but she eventually settled in. She was never attached to either of the animals, and she occasionally got into spats with the resident female cat (the other was a male), who mostly initiated those spats. Despite the lack of attachment, I don't think she was ever lonely, since there were plenty of people around to give her attention.

Two years later, I moved to another state and my cat lived alone in my small apartment. She was pretty lonely in the apartment when I wasn't there. She would cry loudly if I was outside and was more affectionate than she ever really was in her earlier life. I'm now in a relationship with someone, and we adopted an older dog. Both the dog and cat get along fine, but are far from best friends; they tolerate each other for the most part. Two years into our relationship, I chose to move into my bf's house. I have been considering getting another cat to keep my cat company and get her to exercise a bit. For the past year, my bf kep his pet rabbit at my apt while he was remodeling his house, but the rabbit died of lung tumors recently; the presence of the rabbit seemed to help my cat from feeling so lonely, even though they were never let out together. My boyfriend does not want to get another rabbit because we are unsure the cat could be trusted with the rabbit out loose. Worst case scenario, if we got a rabbit either the cat or the rabbit would have to be put in a separate room, and we feel that this would be unfair to both animals. My cat has a slight prey drive, so I think the "worst case scenario" would prove inevitable.

By the end of the month, I will be moving into my bf's house and am wondering if I should adopt another cat. When we go on vacation, the cat will be left by herself, since the dog will be watched by someone else in that person's house. Frankly, I think my cat would be very lonely without anyone around. My bf and I don't want the furniture clawed and countertop jumping, so it seems that an older cat may be the best idea. Plus, my cat was a terror when she was a kitten, so I'm not looking forward to going through the kitten stage again. However, I'm concerned that putting two older cats together may not work out as well as getting a kitten, and it would kill me to return a cat to the shelter because it couldn't get along with my own.

I was also thinking that if I decided to get another cat, it would be best to move both cats to the house on the same day, since neither will have had the opportunity to establish it's territory beforehand.

I grew up in a multi-cat household, but the cats we added were mostly kittens at the time, so I have little experience with the reality of introducing two older cats. I'd be interested to hear other's experience with such introductions, as well as your thoughts on my situation.

post #2 of 3
I would think about it, but in my experience it would be best to get another female, because the males often get in a real dominance thing as they all get older and they tend to be stronger than the females, and while females may hate each other on sight and need a long intro. period, and may not act particularly friendly (though possible neutral) over time, at least they'll be more evenly matched in the event of a fight. Just make sure they both have specific places of their own starting out, where they can feel safe, and don't give your present cat's toys to the new one, or too much attention that the first is aware of, etc. etc. If possible introduce them through some kind of barrier (maybe the new one in a cage), and try to get each other's scent on the other with a towel wiped on their faces and then traded. Feed them in neutral places but don't use communal bowls left out all day. Have two boxes available to them, etc. Good luck.
post #3 of 3
Soundslike your kitty needs a fellow kitty............ My suggestion would be do get a kitten. Then your cat will feel less territorial and defensive.
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