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Old 07-05-2004, 01:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Adopting a Third Cat?

Hi everyone - I'm a newcomer here and I am hoping that some other members here might be able to give me some thoughts on our adding a third cat to our household.

My husband and I have two cats - my beautiful grey tabby is 3 years old, and his little black and white tabby is just about to turn 2. They get along just fine; they play together and never fight, but they also aren't terribly affectionate with each other. My grey tabby is kind of fussy and moody, and the black and white tabby is more easygoing and energetic. Both are neutered males.

Recently, I've been volunteering at an animal shelter, and there's a little female (spayed) cat there we would like to take home with us. She is a year old and, much like our younger cat, is energetic and affectionate. We think she would fit in well with our household, especially in giving the younger cat someone to play with when the older one just feels like napping.

Of course, we are concerned about possible problems in adding a third cat, so we want to make sure we have all the possibilities mapped out before we consider bringing her home. I have done some research and it seems like some three cat households never have a problem, while others may see two cats ganging up on the third. We have already agreed that if we think this might upset our two cats too much, we won't adopt the female.

If anyone has any stories, thoughts, or ideas one way or the other, they'd be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have 3 cats. Their age differences are a little bigger than yours. My first is nine. I got her as a kitten. She lived with other animals (various cats and dogs of my roommates). Then I moved in to a place by myself. She was about 5 when I introduced another cat. He was an adult...little over a year. They got along fine after the initial meeting. They aren't snuggle buddies or anything, but they hang out and play. I introduced the third cat almost 2 years ago. He was a kitten. He gets along with them fine. He can be a terror sometimes. He is always playing!

I'm very happy with how they all get along and I have never had any problems with the three of them. Of course I sometimes do get jealous when I see peoples pictures with all of their cats snuggled together

I'm not sure if this helps you out at all. But my experience has been good with 3 cats

Zoee, Zack, Lamar & Mateo's mom
and Khan my Pit Bull Terrier
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've personally never done this - but I've heard of people requesting a trial period where they adopt a cat or dog for a period of time so they can see if the cat will work out or not. If she works out - and you think you and your cats can handle her - keep her - if not - turn her in. I would ask whomever your trying to adopt her from if you can do this - see what they say - normally they are very agreeable and will try anything to get their kitties adopted.
"Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later."
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have had a problem only once, and that was with my son's cat, which he had to leave here. When I got the two Siamese kittens, he bullied them, never harmed them, but really intimidated them. When they grew up, they seemed determined to pay him back. They flanked him and prepared to atteck (it appeared) until our collie stepped between him and the Siamese. Until he left they played payback!

I have never had a problem with any other two cats ganging up on the new one, especially if it was young. Just take your time with the introductions, and make sure they have the same scent. A drop of vanilla on the back of each neck is very helpful. Also, exchange bedding- for the same reason. Good luck!

A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem. ~Jean Burden
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If the introduction is done properly, there shouldn't be any major problems with introducing a new cat. The last 4 have come home in pairs; the older cats were never thrilled but eventually worked it out.

For more on introductions, see: ... yournewcat ... roductions

Dr. Jean
Jean Hofve, DVM
Boulder, Colorado
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Old 07-06-2004, 01:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input everyone!

I may ask the shelter manager if she'd be willing to let us have a trial period. I know the older cat especially won't be too happy at first, but he was ok with the last one so he'll probably be ok with this one.

Thanks again for the advice!
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