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Old 01-31-2013, 10:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need a bit of advice!

I joined up because I need a bit of advice, but I guess I should do the whole intro thing first.

I'm an artist, halfway through my first year of Illustration at Sheridan College, and I LOVE cats :] I have a cat back home that lives with my family, and I miss him every day. It was scary because he actually stopped eating and grooming himself when I first left for College, but he's doing a lot better now. Marmaduke is a GIANT orange fluffball, who I'm pretty sure has some Siberian in him. We found him starving on the street, unable to catch food for himself because his previous owner had him declawed in the front. I know that technically that makes him a Moggie. Even still, there are quite a few Siberian breeders around Ontario, he definitely looks the part, and he seems to be almost hypoallergenic. Maybe he's half?

Anyway, I'm a bit lonely without Marm, so I've decided to get a cat of my own. I'm absolutely in love with the Oriental breed (they look like little goblins!), so I'll be getting one from a breeder in April. The kitten is a silver chestnut spotted tabby, and has the biggest ears of his litter

(Too Long, Didn't Read? Start here.) This is where the advice bit comes in. During summers, I live with my family and Marmaduke, but during the school year I live in a condo with a couple friends. The Oriental breeder seemed really taken aback when I told her that my kitten would be without a cat companion for half the year. So, I've decided to get a second cat from the shelter, to give my kitten a buddy.

Here's the problem: I'll be doing this all in April, at my family's house with my family cat. I'm a bit worried about how Marmaduke will react to not one, but TWO intruders. I know how to properly introduce them (through a closed door, not letting them see each other for at least a week), but I'm trying to think of other ways of making it easier on Marm. Would it help if the shelter cat was also a kitten? I would feel bad getting a kitten from a shelter, when they are so easily adopted out, but it might be better for both Marm and my Oriental kitten. I've heard that cats are a bit more elastic when they are kittens, so they form relationships with other cats more easily. Also, would Marm be less threatened of two kittens than a kitten and an adult cat?
Two kittens might also tucker each other out, instead of harassing him, which would make it even easier on Marm.

But, I still feel bad about getting a kitten from a shelter. I've found a cat in a nearby shelter with the PERFECT personality, but he's two years old. I would love to adopt him, but Marmaduke's well-being comes first. So, my question is: would it make a significant difference on my family cat's stress levels if the shelter cat was a kitten? And would it be easier for my Oriental to bond with the shelter cat if he/she was a kitten?

Also, is introducing two kittens different than introducing two cats?

Sorry for the novel...I'm pretty bad at summing things up. I've attached pics of the Oriental kitten and Marmaduke, just for fun.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Emma,

I haven't introduced a lot of cats, but I've watched videos and I have introduced my kitten to my cat. My opinion is that you should get the 2 kittens. It would be nice if the kittens were introduced together to your home. Once the kittens get acclimated to each other, then you can introduce them to Marm eventually. I think that getting the 2 year old would mean that you have 2 adults cats who need to get used to the kitten, plus each other, which sounds more stressful to me. I think adult cats are hardwired to be "nice" to kittens, or maybe it's just that they don't feel threatened by them and therefore don't act up as much. Whatever the reason, I think the 2nd kitten is important to be a companion to your Oriental, and I think it'll be easier to introduce Marm to 2 kittens, rather than a kitten and a teenager (cat).

IMHO The ideal situation would be to NOT get the Oriental and adopt the 2 year old from the shelter and the kitten as his buddy!
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome!

In most cases, it's easier to introduce a kitten to a cat and, as you say, if you had two kittens, they could keep each other occupied, meaning they wouldn't pester Marmaduke. So, that would point to getting two kittens.

However, if I'm following your post correctly, the kittens (or new cat and kitten) would only be with Marm over the summer and then they would leave to be with you, only to return again to be with Marm the following summer. If I've understood that correctly, then it really doesn't make much of a difference...because you'll likely have to go through another introduction the following summer. That is, chances are Marmaduke won't fully remember them a year later in any event. So, you'll need to re-introduce them, at which point they'll all be cats and no longer kittens.

For example, I adopted two kittens (who were VERY difficult to introduce to each other...but that's another story). When they were about 6 or 7 months old, my daughter came to live with me for a few months, bringing her kitten (he was about 8 months). We introduced them slowly (it took a few weeks) but things weren't too bad. The following year, she returned with her cat, and of course all three cats were now a year older. They did NOT like each other! And they did not remember each other.

So, adopting two kittens might make your life (and Marm's life) a bit easier this year...but it won't much matter the next year and the year after that. So, adopt whichever ones will make you the happiest, do the slow intro with Marm, and hope for the best.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the answers! They're actually very helpful...if I do end up getting a second cat, I'll definitely opt for a kitten. And I completely understand where you're coming from, MyBabbiesDaddy. I feel a bit guilty about getting a kitten from a breeder. I just love the looks and personality of Oriental Shorthairs, so I can't resist a bit of self-indulgence.

Quote:
However, if I'm following your post correctly, the kittens (or new cat and kitten) would only be with Marm over the summer and then they would leave to be with you, only to return again to be with Marm the following summer. If I've understood that correctly, then it really doesn't make much of a difference...because you'll likely have to go through another introduction the following summer.
I've actually given that a bit of thought, because I was worried that I would keep having to reintroduce them. I come home a lot on the weekends, though, so the longest time the two kittens would be away from Marmaduke is two or three weeks. Is even that too long?

Last edited by EmmaFay; 01-31-2013 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm going to try again to post pics...Lol, kind of failed the first time :]



The top cat is my little 10 day old Gallagher, and the bottom cat is Marmaduke

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Old 01-31-2013, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmaFay View Post
I've actually given that a bit of thought, because I was worried that I would keep having to reintroduce them. I come home a lot on the weekends, though, so the longest time the two kittens would be away from Marmaduke is two or three weeks. Is even that too long?
You may have to play it by ear. If one of my girls goes to the vet for a day, they don't recognize each other at the end of the day when they're back together, and they end up hissing at each other for the next day or so! But, a lot will depend on the cats (my two are little divas!). You might find the first few weekends to be a bit testy, since your two will carry unfamiliar smells when they come back to your parents' house, which Marm may not recognize. But, perhaps after a few weekends, Marm will get used to things.

P.S. I laughed at the kitten picture...and Marm is beautiful!
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
You may have to play it by ear. If one of my girls goes to the vet for a day, they don't recognize each other at the end of the day when they're back together, and they end up hissing at each other for the next day or so! But, a lot will depend on the cats (my two are little divas!). You might find the first few weekends to be a bit testy, since your two will carry unfamiliar smells when they come back to your parents' house, which Marm may not recognize. But, perhaps after a few weekends, Marm will get used to things.
That's reassuring, thanks for the quick response :] Marmaduke is a very gentle, affectionate cat (he's constantly romancing my dog), so I don't think he'll get too snippy. He's more likely to hide somewhere until he feels comfortable. I might have to watch out for the two kittens, though....I'll have to select the shelter cat pretty carefully.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It will depend a lot on personalities...I have fosters coming and going pretty steadily and at first there was lots of hissing and spitting from my guys. Now our 3 kitties have the hang of seeing new cats come and go. When we adopted out newest kittens (11 and 13 months ago), they came unglued with the first few batches of fosters we had, but now they're pretty used to the coming and going also. If Marmaduke is mellow like you say, he could very well get used to the occasional roommates.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Two kittens introduced to each other usually works out better, and also with Marm. Just be prepared to get the cold shoulder or even hissing from Marm tho, as he'll likely resent you bringing home two "intruders". He may transfer his affection to your parents instead if he hasn't already. Also he's red tabby and males especially can be aggressive to other cats....lovely cats to people, but not always friendly to other cats. Just my experience....you know, red hair=quick temper. Maybe an old wives tale, but often truthful.
BTW, Marm is gorgeous boy, and your Gallagher is adoorable...omg those ears!
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan View Post
You may have to play it by ear. If one of my girls goes to the vet for a day, they don't recognize each other at the end of the day when they're back together, and they end up hissing at each other for the next day or so! l!
I'd find that awful - I don't know how you cope! I'll work through intros but this would be much harder from my viewpoint. At present I have six cats and I am glad to say I have never had this problem. I would ahte that with a vengeance!
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