My next cats (long introduction)
In 1992 my wife and I got a Birman (Jean Luc) and a Maine Coon (Spencer) as kittens. They were friendly, affectionate, tractable and became the best of friends.
After 10 years Spencer died and Jean Luc went nuts with grief - meowing at the walls and going totally off his food. His weight dropped from 12 lbs (his normal, healthy weight - he's a big boy) to 8 lbs so, in desperation we got another Coon kitten, Albert. After a few weeks of establishing their relationship they, too, became the best of friends and Jean Luc made a full recovery. Albert was a friendly, affectionate boy (except see below)
Last June my wife of 27 years died, and just the other day Albert died of cancer. Jean Luc is 20 and has no teeth, almost no hearing, and his kidneys are failing - he's not long for this world, but he's still a sweet affectionate boy and I live alone except for him.
I want to think now about my next cats, especially because if I go through a breeder it may take a while to get one.
It has been wonderful to have cats who really liked each other. Whenever I came home from work Jean Luc and Spencer, or Jean Luc and Albert would be cuddled together on the couch sleeping or grooming each other. They shared the same food and litter and whenever they had to be boarded overnight they shared the same (large!) cage at the vet. I know so many people with multiple cats whose houses are battlegrounds of fighting and marking, so I always felt blessed.
And I'm convinced that one reason Jean Luc has made it 20 years is because he's so tractable - I or the vet could examine him, draw blood, give medicine, clip his claws or take his temperature with no trouble. He had plenty of illnesses we nursed him through because he didn't fight us. Albert, on the other, was friendly and affectionate except when it came to medical care or exams - then it was "take no prisoners"! Whenever I left him at the vet the first question I asked on return was "how many casualties" they suffered (and it was seldom 0). It was impossible to give him medicine.
What's the best way of maximizing my odds of getting two cats who like each other and who are tractable for handling, examining, etc? Same litter? Certain breeds? Methods of socialization? (etc?)
Thanks for reading this far !!