Does Muffin need a friend? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Does Muffin need a friend?

OK, so Muffin, the new cat, is very playful and active, and a very in your face kind of cat - which is fine with us, by the way - but she cries for attention alot, grooms us, even at 4 am, and even though she and Pookie get along fine, Pookie is 12 and very inactive and uninterested in playing.

I know that when Muffin was stray she had two sisters that she hung around with, so I mentioned to DH one day that maybe she misses her sisters....he knew where I was going with that and said no way. It's not that he doesn't like cats, just that he doesn't like the $620 price tag that Muffin came with.

Anyway, two nights ago he was awakened by Muffin standing on his head grooming him, and he muttered, "Maybe she needs a cat her own age to play with". So we talked about it the next day, and I said that it didn't have to be like last time - we could go to the local shelter and get one already vetted and spay/neutered for under $100. So long story short (too late) he said possibly, after we move, b/c our house is for sale right now. So we are talking at least two months out, but nothing wrong with planning, right?

My question is, does Muffin really need a friend? Are these things she's doing, crying and being velcro kitty, signs that she is lonely or bored? And how to tell if a cat is a good temperment match for her, because I've been reading around and it sounds like you really can't tell. Also, Muffin is 10 months old, and I'd like to go slightly older, like 3-5, but is that too old to be a good playmate for Muffin? And male or female? My previous cats have always been singletons until now, with the exception of two littermates I had as a kid and one ill fated stray I took in several years ago.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 09:48 PM
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Yes, I'd say those are signs of being lonely and bored. But perhaps you expect too much from another cat. Another cat isn't going to take your place with her. You're still going to be awakened at 4 AM by a cat, possibility two cats, looking for attention.

Getting a shelter cat and waiting until after you move are two very good decisions, IMO.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by coaster
Yes, I'd say those are signs of being lonely and bored. But perhaps you expect too much from another cat. Another cat isn't going to take your place with her. You're still going to be awakened at 4 AM by a cat, possibility two cats, looking for attention.

Getting a shelter cat and waiting until after you move are two very good decisions, IMO.
Yes, that's what I was wondering - if I would be awakened by two cats instead of one. But I don't want a cat to take my place with her all the time, just at 4 am . During the day it's cute to be groomed by her and talked to. Maybe a new toy in the meantime.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 10:56 PM
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Those are the same things Phoebe was doing before we got Mahlee, granted it wasn't long and she is a baby.

If it makes you feel any better, Phoebe did stop bothering me in the wee hours when we added Mahlee and now that we have the 3rd kitten they wear each other out all night playing and sleep all night on the side of our bed against the wall. Mahlee has just stopped needing in my hair too. Come to think of it, that stopped when we added Fenway. Strange.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by coaster
Getting a shelter cat and waiting until after you move are two very good decisions, IMO.
Hmm, I don't know. Moving is stressful for cats but I know my former housemates' cats got along a lot better after they moved (presumably because both cats were both being introduced to a new territory, instead of the second cat being an intruder on the first cat's territory). I don't know how long after a move that effect lasts, but it seems like it might be nice to take advantage of it.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bethany
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
Getting a shelter cat and waiting until after you move are two very good decisions, IMO.
Hmm, I don't know. Moving is stressful for cats but I know my former housemates' cats got along a lot better after they moved (presumably because both cats were both being introduced to a new territory, instead of the second cat being an intruder on the first cat's territory). I don't know how long after a move that effect lasts, but it seems like it might be nice to take advantage of it.
A similar thing happened between our two cats and the kittens we are fostering. Our cats HATED them at first, and spent a whole week growling and hissing and swatting at them. The following Monday, a "surprise" inspection of the landlord had us move all the cats to a friend's outdoor cathouse for the day (thank goodness our manager warned us beforehand, as we are not supposed to have any pets at all).

Of course our cats were scared and traumatized of the new surroundings, but the kittens were not phazed at all, and kept on playing as usual. By the end of the day, the kittens were sleeping curled up in the carrier against one of my cats, which would have been nothing short of a death wish at home... and when we took everyone back home that night there was no more hissing and growling. It took the girls another week to really warm up to the babies, but now everyone is playing together, and Mew even grooms the babies... so yes I think being stuck in new surroundings with another cat definitely strengthens the bond.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2007, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethany
Hmm, I don't know. Moving is stressful for cats but I know my former housemates' cats got along a lot better after they moved (presumably because both cats were both being introduced to a new territory, instead of the second cat being an intruder on the first cat's territory). I don't know how long after a move that effect lasts, but it seems like it might be nice to take advantage of it.
Yes, that's true, and can be taken advantage of by adopting the second cat right after the move, before the resident cat establishes territory, and still avoiding stressing two cats with a move. That way everybody gets stressed out just once, humans and cats alike.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
 
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Ok, thanks. I'll plan on maybe the week after I move in for now.....if my house ever sells, anyway. On a positive note, Pookie has been much more active over the last few days, and I've seen the two cats doing things together besides sleeping. Not playing exactly, but walking around together and exploring. Today both cats were in the kitchen and its honestly the first time I've seen Pookie downstairs since I started feeding her in my bedroom, which has been months. So maybe a friend won't be necessary, but I may want a third anyway.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2007, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Reviving my own old thread....

DH said it again. I was saying last night that I wished the two cats got along better, and he asked if I wanted to get a friend for Muffin. I said no, that we're too busy right now, and he said, "Well, you know where to look if you want to."

The thing is, I do want another, I really do think Muffin would enjoy another cat to play with and I would enjoy watching them together, but I just found a stray dog three weeks ago and we've decided to keep her. That's three dogs and two cats now, and I'm worried that I won't have enough time to spend with each individually. The dogs are all under 1 year old and are alot of work at the moment.

My other concern though is that the longer Muffin goes without playing with other cats and the older she gets, the less accepting she'll be of other cats in the future. Is there any reason to be concerned about this?

Oh, and on the house selling issue, ours is not selling. We lost the contract we had on the bigger one we wanted to move into, so when our listing agreement is up mid September we are taking it off the market. We have decided to instead take the money we saved and screen the back patio to put litter boxes and cat trees out there, (and for our own enjoyment too) and to fence the yard so the dogs can get out more. These two things should make my life alot easier.

What I'm thinking now is to do the porch and fence and then evaluate in a couple of months whether I think I can handle another cat. The other option is waiting a couple of years, but I'd like to know if Muffin will still be likely to enjoy the company of other cats by then.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2007, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Frostine
... the less accepting she'll be of other cats in the future....
Yes, that's true, but she's less than a year old now, so you've still got several years or more before it's a large factor. So I think you could go ahead with your plans and not worry about it right now.
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