When to add a second cat to the family? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-06-2012, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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When to add a second cat to the family?

I know, I know... there are other topics about this. But each situation is so unique, I'd really like some opinions about my own.

I got Liz in January of this year. She is my only pet, and the very first pet I actually got under my name and assumed all responsibilities for (before that, I'd had pets, but only as a child, so my mom really was the one to care for them). One day I just decided I needed to get a cat, and after a few weeks of obsessing over it, I finally went for it.

It took a lot to convince my husband. He loves animals, but as a very responsible person he is cautious about getting into these serious commitments (a good quality to have in a significant other, if I may add). He came with me to look at the cats at the shelter one day, and then I just would not leave without Liz. He felt apprehensive but did not try to stop me. He eventually became just as attached to her as me, and took on some responsibilities with her, so that now we are doing half and half.

We were both cautious getting into this, not knowing what it would take to take care of another living thing. We would not have dreamed of getting 2 cats at once. However, it turns out that this is much easier and less time-consuming than I'd thought. So I know that I could handle a second cat.

And for a few months now, I've really been wanting to get one. There was one specific cat at the same shelter, who was FIV+, that I wanted to get... but he was adopted recently (good for him)! I went to visit him and it turned out he was probably not a good match for Liz. Also, despite being known for his friendliness, he did not warm up to me. So it wouldn't have worked out anyway.

Well a week ago, I found a cat that is being fostered by a rescue group I added on Facebook. She's also female, and the same age as my cat. She is petite, like my cat. Cutest.thing.ever. I got in touch with her foster, and personality-wise she sounds like everything I'd want in a cat. She gets along with the foster's cats, which gives me hope that she might get along with Liz. It would be wonderful if Liz could have a friend, and I don't want her to be miserable because we got another cat. But just to make this very clear, *I* want this cat... it's not just for Liz. But I also want to give Liz the best I can give her.

Problem is... my husband thinks we need to wait to move into a bigger house before getting a second cat. Our current apartment is 2 bedrooms (my brother lives with us), one bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen. So, pretty tiny, and we will have to shuffle things around to keep the cats separate in the beginning. I don't think it's a huge deal, but in the event that they do not get along, it would be nice if they each could have their own space that is bigger than a tiny room, or if they could roam without running into each other all the time.

We are currently shopping around for houses, but this could take months. I'm afraid that if I wait until we have a house, the cat I am in love with will have been adopted. What should I do? Should I convince him to get her before then? Should I wait? Does anyone have experiences introducing a new cat to an old cat in a small apartment? Please, share!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-06-2012, 10:13 PM
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You are right, each situation is different and really, only you can decide what's best for you.

That being said, I also live in a two bedroom apartment with my bf. We have a dog and 3 cats. It is tight at times but that's mostly because of the dog, not the three cats. We also just bought a house and are moving in three weeks... I wouldn't have brought home the third cat if we were staying here though.

If you already have a cat you love, then I say go for it... the cat will probably be gone by the time you find a house. You are planning on getting a house right? Well then you won't have two in the apartment for too long.. besides to cats don't take up that much space.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 01:10 AM
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OMG, Arkona! it's like you're ME or I'm YOU. i'm in almost the identical situation as you mentioned - i.e. have my first kitty with my husband, had her for just 4 mths so far, want her to have a friend, WE also want another kitty for ourselves, don't feel we have the space or the proper layout to introduce another kitty, struggled with whether it was too early or not, etc...

i also started wanting a 2nd kitty within a month of getting Angel because she just *looked* lonely when we left the house. most likely reading too much into those kitty eyes, but i can't help thinking she might like a pal to keep her company. my husband thought it was too early himself. therefore, i snuck out to shelters on my own looking for companions! and as fate would have it, i found who i think is the perfect pal for Angel. i did finally convince my husband it would be good to find a friend for Angel and he fell in love with the cat i met, too, but we decided our house wasn't laid out well enough for an introduction.

our decision right now will probably delay our retirement, BUT we are in the process of adding a room to our house that gives us the perfect place to introduce cats AND eventually foster others. (i still can't believe that after talking about remodeling for 15 years, we're finally going to do it BECAUSE of the kitties!). the sad thing is that the construction may take 6 months! this is very much like you saying it could take months for you to find a bigger house. for us this means Lucy (the companion for Angel) will have to stay with the non-profit organization for at least that long. she is in a fairly good situation, though. she actually lives in a big house (serves as the non-profit's office) with usually just 1 other foster cat at a time. she's been there a year already. she's not in a cage. the employees are there during the day, but leave the cats alone at night. the cat you are hoping to adopt is in an even better situation. she lives in a foster home with company around the clock and is doing well there! this is a good thing!!!

i have worked it out with the non-profit to be a volunteer so that i can feed Lucy on the weekends and have lots and lots of time to get to know her and vice versa over the next several months. and i am prepared for the unlikely (she's 14 yrs old) event that someone else will adopt her before our addition is ready. however, if that did happen, then i would not be sad for us, but happy for Lucy. just like you were happy for the 1st kitty with FIV that got adopted, right?

i know you love this kitty you want to adopt, but it won't be the end of the world if she gets adopted before you find a bigger house. there are unfortunately endless other kitties whom I'm sure you will fall in love with as well. the extra time will also cement your bond with your current kitty even more if you end up waiting. i know for us, deep down i believe 4 mths is a little early to bring in a 2nd kitty. Angel was in the shelter for 2 1/2 years. 4 mths with us doesn't even come close to making up for that. and the last thing i want to do is jeopardize her sense of security that she has built up by being with us so far. she deserves to be queen of the house for much longer.

sorry for the novel here! good luck with your own decision.
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