Third cat, should I get a boy or a girl? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Red face Third cat, should I get a boy or a girl?

Hi, I currently have two four-year-old cats from a barn cat's litter, and I'm wondering how they will react if I adopt a new kitten.
My boy, Benny, is a bit of a scaredy cat and spends a lot of his time hiding in fear from all sorts of things (visitors, vaccuum etc). He's been that way from the day we got him (7 weeks) and I guess he just wasn't handled much before I brought him home. His sister, Maggie is quite good-natured, and doesn't stress about things nearly as much as he does, although she is shy with strangers. They generally spend their time apart and do fight a bit with each other.
They aren't snuggly cats, although they do like a lap when it's cold, and most of our friends who visit have never even seen Benny. I would dearly like a social cat, one who wants to be picked up and cuddled, one who will greet our friends when they visit. So I'm thinking about getting a Tonkinese, based on the fact that they are social, cuddly and get along well with other animals.
I really don't want to upset either of my cats, so I'm wondering if based on their personalities, would a female kitten be a safer addition than a male? I think Maggie is the alpha, she always eats first, but Benny will always win a fight as he is bigger. He has started to sleep in some of her favourite spots lately, would that indicate he's trying to take charge? Sorry, I know I'm rambling.
I guess Benny is the one I'm worried about, would getting another boy stress him out too much? Would a girl be safer option. I've started using homeopathy to help him destress, it seems to be working but I won't do anything until he seems calmer within himself. Does anyone have any experience with three cats? Any advice welcome!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 09:34 AM
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Although there are exceptions, generally 2 neutered males get along best. Females are touchier. In all my years I've never yet had a female cat who really wanted to cuddle or be super lovey w/ another cat--every one of my males has wanted to, however. If you get a young male known to be good w/ other cats and do the intro carefully (VERY slowly over several weeks, using a separate room, baby gates stacked in the doorway, etc.) chances are that the 2 males will bond and leave the female out. Sounds as if that would suit her fine.

If you get a female, there is a good chance that none of them will ever really be close.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 11:36 AM
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I have two girls and both are snuggly with me, but both run and hide from visitors. I think the key is to look for a cat or kitten who has been socialized and already been handled alot by people.

My former cat, who was an only cat (Sophie) loved all visitors. I know what you mean about how it would be nice to have a cat that would be freindly to your friends.

I have never had 3 cats, so I don't know about the dynamic of different sexes. If Maggie really is the dominant one, it might be better to go with a male.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 11:46 AM
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RE: snuggly cats--the best course of action, if you must have a lap cat, is to adopt an adult from a good rescue group that fosters their cats out. This way, they will know a LOT about the personality of each individual cat. You'll want one who not only is a lap cat but is ALSO a cat's cat (and hopefully male). Hopefully you'll consider doing this rather than buying a purebred cat--not only will you be saving a life, but you'll have a much better chance of getting what you want. Kittens are really impossible to temperament test and you might well end up w/ a kitten who is NOT naturally snuggly. It has more to do w/ temperament than upbringing--I rescued my Jonah out of the street as a 3 week old orphan and raised him--he's awesome but he's not a lap can and he's not a cuddler. Calvin, OTOH, came from a shelter (age 2 years) and it was obvious he was VERY into lap sitting the instant I met him!

Oh, and greeting friends has nothing to do w/ being social with YOU. My most snuggly cat (Calvin) couldn't care LESS about visitors. Don't try to dictate all these things--choose what is MOST important (being good w/ other cats, being a lap cat, or being social w/ EVERYONE) and focus on that. Trying to find a cat who is all those things will be difficult and may result in disappointment, which is not fair to the kitty.

Finally (sorry!!) a young adult is a much better choice. You can't turn a young kitten loose w/ adult cats right off the bat and, as I said, you will really have NO idea whatsoever how the kitten will turn out. It's a crap shoot largely, and if you want specific things, choose an adult cat who already IS those things.

Last edited by Xanti; 07-31-2012 at 12:09 PM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help, Hoofmaiden and Nan You've given me some things to think about. Hoofmaiden, I totally get what you are saying about rescue cats. I have had cats all my forty years, every one (including my two current ones) have been from shelters or from unwanted litters. I really think a kitten will be more readily accepted by my two, they would freak with an adult cat. I will be looking at getting a boy now.
I'm really not so worried about my two not being social with other people, but I do wish they'd be more social with me at times. They are just very independent, and sleep heaps, so I don't see much of them even though they're indoor cats.
I do appreciate your time and opinions!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 10:59 AM
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It depends. I know that many people say it's easier to intro a kitten to adult cats than an adult but that has never been my experience. My experience has been that many adult cats are honestly appalled by kittens' annoying behavior and that things can go south pretty quickly. Adopting TWO kittens is better than 1 b/c they will play w/ each other and not harass the oldsters.

Of all my intros, the easiest one was the most recent-introducing 2 separate pairs of n. male cats (ages 3-10) to each other. The hardest was introducing Jonah (kitten) to older cats Calvin and Lincoln. Calvin seemed to like Lincoln when he was a VERY little kitten and then quickly changed his mind. They have never gotten along well since Jonah was 4-5 mos old.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 08:42 AM
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I like both! I'd go for a girl.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 06:05 PM
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I have never really had a problem introducing a certain sex whether it be male/female into my household. The only trouble I have had is with toms when they weren't neutered and even that was very minimal.

I find males to be the most cuddliest than females, males enjoy attention more and getting pets while females are bossier and touchier. Saying that you can deffinitely get males who are terrified of everything and hate being pet and definitely get females you are more affectionate than most males so it totally depends on the specific cat, its personality and how it was raised rather than its sex. I wouldn't go out looking for a certain sex, but a certain personality if that is what you are after.

Oh and yes I have experience with multiple cats. I actually own 13 cats, so I have done plenty of introductions in the past. Main thing I would say is to just go with the flow, and try not to complicate things and over think it. It isn't really as hard as some make it out to be and its very rare for cats to not get along that they couldn't live with eachother. We usually just introduce straight away, plenty of hissing will go on and a couple may try and scrape the other but what you will find is that your cats will actually be frightened of the newcomer. Eventually they will see that the new cat isnt as scary as they first thought.

Also I couldn't stress enough how important it is to neuter and spay as soon as you can especially if you are hoping for them to all get along well. Good luck.

Last edited by Raeone; 08-04-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 06:14 PM
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Whatever you do, even with kittens, do NOT just throw them together. If things go wrong in the beginning (and we just had a new member whose cat HATED the kitten), sometimes they can't be repaired.

Here are some great guidelines for introducing new cats:

Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Little Big Cat

It happened very quickly in my house when I added the twinz, but I was also very lucky. Don't be afraid to take things slowly and carefully.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:53 AM
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This is purely a generalization, but 2 males seems to be the consensus. While most polls show people having luck with all the combinations, male/male always has as slight lead in the polls.

Also, I would strongly suggest looking at a cat who is in a foster home as they have a history and can give you some ideas as to the cat's personality, affection level, and sociability
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