The unpleasantness of sharing attention - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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The unpleasantness of sharing attention

First I should clarify that sharing attention is quite pleasant and the verbiage I chose for this topic is my own perception of my cat's opinion on the matter.

I am the humble and grateful servant to a 2 year old male Norwegian Forest Cat named Castiel whose blissful reign of the house has recently been interrupted by my newborn baby girl.

It is really a luxury problem I have here, but I can't help feeling badly that he no longer has as much time interacting with me and my wife each day. Some adaptation to the circumstances will happen I assume and he already seems to be adjusting, and is perhaps mostly non-plussed by declined sessions of fetch (which he truly loves) while feeding the baby and sometimes during critically needed naps.

In time much will return to normal as well and he'll have a new best buddy or nemesis - to be determined once crawling becomes an mode of transport for my daughter. Either way that goes I'm sure he'll enjoy the activity.

I am a little worried that he might lose a bit of his playful spirit and personable nature in the meantime. But more to the point I have been wondering if adopting another cat might be a good for him (and the adopted cat, too) - not just for the short-term, but also for the years to come. My wife and I would adore another cat in our family, but I am not sure how well that would work for Cass and the newly adopted cat.

Can anyone share their insight and experiences to help me make a well-informed decision? Any advice would greatly appreciated. Please let me know if there are any additional details I can share that would be helpful for consideration.

Thank you

Dallas




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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 06:56 PM
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Another cat might be a good idea in the future, but I would advise against it right now for two reasons. First, cats don't like change, and Castiel is already adjusting to your new little one, so you're potentially pushing your luck by adding a new cat to the scene as well. Second, introducing two cats can be very time consuming for the humans. I have two kids (now adults), but I can still remember how exhausted I was when they were at the newborn stage. I also have two cats, and I can still remember how exhausted I was trying to introduce them. I can't imagine doing both at the same time...yikes!

For now, I would do what you can to ensure Castiel still gets some attention. You might consider another cat in another six months or so...once Castiel has adjusted to the new baby and once your schedules are a little more normal.

And congratulations on your new daughter!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 12:29 AM
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^ Excellent advice!

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 02:07 AM
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I would also suggest that you find a 10-15 minute period everyday to play with the cat. Twice a day would even be better.

We raised three children, while having three large dogs (this was before we had cats). We did not forgo walking the dog or playtime with the dogs with a new baby. When my husband came home from work, I got some dog time. When I fed the babies, he would play with the dogs. Just switch out the word dog for cat and you will have a happier cat.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 04:33 AM
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agree with this ^^^^^

there is no need for the cat to have less play time/cuddle time really as there are two of you so one is always free to give attention to Castiel

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your advice, Susan. Somewhere deep in the back of my mind I had suspected that even more change might be too much for Cass right now, but the more prominent path in my mind was adopting another cat. Thanks for providing the advice and reasoning. That makes perfect sense to me - and thanks for pointing out the extra time needed when a new cat for a new cat. I tend to forget that part

Thanks also to 'Mom of 4' for recommending the 10-15 minute play times. At the moment we don't set aside time for Cass because he tends to get quite a bit of unplanned playtime already in the course of the day, but I like the advice to set aside some time as well.

Cass is a pretty high energy boy who loves attention so if he's not wanting to play he's tending to biological needs in one form or another. In practical terms Cass gets less attention now because he can't have 99.5% all the time (someone has to do laundry and dishes...). He probably gets more attention than he needs, but we enjoy him so much, I just want to keep him happy. But I do think he's going to be just fine and for now I'll hold off on adopting another cat until Cass has time to get better acquainted with the new baby.
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