Need advice about adding a 3rd cat - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Need advice about adding a 3rd cat

My fiancé and I have two 1.5 yr old male Burmese cats that I brought into the relationship. When she moved in with me about 6 months ago, she had a cat but decided to leave it with her old roommates, as the cat was happy and comfortable there with the cat her roommates have, even though I would have welcomed the cat with open arms, as she (the cat) was family.

Anyway, a good friend of my fiancé very recently got a 5 week old female kitten even though she has a 16 month old daughter. For various reasons that are not surprising, she now wants to find a new home for the kitten. My fiancé wants to take this kitten in, partly because she wants to give the kitten a good home, partly because she wants a cat of her "own" even though current cats are effectively "ours" and they love her and she loves them very much.

The idea of adding another cat makes me very nervous. We are in an 1100 sq ft apartment, and I feel our cat situation is perfect. They are very happy and content. I do not feel the need or desire to add another cat, and am only seeing the downsides: the risk of incompatibility with the current cats, the added responsibilities, space issues, behavior issues, etc. However it is very important to my fiancé to take this kitten in, and she insists that 3 cats is no more worry than 2.

I feel that bringing another animal into our lives is a major change, responsibility, and commitment that should only be done if we are both comfortable with it. Is that unreasonable? Am I being overdramatic with my concerns about the possible downsides of adding a kitten into the mix? Is is really not that big of a deal, and not much different from having 2 cats?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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Hi there! No I don't think you are being over-dramatic, in fact it sounds like you are being very responsible about the situation! Wanting a cat of her own doesn't seem to me to be a justifiable reason to take in a kitten which would disrupt your current situation. You obviously understand that bringing a cat into a home which already houses two other cats is not as simple as most people would like to believe! And if you even have any doubts about how well you could all cope with it, then I think you are right to say no.

Although 3 cats are no more worry than 2, I would say that it is the time and patience that you will have to have when introducing them. This could take a few weeks and go smoothly or you may have problems and your current cats may not take to the new member of your family. If you do not feel like you are able to offer that time and patience to the introduction, or if you are not willing to compramise the short-term happiness of your current babies, then I would suggest that you don't take the kitten in. However, you can always help to try and find her a new loving home...that way you can stay in your girlfriends good books!! Perhaps even tell her that you are prepared to take her in if you absolutley cannot find her a home.. at least that way you compramise!! Good luck, let us know how you get on!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 05:13 PM
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I think your analysis of the situation is perfectly reasonable and makes sense to me. That being said, reasonable goes out the window when trying to keep your fiance happy, and I suggest you think of a way to accomodate her. A small sacrifice for the greater good.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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I think your best chance of getting a cat to get along with the current cats is a kitten, so if there was ever a chance this would be it. If you consider it, take all the proper introduction steps (there is tons of info on this forum) or you could have trouble like myself who never followed the proper steps and have rearranged my whole home to accomodate our cats so they can at least try to tolerate each other. Bravo for thinking about this ahead of time! Wish I would have.

BTW, 3 cats in an 1100 sq ft apartment is really not that bad provided they can live together peacefully.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 08:24 PM
 
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I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. If it were me, I'd be most hesitant about the fact that the kitten was only five weeks old when your friend adopted it...WAY too young to be taken from its mama and littermates, and therefore will probably need extra attention to training and socialization. Anyway...I don't even think it would be a big deal to introduce your cats, who are known for being easy-going and loving, and a kitten...it's probably the best combination. But if you are at ALL uneasy about bringing in a new kitten, then it shouldn't just be as simple as "the lady is always right." It's important to her, sure. But it's important to you as well. There needs to be a compromise.

As for your fiancee wanting to take it in b/c 3 cats are no more work than 2, that is not true. It really is more food, more litter, more cleaning, more vet bills. They don't just start to meld together. And as for wanting a cat that would be "hers"...no one can guarantee that. That kitten might move in and decide that YOU are its person, regardless of who grooms it and feeds it and holds it. You can't make up a cats mind for it. It might decide that it doesn't want ANY people friends...just kitty friends. You can't predict this, and if this is why your fiancee wants to adopt the kitten, she is setting herself up for possible disappointment.

I think it would be a wonderful idea to try and find a home for it, though. I guess what I would do in the end is try to find it another home, and then if you have no other option than to take it to the humane society, adopt it. But your fiancee needs to realize that another kitty is a mutual decision between you two. And you deserve some input as to when, if, and which kitty you decide to adopt.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 08:52 PM
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Good to see you on here, Fletch! If you have time, we would love to see how handsome Stevie and Ray are these days.
I agree that you are certainly correct to be careful and hesitant with adding a young (very young) kitten to the family.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 10:30 PM
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If you're willing to keep another litter box maintained and can take the time to introduce the kitten to your Burmese, I don't see a problem with the size of the house. As others have told you, I think that it's always wise to consider these decisions. I just took in every cat or kitten who cried at our door! All worked out, and somehow, I never had more than four cats--unless the stray was pregnant, which was the case once. Good luck!




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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2005, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great advice.

Well it turns out that they may want to keep the kitten after all. If not, we have made a compromise that if the kitten ends up needing a home, we will do what we can to find it one, but will take it in if we can't. I'm OK with that. However I must warn you all, if that happens I will need even more of your sage advice.

And yeah Lori, it is high time I share some more pics and I will take some new ones and post them soon. It's been too long since I've been on here. Stevie and Ray are awesome and doing great. Stevie has never gotten over being on the skittish side, which in some ways is a bit disappointing for a Burmese, but he is super sweet and lovable and really I wouldn't change a thing. He complements the super friendly and mushy Ray very well.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2005, 10:55 PM
 
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I'm glad it all seems to be working out. I can't wait to see more pictures of Stevie and Ray!
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