"Only Cat" Adoptions - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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"Only Cat" Adoptions

I know a lot of you are very knowledgeable about cats and some of you work with cat rescue organizations. I have a question. Some cats available for adoption are described as having to be alone in a household – no other cats. How do they determine that a cat absolutely cannot live with other cats? Cats have disagreements all the time. One minute they are lovey dovey and the next second they are on each others’ nerves. These cats that must live alone – what do they do? Hide all the time, beat up other cats nonstop? I am just wondering because sometimes I’ll see a really cute cat for adoption and it’ll say they have to be alone. Thanks
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 09:37 PM
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Well, having asked similar questions myself, it seems they make this determination based on the reports of the cat's behavior by the previous owners, and/or observing the cat's behavior in the shelter. Both are notoriously unreliable, in my opinion. I agree with your observation about cats' social interactions. You can't really know for sure without bringing the cat home. I think there are members here who have adopted cats labelled as such and successfully brought them into a multi-cat household. I hope they'll read this thread and comment.

The undesirable behaviors are aggression (fighting, biting, clawing) both toward other animals and toward people, and excessive fear (defensive aggression, hiding.) Basically behaviors that make them unsuitable for interacting with other animals in the household.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 09:53 PM
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When I adopted Malcolm (3 years old at thetime) from the spca almost 2 years ago it said on his paperwork that he did not like other cats. It didn't say why though. Because of that he stayed the only cat for over a year.

I did end up getting a second cat, this one a kitten, as the vet suggested a kitten would be easier for Malcolm to warm up to if indeed he did not like other cats.

Well I am assuming that Malcolm simply did not like being in the shelter....and they interpreted it to mean he disliked other cats. He has been an amazingly sweet big brother to Ophelia right from the start. They have been together for over a year and are very sweet and cuddly, the best of friends!!

I personally think that the shelter stress can cause some cats behaviour to be misinterpreted.....and maybe not all cats who are labeled as needing to be only cats need to actually be only cats. However! There are definitely cats out there who do in fact need to be the only kitty!!

Malcolm the cat disliker in action with his baby sister

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 12:33 AM
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Wow what a sweet story about Malcolm with a happy ending of a sibling Ophelia. They are so cute together.

The animal shelter I volunteer at has cats living in an open room all together. There have been cats who just spend their whole times picking on all the other cats. We eventually issolate them. From that, the shelter looks for homes that would be an only cat home so not to chance the same behavior repeated with them having to be returned.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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I like the story of Malcolm too! Very happy ending for 2 kitties. They look like Malcolm and Mini Me. so cute!

Hmmm I wonder what that picking means. Micah always picks on Jake but he does it when he is bored (I think) or irritated about something, not sure. Maybe he is just irritated that Jake is the dominant cat. He will sit and scream at Jake if Jake won't play or pay attention to him. I wouldn't say he needs to be an only cat though. I think he really likes being around other cats. They sleep, hang out, eat and play together too. Getting back to the subject at hand, I guess I would just need to ask "why" specifically a cat must be alone. I don't think my husband will let me have 3, although I can always "plan" hehehehe
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 08:07 AM
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Sabby is an "only" and I feel very comfortable with that label (although I would love to get another cat!). He had to live with an acquaintance of mine for several months many years ago. This acquaintance had 4 or 5 other cats. He never adjusted. I went to visit him and it was as if he didn't recognize me. He just huddled in front of the food dish growling at me. It was very sad. Shortly after that I got him back with me where he was the only cat again and he went back to his old self. Some cats genuinely do best all alone.
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