I'm new, and please give your opinion...another cat? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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I'm new, and please give your opinion...another cat?

Hi! Firstly I just want to introduce myself - I am Natalie and new on here. I have one cat called Ali who is my 'old man' now at almost 14 years old.

I am actually after some opinions on our situation and hoped some of you may be able to help me? Ali was brought by my husband before we were even a couple, and he was brought as a pair from the same litter. He has spent his entire life with his brother, but very sadly we have lost his brother to cancer and suspected liver disease very recently. We are absolutely gutted, of course, but also worried about Ali feeling lonely now it is just him. We aren't considering buying another cat straight away to allow Ali time to come to terms with his brothers passing, but I don't know if another cat is the right way to go? What do you think? Ali is a very well tempered cat (and puts up with my two year old without even batting an eyelid) and was often seen cuddled up next to his brother sleeping etc so he can be a very social cat. When we are all over the shock and grief surrounding his brother, do you think he would benefit from a companion? Part of me thinks he will crave a cats company, but another part of me thinks that maybe he should spend his senior years chilled out without any big changes. I would probably want a kitten over a rescue cat due to having two young children, do you think Ali would hate having a 'spring chicken' jumping around, or could it give him a new lease of life? Should I get another male, or would a female be best? If we did get another cat, should we get a pair so that Ali's passing (hopefully in the way off future) doesn't leave another lone cat?

I really don't know what to do for the best having never been in this situation before. If you have any experience of this I would love to hear from you, or even if you haven't been in this situation I would love to know what you would do. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 09:29 AM
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Generally speaking, a senior cat would not enjoy the rambunctious antics of a kitten, especially one who is bold and would not respect his boundaries. Although Ali was bonded with his brother, another kitten or cat will be viewed as a stranger and intruder. To bring a kitten or cat into this late stage of his life may also affect his bond with you by withdrawing his affection. If I were in your shoes I would let him live out his days in peace. On the other hand, he may be one of these very social cats who prefers a cat friend, and rather than buying another cat, consider fostering a kitten from a humane society/resuce to see if would enjoy a new friend.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 10:52 AM
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My vote would be two kittens. There is nothing like the relationship between two sibling cats. We have two older brother cats (15) who are pretty inseperable, one has cancer so I know where you are coming from. We have brought in my husband's adult shop cats into our home along the way. One came in, she died unexpectantly with a liver disease, and another adult female came home. In both cases, the brothers were less than pleased with their arrival. Months of growling finally resolved to quiet tolerance. The best transition has been bringing the kitten into the family. Although the older boys don't really play with her, there was (almost) immediate acceptance of her when she arrived on the scene. I don't know if it was a size issue, I assume they didn't feel pressure by her because she wasn't trying to be the queen cat. But the kitten needed a playmate and fortunately our female shop cat (7 years) has complied. This has been great for the 7 year old, she was always the odd man out with the brothers. I actually didn't want another cat, but the kitten has helped complete our cat family.

I'd get two kittens so they can wear each other ragged, your older cat can get some love, and he shouldn't feel threatened. Having kittens in the house is also fun for your younger children.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 11:39 AM
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I would recommend either adopting a second mellow older cat who would be company for Ali but not bother him too much, or else adopting two kittens as suggested so they can get most of their energy out with each other. A kitten is going to have a marked difference in energy level from Ali, and it might make his life difficult if he had to be the constant playmate.

Fostering a pet first may be a good idea for you, so you can see how Ali will react before you commit to be a forever family for a new cat. Some shelters and rescues are willing to work out foster-to-adopt arrangements where you care for the cat as a foster and make it permanent if it works out; not all do, but it's worth asking about that.

Just so you know, some rescue cats are kittens. I adopted Zephyr from the animal shelter when he was just a tiny baby. Especially with spring coming up, you don't have to decide between adopting a homeless animal and having a kitten - there are plenty of homeless kittens, too.

In my opinion male/female isn't usually going to make a huge difference as long as both cats are spayed or neutered.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 06:45 PM
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my first cat died in 2006, and he had been an only cat for seven years when i was given (desperately lol) a 6 month-old kitten. he didn't take to her right away but grew to love her. when he died, she was sort of normal for about a month, then cried nonstop for the next several months.

i wasn't really ready for another cat, but in my weird way of thinking, i needed another siamese and couldn't find one anywhere so i bought an 8 week-old kitten. she was 10, and didn't go through a lot of changes. in other words, it distracted her anyway.

both of those cats have really grown fond of each other, and three years ago i got another kitten. they don't hate him but they omit him from their curled up time, so he often comes to me like, "no one else likes me" haha. it doesn't help that he still chases and dominates the middle one (who is much larger than houdini). he's not mean, i just call him naughty when he starts picking at baci. he mostly does it when he's hungry or wants something else and isn't getting it right away.

i'd say do whatever is comfortable for you. a mellow, more mature cat is one way to go but diotima was a very sweet kitten. she played all the time and left coda alone. the second kitten was anything but calm, he was much more spastic, but i guess she put him in his place soon enough.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 07:51 PM
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It will be a crap shoot whether or not this will work out. Ali may hate a new addition or he may love it. You can always try - maybe on a foster basis and see what happens. Don't expect lovey dovey right away - maybe weeks or months before it is accepted - if at all. If both are neutered it won't make any difference in sex. Best wishes.

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