I adopted Smudge in October when she was 6 months old. My husband and I were pretty adamant about never wanting to have pets, though we always loved other people's pets. Then I made the (happy!) mistake of going to the local shelter at a new PetSmart, and two days later, we all (husband and I, and our two kids) realized Smudge needed to come home with us.
She is AWESOME. She doesn't do any of the things that scared us away from pets -- scratching furniture, making a mess, vomiting. She doesn't wake us at night and is fine sleeping outside our door on her super plush pillow, or anywhere else in the house. She's a lap kitty that ADORES me. She follows me everywhere and loves to "chat". She likes my older son (
, and tolerates my younger one (5). She'll sit on my husband's lap if I've made my lap unavailable. But I'm definitely her #1.
Which brings me to my questions. I wonder if she'd be happier with a playmate to snuggle and play with. She seems to want to play rough, but I discourage it because she's not currently a scratcher/biter, and I don't want to bring that out in her. She has a sad-sounding meow that sounds like she's looking for another cat. She jumps up my leg all the time, trying to get my attention. It makes me jump each time even though it happens so often! She doesn't use her claws when she does it, thank goodness.
I fear that another cat wouldn't behave as great as she does, and we'd need to rehome. Would you recommend fostering in this case? My husband and I had talked about fostering cats before, because of the limited commitment. How common is re-homing?
Also, one of the big things I was hoping to see was my 8yo, who has autism, bonding with a pet. Smudge seems to love him more each day and now hangs out in his bed sometimes, but we keep her out of the bedrooms at night because supposedly cat dander/hair can make eczema worse (both boys have it). Would letting her sleep with him potentially help shift her bond from me to him?
Do the bonds ever shift? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that she loves me so much and we have 10-20 mintues of one-on-one active snuggle time twice a day where I give her my full attention and talk to her, in addition to all the petting and lap-sitting. But I'd love to see my son have a buddy.
I would only ever consider a cat 2 years old or older. I didn't even want a kitten in the first place, but Smudge won our hearts, and has turned out to not really have much kitten behavior! At least, not the destructive/disruptive kind.
Can you help a bond form? Like if we did get a cat, even if it's a foster -- keep it in the spare room and let my older son be the one to go in to see him/her?
Thanks for any advice!