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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Getting a second cat? Looking for advice

Hi all.

I am looking for some advice. My SO and I adopted a 1.5 year old cat a little over a year ago (he's 2 yrs 8 mos now). We had recently moved into an apartment and both missed having an animal around (I grew up primarily with dogs and SO grew up primarily with cats). We decided a cat would be the best option for our living situation. I struggle with anxiety and depression and my therapist also recommended a pet for emotional support.

We decided to adopt an adult cat rather than a kitten, because I had heard that you aren't always able to determine what a kitten's personality will be when they are older. We went to the shelter and adopted the most friendly and confident boy we could find. I was really hoping for an affectionate, cuddly lap cat. He turned out to be the complete opposite. It took me a long time to accept this, but I recognize his personality is what it is and I love him regardless. He doesn't like to cuddle and prefers to be by himself most of the time. He is pretty friendly but just doesn't seek attention. He is also a little more bonded to SO.

I have started to think about getting a second cat, but I am unsure. I know there are no guarantees, but is there any way to predict with high accuracy that a cat will be cuddly/affectionate? If I were to get another cat, would I be better off getting a kitten and forming a bond when he/she is a baby? I had always heard male cats are a bit more cuddly and that looking for a friendly + confident adult was the way to go, but it didn't end up working out (the way I had hoped). Like I said, I do love our cat but I would really like to have a pet who provides more emotional support. We have always planned to rescue, but now I am considering looking into purchasing from a reputable breeder. Are there any breeds that tend to be more affectionate as a whole that I could look into? Is it less of a gamble going with a specific breed rather than rescuing a DSH/DLH?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 02:39 AM
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I can't speak to specific breeds, and I don't know that anyone can guarantee that you'll find the kind of lap kitty you want, but there are definitely ways to significantly increase the chances with a shelter kitty. I agree that you get a better sense of a kitty's true personality if you adopt an adult rather than a kitten. Many people here have suggested that you talk to shelter workers/volunteers who spend a lot of time with the kitties. Multiple visits, spending time with kitty out of the cage, would also allow you to better gauge how a kitty interacts with you.

You don't want to rush things - you'll know the right kitty when you see him or her. I'd also visit more than one shelter if you have that possibility. I went to five shelters before I adopted my first adult kitty. She was very friendly and outgoing, but although she followed me everywhere, was waiting at the door whenever I got home, and always wanted to be next to me, she was very independent, and in the 13 years she was with me, she never once sat on my lap. When I decided to adopt another kitty about a month after I adopted her, I went back to the same shelter. I had seen a kitty that I considered adopting but passed her over in favor of the other one. She was barely visible, scrunched up in the back of the cage, and absolutely terrified. But there was just something about her that touched me, and I kept coming back to her. I must admit that I didn't even bother to spend any time with her out of the cage. She is still with me, 15.5 years later, and it turned out that she is a velcro cat.

So I'd say to take it slowly, let the kitties speak to you, and go with your heart. And keep in mind that it's not necessarily the most outgoing kitties who will be the most affectionate in the way that you're looking for.
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