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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I are thinking about adopting a second cat/kitten. We have done a lot of research on the internet, but I’d like to ask for advice that is specific to my resident cat’s temperament.

Our resident cat, Willow, is a tabby female. We adopted her as a 3 or 4 month old kitten in December 2010. She will be two years old this September. She is a very sweet cat. She sleeps with us, doesn’t mind being picked up and carried around the house, greets us at the door, and likes to curl up in laps. She sometimes meows for attention, but doesn’t mind doing her own thing either. She definitely likes to play, but I would say she is fairly mellow for her age. She isn’t one of those cats that is super hyper or "into everything."

Her vet records from the shelter described her temperament as fearful, but our vet said she is normal. Our home is fairly calm and quiet (2 adults, no kids, infrequent visitors, she is alone 8+ hours a day during the week). When new people come over she is a bit hesitant at first. If there is a lot of noise or loud talking, or they knock loudly on the door, she hides under the bed for 10-20 minutes and then will come out and sniff them and let them pet her, and sometimes even pick her up.

I’m wondering if, given Willow’s temperament, she would like a feline friend. I’ve read that solitary, demanding cats might like to be the only cat, whereas social playful cats might like a companion. I can’t really tell where Willow fits on this spectrum. I’m also unsure about whether we should adopt a kitten or a cat of similar age and temperament. I don’t want her to feel overwhelmed by a kitten, but I also think a kitten might feel less threatening to her.

I know how important it is to properly introduce the cats, and I have been reading and researching that. But, I’ve also heard horror stories about people who did proper introductions but their cats hate each other years later and have to be separated all the time.

I’m trying to get all the resources I can to make an informed and responsible decision, and I’d really appreciate any input. Thanks!
 

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Although the temperament of your resident cat matters a lot, sometimes its about the compatibility of both cats. Just like human, some cats just cannot like each other, while they may become friends if they were different cats. Fortunately though, such scenario doesn't occur often, and usually with proper introduction, cats will get along well. Even if their purrsonalities don't match, they will at least tolerate each other's existance. You heard those horrible stories because they are so horrible to worth talking about. You don't hear nice stories since they are normal and happen often :)

I think it would be better to adopt an older kitten, like 4-5 month old. As you said, an adult cat is more willing to accept a kitten. And at this age, the kitten is starting to calm down. However, do check with the shelter worker and get a less hyper kitten though.

PS: Willow's temperment sounds quite like my Meatball. She is also sweet&loyal toward family members, very mellow, but a bit shy toward strangers (though she will not run under bed, just keep a caucious distance). I had very nice experience introducting my Metoo to her. Didn't do any introduction at all, just dumped them together. And they became best buddy at day 3. Hope that eases your worry a bit :) It is normal that Willow will be upset for a few days, and she even may hate you for a while (Meatball held a grudge on me for 2 days). Don't be discouraged. It's normal. Enjoy your new kitty!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I just wanted to be sure that Willow's personality isn't such that she wouldn't be likely to ever really accept another cat or kitten. I want another one because I enjoy cats so much, but I am really hoping that they become friends. We are away for long hours. I also worry when we go on vacation. We hire a cat sitter to come for 30 minutes a day, but I don't feel like that's enough.

If anyone has anymore advice, opinions, or experiences, I'd love to hear them/
 

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Willow sounds like she's happy with being the queen of the castle. When I got a second cat, my relationship with Cinderella changed. We were never as close.

I got the twins to be buddies with Cleo (since she and Cinderella didn't become friends), which didn't exactly turn out as I planned. Mostly because there were two of them, I suspect, and they BOTH wanted to be friends with Cleo, but it was too much for my quiet little girl. I think if I had only gotten one kitten, it may have been different, but who knows?

The only thing I can tell you is that you should get a second cat if YOU want another cat, because there's no guarantee that they'll become buddies. Chances are better with a kitten, but Willow may still keep to herself. Then you have a HUGE bundle of energy on your hands, running around being a typical kitten, getting into things, possibly with bad habits, chewing, staying up all night, wanting to play, possible food issues, etc., etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We're really afraid that our relationship with Willow will change, or that her personality will change. She is such a great cat and we have such a good situation. I do want another cat though.. just hoping for the added bonus of friendship between the two cats. If Willow never accepted the cat, or changed toward us, we would be heartbroken.

Was Cinderella's temperament like Willow's?
 

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No, Cinderella came from a sad background (severe neglect), didn't know how to play, very timid. She wasn't a lap cat, but liked to be near me and slept on the pillow next to me at night. Willow may like a companion, she's very young and sounds much more outgoing than Cinderella. It's quite likely that she'd accept a kitten.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the response. I am sorry for your Cinderella. How nice that you could give her a good life though!
 
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