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We had two cats - a big, black, personable and precocious male, and a small, awkwardly-built, generally skittish, but infinitely sweet, female. We adopted the female, as a kitten, about a year after we got our boy and have had them for over 8 years together.

Here's the sad part: in early January, our boy was diagnosed with kidney failure, and he died within a few weeks. It was heartbreaking for us to say goodbye.

Our girl has been very needy since then. She has become very vocal - chirps (at us or at walls) and cries. She foregoes eating dinner right away in hopes that I will play with her as soon as I get home from work - then waits and wanders around the livingroom, crying occasionally (the play area) until I do play with her. She's also become braver - sounds that always scared her don't scare her quite so much, and she's not so nervous around my husband (who is louder than me, and is often wearing shoes, which are also too loud). During the day while we are at work, I think she stays under the bed, or in the closet in the bedroom (her "safety" spots), and doesn't creep out from those spots until we come home. I could be wrong - but I don't get the impression that she's out and about the house sleeping in the sun or lounging in the livingroom unless we are around.

My question is: should I get another cat?

I'd really love to, but I don't know if it is the best idea. She has always lived with other cats (she was from a fostered litter before we adopted her) and then lived happily here with her big brother, but now that she is older - 7 years - might she dislike a new cat in her life? How do we decide?

Someone suggested getting TWO kittens if you have a single, older cat. That way, the kittens will play with each other, and leave the older cat alone. I think that might be too much for her (and us!), but am thinking that if we do add a new cat, that a kitten - not an adult - would be the way to go.

I'd be interested in knowing if anyone has any thoughts - as I am completely torn and only want to do what's best for our girl. Any thoughts would be appreciated...
 

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Welcome to the forum! So sorry about the loss of your male cat. :(
Having never attempted to bring a new kitten in with an older existing cat I am afraid I don't have any expertise to offer. Just from what you post it sounds as if your girl is certainly missing her companion and may well benefit from a new friend. As you say, she has always had other cats in her life, I would think that would certainly help her adjust.
You sound like a very caring owner. Best of luck with whatever you decide and let us know how it turns out. :)
 

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I'm sorry to hear that. They were close and now she is hurting from the loss.
I've had experience in this situation with dogs. When one of them died the other was sad and kept hiding. We got a one year old dog for our 7 year old dog. At first, they fought for territory and the one year old won. Now they play with each other and have lots of fun. :)

So with this experience I think it would be alright to get another cat.
Instructions:
You will need to introduce them the correct way. You put the new cat in a carrier or cage when you first introduce them. Once they seem alright around each other you can take the new one out. Never force them together. Just let them explore each other and supervise them. Once you all feel comfortable you can leave them alone.
 

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Every cat is different, Your cat might do well getting a buddy, but she also might dislike the new kitty. She is definately mourning the loss of her big brother!
I have been blessed sofar not to lose any cats, but I have had to introduce LOTS of cats and the main thing is to take it slow and be prepared for several fights in the beginning. Sometimes, the fights end up in cats who are best buddies, other times, They remain worst of enemies forever. I think that I would recommend getting an older cat though, but then again, I do NOT enjoy having a kitten around! My preferences run to cats who are already trained in good behaviour including litter boxes.
 

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I would definitely get another older cat, because your kitty is missing her male friend. Cats can be screened to find how well they will get along with other cats. I am assuming that you are planning to visit an animal shelter in order to obtain another cat. 8)
 

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I'm sorry about your male cat. :( It sounds like your female cat misses him.
A kitten may just annoy your older cat because the kitten will want to play with her and your cat probably won't be too amused. However, it can work. I got my cat Stormy as a kitten and she got along with my roommate's cat who was 7 years old. The only thing is, my roommate's cat would be mean to Stormy sometimes when she didn't want to play and Stormy would just keep messing with her!
So an older cat might be best. I would recommend a male. You will probably want to choose a cat with a laid back personality, perhaps similar to your male that passed on. It would be good if you could get the new cat from a shelter or rescue group that would take the cat back if things didn't work out. However, it will take some time to see if they will get along.
I posted some advice on introducing cats awhile back and I don't feel like retyping it. :) Here's the link: http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2963 It worked for my cats and has worked for many others.
Good luck and let us know what you decide!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow - thank you all for your good thoughts. It is not an easy decision to bring someone new into our family after having had two cats, who got along SO well, and were so different in personalities and preferences but perfectly balanced each other, and it is so helpful to hear what others have done - or would do.

Is it common for humane societies (which is where we would look for a new friend) to make temporary arrangements like that? Where, if it just doesn't work out, they will take the cat back? Are adult cats ever placed in foster homes?

Maybe an older male with the similar personality would be a good match...

Pfeffa's never, ever been a dominant kitty, it's just not her way. But Norville was an extremely confident boy when in the company of our friend's cats and commanded any place he went - but not in a mean way. I think we could have brought home ANY cat and he would have loved it. Pfeffa was little, and couldn't get around well, and was never very sneaky or subtle in stalking him (although she's always thought so, and Norville would play along and pretend he was surprised). Maybe the gentlest change we could make would be a cat who would not overly bother her (as a kitten surely would) and would be a mellow companion and occasional playmate.

Is it more difficult to introduce an adult cat to an adult cat? Or a kitten to an adult cat? I've been thinking introducing two adults would be really hard.
 
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