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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been under so much stress the last six weeks and still don't know what to do. I had two 16 year old cats that loved each other and one died at the end of April. He was super affectionate and loved to sit on my lap and sleep with me at night. I missed that so much (my remaining 16 year old female cat is very aloof) so one week later I got a new 2 year old male cat. Due to COVID restriction, the humane society wouldn't let me meet the cat before taking him home for a one week foster trial, so I could only go by his picture and what the foster carer said he was like. She said he was very sweet and cuddly and would rub along her legs like velcro. She said she hadn't gotten him to climb onto her lap yet but was sure he would with time since he would still lay by her leg. He sounded like a good cat, plus I wanted a young one so I wouldn’t have to deal with vet bills for illnesses for a while.

First few days he was shy and hid under the bed, then got bolder. A LOT bolder. He is very high energy and wants to run around and play, especially late at night and early in the morning. He sees my other cat and tried to get her to play but she just hisses at him. She spent most of that first week hiding under the bed from him. I was staying up late trying to wear him out so I could sleep. Plus, he was not a sunggly lap cat at all. He'd purr when I petted him, and rubbed my legs and let me pick him up, but he just wasn’t interested in sitting on my lap or cuddling against me. Still isn't. I was really conflicted because he's a really cute playful kitty, but wasn’t the lap cat I wanted and my cat didn't like him. (She's never liked anyone except the cat that died). I was seriously considering returning him when the one week trial was up, but my mom and sister gave me guilt trips: “If you’re going to close your heart then it's up to you...”, “He was already traumatized by a burn injury before you got him, you'll be traumatizing him again if you take him back!” So I felt obligated to keep him even though I had a bad feeling about it. (FYI my mom and sister don't live with me, I live by myself).

Then two weeks later over Memorial Day weekend I had to take him to the emergency animal clinic for a possible UTI or blockage. I had to drive to a town an hour away because every clinic in my city was at full capacity. The vet said he had a mild infection, probably stress-induced and sent me home with a week's worth of meds. I'm just now finishing up the last med. Now I'm out $600 in vet bills and worried he may be inclined to future UTIs.

I've only had this cat for a month. He certainly isn't compatible with my current cat although she at least isn’t scared of him anymore. He needs a younger cat for a playmate, and I still crave a cuddly lap cat. I could possibly get a third cat or kitten that likes laptime but would also play with him. COVID restrictions are easing up so the humane society is allowing people inside to meet the cats now so I could get a better feel for their personality. Plus he's more likely to leave the old cat alone if he has one to play with. That worked when I got the two 16 year old cats as kittens while I still had a old 13 year old female cat.

The other option is to surrender him back to the shelter. I would feel horrible doing that because he really is a nice cat and I’m getting attached to him. And it would add more stress to him, but it's only been one month. And I'm emotionally exhausted and overstressed too. I'm still grieving my old cat and really need a cat that will cuddle with me. So it's either try to find a new cuddly cat that will play with this one, or return him and start over with a different cat. I keep going back and forth and don't know what to do. Any advice?
 

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Your mother and sister shouldn't have given you a guilt trip about this, especially since they don't live with you and really have no idea what this has been like for you. .
You elder cat is not happy with this situation, and neither are you. there is no reason for you to feel horrible..........although I fully understand how and why you do. Anyone who is caring and compassionate and loves cats would probably feel the same way. But it is not shameful for you to rehome or return the cat, and it seems to me it would be in the best interests of everyone.

You have said he is not compatible with your cat and needs a younger cat to play with him. this tells you all you need to know: he would be happier somewhere else.

You are not necessarily traumatizing the cat by taking him back where he can be adopted out to a better situation. And you don't need to let other people make this decision for you. If they give you a bad time, refuse to listen. Walk away or hang up the phone. This is your business and your home. And it's better for a cat to be rehomed than to be kept in a situation where he cannot be as happy as possible. Not to mention you and your old cat being stressed out.

I strongly suggest, though, that you don't start over with another cat. There's a fairly high chance this will happen again. Be happy with your 16 year old cat and let that be enough. It's going to be very hard on a cat of that age, who was bonded for life with one other cat, to accept or be friends with a new cat. I would, in your position, put the cat's needs ahead of mine and just let the situation be what it is until that cat has lived out her life. At that point you could get one or two new cats. I know you want one for you and that is understandable, but I think putting your old cat's needs first would be appropriate. And you never know......she may stop being quite so aloof now that her companion is gone.
 

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I agree with Mosi. You shouldn't feel guilty about returning your new cat with the prospects that he might find a more suitable situation. BTW I've often read that if you have an older cat it is best to adopt two younger cats at the same time because they can play with each other and leave the older cat alone. This isn't an option for most people so I suggest you just be happy with your 16 year-old girl.

I know this can be debated until the cows come home but we've always found the neutered male cats get along better. We started with females and they could be downright hostile to new cats or kittens, then we started adopting males. They have always gotten along. We had to put our 6 year-old male down a month ago due to severe asthma and we were left with our 3 year-old male. Last week we adopted a 6 year-old male, introduced them through all the steps (putting the new cat in a separate room, letting them get used to each other scents, feeding them treats on each side of the door and cracking the door to let them see each other. We are on Day 7 and they are playing together and laying together on the couch. (Pic attached.) Just don't give up in your quest to find a new kitty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow that's amazing not only have they accepted each other after only seven days but they are both lying on a lap. Neither my old or new kitty is a lap cat which is what I really want. I think my old cat would accept a cat that is older and calmer and just wants to lie around all day and not bother her. A big worry I have now is that if I return the new cat to the humane society after already adopting him, they will blacklist me from getting another cat from them in the future.
 

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"A big worry I have now is that if I return the new cat to the humane society after already adopting him, they will blacklist me from getting another cat from them in the future".

I don't think that will happen. A good shelter knows that some cats are compatible and some cats aren't and would be perfectly fine with taking them back and finding a suitable home.

I had Kate and Coco and wanted a third cat. Before we got Sophie, we adopted Mr Mittens, a 4 yr old male. Did all the usual cat intros', started out well til he began bullying the girls, got to the point where they were afraid of him, sent Mr Mittens back to the agency where he was quickly adopted by another family. When I was considering Sophie, I told the new agency what happened with the other cat and they completely understood. To be on the safe side, I fostered Sophie with the understanding that I'd adopt her if all went well. It took a while, a very loooong while, but adopt her we did.

Also, you have choices... either foster another young cat to play with the new one, or return her and try an older cat who's not so rambunctious, or return her and get a bonded pair and see how they fit. You won't be locked into anything and will have the opportunity to adopt them if you want. Keep in mind, shelter cats have gone through a lot in their lives and need plenty of time and patience to feel comfortable in a new home. Just make sure you're ready to try. You'll know if and when you are.
 

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Yes, I used Petfinder to find Bugsy and the description said he loved people and was a lap cat. Be sure to do the search for the description. As for the Humane Society blacklisting you, I think there is always a "trial period" to be able to return a cat if things don't work out. They want to find good homes for their kitties so I'm sure they will give you another chance. Best of luck!
 

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Oh yes, Petfinder is where I found my girls and a really great site, except for one thing... I want take all of them home with me! 🥴
 

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Me too! We have a nice balance now with our 2 cats. I am tempted to look at a third but don't want to jinx it!
 

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Wow that's amazing not only have they accepted each other after only seven days but they are both lying on a lap. Neither my old or new kitty is a lap cat which is what I really want. I think my old cat would accept a cat that is older and calmer and just wants to lie around all day and not bother her. A big worry I have now is that if I return the new cat to the humane society after already adopting him, they will blacklist me from getting another cat from them in the future.
Why would you return that cat now, when the two cats are getting along so well? I don't understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why would you return that cat now, when the two cats are getting along so well? I don't understand.
I was responding to dseag2's post. He posted a pic of HIS two cats sitting side by side on a lap. My cats aren't anywhere near doing that. The old cat isn’t scared of the new cat anymore but he keeps trying to get her to play with him and she growls and hisses at him. This is over a month now.
 

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Yes, that was my post and we have no intention of returning Bugsy. :)
 

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I was responding to dseag2's post. He posted a pic of HIS two cats sitting side by side on a lap. My cats aren't anywhere near doing that. The old cat isn’t scared of the new cat anymore but he keeps trying to get her to play with him and she growls and hisses at him. This is over a month now.
OH! sorry!
 
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