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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven't been here as much as I would like, I've been busy...

Anyhow, I've got some questions, mostly aimed at those with multiple cats. I've got a 2 year old male (neutered) cat, Gizmo (see my sig to get a glimpse of him, camera's acting up so I can't post new pics yet). The family has been thinking about getting another cat (no specifics yet, probably another moggie), and I was wondering what everyone thought about that... which leads to my questions:

1. Is Gizmo too old?
2. Which would be better, kitten or adult?
3. Male or Female?

I'm definitely doing research about the process and whatnot before jumping in, as I don't want to ruin Gizmo's life (or the other cat) and make a giant mess of things. If you also want to add in your 2 cents, feel free, any advice helps (even if it's the "don't do it" kind).

If room is any help, I live in a house with plenty of room, and I have a 1 year old Lab, Chance. He does leave Gizmo alone (unless Gizmo starts trouble, but they don't get too rough).

Any help is appreciated, thanks.
 

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I only have experience with adding a kitten to another young cat's (8 months) life, I'm sure others here with much more experience than me can offer good advice on how to introduce a new cat with an adult.

The one thing I have learned is absolutely most important though is temperament! Gender, age, breed, etc. all take a back seat to that. If you get a second cat you definitely want to pick one that matches Gizmo's temperament well. If he's a quiet, shy, laid-back cat, then another quiet, relaxed cat would be a good idea. If he's really playful, then a social, high-energy cat or kitten would be good. If he plays rough, then another feisty cat that can hold his or her own is important.

I was worried about similar things in getting my second cat. I was worried Apollo would be miserable, but in his case it worked out great. His behavior improved as he's more socially engaged now. He loves having a buddy to play with and groom and chase around. But he is a very social, playful cat, so it was sort of a given with him that he'd like a friend. So whether or not it's a good idea may depend on how social or territorial Gizmo is.
 

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I don't think Gizmo is too old, and while one can never be 100% certain, I don't see any reason to foresee problems, unless Gizmo has had problems getting along with other cats in the past. I'm assuming he currently gets along reasonably well with Chance.

I would tend to go with a kitten, rather than an adult, since doing so would increase the odds of success. But, I'd recommend a kitten in the 4-8 month range, as opposed to a baby.

Sex is not really a determining factor, although another male might have a slight edge over a female. The more important factor is personality. You should try to select a kitten with a similar personality to Gizmo. So, if Gizmo is relatively quiet/shy, select a kitten who is also on the quiet side. If Gizmo is rambunctious and active, select a more active kitten.

You would want to have the kitten neutered/spayed and, if the kitten you select has not already had the surgery, I would try to arrange it relatively soon after you adopt. Otherwise, you run the risk of introducing the two cats, only to have to re-start the introduction when the kitten returns from the vet. So, the sooner that's dealt with the better. Better still would be to adopt a kitten who's already been neutered/spayed.

Good luck!
 

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Too old? Gosh, he's only two!! :grin:

I would introduce a young cat, maybe not too young, 4-8 months old, like Susan said, would be good. And size does matter. Some 8 month old cats are bigger than my girls, so I would get someone definitely smaller than Gizmo so he's not threatened and they'd be easier to integrate. I would get a little girl kitty, but that's just me. I think Gizmo would like a little girlfriend.
 

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I would introduce a young cat, maybe not too young, 4-8 months old, like Susan said, would be good. And size does matter. Some 8 month old cats are bigger than my girls, so I would get someone definitely smaller than Gizmo so he's not threatened and they'd be easier to integrate. I would get a little girl kitty, but that's just me. I think Gizmo would like a little girlfriend.
Yeah, getting a little 4 month girl worked out well for Apollo. He was not at all threatened by her because she was so small (about half his size) and friendly, but also didn't completely threaten her because she was feisty enough to keep up with his aggressive playfulness.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for the replies.

Gizmo does get along well with Chance, in fact, Chance leaves him alone and he'll start trouble with Chance, resulting in them playing together.

Socially, Gizmo's in the middle somewhere, he doesn't seek attention, but he won't shun it either. He's really not all that active either, but at night he can get a little rambunctious.

It's tough to gauge him with other cats, he doesn't really look like he wants to strike at them, but he does become alert when aware of them (he did swat at the window once).

Lol :), as for him being too old, call it a result of my research, I read in some articles that a cat can become too old for another cat (not all articles said it). Naturally I agree with you marie73 in that he isn't too old, but I wanted to make sure.

Size is going to be the fun part, he's not that big, in fact, he's quite small (not tiny, but he's definitely going to make things hard).
 

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He sounds like he might do well with another friendly cat then. Egging on the dog is a good sign that he's willing to engage in play with a housemate.

It'll probably be easier to find a cat smaller than him in the 4 month range, depending on just how small he is. I think in some breeds females are smaller than males too, so you may have some luck with a young or petite female cat.

But honestly, if he plays with your dog, then size probably isn't an end-all concern for him. Sounds like he's fairly social and confident.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alrighty, thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.

My family is interested in getting a Siamese baby kitten (8 week mark).

I think he's supposed to weigh about 11 pounds (vet said that's to be his ideal weight), right now he weighs about 13 pounds (little chubby lol, working on getting that excess weight off).

Would a baby kitten be too risky? Would a Siamese be able to work, or should I consider a breed less outgoing than a Siamese (I hear they are very social, but I lack first-hand experience)?

Right now I think I've got the entire introduction process down, as well as what to do when something goes wrong, and what signs to look for that show that the entire thing is a bust.
 

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A couple of points on an 8-week old kitten. First, it's not clear whether you intend to bring home the kitten in the next few days, whereupon he/she would be around 8 weeks, or in a few weeks to a month, whereupon he would be 10-12 weeks old. I might suggest the latter. In fact, I'd be a little concerned about a breeder who would let their kittens leave at only 8 weeks. Staying with their Mom/littermates until at least 10, preferably 12, weeks helps to teach the kitten proper behavior.

As for bringing home a baby, whether 8 weeks or 10/12 weeks old, the only problem (which is not insurmountable) is they can tend to be a little too "in your face" at times...a bit of a pest, if you will. So, with a baby, you might need to spend some time distracting him/her if he/she starts pestering Gizmo too much. On the other hand, Gizmo might put the kitten in its place from the get-go, which would save you the trouble! I can't speak to the Siamese breed, so I'll leave that for someone who has raised one before.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Definitely not bringing one home within the next few days that I'm aware of, but I'll make things clear with them. So no 8 week kittens, I forgot that they needed up until around the 10 week mark (thank you for reminding me).

I'll definitely look for a breeder who lets their kittens go at 10-12 week mark (I'll also look for other things to ensure the breeder is a good one, and not some BYB), I'm not in that big of a hurry and I'd rather the kitten know everything there is to know from the mom and littermates.

I hope the Siamese will work, as the family has been wanting one for quite some time. But if it doesn't, I'm sure they'll find another breed to match what they want and will go well with Gizmo.
 

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I recently got a Balinese (a long haired Siamese). She is now 7 months old. One of the things I notice when she's relating to my other cats is that although they get along quite well, she always wants to be the center of attention. If I am petting another cat, she will run and nudge them out of the way so she can be petted. She wants to be on my lap all the time and although she will share the couch with the other cats, she has to be the one closest to me. She's like that with everything.

If you have a good relationship with Gizmo and he's very affectionate with you, this will most likely change if you get a Siamese. My other cat, Egypt who was the one closest to me before Lacey, the Balinese came along, has felt a bit neglected at times. I sometimes have to lock myself in a room with Egypt alone to get some private cuddling time with her without Lacey barging in. Lacey has to be front and center all the time. However, if Gizmo is more of the independent type, it will work quite well...just something to think about.
 

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My kittens are lynx-point siamese. Possibly/probably mixes as they're shelter cats, but they display all the classic behavior traits of the breed so hopefully I can offer some helpful input!

Siamese are definitely very very outgoing cats. They're way more energetic than any cats I or my boyfriend had growing up. They can definitely be a little "in your face."

My first one, Apollo, was such a trouble maker for the first few months. We actually got our second cat Athena to keep him occupied and work off some of that excess energy so he didn't cause so much trouble, and that worked great. We got Apollo at approx. 8 weeks. Not from a breeder, from the local county shelter, so we don't know his exact age or when he was separated from his littermates/mother. Thankfully he turned out fairly well-adjusted. Just very rambunctious. We definitely had to be very patient and persistent about training him out of any bad behavior.

I definitely second the recommendation of waiting until 10-12 weeks if you're going the breeder route for all the reasons Sassy mentioned.

They're very social cats, and demand a lot of attention from their people. It's not unbearable. I still have time to get work done and do the things I need to do, but they definitely have their moments where they're like, "Ok drop what you're doing. I am going to sit in your lap/on your keyboard until you pay attention to me."

They're also extremely clever and playful. I've never had a kitten before these guys but I assume any kitten involves some of this...you may have to curb some bad habits at a young age. Both of mine at some point or another have started chewing on or playing with things they weren't supposed to. They also love tearing around the house chasing each other.

They can be somewhat vocal, especially purebreds. Athena is almost silent, but Apollo is a little noisy. Not as noisy as his purebred counterparts though. They definitely like to meow. Sometimes when they want something, sometimes when they're bored and want to play, sometimes it seems for no reason at all. XD

All that said I absolutely love them. They're not skittish or shy at all. Athena loves to snuggle and actually plays fetch with me. Apollo runs up to me any time I get home from being gone and promptly rolls over onto his back wanting me to rub his belly. Basically I am hooked on them and will probably always own siamese/siamese mixes. They're a good combination of friendly and challenging, which is what I like in a pet.

My only concerns with Gizmo would of course be their energy levels, especially in a young kitten. They're pretty over the top hyper as kittens and while mine aren't adults yet (Apollo is 8 months now, Athena is 5 months) they haven't mellowed a whole lot. Apollo's most marked behavior improvement/mellowing occurred when we got Athena though, so already having a cat should help with the hyperness if Gizmo takes to the kitten well.

My cats do play a little rough. Apollo especially. They're definitely not generally a timid breed at all. It's hard to say how Gizmo would react without seeing his temperament in person. From what you've told us, it could go either way. He might be perfectly fine with a nutty siamese, and enjoy the enthusiastic play, or he would find it a bit overwhelming. I have heard stories of siamese that outright torture another cat to the point where it hides all the time but those cases I've heard about have always been when a very shy, timid cat was placed with one or more siamese. They're best matched with a confident, energetic cat that can hold their own and deal with their energy.

My experience (in owning and reading up on them) is specifically with the classic "applehead" siamese (the stockier more traditional cat looking ones) rather than the modern wedgeheads (the lankier ones), so I don't know how much of this will apply if you're looking at a modern siamese, but applehead siamese are also one of those breeds where the female is often smaller than the male, so if you're still looking into getting a cat that'd be a close size match for Gizmo, you may have good luck finding a small female siamese. The males (at least of the applehead variety) tend to be much bigger and stockier. Apollo filled out to be a very muscular cat, while Athena is still pretty petite. She's still about half his size.

This is not all pertinent to behavior or compatibility with other cats, but another one of my favorite siamese traits is the way their markings develop. Siamese kittens (lynx or solid point) start out white or very pale and their markings come in darker as they age. So the kitten you get may look dramatically different when he or she reaches adulthood. Some people may not like not knowing what their cat is going to look like eventually, but I personally think it's really neat. They're like surprise kittens. Although I would imagine a good breeder would be able to give you at least some notion of what sort of markings they'll develop based on how their markings are starting to come in and what genes their parents carry. A well-informed breeder with a clearly documented lineage can to some degree work out the possible color combinations a litter of two specific cats might produce, although they may not be able to know for certain.

The patterns they come in are solid (the most common obviously, and the "traditional" siamese look), lynx (this is what Apollo's markings are), tortie, or torbie (this is a lynx-tortie, and what Athena's markings seem to be coming in as). The colors are seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, and red/flame.
 

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Most breeders don't allow their kittens to go before 12 weeks minimum, and often it's 16 weeks. I got my 2 Devons at 16 wks. and they had already been neutered and spayed. It would be better to get your kitten after all the Christmas celebrations are over and you're more settled in your usual routine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone for the help,

So, it stands right now to find a good breeder who sells the kittens at 10-12 weeks (12 weeks being the preference), and we are definitely going to wait until after Christmas for things to settle down and for our routines to get back to normal.

Now, I'm starting to think that the Siamese is going to be a bit much for Gizmo, he's confident, but not that energetic and the Siamese might drive him bonkers. They are definitely gorgeous cats though.

Is there a more calm breed? I've started looking into cats like the Maine Coon and Ragdoll, how are those? The Maine Coon might be a little too big, but a female might be just his size ( I hope). I want one that's easy to groom (heard that about the Ragdoll and Maine Coon), and maybe a little more easygoing than the Siamese. I'm going to definitely research the breeds before making any further decisions.

Thanks again :), I appreciate the help.
 

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I want one that's easy to groom (heard that about the Ragdoll and Maine Coon), and maybe a little more easygoing than the Siamese.
Don't believe everything you read! :)

I have a purebred Ragdoll, Muffin. She requires daily grooming or her coat will become matted. She sheds like the dickens in spring and fall. When I change my vacuum cleaner canister, I have enough white fur to make a new litter of kittens!

I also have a Ragdoll/Persian mix, Abby. I would have expected her to be the one that would be difficult to groom, since they say Persians require a lot of work. Nope. Abby's coat is very easy care. I don't have to do anything.

As for temperament, Ragdolls are very laid back, easy going and gentle. My Muffin has some "issues" in that she's very skittish, but that's less related to her breed and more related to the fact that she was not well socialized as a kitten. And that's another thing to watch for if you do buy from a breeder.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ah yes, the dreaded sorting out with articles lol :). That's why I'm doing research and asking questions.

Yeah, that's why I figured I'd ask someone whose experienced with the breed (Muffin's gorgeous). I'm mostly looking for something that is calm and can be a little active, but nothing that almost bounces off the walls, I'm willing to groom, but nothing too difficult in maintenance. I am starting to grow kind of fond of Persians, how is Abby, the Ragdoll/Persian mix? Aren't Persians overall difficult to groom? (I'm gonna call this website my Mythbusters lol).
 

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I don't know if you'd consider getting one from a rescue, and not sure if it is too far from you? We adopted 2 cats from this rescue in July this year, and it was a 6 hours one way drive for us (made 2 trips) and it was worth the drive! They have some sesame cats, as well as ragdoll right now. You can always write to them to see which one would be a good match for Gizmo?

Available For Adoption | Purebred Cat Rescue
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you for the link, but that's unfortunately too far away.

Right now, the family's looking for a breeder quality kitten, but I try to keep all options open as much as possible, so if they decide to adopt, then I'll be sure to find a closer one.
 
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