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I've had my male 8 year old cat since he was born. He is an indoor cat. Throughout his life he has always had someone home with him for around four days a week. For the past four years, he's had someone home almost every day a week.
From September onwards, he will be on his own nine hours a day, five days a week (not counting the entire night he has just spent alone, he will only see us between 6 and 8am before we leave). When we leave the house, he is only allowed in the living room and the kitchen as he began to pee in a corner downstairs and we wanted to prevent it upstairs.
Our fear is that he will become lonely. So we thought that getting a kitten would be good for him as then, he won't be lonely.
I know that some cats prefer to live alone, and I'm not sure if ours does or not. He's never really had a cat fight, if he's outside and they're in the garden, they'll just sit across from each other, that's all. If he's inside and a cat is in the garden, he'll make a snuffing sound and then we have to get rid of the cat from the garden.
It's extremely difficult because we don't know what to do for the best. We wouldn't want to upset him, because he's just the loveliest cat. He's incredibly affectionate, especially when someone comes back home from being out or when we just wake up.
Any advice? :smile2:
 

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Until you figure out the peeing and itching situations, I wouldn't add another cat. Most cats of people who work are alone 9-10 hours a day and do just fine.
 

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An 8 y.o. cat is almost into his senior years, and he's been on his own all his life. I would be very hesitant to bring in another cat or kitten in this situation. If he has already "peed in a corner", another cat would likely cause him to do it even more, as he would want to show another cat that the house is his territory. He's demonstrated his unease with strange cats already by "huffing" at them when he sees them outside. A friendly cat would only watch and observe and may indicate he wants to go out. While you're at work, it would be best if you could continue to have him confined to the living room and kitchen as he is used to. Turn on your TV to a nature channel, such as "acquarium" or one with birds and annimals. Leave him with a food puzzle, rather than any food in a bowl. This will give him something to do. Give him a good 15 min. play session with an interactive toy, such as "Da Bird" before you leave in the morning, and again later in the evening before you go to bed. This activity will drain some of his energy and make him feel more relaxed. He's a happy, affectionate cat now, another one could rock the boat. I think he will do just fine as he is, once he knows your new schedule. All the best!
 

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I agree with all that. I've been pleasantly surprised that a good play session in the morning before I leave for work has worked really well. I was a bit worried that my fosters at least would be bored out of their minds and cause mayhem or just wanna eat while I was at work, but when I came home after a good morning play session, I was surprised that they hadn't even touched the food I left out and were likely just napping the whole day anyway. nothing broken or overturned when I got home. ; ) and I do try to remember to leave the radio on for them. sometimes it's just quiet talk radio. other times it's music to change things up. I used to even leave a DVD playing that automatically played over and over for them. it was just a regular movie, though. I was afraid if I left a nature program on that I'd come home to find the tv broken on the floor or something because they were trying to chase or attack the birds or whatever on the screen.
 

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I would say don't add another cat or kitten.

If a cat has been on his/her own all his/her life, he'll be happy with activities left in the house for him to do (say for example leave bits of food hidden around the parts of the house you're happy for him to be in so if he gets hungry while you're out he can hunt them down)

I used to volunteer in cat rescue and all too often people would give older cats in because they got a new cat and the older cat wasn't dealing with the new situation.

Case in point: 14 year old female cat taken to the vet, owner wanted her euthanised because they'd got a new kitten and 14 year old cat didn't like new kitten and stressed out so much it made her poorly. This example has a happy ending (the charity I volunteered for took her in and placed her as a long term foster) but not all elderly cats find new homes in time if the new cat and kitten don't get on and sadly all too often people get rid of the older cat because a kitten is more "fun".

Only reason I got a new cat after Ebony lost her boyfriend (Tom) was because Ebony and Tom had been together with no problems for a few months and loved each other dearly and poor Ebony fell into a depression after Tom died.
 

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these are heartbreaking stories. it just kills me when any cat is surrendered because of a new addition to the family.


Alex, if you really just want to test the waters for future possibilities, then perhaps you can foster a cat from a local no-kill shelter if they approve you for it before the really big changes come for him. Fostering is so rewarding. Many cats just need a week or 2 out of the shelter environment for many reasons including stress, recovery from a URI, awaiting dental surgery, being on "bite quarantine", etc... and as long as it's a no-kill shelter, you'll know that really you're doing everyone a huge favor by just being able to give a foster a nice home and family for a little while before they go back to the shelter to be put up for adoption again. I always keep that possibility open for my own cat - if he happens to really like someone I bring home, I will seriously consider adopting that foster as well. but it's a great way to see just HOW your cat reacts to other cats and if he might enjoy having a pal around or not in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Until you figure out the peeing and itching situations, I wouldn't add another cat. Most cats of people who work are alone 9-10 hours a day and do just fine.
We had thought that the reason he started peeing elsewhere was because, well he's a big cat and his cat litter had like a roof (?) over it, this meant that it could have made it uncomfortable for him to pee easily. We took the roof off and he seems so much happier with it (when he used to go outside, he'd use the bathroom outside but since we removed the lid, he'd always come inside). So then it could be possible that he's also gotten into the habit of peeing in that corner.
Hopefully he would do fine, it seems like he'd have a large adjustment due to never being alone almost an entire week. I just feel so guilty leaving him for such a long time, but I'd also feel guilty if he didn't like another cat being in the house. Thank you for you advice! :smile2:
 

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@catloverami

Yes, I could imagine that there would be some territory marking, especially since he has gotten into the habit of peeing outside the litter box.
He has never had a fight with another cat, but he does get distress when they're in the garden, so maybe you're right with that one and he just wouldn't get along easily with another.
I like the idea of a food puzzle, maybe we could try it. However, I think he would just become bored if they were anything other than treats, which wouldn't be too healthy if he was having it almost everyday.
The play session sounds good too, I will also try it, he's extremely lazy though and doesn't really play with toys, he's just disinterested. He likes to play fight with me, but I wouldn't have time to do that in a morning and I can't leave with scratches all over, lol. :grin2:
Thank you for all your suggestions, I will definitely try them all! :smile2:
 

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@ebonytigger

I just wouldn't want him to be lonely, i will try activities for him to do, but he's usually disinterested in things like that. I think it's awful that people would abandon their older cat due to a kitten. The older cat was there first, if any leave it'd be the kitten. I think it's so sad how older cats don't get adopted because people only want kittens. :crying:
Yes, if my cat had been in a pair previously, i wouldn't hesitate to get another if they had gotten along, so I think you did the right thing there! :smile2:
 

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@Maggie
I really like this idea! In fact, I love it. But do you think being away from home for nine hours would be okay if we were to foster? Would they not need more human company due to it being a different environment?

I think that this is the way to go, there are so many cats without a house and this could help 2 cats, your own and a new one

Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk
That's very true, however I wouldn't want to upset the cat I already have, as he is the priority
 

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Unfortunately you won't be home to really see what is going on. I wouldn't get a kitten. I feel leary about having a rambunctious kitten around with a senior that isn't playful. Your cat will get older and the kitten will go thru adolescence which is an annoying stage for a senior cat. I have two cats who can go outside and they hardly spend any time together and they are related. I think they both would prefer to be a one cat household. If you foster, I wouldn't keep them together until you can observe and make sure all is ok. I find that my oldest cat lays around a lot and really only wants human attention.
 

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You don't have to use "treats" in the food puzzle. My cats are fed canned food for their meals, but I put a good quality grain-free dry kibble (Orijen) in the food puzzles.
 
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