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Should we get a second cat? On the fence and not sure what to do ...

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  • Should we get a second cat? On the fence and not sure what to do ...

    So here's the deal. Friend picked up very young brown tabby kitten from the middle of a busy highway. He was 3-4 weeks old at the time, and so now is closer to 6-7 weeks. First home didn't work out, so she's still trying to find him a home. She's asked DH and I if we'd be interested. We are, but ... we have some worries.

    We have two dogs (6 and 7 years old) and a spayed female cat (4 years old). Everyone gets along wonderfully, though older dog (hound mix) needed more time to realize that cat was not to be hunted and was in fact higher than him in the hierarchy. I think the dogs will get used to a kitten pretty quickly, though kitten rambunctiousness could be an issue, and we'd need to watch them carefully around kitten when he got amped. But right now they're the least of our worries.

    Our main worry: We have *no idea* what our current cat might think of a newcomer. She doesn't do strange people and hisses at them. We got her at about 6 months old, and we have no idea what her life was like before that (someone dumped her in the neighborhood and she decided to join our household). We don't want to bring another cat in if she's going to be miserable; that's unfair to her (and unpleasant for everyone else). We can keep them separated, but that means rotating who has access to the main part of the house. Obviously they'd be separated initially, but the goal would be both cats roaming the house freely without drama.

    And the last big worry is my cat allergies. When we got Elinor, they were bad. Over the next year, they got much better. In the last year, they've gotten worse. I can pet her if I am careful, but if I start brushing her, things get bad quickly (red, itchy eyes, wheezing that lasts several hours). I haven't yet been to an allergist, but the time may be near.

    We'd like another cat—two laps, two cats, right?—and this one needs a home. We just don't want to bring him home and have our other cat be really miserable. So ... WWYD COTHers?
    Full-time bargain hunter.

  • #2
    Getting a new cat gives you a 50-50 change that things will work out, or not. I've had kitties move right in and fit in with much older cats, like 10 or 15 yrs older. And I've had cats/kittens move in and the senior cats begin to spray.

    Can you take kitty on a trial basis? Without the people who give him to you moving out of state and changing their names and going into witness protection? LOL, ok, so people who give away cats don't do that, I think.

    So you are sure of kitty's sex? Most giveaways are said to be male and turn out to be pregnant females. The sex of the kitty moving in does not seem to matter in my experience. Nor the age. It seems to all be a matter of chemistry. The more cats the merrier, I hope.

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    • #3
      Adult cats are, generally, very accepting when it comes to kittens and that includes old cranky neutered toms. With proper introduction, the older cat should be fine. FWIW, one of my neutered toms loves kittens and tries his best to be a momma.
      Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

      Member: Incredible Invisbles

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        The kitten has been to the vet and declared male. And at such a young age, I cannot imagine it could be pregnant even if the "male" bit was incorrect.
        Full-time bargain hunter.

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        • #5
          Make an appointment with an allergist and go get that baby!!

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          • #6
            Whats the kittens personality? We got a kitten who barely tolerated us as well as our older cat. Hindsight tells me we should have rehomed her. Our older cat passed away recently but skitzo is still around.

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            • #7
              I say go for it if the kitten seems to have a good temperament.

              We have just increased our cat population from one to two. Spike, who is coming up to 8yrs, is fairly mellow, but has defended his new house and garden vigorously from the neighbours cats (after provocation – one was coming in the house). He is a very smoochy, cuddly, talky kitty.

              Just over a week ago we picked up Mac, a 13wk old kitten, who is as bold as a lion, quite large and very rambunctious.

              Spike was slightly horrified at first – and even seemed a little scared of Mac for the first 2 days. Then he just hissed at Mac when Mac was about 3’ away. Then he would tolerated sniffing noses, but not being pounced at. During this time he was quite aloof with us and didn’t purr or talk as much. He still slept on the bed at night as the kitten was shut in his room. We did take the time to introduce them fairly slowly; transferred the scents with clean socks and let them see each other the first time through a crate ‘barrier’, then careful supervision etc.

              Every day they seem to be getting on better – Mac does push the boundaries and spends a lot of time stalking Spike round the house. Spike is getting more and more tolerant of ‘Mac Attacks’ and while he gives him The Paw on occasion he doesn’t seem to use his claws. Spike is back to his normal purry, talky self and loves the fact that we will open and close doors according to his will (Mac has figured out the cat door so we have to keep it on ‘in’ only, so when Spike wants to go out who has to obey his every whim?)

              Obviously we’re hoping that they’ll become BFFs (Best Furry Friends), but even if it just stays where it is now they both seem very happy.

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