Post # 1
The title says it all really. I have a couple of questions concerning taking on another cat.
Quick back story. I have 2 adorable cats. One female, 9 years old and one male, 2 years old. I have had them both approx 3-4 months (both taken in at different times and not together). My 9 year old female took around 6 weeks (with the help of Feliway) to adapt to my wee boy being here. She did all the usual – stalking, growling, hissing, batting every so often. They now, finally, co-exist in harmony. The 2 year old male is very laid back and a gentle soul but full of beans.
Right, to the point. I have been looking at another cat on a Rescue website. He was a stray, 3 years old and recently neutered. I contacted my own rescue lady (where I adopted my 2) and asked her advice. She said this:-
1. ALWAYS bring in a male and not a female as my older lass wouldn’t accept it but my wee boy would.
2. ALWAYS make sure he is younger than my youngest male (who is 2).
3. If the new cat is recently neutered it could become a problem as Tom cats, once they get their paws under the table, like to take over the home.
I can’t stop thinking about this poor wee soul on the rescue website. He’s had such a hard life and is apparently quite loving once you get to know him. It’s been 2 months now and still no takers for him.
Can any of your ladies help and share your experience. I trust the recuse womans advice but wondered if anyone had taken in an older male cat (whereby he was older than the youngest, if that makes sense).
I would appreciate any help. I’m a sucker for the disadvantaged!
Post # 2
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I don’t know THAT much about adding cats (I’ve always gotten ours at the same time), but the age thing seems weird. Will your two-year-old really care that the rescue cat is three?? I tried to google it but couldn’t find much that helped. When I was having some health issues with one of my cats, the forums on thecatsite.com and catforum.com were really helpful… you might try asking on there.
It seems like it’s always a bit of a rough transition to add a cat to the mix but you know the drill, so I’d go for it!
Post # 3
skyeatnight: Oh dear. We’ve had disasterous results with bringing a 3rd (shelter) cat into the family, but I’ve also heard of success stories. I think it depends on a) your cats’ personalities, and b) how much time/work you would be willing to put into establishing a good relationship between the cats. We rushed the introduction process with the 3rd cat and it has been a disaster ever since. However, I think it is also part personality–the ‘new’ guy is active, playful, pushy (he is a sweet boy when he’s used up all his energy!), while the cat he chases and fights with is docile and skittish (and also half his size). It’s been a full year, and we still have to keep them separated. No problem with the older male, who just gives the younger guy a slap in the face when he acts up, but the female gets chased down and fur flies.
Is there some sort of program where you could foster the kitty first and see how things work out between him and your resident cats? That just seems like the best solution for everyone, at least in cases where things might not be going so well.
Post # 4
I agree with trying to foster first. I would actually not bring in a third cat. In my experience when you’re already dealing with rescues, it’s nicer to them to keep their environment stable. They have been through so much change already, and bringing in another so soon seems like it could really throw everything back into chaos. Rescue cats can be very insecure, it depends on the personality. We got one and planned on adding a second. But after he adjusted and we saw how he reacted to outside cats (he can see them from our window and he is terrified), we decided not to put him through that. I’m sure whatever you decide will be fine, I’m no big expert, but I’ve had cats all my life.
Post # 5
My parents brought in a 3rd cat about 7 months ago, and have no issues – all three of them snuggle up on the bed together now. I think there is no “right” or “wrong” order to bringing in cats – either way, they’re going to be finnicky about having to share their turf. for what it’s worth, my parents have a 9-year old female, a 2-year old female, and the newest addition is a 6-year old male.
Post # 6
Well. I have 2 cats. Like you, one male, one female. They didn’t always get along but after a very gradual introduction they are fine now, peas and carrots, they sleep together, play together etc.
The gradual introduction part is the hardest…you might have to put them in separate rooms (2 current cats in one room and new cat in another), obv w/ separate food/water/litter boxes, and let them sort of smell each other out. Maybe put them in a room together after a few days and see how it goes- just watch them carefully.
As long as the new cat was not feral or will not tolerate any other cats, you should eventually be ok and they should all get along.
In my experience (having cats all my life, most rescued) the most difficult gender of cat to get acclimated with your current cats (either male or female) are female cats.
I think you should be okay, with careful intro and patience 🙂 Also…thanks for saving lives!!! xo
Post # 7
There are a few things which are important when introducing cats.
1. Do it right. Follow these steps, and expect it to take anywhere from a few days to 2 months or more: http://www.wvcats.com/integrating_cats.htm
Case in point… it took a mere 2 days for my beloved male cat Ginger (now sadly deceased) to accept my kitten, and even to share a basket with him. It took about 3 months for my female cat to stop hissing and growling at him, even though we did everything right. They had to live in separate rooms all that time.
2. The character of the cats. Some cats are “community cats” who like others and will happily accept them. Others are loners. If you have one community cat and one loner, and you are introducing a new community cat, it may catually be easier to isolate the loner cat and treat them as the newcomer using the steps above. I don’t recommend having more than one loner cat in a multi-cat househols.
3. Size of territory. As a general rule, a cat requires 500 sq ft of space. Overcrowding can lead to disasterous consequences.
PS In my experience, gender and age have very little to do with how cats will get on, although they are generally more likely to accept a very young kitten than an older kitten or an adult cat. It’s much more about the character of the individual cats in question.
Post # 8
Agree that it totally depends on the personalities of the cats. I would ask a lot of questions about the new cat’s interactions with other cats. I was in a slightly different situation that has some similarities – when I moved in with my SO and we blended our cat family, I did notice that my female cats accepted his male cat better than his female cat. However, one of my cats was a stray, and it has been an uphill battle for the little love because she never really lost her “street smarts” and is wary of other animals, especially around her food and water. Since new cat would have that same background, I’d see if the shelter has information about his behavior with other animals and see if you could foster as a trial. Good luck!
Post # 9
Thank you so much for all your comments. Each of them was very informative and very helpful.
I have spoken to the lady at the shelter who said “Monty” is very relaxed, calm and sweet in nature. He likes trying to play with the other cats through the perspex glass in his pen. The good news is that they take cats back straight away if it doesn’t work (I would hate to have to do this).
My only other issue is that Kizzie and Murphy have been fighting of a little black cat that comes into the garden – could tell me everything I need to know??
Post # 10
- Wedding: October 2014 - Disney
I think since the dispositions sound similair it could work if you introduce them slowly.
I have a 3 cat household it was going to be a 2 cat household except the following happened:
1. My daughter wanted her own cat (cat bonded to me like #2 but she views it as her own cat)
2. Cat 2 ended up being very playful and cat 1 did not like it. Cat 1 was getting extremely upset. I refused to displace either cat due to cat 1 being bonded to hubs and not liking anyone else, cat 2 was bonded severely to me and though he now likes other people the rescue that had him found he did not open up to other people. I feel when you take an animal it is for life so rather than go against my vow to each of these cats I sought out a 3rd to play with cat 2 that had a similair disposition.
Our house has a lot more harmony since cat 3 came to stay because cat 1 though she still gets chased which she views as the appocalypse and cat 2 views as yay noisey chase time it happens a lot less. Cat 1 deals with it much better because 99% of the time she gets left alone. Cat 2 and 3 are buddies they romp, chase, wrestle, play, and snuggle. I thought we’d need a slow introduction but cat 2 had to check out cat 3 immediatly and less than 12 hours later the two were following each other all over the house.
Introducing a new cat usually has to be done slowly. Considering the dispositions if done slowly you might be ok.