Post # 1
Over two years ago I noticed a little black cat around my apartment complex. I started leaving out food for him, but he would only eat when I wasn’t around. It took him a few months to eat in front of me, and even longer after that to let me get close enough to touch him. It was a full year before I got close enough to catch him and bring him inside. After a long, looooong process of letting him in for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then an hour then gradually overnight, he has finally become my kitty and it’s been that way for about a year.
He’s the most loving, sweet affectionate kitty, such a change from the kitty who would run away when anyone got near him. The only problem is…he’s scared to be around anyone else. He hides under the bed when anyone comes over, growls when anyone tries to pet him, he’s hissed at my dad (only person I’ve ever seen him hiss at since I officially took him in). I’ve tried slowly introducing him to people and he’s getting a little better (just this weekend he let my mom pet him for about two seconds), but there’s still a long way to go.
Now the delimma: I really want another cat. Badly. I grew up in a two cat household and always imagined I’d adopt two kitties together so I’d never have to worry about introducing a first cat to a second cat. Boo had other plans though and now I don’t know if a second cat is ever a possibility. Before he officially became my cat I’d see him around the apartment complex fighting with and hissing at other strays, he was a feral cat for at least a year or two before I could coax him inside. I will never get rid of my Boo, he’s my baby and I think he’s slowly coming around to other people. But if it’s taken him a year to even get a little bit used to people, will he ever open up to another cat? How long should I wait and what can I do to get him used to the idea?
Post # 3
He might. My friend has a gorgeous cat that was feral that loves her and tolerates (but doesn’t love) the other cats. Her cat is EVIL towards others. If I come in to feed them while she is away the cat stalks to me to attack me. So I think it’s worth a try, but talk to your local pet shelter and let them know your cat’s attitude and see what they think…they may be more than willing to let you do a trial with another cat for a week or two.
Post # 4
My cats used to pal around with the neighborhood strays occasionally! Sometimes they’re better with other cats than they are with people. I think as long as he doesn’t see the other cat as competition for food, they might get along fine!
Post # 5
My cat was not a people person either but I REALLY wanted another fur baby so I went and adopted one anyways and it took a little time and they fought at first but now they are best friends! They sleep together every night and play all the time. Hopefully the same thing would happen for you! I did make sure that I got a grown cat and not a kitten though. It was a no kill shelter so many of the older cats had been around a while and the workers knew their personalities. I just asked for a cuddly cat that loved other kitties and was pretty easy going and they pointed me towards Sebastian.
Post # 6
Difficult to say… it really depends. If you want to go ahead, try it with a kitten and use the proper introduction procedure (should take about 4-6 weeks to complete).
Post # 7
Post # 8
Getting a second cat is a gamble with any adult, established cat. If you wanted to try you would have to introdcue them very slowly, over weeks to months. You live in an apartment, do you have enought space to separate two cats for weeks without one being stuck in a bathroom or bedroom all day?
Post # 9
@pixiecat: No, there are only three “rooms” in my apartment (one big room that divides the kitchen, dining room and living room, a small room for my bedroom and a tiny bathroom). That’s another delimma, Boo freaks out if I ever shut him alone in a room, he meows and scratches at the door until I let him out. He insists on sleeping right under my chin at night. I don’t think I could shut him alone in one room all day when I’m at work, it’d break my heart. I might wait until I get a bigger place.
Post # 10
You can search online for techniques to use in introducing a new cat. It took me four full weeks to get a new kitten where my current cat wouldn’t just flat-out attack him. I kept them separated when I was gone, and when I was there I kept the kitten in a carrier while I let the other cat investigate him (then I’d put cat in another room and let the kitten out to explore). I swapped their bedding back and forth to mingle their scents. I had to tape newspaper over a glass door so they could smell but not see each other (cat would attack the glass). Honestly I started to worry that I’d have to return the kitten! But gradually cat calmed down, they could spend time together uncrated, and after a month could be left alone completely. They have gotten along fine since. If you are willing to put in the effort, it can work! I also recommend a product called Feliway – it’s a hormonal calming product – plugs into the wall like an air freshener and really works to make nervous kitties feel more secure.
Post # 11
@Dizbee: We had a very timid kitty at home who was also a bit special needs as he is blind and has some intestinal issues. He hates other people so we were a little bit unsure of getting another kitty. However, we found a little sweetheart at our local shelter and had to have her. It was definitely a tough first few months. He would growl constantly whenever she was anywhere near him and she would start growling and hissing back at him which made it all worse. We tried the Feliway, but it didn’t help. The vet gave us these pointers:
1) Feed them together on either sides of the same room in separate bowls and slowly bring the bowls closer together over time.
2) Make sure they each have their own litter box and that they are separated so that they each feel like they have their own space.
3) Get them playing and happy (catnip helps) in the same room and slowly bring them closer until they are eventually playing together.
It was a long process, but it worked and now (two years later) they are best friends and often curl up together to sleep. They still have days where they fight, but most of the time they love each other.