Nervous about getting a second cat. Any stories, suggestions, or opinions?

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
763 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Honestly, don’t get a second cat to keep the first one company.  I did that – it did not work.  Unless you get two kittens (or two cats at the same time), IMO, one will always try to be dominant over the other one. 

I had a needy cat, so I rescued another one (to keep #1 happy) and I ended up with 2 needy cats 🙂 (my two cats are 6 years apart in age)

If you want a second cat becuase you want to be a 2-cat household, that that is one thing.  Yes, you can make it work.  It might take some time and patience on your end, but you can make it work.  But if you think you are getting a playmate for your existing pet, I suggest re-thinking your plan to get kitty #2.

Post # 4
Member
2593 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

If you are irritated by ONE cat wanting attention and snuggles, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT get a second one!  

 

DH and I love cats.  We have an adult kitty, (around four now), and recently added an older kitten, (around seven months) to our family.  When we first got her, the kitten was NOT a snuggler.  She wouldn’t want to be held for more than a few seconds, didn’t want to sit on your lap for snuggles and pets….it was actually pretty frustrating because I LOVE kitty snuggles!

 

As time went on, she slowly learned that “Hey, Snuggles are AWESOME!”  The first time she sat on my lap for five consecutive minutes and without being forced was a major victory.  NOW, between the two cats, I rarely have a time when I am not without a kitty…I go into to the bathroom, one or both kitties follow.  I try to make dinner, I am tripping over one or both kitties, (the DOG I can at least order out of the kitchen when he gets in my way).  I’m on the computer, there is almost always a cat on my lap or, more annoyingly, on my desk/trying to walk across my keyboard.

 

Bringing home another cat is just going to double the amount of attention-seeking-behavior and double your frustration.  LOL.  Have you tried spending half an hour or so with your cat when you get home?  Spend a few minutes just having snuggles and kisses and letting him know you missed him, then break out the laser pointer or cat teaser and give him a workout.  Our older cat likes the toys, but our younger cat goes NUTS for the cat teaser, and will play until she’s panting.  After a workout like that, maybe your kitty will be tired enough to leave you alone, or at least sit quietly on your lap/near you, (do you have a cat tower or pet bed or a box you can put near your workspace, so he can feel CLOSE to you without getting so much in your way?). 

ETA: one of my Facebook friends posted this earlier today, and it’s pretty much spot-on, and SOOO appropriate for this thread.  Someone needs to do one with two or three kitties for “Life with Multiple Cats,” too!

Post # 5
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Has your cat ever seen another cat or been around one to know how he would react?  My cat growing up could have never had a housemate (or been a cat where it took weeks-months to integrate them) whenever she saw outdoor cats going through our yard she went insane. 

I had my boy cat for a year before I adopted a second cat.  She was about a year old when I adopted her and my boy cat was two years.  Their introduction went very well, but that is often not the case.

I am home during the day because I work second shift and the cats will play, wrestle, chase each other, groom each other, but they also sleep on their own a lot.  They still bug FI and I for attention all. the. time.  So now there is double the cats demanding attention!

If you are able to commit to potentially weeks of introducing them I think it is fine.  Unfortunately, you can’t really know how it will go until you take the plunge.

Post # 6
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I’m going to be the minority in this post, but FI and I have two cats and we love it.

 

I got my cat first. He was a stray and still a kitten when we got him. Then about a year later FI decided he wanted a cat (we were just dating at the time). So he adopted a young cat (about 18 mo old) from a shelter. The cats instantly took to each other. They’re best friends. They play fight, snuggle, groom each other, etc. Yes, they still get jealous when it comes to human attention, but nothing that’s really worrisome. For example, if my cat is getting petted, FI’s cat will run up and try to get between me and my cat so he can get petted, too. But they’re still besties. And each cat seems to have their own individual “mommy time” and the other cat respects that. For instance, my cat will cuddle on my lap sometimes while I’m watching TV. FI’s cat never tries to interfere. On the other hand, FI’s cat loves to sleep on my pillow every night but my cat never fights him for it. He always lets him sleep there.

 

I’m like you. We’re very busy and my cat is very social and loves to be cuddled. I dont’ know what we’d do if we only had one cat. We’d probably just have a very lonely kitty.

Post # 7
Member
8593 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

We have 2 cats and I love it.

We got a boy kitten first and got a girl kitten (a few months younger than him) about 4 months later.  I was a little nervous about it because I know it doesn’t always go well but I figured they’re both young enough it would be alright.  We did keep an eye on them the first few days and kept them apart unless we were supervising because the older boy was chasing her around and chewing on her and she seemed afraid.  By the end of the first week they were perfectly fine.  Now they both chase each other around and play and get along fine for the most part.

I have been in one situation where the 2 cats absolutely did not get along.  They were both adult females so I think that was the main issue.  So if you get 2, definitely get the opposite sex.

Sometimes you know that a cat wouldn’t want to be around other cats.  My parents old cat freaked out every time it even saw another cat outside and you could tell it just wouldn’t get along with another one inside the house.

I have no problems giving them both lots of attention but I also like it that they keep each other entertained if we’re gone.  They chase each other and around and play together and sleep together.  But just because they keep each other company doesn’t mean they won’t need the same amount of attention from you as before!

Post # 8
Member
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

We have two cats, and I’m so glad we made the decision to get the second! Our first (a male) was about three years old when we got the itch to adopt again. We thought it might be good for him to have a “friend,” but mostly we were being selfish and were just itching for a kitten.  🙂 

Our oldest is a male, and he is super needy and super chatty. He wants to be all over me every minute, and if I’m not around, he’ll settle for DH. He’s always hanging out with us, and “talking” to us, especially when he’s hungry. And sometimes he just needs his “mama time,” and he and I have to cuddle for a while before he allows me to get up and do other things. He’s also scared of EVERYTHING. 

So, we went to the shelter in search of a new lil furbaby, and DH bonded with a 7-week-old female. And in the time we spent interacting with her, we could tell immediately that she had exactly the opposite personality of our older guy. Sure she was friendly and enjoyed interacting with us, but she was clearly an independent gal with some real swagger, and she wasn’t taking any crap from anyone. And she certainly wasn’t afraid of any of the bigger kitties! 

We brought her home, and our big guy was afraid of her at first. This teeny little kitten, and he was scared! He just hid under the bed pretty much all day for the first couple of days. We were heartbroken, thinking, “What did we do?!” But then, one day he decided to give her a chance (about a week after we brought her home), and they’ve been buds ever since. 

We heard a lot about how we should continue to treat the older guy like the head of the household, which we did, so that he wouldn’t think we were trying to replace him. But now, the little one (who’s about half the big guy’s size at 2 years old) is CLEARLY the dominant one of the two, and the older one couldn’t care less. It works for them. 

They’re very much opposites of each other, but it works! We love them to bit and pieces! I can’t imagine our lives without both of them. 

Post # 9
Member
2593 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Just to clarify, I am absolutely not against having multiple cats in general!  When DH moved in with me while we were dating, we had FOUR cats, (my family’s two and his two).  My parents have two cats.  DH and I have two cats, and I would love to add more if I could convince DH.  

I am just saying that if the OP is bothered by ONE cat pestering her for attention, she probably doesn’t want to add another cat into the mix, because she’s more than likely going to suddenly have two cats pestering her for attention.

 

Post # 11
Member
5839 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

@auggiefrog:  Our first cat(who we call Big Boy) was 4yo when we got our 2nd cat (who we call Little Boy). We got the 2nd cat because despite being on diet food and not eating any human food, Big Boy was 21 lbs. He needed a playmate. 

Big Boy and Little Boy get along okay, but arent best buds. No fights and only occasionally playing. 

So when Big Boy was 6 and Little Boy was 2, we got Pretty Girl. We knew Little Boy really, really needed a playmate. So now Little Boy and Pretty Girl play together all.the.time. Little Boy is so much happier!

And surprisingly, Pretty Girl has weasled her way into Big Boy’s heart. She often walks right up to him, puts her head down and Big Boy is powerless and has to groom her. And he even has started playing more and has lost 3 lbs!

Keep in mind the introduction is very, very important. Keep them separated for at least 1 week, if not longer. We kept both new cats in the Guest Room. We took turns sleeping with the new kitten. During the day the older cats had the run of the house. About day 3, in the evenings, the older cats get put into the Guest room and new kitten get the run of the rest of the house for a few hours. It’s a way for them to get used to the new smell. (also rub the new kitten with something the old cats have slept on and vice versa) Start feeding the cats on either side of the door so they start associating yummy food with new smell. 

Little by little, watching your cats for cues, start to introduce them.With Pretty Girl, Little Boy was so eager to meet her that it was only a couple of days before I let them meet and sniff each other for 5 mins. But Big Boy needed more time. 

Eventually, you can have them interacting under supervision while you are there, but separate them while you are gone or asleep. I think finally after 3-4 weeks we could go back to normal.

Be prepared for some hissing and even a tussle or two while they set up dominance. Dont be afraid to step in if it gets too violent, especially for a small kitten, but dont step in at every little hiss. 

Post # 12
Member
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 13
Member
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

 

 

In the last 3 years I have gotten 3 new cats. We had an older cat (around 8, and male) when we introduced a new kitten (male).  It took around 1 month until they were like brothers. It took around less than a week until the hissing stopped.

 

Then one year later we got a little girl kitten and both of the other cat’s were not too happy, but the it was mostly the older cat that didn’t like her, no fights only hissing and ignoring her, the younger male cat was obsessed  by her in the beginning, constantly stalking her, following her around all the time, everywhere.  Hissing and so on, nothing serious, soon he realised that she likes to play like him (the old cat had no interest in this) so they soon became really good friends playing and sleeping together. For the old cat it took a full year until he accepted her and would sleep next to her, but there was no problem between them, he was just ignoring her.

 

This year we last our oldest cat, which was awful, and the younger male cat was grieving him for a long time after, he has become “older” after this. So we decided to get a new cat, so we got an older cat, a bit more than a year old (also male). The new cat had lived alone in an apartment for most of his life, except for around a month before we got him. Then he had lived were there was wild cats, and those cat’s were really mean to him. So his experience of other cats was very negative.  So this time introducing a new cat was really difficult, it took weeks and it was really emotionally draining. I felt  several times like this will never work.  The new male cat was very afraid and didn’t know how to interact with other cats. So he tried to be bossy and aggressive (even though he really is a easily scared cat) The other cats are pretty easygoing, but they became angry because here was this new cat that tried to boss them around when they were more curious. The new male cat was specially aggressive to our little girl cat (she looks a lot like the wild cats that he had met) I kept them in the 2 separate rooms next to each other  so they could still smell each other and interact safely from each other. And I switched the cats between the rooms, so they could smell everything in the other room and so they spent time alone, and with me.  And when I put them together I only did it in the beginning (after a week or so) for short moments and I was constantly there, and when I did this I used specially good food (separate bowls for the new and old cats, a bit distanced) so that they would associate the meeting with something positive…still lot’s of hard work , patience needed.

 

It’s important that you let them work out who is the boss, but you have to break up the fights if they get to hard, you are still the big boss. But it ended well but it really took like 2-3 months I think until I could leave them alone in the same room overnight or if we went somewhere.  Now around  7 months later they are friends, specially the new cat and our little girl. They both love playing together.

 

In my experience when I separate my cats ( when they are sick , after operation…) then after  a time they are much more dependent on my attention , the come to me, want my attention more. And when they are together again then they are more drawn to the other cats then to me.

 

Anyways if you want to bring in a new cat in your household, you have to make sure that you have the time to do it, it takes time and patience. In my experience it’s easier to introduce a kitten than a grown cat, but it’s definitely not impossible to do so. If your life is stressful now, then this is not a good time to do it. I would recommend it that you do it when you have a lot of free time/ vacation time.

 

Post # 14
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I have had my (boy) cat for almost 10 years. When my fiance and I started dating, he had a little (girl) kitten. When we moved in together we had to combine the kitties too, so while it wasn’t spur of the moment, it was more circumstantial that they ended up together (I am sure I would have wanted a second kitty, but not sure I would have gotten one on my own).

 

Initially they did not get along. There were little fights and stuff (nothing major, but continuous). Mostly these fights seemed to revolve around my cat just wanting to chill and my fiances cat being a young kitty and just wanting to play all the time.

 

They have come around though, to where they are companions (they’re often in the same room), if not best friends (they don’t sleep together or cuddle with each other). I think secretly each is glad to have the other around, though they would never admit it 🙂

 

 

 

Post # 15
Member
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I have three cats. One of them hates the other two so much that she moved next door. Cats are not naturally sociable animals, and they can fight and resent each other. Do not get another one unless you are 100% sure. Unless they grow up together you can have issues.

If you are determined to get another cat, here are some tips:

– An adult cat is more likely to tolerate a kitten than another adult

– A cat is more likely to tolerate a cat of the opposite gender

– Indoor/outdoor cats are more likely to tolerate a new cat more than indoor only cats

– Introduce the cats using set procedure given over the internet (just look up “introducing cats” for the stages).

– Think what would happen if the cats do not get on after 6 months. Who would you give them to? Which one would you give away?

Post # 16
Member
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@auggiefrog:  We adopted the younger one when we did simply because we felt the itch at that time. So it was completely random and had nothing to do with the older one’s age. I think that we would have considered adopting the second kitten at any point, really, regardless of our first guy’s age. Although, of course, we have a cranky 17-year-old family cat who lives at my parents’ house, and I don’t think ANYONE would consider bringing a new kitten home to him at this stage in his life! 

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