(Closed) Cat lovers.. Is it a good idea to get a 2nd cat?

posted 4 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
626 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

It can go either way with cats. I had an indoor cat, and then introduced another indoor cat 2 years later. They despised each other. They’ve both passed away now, towards the end they tolerated each other but that’s as far as it went. Each would have preferred to be the only cat. 

If your cat is already territorial the signs aren’t good, and I definitely wouldn’t introduce a kitten into that. An older cat perhaps. If I imagine my first cat with a kitten, the poor new arrival would have been traumatised. Could you try socialising him with other cats first?

Post # 3
Member
238 posts
Helper bee

I have successfully introduced 2 adult cats. However, I have also had to return one to the shelter because it was not working. If you get a second cat, get a kitten of the opposite sex. Even then there is no guarantee of success. Cats are very particular about the company they keep!

Post # 6
Member
238 posts
Helper bee

I would also say ALL cats are territorial. They have a heirarchy and don’t usually like being introduced to random cats. Just see how it goes with the actual kitten. Good luck!

Post # 7
Member
1553 posts
Bumble bee

Having two cats is great! But I know that it’s sort of hit and miss whether they’ll get along. We adopted our two as kittens together. Can you get a cat from a shelter that will let you have the cat on a trial basis to see how they get along?

If your cat is happy being an only cat now, I’m not sure he’ll be too concerned with a baby. Our two cats basically ignore the baby unless he’s crying. So you could get lucky!

Post # 8
Member
863 posts
Busy bee

aquastar:  If you’re introducing a kitten then it will be less of a threat to your current cat. In my life, I’ve introduced kittens and the adult cats either pay them little mind, gaze disapprovingly when the kitten tries to chase their tail or something, or warmly welcome them. 

In terms of gender, they say that getting two males isn’t ideal–though I’ve never experienced this first hand.

Post # 10
Member
1434 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Definitely depends on both cats’ personalities and just because one combination doesn’t work out, doesn’t mean another won’t. Agree getting a kitten will be easier as they wont have the adult hormones. I added a dog to my existing cat and I honestly think it was easier than another cat as my cat just doesn’t like cats. He didn’t wlecome the dog and it’s taken patience and perseverance but not only does he tolerate her, they can now be found snuggling up on occasion.

Good luck!

Post # 11
Member
4252 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I adopted my cat before I met my husband and I twisted his arm and he adopted a cat about 7 months after we started dating.  We lived separately until we got married but every time we visited each other we brought our cat to visit too.  They really did not like each other at first, and it took quite some time for them to adapt to each other especially when they were only seeing each other on weekends.  Even once we moved in and thus the cats moved in, they were hesitant.  Fortunately having a new space allowed them to both feel at home and there is enough space where they can each have their own areas.  They still sometimes wrestle and tackle each other, plus they chase each other a lot.  It is mostly in good fun, but when one is obviously uncomfortable we just split them up.  I am hoping they cuddle eventually and they are getting there, but it has taken quite a bit of time!  My cat is 3 years old and my husband’s cat is between 9-10 years old so they are both adult cats even though mine is a lot younger.

I suggest when you adopt your other cat, give that cat a particular space where your current cat cannot go so the new cat feels safe.  You are correct that getting them used to used to each other’s scent before fully introducing them to each other is great.

Post # 12
Member
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

aquastar:  Time to call on Jackson Galaxy (aka, the guy from my cat from hell)

It is possible to introduce two cats, but you have to be slow and patient.  I do think it’s odd that you have a 2 week trial – why two weeks?  Is it a rescue?  It can take at least 2 weeks to get two cats used to each other, if not longer

1. Separate rooms w food/litter/bedding in each.  Feed at the same time on opposite sides of the doors, a couple feet from the door each.  This helps associate new cat smell with something positive, like eating.  Over the course of a few days, move the food bowls closer to the door.

2. Scent/Site swap – move towels that each cat has been using to the other’s happy spots, again so they associate new smell with something happy.  Hissing is normal – it’s cat speak! Give treats as well so they associate nice w/ new smell (see the trend?).  After that, swap the cats so they can explore each others space in safety, and get used to the room.  Again, hissing is normal.  Do this until they seem to be completely comfortable (lounging, playing, no hissing, no puffy fur, etc)

3. Crack the door open with door stops so they can see each other.  Expect hissing and stare downs and pawing (if not swats).  Distract with treats and toys (wands are great!).  See if they start to and allow themselves to be distracted.  Keep it like this until they aren’t growling, swatting, etc.

4. Let them mingle under your supervision.  Most cats hiss and stare, and once they have their little hierarchy talk, one backs down.  If they aren’t being aggressive – treats! Toys!  Cat have a pattern of playing, eating, grooming and then sleeping.  Get them in the pattern with you watching. I prefer still separating them if I’m not home or at night.

Age wise.. well, I’m currently introducing a 9 month foster kitten to my two 3 y/o resident cats (I”m on step 4, thank god).  But, the kitten being playful can be taken as aggression by my other two.  

In any case, the idea is patience, be slow, and don’t just drop them into the same room.  They recognize by smell before sight!

Here is the cat man’s link too 🙂

http://jacksongalaxy.com/2010/10/01/cat-to-cat-introductions/

Post # 12
Member
2098 posts
Buzzing bee

aquastar:  It’s hard to predict… He may or may not enjoy the company of the 2nd cat. That’s why I got a 2nd cat intially- both were still kittens. They were very cuddly and kissy with each other when they were tiny kittens. But as they got older they have grown apart. I guess you could say they are friends but not besties. I do they think they depend on each other more than they realize. If one dies I’m sure the other will be depressed. I think they hang out together… like 10% of their time. They have such different personalities. One is a bit fat/lazy and lies around, the other is very active and busy and follows us around like a dog. I do feel better when we travel or something… that they aren’t alone. And we do work longish hours  a lot of the time. But my husband would be happier if we had only stuck with one cat.. because he has allergies. So it is good to really think of all angles, but you can never give a cat back! I believe adopting an animal is forever. 

Post # 13
Member
16 posts
Newbee

We got a second cat when our cat was 2 years old, but we got a kitten. I think it made it easier since the kitten knew our first cat was the dominant one.

Post # 14
Member
7767 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I am kinda ambivalent on this topic. I don’t think it’s cruel to have one cat and leave it alone all day while you go to work, but I do think getting a second cat can be beneficial. I got a second cat a few years ago and it has definitely helped my first cat, who was very shy, to come out of her shell–she’s so much more social now. But honestly that might have happened anyway with time…who knows, cats are bizarre and unpredictable creatures.

I also believe that (with some exceptions), with time and patience, all cats can be made to adapt to life with a second cat. Definitely get one of the opposite gender, and take your time introducing them. I’m sure the shelter will give you great tips on how to do that. I would recommend getting one of those pheremone dispensers you plug into the wall…that helped with my cats a lot.

Biggest piece of advice would be not to panic if after the first two weeks (or even two months, or a year!) the cats aren’t best friends. You basically just want to reach a point after 2 weeks where you’re not afraid to leave the cats alone together. If you’ve accomplished that, then you should be good to go…the rest is really up to the cats. 

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