Registered: 1197081544 Posts: 686
As many of you know, I lost my soul mate kitty, Gus, almost 6 months ago. He was my boy and will always have a special place in my heart. There will never be another Gus. I have two other cats, Boo Bear, a very shy big black 2 1/2 yr. old boy and Bella, a wiry, 1 year old calico. Even though I love my two kitties, there is just something missing. Neither one of them are lap cats. Gus was my lap kitty. He wanted to be touching me no matter what I was doing.
I always thought that someday I would get another cat. I have been thinking about it more and more each day and feel that I am close to being ready. This is where I need your advice. I have always gotten kittens, but have thought more about getting an adult male cat so that I would know what his personality is like and if he is a lap cat. My concern is how my other cats will react to a new cat. Is it more difficult for cats to accept another adult instead of a kitten? Are adult cats harder to train to know where the litter box is? Are there ever problems with male cats starting to spray if another adult male is brought in. I just want to be sure that I am making the right decision, not only for me, but also for my other 2 cats. Plus, I don't want to bring a cat home and then have to take him back to the humane society. That just seems like it would be so unfair. I appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks Kate (Gus' mom)
Registered: 1199856214 Posts: 774
Hi; I think you could introduce an adult cat into your two cats lives, but it may take some work. It seems to me that sometimes the kittens can be more easily introduced, but then you will not know how that kittens personality will be unless he is somewhat of at least a teanager. They all do have their own personality, and you can alter it not for the most part. Alot depends on how much space you have. Are your cats indoor only? What kind of setup do they have? How many litter boxes? What are the other cats like? Who is top cat in the home? How do the other cats interact with each other? Did they grow up together? Are they related to one another? Either one of them feral, or ex-feral? There is alot to consider. I would really need to know the above to give even a guess. The other thing is how you introduce them to each other. Depending on the situation,you have to keep the new cat seperate. In his own room is best with a closed door inbetween, for about a week.Let the others smell him and interact with him only under the door. You would need to have his own litter box in the room with him. That should stay his litterbox in his room. Always make sure that you have one litter box per cat plus an extra one for just in case. I have a good amount of information if you are interested and I will tell you more. Heidi
Registered: 1197081544 Posts: 686
Thank you so much for responding. I was hoping you might respond as I have read many of your posts and you always have so much helpful information. I am at the point where I really want to bring another cat into our family but I don't want to upset things too much on the home front. My cats are only indoors, but we have plenty of room in our house, approximately 2100 sq. ft. We have two litter boxes in our utility room where they are also fed. Other than times when they are playing, they spend most of their day apart. The one time they are both together is at night. They both insist on sleeping by me on my pillow. My male, Boo, is 2 1/2 yrs. old. Someone dropped him off at our farm when he was about 8 weeks old. When we brought him in the house we already had Gus, who was 1 1/2 yrs. old. Boo is a big teddy bear who weighs about 14 lbs. He is quiet and very skittish in new situations. It takes him awhile to get accustomed to any changes. Most people don't even realize we have him because he never comes out when strangers are around. He spends a lot of his time off by himself sleeping under a bed. Our little female, Bella, is the exact opposite. Always in the middle of the excitement, no fears or cares in the world. She was also dropped off here when she was about 8 weeks old. She just turned a year old. She is a very small calico, only about 5 lbs. I don't know if it is because their personalities are so opposite or if it is because they are a different sex, but neither one seems to be dominate. When Gus was alive, he was definitely top cat over Boo, but he seemed to adopt Bella as a little sister. Boo and Bella really looked to him to be the leader and they were at a loss when he died. Bella does love to antagonize Boo. She loves to pester him until he gets fed up and chases her. Then we start the game of tag, running through the house like banshees. Occasionally, when Boo catches up with Bella, he gets a little too rough and I have to break up the fight. I have never adopted an adult cat, but know that there are so many in need of a good home. I think that is also part of the reason I am considering adopting an adult. I just don't want to trigger any bad habits in my other two cats. A friend of mine has a tribe of cats and she has run into the problem of spraying. I appreciate any suggestions you have. Thanks Kate
Registered: 1164162392 Posts: 1,910
Of course you need to bring a new kittyinto your life!!
I have lived with kitties most of the past 54 years, except when an apartment allowed no pets (tho I did cheat on that more than once!). Here you are, with a heart full of love, wanting a baby who'll be happily melting into your lap. Here we are in a country where literally millions of healthy creatures are put to sleep each year solely because no home can be found for them. It would be so easy to save at least one of those loving lives, and bring immeasurable happiness to you both. Do bring another kitty into your life. Odd as it may sound, a book I once read was helpful when it said to talk it over with the resident kitties and tell them what you want, so that they have a choice in it. I cannot explain how it works, but it does. Then bring in a kitty who looks to you to be right. The initial introductions could happen in seconds, or it could take weeks, with you supervising things carefully so there is not a battle which will take a long time for them to get over. But it can be done, and the rewards are immense. Gus will see this as a tribute to him. Which is a wonderful recognition of all the love that you both shared on this earth. Please keep us posted as you open you loving heart to another beloved furred one.
Registered: 1205715660 Posts: 763
Dear Kate, I know how much you miss your darling Gus and I think it is wonderful that you are thinking of adopting another darling. I lost my beloved Mr. Meowgy 12 weeks ago and I miss his gentleness so much. He was my only male and a darling, my love. I have 5 females left. I love them but they are not nearly as affectionate as my Mr. M was. They all dislike each other. To be honest sometimes my life is a nightmare. I think if I hear them hiss or growl at each other one more time I will scream. I have a big enough house that they should all have their own space but the 2 kittens want to play (I think) and they won't leave the older ones alone. I thought after 8 months everyone would get used to each other. Not happening. I have to keep them separated, the 2 older ones, and the 2 kittens and their mother. I think it depends on the personalities of the cats you have now whether adopting a kitten or an adult is the right thing. I found it a little (just a little) easier when I brought older ones into the mix. My dear Mr. M was so good about it. I personally have found male animals to be more tolerant and accepting. But of course everyone has different experiences. Maybe your darling Gus will pick out a new baby for you. I hope so. Let us know how you make out. Take care, Donna, Mr. Meowgy's mom
Registered: 1199856214 Posts: 774
I am responding to you, I just have to research it a bit first. I will reply tonight.
Registered: 1175824314 Posts: 64
AH CATS! They sure do keep us humble!
At one point, several years ago, I had my five cats and 6 rescues . . not to mention my Rottie-Love and 2 rescued Shih Tzus . . everybody got along swimmingly! Any rescued cats went to homes with the stipulation that if the new home didn't work out, they MUST come back to me! While that happened only once in 18 years, owners would bring them to me to board when they went on vacation. So there was a pretty constant influx of animal life. The Cats were STRICTLY INDOORS! I have noticed that hissing in cats isn't necessarily an aggression . . it's actually how they identify themselves . . lots of "personal smells" in a cats mouth, and cat-play can appear to be pretty violent . .but most of the time . .it's just "their play" (little monsters!)
Old Cat/Kitten, your call . .ask the Creator for "the Right Cat" and it'll show up . . I PROMISE! There will be a period of adaptation, maybe as long as a week . .in my home the first 8 hours could be a challenge . . but they usually work it out. The suggestion to "talk to your cats", is a GOOD idea. While they may not understand the words, they most definitely understand your heart / intention. Use this when that new cat first enters your home. Keep the new one in a carrier for a bit at first. I like to sit on the floor with the carrier and talk to everybody while they all come sniff and do their little hissing display. . it seems that as long as I'm calm and loving the introduction is a good first step. Then I just walk away for maybe an hour and let them work it out. (I stay nearby and keep my ears and eyes open!) the resident cats loose interest . . the new cat (in the carrier) has had a chance to observe and calm . . then, I open the carrier and once again, let them work it out. In 20 years I've never had any real problems.
There will no doubt, be hiding under anything available and chasing and general naughtiness for awhile, stay calm! Instruct the Residents to BEHAVE THEMSELVES! It'll take time . . they're smarter than most humans give them credit for.
They certainly can teach us a LOT!
Good for you (!) in continuing in The Circle Of Life !
In my opinion it's the only way to go!
Trust that you will be Guided!
Much Love and Many Blessings,
Registered: 1198872932 Posts: 1,205
As everyone has said, it can take time. I have done it with adult cats and dogs. Sometimes they never really get on, but just seem to call a truce. Other times they become the best of friends. When I introduced my rescue Shepherd to my cat Jilly was a funny moment. We had the big girly Sorcha lying down and brought Jilly in. She walked up to Sorcha and sniffed her nose and didnt seem too bothered, but then Sorcha stood up and Jilly jumped off all 4 paws. Obviously she didnt realise that there was a whole lot of dog attached to the head. After a few days though, Jilly would go up to Sorcha and stand on her tippy toes to rub her head on hers. Good Luck with whatever you decide. Di xxx
Registered: 1199856214 Posts: 774
I think it is great that you want to adopt an adult cat. And I agree that it would be better to get an adult to make sure that they have the personality that you are looking for. (Funny, rite now I have three 8 week old orange striped male kittens looking for homes)
When looking for your future cat you owe it to your other cats to make sure you don’t bring any illnesses into the home. So whether it be from a shelter or a residence or other organization there are some things you need to check and ask the following questions:
Is the cats eyes clear? Is there any discharge from either eye? Is there a difference in the size of the pupils? Any haziness over the lens of either eye? Are the third eye lids up?
Is the nose clear? Or is there any discharge from either nostril? Is there any blood in or around the nose? If you hold the cat up to your face can you hear any congestion from the nose? Is he sneezing?
Is the hair coat sparse? Does his fur feel dry and rough? Any scabs on the skin? Patches of hair loss?
Are his ears clean? Do they smell bad? Any dried scabs of blood inside them?
Extend the cats claws out of his paws (gently) and look at his nails, any of them shredded? (could indicate fighting with other cats) Are his nail beds dirty?
Run your hands over him head to tail. Does his abdomen protrude abnormally? Does he seem bloated?
Lift up his lip and look at his teethe from both sides of his mouth. Any broken? Does he have any sores or ulcers on his lips or tongue? Is there excessive tarter buildup on his teethe?
Lift up the skin on his shoulders. When you let go does it snap rite back or stay tented up?
Is he being house with other cats rite now? Do the other cats seem healthy? Have you heard any of them sneeze?
How does he interact with the other cats?
Where did he come from? Has he had all his vaccines? Has he been FELV and FIV tested? How did they test him?
Do they offer you a free health check with a Veterinarian?
If all those questions are answered appropriately and I am sure you know the right answers, and if the cat has tolerated all your checking him out things, he is probably a good cat.
So when you take him home make sure you are prepared in advance. He should have a room all for himself for the first week at least. The room should have a litter box and food and water and a cardboard box in it for him to hide in should he choose. The only way your other cats are to interact with him is on their own terms and under the door. So, let your other cats discover the smell under the door themselves. They will probably hiss and may growl at the door. This is fine. DO NOT INTERFEAR they will be fine as long as the door is closed. If you want to play with him go in the room to do so.
After about a week or so whenever your cats can sniff under the door with out hissing, then and only then when you are home, open the door a tiny bit and let him decide to come out if he wants. Under no circumstances carry him out of his room. He has to do things on his terms not yours. Be prepared he will probably wind up running back in with your cats chasing him and growling and hissing. I this happens just close the door again and wait till the next day to try and repeat the above. Sooner or later they will work it out on their terms though. So be patient.
Registered: 1172131641 Posts: 190
Kate, As you probably know we have a big household. We have 3 cats, 2 dogs, 2 hammies, and 1 gerbil. We also had an extra cat, a visitor, for a while. The only difficulty we really had was introducing one female cat to another. They didn't get along despite the fact they were both fixed. The visiting cat had a history of not getting along with any other animals, so once she was removed (we had asked the owner to find different living arrangements for the cat) everything was fine. Monarch was a stray, so she will eat everything in sight - she's on the seefood diet - she see's it she eats it! She was only 1 yr old, and our other two cats were both 5 yrs old. There was a different in activity level. Now, after a year they get along wonderfully. Monarch does have some strange habits that the vet attributes to her being a stray like the food hoarding, obsessively digging in her box after going potty and she was very standoffish at first. Best wishes picking out a new baby!!! Daun
Registered: 1197081544 Posts: 686
I want to thank all of you for sharing your suggestions and the experiences you have had.
Heather, thank you so much for researching this and giving me all of the medical concerns to watch for. I plan on going to our local humane society. I have heard that they are very good and they make sure that their pets are healthy prior to adoption. I also know the vet that they use and he is excellent. I found out that they have counselors there who talk to you about the type of pet you are looking for and they introduce you to as many as you want to visit with. You can play with them in a private room as long as you feel you need to. This is going to be a big step for me. I'm going to try to go this week for an initial visit. I'm just concerned that I may get really emotional when I get there. I'm such a cryer and I don't know how I'll react if I see a cat that looks like my Gus. I hope he'll be with me to guide me. Thanks Kate (Gus' mom)
Registered: 1199856214 Posts: 774
Hi Kate; your welcome. you know if you cry when checking out the prospects it would be good to see which cat is empathetic to your tears. Don't worry about being emotional. there is nothing wrong with grieving for your little Gus. Anyone worth their weight as a person would understand. if they don't who cares they aren't worth the time of day anyway. I wish you luck with your new cat.
Registered: 1192815206 Posts: 1,198
I think Loudpurring's suggestion to see which cat is empathetic to your tears is a very good one. When I went to check out cats after Blackie died I was very sad and would cry at the drop of a hat. The shelter where I found Squeeker keeps cats in a bunch of different rooms, and because I had checked out cats they had for adoption online before my visit, I had in mind a few cats I wanted to check out. When I went into Squeeker's room, he was dozing in his kitty bed. I sat down and quietly called to Squeeker. He gently came over to me and pretty much curled up in my lap and just purred away. He was so friendly and so happy to see me that his claws constantly retracted, the way cat's claws retract when they are happy and they are purring up a storm. At one point he looked right into my eyes and then reached up to my face and placed his paw on my face, taking care to not let his claws touch my skin. He was incredibly sweet and extremely empathetic to my sadness, and after sitting with him in his room for about 10-15 minutes I knew he was the cat for me. Squeeker has only been home with me for a touch over 2 months. But to this day he remains a very loving and gentle cat and still purrs for me without hesitation and still curls up with me on my lap and on my bed, regardless of whether I am happy or sad. Hopefully you will find a cat that will be empathetic to your tears or your sadness or whatever your mood is when you start looking for a new feline companion. I think how a cat reacts to our mood is one way we can know whether the cat is meant to be a part of our lives, and I am convinced that if we keep our eyes and hearts open, whichever cat is meant to be ours will let us know in their own way that we are meant to be together. Kelly Blackie's mommy