We have had cats for the past 20 years. Obviously not always the same ones and a mix of 3 usually. They have all mixed really well until we took on the last rather cross girl, totally unintentionally as you do with strays. we now are back to a boy and the cross one. Both neutered. Would love to get a kitten but worried that cross kitty wil be awful again. She bullied the previous girl to distraction. Is it worth the risk. Have had loads of mixed advice...cats don't know age, girs dont get on etc, any ideas much appreciated
...Being "Cat-People" ( we have 8-plus Take care of All Strays that people let Go...Outside).You do not State if Any of your Cats are "Outside" Cats.This will make a Huge Difference in the Correct Answer to your Question.
We have always had at least 2 cats. We've had Oopscat for 17 years, a male who's a right old softie. Five years ago we took in a rescue cat who's a big ToughGuy, he thinks he rules the neighbourhood. Two years ago, Oopscat was on his last legs (so we thought) and we decided to introduce a Kitten. Oopscat rallied so now we have ancient, doddery old Oopscat, mental 2yo girl Kitten, and ToughGuy.
Oopscat wanders around looking confused and just wants a fuss. ToughGuy just about tolerates Oopscat, ignores him for the most part and only hisses if Oopscat tries to steal ToughGuy's food. ToughGuy loathes Kitten with a passion and swipes at her whenever she gets too near. Kitten bounces everywhere, ambushes both cats constantly, and steals their food whenever possible. She is completely unfazed by ToughGuy.
We were worried that ToughGuy wouldn't accept a kitten so at the rescue centre we looked for the most confident kitten we could find. In this one litter, we were looking at two ginger boys when Kitten bounced through the catflap, knocked her brothers out of the way and all but said "HEY, TAKE ME!". Decision made.
Only you know your cats, but if you do go for a kitten, don't go for the cute one who looks loveable. Go for the one who can stand its ground!
We got Psycho Kitten (cat No 3) in May - and yes, he doesn't lack in assertiveness . The older cats were initially just terrified - someone told me they find kittens scary because they assume that lurking somewhere is a protective mother cat. One basically moved into the garage for a good month. Lots of hissing and minor scraps once the terror went. And now they sort of tolerate each other - the kitten won't leave one of the oldies, in particular, alone and leaps on her back at any opportunity, but they're currently asleep on the same chair so there is some harmony.
Psycho Kitten is much loved and I don't regret getting him - except I sort of do. I can't imagine not having him, but it did cause the older ones a lot of angst (if a cat have suffer angst). And 3 cats somehow feels like way way more than 2 - they're a flock, not a pair. It's a tough call.
...My Hubby says that a small kitty would be in danger and would be unfairly treated by the others.(bullied).Our little Tabby Allan,is our Only Kitten at this time.We would Never Subject him to a "Cross" Cat.Now, if he were a Larger Cat,and could hold his own...then we would,maybe...let the "Fur Fly".
Thank you all for your replies. It is a big question really. Will be giving it loads of thought. It would be awful for the dc's if it was hard for a new cat. I suppose I have to decide if it is just for me.
Speak to an animal behaviourist and they will all tell you no. Barring the odd pair that genuinelly bond (usually a related pair together from a young age) cats are solitary animals and their welfare is better served if they are the only feline pet. Feline behaviour problems are almost exclusive to multi-cat households. Of course sometimes a cat comes along and is hard to rehome elsewhere and you end up keeping them, but I would never buy a cat to inflict on my own. Depends how much space you have as well of course.
Looking at this from an alternative view - we have always had three-plus cats (max five) Now due to an illness in May we have two cats. One six years old (female) and the other male (five years old - it was his brother Linus who died earlier this year). When it was the three of them together I could never imagine life without all of them. They had their own space, were allowed out whenever and ticked along alright (most of the time). When poorly Linus died in May I was obviously distraught - however after several months adjusting I have now realised how easier life is with just two cats. It's not about vet bills, food etc but about worry. Before I worried about all three cats -coming home/staying out/getting trapped/getting knocked over etc... I still do, but it's easier to worry about two than three. It's also easier to keep track of two cats. I'm not a particularly stressful person or a real worrier - but sometimes cats have a way of unnerving you - I'd say don't worry about how the other cats will adapt to the situation (they will) think very carefully about whether you want an extra worry. I know they give back a hundred-fold but do you want the stress of worrying about another cat/kitten at this time in your life - if the answer is yes - then go for it!
all i can go on is the dynamics in my house, jasper and jojo the older two are brother and sister they are 6 years old bonded completely, then i got biscuit who is now 5years old as a kitten and the first two accepted him completely then 2 years ago i got blue the half siamese thug, he was 7 months old, he walked into the house introduced himself to everyone and the resis went ok moms got another cat, him and biscuit must know they both came from the same rescue as they have teamed up as a pair,so maybe ive been lucky but no major problems here