What should I/we do? Another cat or not?

(7 Posts)
GiveMeStrength2day Wed 16-Oct-13 11:59:52

Just seeking opinions as I really don't know what to do.

We have one cat. He was 1 of 3 that I got from a cat rescue place around 14 years ago. The other 2 cats (the mum plus another boy) have both died (over the last couple of years). All three were a little strange in their behaviour. Mum was VERY timid although once she trusted me (I was single and childless when I got them) she was ok-ish. One boy was slightly more friendly (very friendly when I was pregnant!). It is the behaviour of the remaining cat (boy) that concerns me albeit this is not solely the point of my post. Timid is not the word for this cat. He acts like he's completely and utterly terrified of every person and everything. This cat has lived a life of luxury and has never been subjected to any abuse whatsoever. Nowadays he rarely comes into the house (he has a catflap) and we have to push a bowl of food under the back gate in order to feed him. It's ridiculous. Whenever we have had the (rare) opportunity give him fuss etc he has enjoyed it - he will roll around on the floor wanting his tummy scratched and loves being brushed. Then 30 seconds after the fuss and everything has stopped he'll act like he's been beaten. And so it goes on. That said, he's NEVER been vicious/scratchy/bitey - his claws only come out if he's picked up but I think this is just in panic.

So, to get to the point. My DD has SEN. She loves animals. She has always been gentle with animals (she's never given this cat any reason to be scared of her). She is getting increasingly upset that our cat will have nothing to do with her/us. She doesn't understand why he won't come to her/let her stroke him - but, of course, I don't understand either so it is very difficult to explain to her why he's like it. His behaviour gets me down as well if I'm honest. The two cats I had before this group of 3 were fantastic. One of them was utterly devoted to me and 15 years after his death I still get choked up that he's no longer around.

DD is desperate to get another cat. DH has suggested we should get one. I am completely torn. On the one hand, yes it would be rather nice (albeit there are no guarantees) to have a cat that "gives" a little back (enjoys our company, enjoys being treated like royalty etc) and it would be lovely for DD to have a furry friend.

On the other hand, I have no idea what our current cat's reaction would be. I don't think he hates other cats but obviously this would be bringing another cat to share his territory. I don't want to be a bad situation worse.

So, what do you cat-ladies think? Terrible idea and we'll have to bide our time until the cat dies/PTS (for the right reasons of course)? Or go for it and obviously continue to feed current cat but kind of let him get on with it (he spends all his time in next door's garden). And if we do get a 2nd cat, should it be an adult or kitten? Given 2nd cat will probably encounter current cat at some point?

My guilt levels are running high at the moment. Sorry this post is a bit long as well.

issey6cats Wed 16-Oct-13 12:07:24

being as hes behaving like an outdoor cat anyway i dont think bringing another cat or kitten into the house is going to make much difference to him, you say hes virtually living outdoors anyway, i would suggest a young cat rather than a tiny kitten, being as hes male dosent really matter if you get a girl or boy, look at rescues near you i would suggest one round about 6-12 months as you will know what thier temprement is, being as your oldie wont come in maybe set him up with a house of some sort in your back garden because the weather will be getting cold soon

GiveMeStrength2day Wed 16-Oct-13 12:37:58

Thanks issey

IF I do decide to get another cat I'm going to have to introduce him/her to current cat though aren't I? Because I don't want new cat to be attacked by old cat (even though he's not aggressively territorial) nor do I want old cat to be attacked by new cat trying to establish it's turf. It would be a rare day that oldie is in our garden as he prefers next door (not sure why this should be but I suspect maybe as our garden is "secure" with a gate and next door's is more open and therefore more easy to escape from?) but the new one will (as all my cats have done) pay regular visits to next door.

Okay, so young adult rather than kitten - that's not a problem. With my two "brilliant" cats I had one for a year before getting the 2nd one. The 2nd one was a kitten (long story as to why I got him but anyway) and he was actually the one who did all the hissing and blustering upon meeting 1st cat! 1st cat had come in, clocked the kitten and trotted over all interested to say hello and the kitten went ballistic! This was solved by me "wearing" the kitten on my shoulder/across the back of my neck whilst stroking 1st cat.

Re where to get new cat from. In my area there's the rescue place I got the gang of 3 from or Cat Protection. The rescue place used to be CPL then the woman went independent as she didn't like their practices (albeit I'm not sure what it was she objected to). Do CPL try and impose "rules" on owners? I've heard some places say cats are not allowed to go out at night and that kind of thing.

I'm grateful for any advice offered thanks

Incidentally, does anyone have any thoughts as to why old cat is the way he is??

issey6cats Wed 16-Oct-13 13:15:16

i dont know what rules your local rescues will have each one is different ask them when you enquire about adopting

the advice not to let them out at night is good anyway due to increase of urban foxes and idiots who snaffle cats as bait for fighting dogs, and more chance of getting run over in the dark,

cant say how new cat or your cat would react to each other theres usually a bit of spitting and hissing till they get used to each other

if you look at a rescue ask about a young cat that has lived with other cats as to why your boy is like he is no idea, one of mine who is now 7 years old is still timid, i got him as an 8 week old kitten hes never been ill treated and yet hes still nervous, his sister on the other hand is in your face friendly

GiveMeStrength2day Wed 16-Oct-13 19:28:31

Just bumping now the evening cat ladies are around!

GiveMeStrength2day Wed 16-Oct-13 19:34:09

Sorry issey that's not to say I haven't valued your opinion! Particularly as I've just noticed on another thread that you work for a rescue

Lovethesea Wed 16-Oct-13 19:43:46

I'd get another. Who knows, might even cheer your other one up to have someone to glare at!

Your DD would really benefit from the affection give and take. We took our then 2 and 3 year old kids to cats protection to help us find a bombproof cat and they were great at sorting the anxious from the bold by coming in the pens with us and seeing how the cats reacted to their noise, chaos and well intended man handling.

Go visit the rescue, take DD, see if you find a good match there.

Then keep the cat in one room, swap bedding so they know each others smell and move up to feeding them in sight of each other then moving the bowls closer. Though with yours living next door anyway it probably wont be an issue!

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