How can I tell if my cat will tolerate another cat?

(10 Posts)
TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 11-Jul-16 10:21:02

Previously we had two cats, mum and son (adopted a pregnant rescue) and they weren't always great together - tbh mum was a bit of a bully to everyone and when she went after a long happy life, LandingCat was much happier and more relaxed and saw put his last ten years on his own. He's gone now too, though, and we adopted another rescue in January. At the time, we thought we'd be happy with just one, so took on a big ex-stray recently neutered tom, who has settled really well but has some way to go in terms of manners and probably trust. However, rather stupidly I have continued to follow two local rescue places on Facebook, and there's a constant stream of gorgeous older moggies in desperate need and I am hankering to help. DH says that's unfair on BiteyCat and that I need to stick at one. But lots of people seem to have two or more unrelated cats that tolerate one another and more than one person has suggested that if BiteyCat had a playmate he might not get quite so over-enthusiastic while playing with us. The DC also miss having a cat they can pet without being constantly wary of, so I think that is probably influencing me, as a few of the potential adoptees I've seen are described as cuddly lap cats. Is it a stupid risk to take? How can I tell whether it's a really bad idea?

Hereagainalways Mon 11-Jul-16 10:22:37

Tbh I think it would be too much of a risk.

I sympathise though, I have two (related) cats in a tiny flat and I'm always having to stop myself volunteering to adopt more.

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 11-Jul-16 12:32:03

I have an ex feral cat ( very much her own boss, likes to have me around but don't touch kinda cat) I took on another rescue kitten on the understanding if they didn't get on then the kitten would have to go back to rescue ( they asked me to take him on I didn't go looking for him)... It took a fe weeks of settling in but after that they tolerate each other well.. The younger cat would like to be much better friends than the older cat will allow but it works.. The older cat taught the younger cat manners and they both know when to leave each other alone.... I'm getting another kitten at end of summer- fingers crossed the younger cat and new kitten get on really well and the older cat just does her thing and watches them..they both have plenty of places to hide if they want peace from each other but eat together quite happily, share litter trays etc ( they have their own but choose to share)

cozietoesie Mon 11-Jul-16 13:53:51

There are some fine success stories on this board but I remain mentally scarred from trying to integrate Seniorboy and The Lodger. The Lodger was quite happy to make friends but Seniorboy despised and detested The Lodger and his behaviour gradually worsened. ( I think he'd have looked on gleefully while The Lodger was being publicly executed. )

When The Lodger finally moved to pastures new, Seniorboy checked out every inch of the house then went to where The Lodger's tray had been and did the most enormous and bum-wiggling pee over the whole place. (Took me ages to scrub it all clean.) The look on his face, while peeing, was quite clearly 'Yah Boo Sucks. I won.'

I'd counsel caution therefore - but on this matter, I bring a great deal of baggage to the table. So much depends on the cats themselves.

Mycatsabastard Mon 11-Jul-16 14:03:33

I'd recommend getting a younger female if you are that keen on getting another cat.

We have a male who is 14 and most definitely IN CHARGE of this house. We found a stray female a few years ago, in a terrible state, took her home and got her well but after a year she got run over. In that time though he was very tolerant of her but most put out by any other cat in the neighbourhood.

Since then we have taken in two more female cats. One is 10, they will sit next to each other on the sofa but if he tries to sniff her bottom she bops him. (it's very funny). The younger female is nearly 3 and they quite often play together, chase each other round the house and hide behind doors and jump out. I think, in his eyes, these are his women and therefore to be tolerated. However having another male (which we tried) was really never going to work.

If you go ahead, make sure the cat is younger than yours. And female. Show your boy the girl in her carrier and then put the new cat in a room you can leave closed with everything she needs. Make sure that you swap blankets between the two cats so they learn each others scent. And just do a very gradual introduction.

As long as there is room in the house for both cats to have space to hide out in they should be fine. Dp never thought our boy would tolerate any other cat but he's surprised us all by actually being very playful with our two.

And my friend has found a feral cat which is two hours away. If it's female I will drive up tomorrow and collect it as CPL are full and RSPCA will put it to sleep. It's in a bit of a state but with some TLC it will be fine. And Dp will just have to lump it!!

cozietoesie Mon 11-Jul-16 14:04:46

Good luck to her. smile

Middleoftheroad Mon 11-Jul-16 14:11:28

I have yet to successfully pair any two (or more) cats in our house that actually get on. Weve had all combos; a female kitten with a male cat; male kitten older female; two females: two males. All hated or merely tolerated. We introduced a kitten to our 4tr old female last year and it has basically driven the older cat away. Previously the older cat tolerated our male - and vice versa. I often regret this as when the male died and in the time between getting the new kitten the female was a changed cat in all time affectionate. But 18months on from kitten and shes barely seen frequent hissing. Loads of success stories with relatives and random cats curling up angry

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 11-Jul-16 18:07:23

Hmm it sounds like I just have to be prepared to send the second cat back to the rescue if it's not working. That's interesting about males and females too. There seem to be loads of boy cats but maybe that's too risky. There are a fair number of females whose litters have been rehomed and are ready to go to a home themselves but I'm a sucker for a beaten up street cat, and in the main those are boys. There's one in particular I've been following who has really been in the wars. I shall ponder. And in the meantime, thanks everyone, and good luck Mycats with your new addition. Hope she settles well and is accepted.

Mycatsabastard Mon 11-Jul-16 22:11:14

The stray was in fact a boy so we were unable to take it in. However, it's been found a home locally and hopefully he will be nurtured and cared for and enjoy a nice soft sofa to sleep on and regular meals. Plus a very good groom as his long fur is all matted.

cozietoesie Mon 11-Jul-16 22:53:49

Our 'stray' was in fact The Lodger. grin

One thing to watch might just be his teeth. I only mention that because while The Lodger was a young cat and also a superlative hunter, he'd also become accustomed to bin-raiding where he could. (I've always suspected the local takeaway with lots of things in sticky sweet sauces.) In any case, his teeth were ........not good so his new vet had him in for a full dental even though he was only about 3 or 4 at the time.

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