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Want to get a kitten but have a 14 y o cat - Can it work?

(16 Posts)
follygirl Sun 08-May-11 15:10:48

I've posted this in pets and am moving it here:

My dd is desperate to have a kitten of her own. We already have a senior cat (14 y o) called Ally. Up until 18 months ago she shared the house with another cat who sadly had to be pts. So she has been used to sharing the house with another cat.
My mum regularly visits and brings her cocker spaniel into the house. Both dog and cat ignore each other and Ally will stand really close to the dog and give her superior looks. She is a very chilled cat who loves nothing more than going for a nap in the spare room.
Do you think it would be okay to get a kitten? I wouldn't want to upset Ally, particularly as she is such an elderly lady but my dd is absolutely desperate for her own kitten and I know that it would bring so much joy into her life. My dd does play with Ally but she isn't the most cuddly cat so their interaction is always short-lived.
I've read up on what to do when you introduce a kitten to a cat and as a SAHM I've got loads of time.
Have any of you done what I would like to do? Or am I worrying too much?

stinkyfluffycat Sun 08-May-11 15:58:37

Sorry, only time I tried this it didn't really work. Older cat took to hiding upstairs (crapping in the bath so he didn't have to come down to the litter tray..) and once kitten was big enough to climb the stairs older cat used to look resigned and get out of his way.
Although having said that, the kitten did turn into a particularly savage cat so maybe someone else will be along with happier stories soon..

peggotty Sun 08-May-11 18:00:43

I wouldn't do it either. Just because Ally got on with your other cat doesn't mean she'll get on with ALL other cats, particularly an annoying kitten grin. I think you owe it to Ally to let the last few years of her life to be stress free - the kitten would put her nose out of joint. I have 14 year old and 11 year year old cats, and will be waiting for them both to go before I get any more. How old is your dd? Would she understand about waiting another few years?

noddyholder Sun 08-May-11 18:03:02

I have done this many times over the years as I always have 2 cats and one can die at any time! Some get used to each other quicker than others but they eventually are fine.

follygirl Sun 08-May-11 19:48:27

My dd is nearly 7 and just absolutely adores animals, despite her young age she is very responsible, although of course I would be responsible for the kitten's welfare.
She has wanted a kitten for ages but because of Ally, we bought her a rabbit (and her brother one as well as I know that they need to come in pairs). She absolutely adored Flower but sadly on Friday, Flower died. We're still not sure what happened as she had seemed fine and Joe (the male) is absolutely fine. I'm happy to get her another rabbit but actually what she is desperate for, is a kitten.
She is a very loving child who I feel would benefit from the relationship you have with a pet. Although the rabbit was lovely it's not quite the same as a cat.
Obviously at the moment she is still coming to terms with losing Flower and certainly hasn't mentioned another rabbit so it's not as if she considers pets like a toy.
Ally is 14 at the moment but some cats live until they're 22 don't they? That's a long time to wait isn't it?

We live close to a rescue centre so I think that I'm going to have a chat with them and see what they think. I would of course get the kitten from a rescue centre as we have always done.

It's a difficult decision.

Joolyjoolyjoo Sun 08-May-11 19:56:30

It is difficult, and I think the hard thing is that you cannot predict how it will go. Thing is, if you take on a kitten on a trial basis, your dd is going to be devastated if it doesn't work out sad

I used to have 3 cats, who pretty much avoided each other, but I see lots of stress-related problems in cats (am a vet), nearly always from multi-cat households- spraying, urinary infections, skin problems, over-grooming. I think this has made me very wary about the practicalities of keeping more than one cat, although of course it CAN (and does sometimes) work. the problem is if it doesn't you would have one very upset little girl!

I don't really know what I would advise, tbh! Depends on the cat and the kitten, I guess, so no harm in speaking to the rescue in the first instance.

dodo12 Mon 09-May-11 15:14:55

i went thru same experience a year ago.my old cat was pts leaving a very sad brother on his own after 15 years.we were all devastated as a family didint know what to do for the best,dh however came home with 2 kittens boy and girl,to mixed feelings,I felt like a first time mum again as they were tiny,my old cat at first ignored then started making weierd clucking noises at them,then within a few days they were following him around,sleeping all together and were contented,all the family breathes a collective sigh of relief!.Ollie my old cat sadly died in october,but he had a few months with as my ds calls them the 'joy bringers' so I think my hasty husband did good.You and your daughter sound lovely,i would talk to the cats protection charity they have good advice and i think you'll do what is right for you good luck

UnSerpentQuiCourt Mon 09-May-11 23:23:54

We have a similar dilemma. We have two cats who are about 8 years old; a neutered male and a female. They are quite timid and aloof and were grown up before dd was born, so much prefer sleeping by the radiator to playing with her. She would love a kitten (as would we all). Waiting up to 12 years for the present cats to die doesn't really seem to be an option. Would a female kitten be more acceptable?

DuchessofKirkcaldy Mon 09-May-11 23:37:22

Our female cat was 10 years old when we got our kitten, she had always lived with another cat...her brother who was sadly pts a few months earlier.

Kitten is now a year old and they get on well. Sometimes he gets on her nerves when he wants to play and she does not ( in which case he generally torments the life out of the dog, who to be fair is usually a willing playmate! Both cats are at the moment curled up together sleeping.

I also find she is VERY protective of him....especially when he was smaller.
Poor DH ended up with a rather large scratch on his leg from her when he accidently stood on his paw! Even now he is older she still has a very watcful eye, She can put him in his place if he misbehaves though.

follygirl Tue 10-May-11 17:59:25

I have now spoken to the RSPCA and Blue Cross who have no objections to me getting a kitten despite having Ally. They are more interested in the the fact that I'm around all day and that we live in a quiet road.

Apparently it makes no difference whether we get a male or female kitten, in terms of upsetting Ally. We have been told that perhaps getting 2 would be a good idea as they would play together and possibly leave Ally alone. I don't think that my dh would like that though, although perhaps if it doesn't work out then it is an option.

I have spoken to as many people who have said that it has worked out as those who have said it hasn't. The issue is of course that the only way to find out is to do it. As Ally could live for another 8 years I would like to try. Not that I'm wishing that she would die of course.

I'm not expecting them to be best buddies. Ally and my other cat basically tolerated each other and were never very loving towards each other. As long as Ally isn't too upset and as long as she doesn't hurt the kitten then I'll be happy.

My mum has a dog crate she used for her cocker spaniel so I'm going to use it to put the kitten in when s/he meets Ally and also to put her in when I leave the house so that I can be sure the kitten is safe.

Our local RSPCA centre has some kittens which will be available for viewing on Saturday so we're going to look then. The kittens are 6 weeks old which gives us a couple of weeks to have our home check and also to get ready.

We have not told the children yet but will tell them on Saturday. I know that my dd will be speechless with joy. It will be like the Disney advert only 100 times more than that. I am very excited.

TheVisitor Tue 10-May-11 18:02:51

Just make sure that Ally has a nice, safe place to go away from the kitten, because that little scrap of fur will torment the life out of her for a while. Mine did with my 4 and 8 year old cats ( a year ago). Luckily, they've all settled nicely now.

ThistleWhistle Tue 10-May-11 22:38:06

I have a very old grumpy cat aged 15. After my other 2 cats died last year, (1 very old and the other very vicious) we decided to get a kitten. My poor old cat only tolerates other cats at best and the kitten just wanted to play or snuggle up with him. So my old cat was being harrassed constantly and the kitten was being beaten up regularly. So we decided to get another kitten and it was great. The kittens snuggle and play and leave my poor old man alone to spend the day sleeping on my bed.

That was a very long-winded way of saying get 2 kittens, (you know you want to wink).

knockinonyerdoor Wed 11-May-11 13:57:38

We got a kitten last year, already had 2 males, 15yo and 6yo. Our old 15yo is getting very slow, he has arthritis and cataracts but still enjoys life. They have all settled in fine; our 6yo is antisocial and just tolerates the other cats (and us!) but it's been lovely to see the change in our 15yo, he plays with the kitten and has got a new lease of life in the past year. He still needs a lot of sleep and he can't jump or climb, but he rolls around the floor with the kitten and seems to be much more lively now.

I know every cat is different and you can't always guarantee that they will get on, but I'd say go for it.

ClaireDeLoon Wed 11-May-11 14:08:17

I got a kitten a few years back when my dear old cat was about 17. I did have another cat (then about 4) to 'take the strain' of the new kitten and his playing but still my old cat just accepted and got on with, giving the kitten a slap when it was needed and playing with him a little if he felt like it. I'd say go for it.

follygirl Sat 14-May-11 17:50:52

Well we went to our local RSPCA and luckily got there early. There were only 3 kittens available and my dd fell in love with a gorgeous tabby boy who was there with his 2 brothers and mum. It was a bit of a bunfight but we quickly got our name down and then were able to go back and have a play with him. He is absolutely gorgeous and very sweet. My dc have fallen in love but then who wouldn't.
We are having our home checked this week and then all being well with him and with us, we should be bringing him home next weekend. We have been out buying him a new bed, bowls, a scratching post and some toys.
Will just have to see how Ally takes it all now.

follygirl Fri 27-May-11 13:45:52

I picked Banjo up this morning from the RSPCA. He is 10 weeks now and fully weaned. So far it's all going really well. He has settled in beautifully and Ally my senior cat has hissed a bit but is now ignoring him and has gone upstairs for a sleep. Even if they do end up ignoring each other, I can live with that rather than it upsetting her. We'll see but it's looking good.

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