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Should I get a kitten/cat or is it unfair on my older cats?

(14 Posts)
Sandthefloor Tue 12-Feb-13 22:15:20

I have two almost 16yr old cats (litter brothers) who have great natures and are still in good health. We had a third cat who was a stray that lived with us for 11yrs but sadly died over a year ago. I would love to get another cat/kitten but worry that my boys won't cope with another cat coming into the house. Would it be unfair on them?

issey6cats Tue 12-Feb-13 22:26:51

i would say that a very young kitten would be too much for them as kittens play too rough for oldies, but a young gentle quiet natured cat might work

Sandthefloor Tue 12-Feb-13 22:44:25

I did wonder if a kitten might be too much. When we took in the stray they were about 4yrs old and they took to him really well, but they are much older now and I don't want them to feel threatened. There are so many cats out there its just finding the right one.

thecatneuterer Tue 12-Feb-13 23:31:29

I agree with Issey. If go to a cat rescue they will be able to tell you which cat/s really like other cats and are also quite laid back. If you get one like that then, after maybe a couple of weeks of wariness, it should all be fine.

Sandthefloor Wed 13-Feb-13 08:52:11

Is it best to get another male, or does it not matter?

issey6cats Wed 13-Feb-13 11:52:22

being as your cats are both males its not so important what gender the newcomer is, if they had been female would defintiely have to be male as females are top of the hierarchy in cat world

thecatneuterer Wed 13-Feb-13 13:07:41

This is the first time I'm going to disagree with Issey. It is my understanding (and also my experience) than when cats are neutered their sex becomes irrelevant and does not affect hierarchy, dominance or acceptance by other cats in any way - that is purely down to the personality of each individual.

issey6cats Wed 13-Feb-13 13:37:00

catneuterer all i can go on is experience that several rehomes that have been female adult going into female resident home have not gone to plan and the cats have been returned to haworth where i work and i have three males and one tiny little girl cat who bosses the boys around, eats thier food, pushes them off the sofa if she wants thier nice warm spec, and the girl i lost last christmas was definitely cock of the walk maybe ive had bolshy girlies , by the way am in love with simon the siamese on your lewisham site on facebook hope he gets a lovely home which im sure he will hes georgous

Sandthefloor Wed 13-Feb-13 23:09:28

Have been looking a bit on cat protection site, when they say not suitable for young children what age do they mean? I have two boys age 10 and 7 1/2.

thecatneuterer Thu 14-Feb-13 01:55:12

Sandthefloor: They generally mean under 6. Once children are old enough to understand what would upset the cat and what not to do, then it's fine.

And Issey - I think that's just your cats. In my experience of 80 cats or so I've had in my home in the past 12 years, I haven't noticed any behaviour specific to either males or females. It's just an individual thing. And Celia Hammond herself (who is the fount of all cat knowledgesmile ) says the same thing. And yes, I'm sure Simon won't be homeless for too long. They're all gorgeous in their own way though - that's the problem.

catladycourtney1 Thu 14-Feb-13 02:35:36

I have a male and a female (both neutered) and it's not clear that one or the other is dominant. They playfight a lot but neither really "wins," and they often sleep curled up together. Although they are brother and sister so that might be part of the reason, they've never had reason to be defensive or territorial because they've never been separated and have always been treated equally. When I lived at home my mum had an older female cat and adopted two male kittens (all neutered), the female cat was very much "in charge," but then she had been around a lot longer.

I think it depends mainly on the individual temperaments of the cats involved. Nobody can really say "your cats will definitely/definitely not get along with a new cat," or even whether its best to get an older or a younger cat, or male or female. Although I would say not to go for a kitten, because with an older cat the rescue centre should be able to have a better guess at whether they'll cope with other cats in the household, and also kittens do tend to like to play rough and a lot, while your older cats probably enjoy a quieter life now.

I'm not sure whether it would be unfair on them. Obviously if they really don't get along and the new cat causes a lot of stress for them, then that's not ideal, but then again they might take to each other right away. Also, I know its not nice to think about, but if you were to lose one of your older cats then at least the other wouldn't be left totally alone.

Sandthefloor Thu 14-Feb-13 12:39:55

I do worry that if something happened to one of them then the other would be a bit lost on his own. I also don't want to leave it much longer as I think the older they get the more another cat would annoy them. They are very close to each other and sleep curled up together and clean each other.

frostyfingers Thu 14-Feb-13 14:13:18

We produced 2 kittens to keep senior cat happy when her 2 grown up children met a nasty end - she loathed them and stalked out of the room whenever they appeared and if they happened to meet in passing she would hiss and spit at them.

We're down to 1 cat again for now, and I won't be getting him a companion, I'd don't think he'd appreciate it.

Sandthefloor Thu 14-Feb-13 18:13:48

Because our third cat was a stray we felt we had to let him out even though the other two were house cats. They were great with him when he was in the house, would let him sleep next to them and clean him. Then when he went outside if they saw him through the patio doors they would go mad as they didn't know it was him (my cats are not the brightest). They are however very good natured and placid, so I'm hoping that providing the other cat is nice to them they will tolerate and hopefully grow to like it.

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