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Will having two cats be even better than having one cat?

(19 Posts)
Snog Mon 27-May-13 22:25:26

We adopted a six year old rescue cat in November and our family worships this kitty!! She is a shy but loving cat.
As we have taken to having a cat so much I am pondering getting a Maine Coon kitten too. Will two cats bring us twice the love? Or should we just be happy with what we already have?

cozietoesie Mon 27-May-13 22:44:30

It depends so much on the cats in my experience. And on the people and the household. Your current girl might bond well with a new cat and enjoy the company - but she might hate having to share and you'd have to deal with the consequences. (I was just a little..... thoughtful...... when you said that she was shy. Do you know anything about her history before she came to you?)

I'd be a little cautious but that's just my personal view. Many posters here have multi-cat households which work very well.

pigsDOfly Mon 27-May-13 22:55:03

Having two cats is definitely twice as much fun as having one and getting two kittens at the same time is a must. But given that your cat is already six years old and rather shy I'd be a bit wary of introducing a new kitten.

Really, I think only you will be able to judge how she's likely to react and this too depends on her past experiences. There's always a period of adjustment when a new kitten is introduced which needs to be handled sensitively, and you would need to be prepared for her to possibly be very put out, especially if the new kitten is a strong personality.

Having said that, I got a puppy when my two cats were nearly 17 years old and they adjusted very quickly, in fact the lovely old male and puppy became good friends.

Snog Tue 28-May-13 07:27:25

Thanks for the advice! Don't know much about her past but she lived with other animals for three months before coming to the animal shelter and just spent her whole time hiding from them.
This is why I thought a kitten rather than a cat would be less threatening for her. Ideally a new cat would be company for her but worst case she might hide away from it.

ratbagcatbag Tue 28-May-13 07:31:28

Hmmmm, I wouldn't if sehas previously spent time hiding from other animals, a kitten will still grow up and maybe very domineering. What will you do if your cat hates the kitten?

tabulahrasa Tue 28-May-13 07:55:47

I got a kitten when my cat was about 7, to be honest I probably shouldn't have.

They rub along ok together now (the kitten is nearly 3) but they are not friends and the older one took months to even sit happily in the same room as her.

wanderings Tue 28-May-13 08:05:35

Introduce them to each other carefully, and in stages. Cats don't always welcome other cats at first. We read lots of advice on the internet, and we did as follows for a similar situation (6 year old cat meets kittensmile

1. We kept the kitten in our bedroom for two or three weeks, with the door closed. This way, the first cat got used to the smell.

2. For their first meeting, we put the kitten in a huge dog cage, with an enclosed cat bed inside. That way, both cats could hide if they wanted to. Our first cat hissed quite a lot at the new arrival to begin with (who didn't mind at all).

3. We kept the kitten in the closed room at night, but let him wander the house in the day. The first cat seemed to accept this, but would not hesitate to keep the kitten in its place (swiping without claws whenever he got too close).

4. Eventually we gave him the free run. It seems to work: our older cat has never tried to hurt the kitten, but does hiss if he tries to get too close. They're now apparently on good terms; they sometimes sleep on the same bed. The irony is, two years later the kitten has now grown a lot bigger than our first cat, who was always very small!

Snog Tue 28-May-13 08:06:31

If our cat is unhappy with a kitten then the plan is that I will give the new kitten to my brother.
Our cat isn't very playful and I hoped a kitten might help unlock her playfulness.
I can't see our cat becoming dominant really but though a kitten would be less threatening. Ideally though I'd like a Maine coone which grow to a much larger size as adults than my little cat.
It's a high risk plan, isn't it?

deliasmithy Tue 28-May-13 08:34:47

Is your first cat a Maine Coon?
If not, they are so much bigger than other breeds.

cozietoesie Tue 28-May-13 08:40:54

Personally, I think it is. Everything you've said suggests to me that she's probably a cat that will be happier being an adored singleton rather than simply one among others.

It's still slightly early days however. You've only had her for six months so I think I'd concentrate on bringing her even more out of her shell. You don't have to make a decision right now after all.


Snog Tue 28-May-13 13:09:05

deliasmithy our cat is not a Maine Coon, she is a smallish BSH.
At the moment the problem is that there is only one cat and 3 people all mad keen for her to sit on their lap - and she is dd's cat so dp and I have to hold back!!

When we got this cat dp and I were reluctant and only said yes to dd after 13 years of her being desperate for a pet. Little did we know how much we had had a cat shaped hole in all of our lives.
Now we are all nuts about our cat and feel like we need more cats to go around...also ideally it would be company for our cat during school hours when nobody is at home.

ginauk84 Tue 28-May-13 13:30:40

I would be wary introducing a maine coon as I have heard people having to rehome due to the main coon bullying the smaller cat and being a bit too much for the other cat?

I have had cats all my life, my mum used to breed cats and from experience I have never had 2 cats that get on with each other, they've always fought a fair bit and just put up with each other. We have one cat and wouldn't introduce another. Dogs like company and become friends but cats aren't really that bothered.

I think if I had two cats again I would have them as kittens at the same time so that they can bond and grow up together, whenever we have introduced a kitten to an older cat they've never become friends. We've even had mothers and daughters who just put up with each other and didn't really ever become friends.

MumnGran Tue 28-May-13 13:34:39

"*she lived with other animals for three months before coming to the animal shelter and just spent her whole time hiding from them*"

This says it all really, OP.
Cats are not pre-set to like another cat (or kitten) just because it is there to play with. Some will learn to get along well; others will tolerate but never like each other, respecting each others space but not interacting; others will develop difficult relationships, involving bullying or aggressive behaviour.
You can never tell until they move in, and it can take 6 months for things to settle down sufficiently to really see how life will be in the long-term

Introducing a kitten always sounds like a good idea, but kittens grow up to be cats and it is rarely possible to gauge what their temperaments will be with other cats when they are adult. The sweet kitten that defers to the existing cat at 8 weeks old, may bully the hell of it when she is a young adult.

There is every chance that the shelter she came from only agreed to her homing with you because she would be the only cat. She has found love and happiness. Bringing another cat in may well send her straight back to the way she felt before. Plus, the feelings of the possible kitten have to be taken into account won't be the best of starts to be rehomed to another member of the family at 18 months old, which is when you could expect problems to start.

Its not worth the risk

cozietoesie Tue 28-May-13 13:48:21

Just so, MumnGran

tabulahrasa Tue 28-May-13 14:47:29

'ideally it would be company for our cat during school hours when nobody is at home.'

That's what I got the second cat for...that's not how it worked out at all. My older cat would definitely prefer to be alone if I'm not there, she puts up with the younger one, but she's not massively happy about it.

teenagetantrums Tue 28-May-13 14:51:56

when I was younger we had about 4 cats introduced at various times, they all got along ok, our first one was always a bit indifferent to the younger ones they were never really friends. Someone told me cats don't need other cat friends not sure if that's true. I have two, got them as kittens they are brothers they love each other, but they are indoor cats so they have each other to play with.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 28-May-13 16:51:30

I had my boy cat for 8 months and although he was happy and loved, I felt bad as I'm out at work all day. I heard of someone moving who was going to have to put her cat in rescue, so I took her on. Well, the boy LOVES her! He is noticeably happier and they are hilarious together. I reckon cats do fine on their own, but I'm seriously glad I got a second.

alicetrefusis Tue 28-May-13 18:59:36

My first cat was one when I adopted her - a rescue, part-burmese. sweet, quiet , funny and very loving. She brought so much joy I agonised for months and then just over a year after getting her, I adopted a second cat, a boy. I was so very worried it wouldn't work. He was about one - and he is naughty, greedy, very tactile and vocal - and adorable. I kept them separated for a little while, then allowed them to meet. They are absolutely fine together. They are very different purrsonalities but I adore them both.

I think it depends on the cats. I wouldn't go for an exotic breed though - a lot of them can be dominant bullies. Your cat sounds like she might be unsettled very easily, and I think the point above about what conditions the rescue homed her with are very pertinent. If they said she should remain an only cat then really you should think very very carefully.

If you do go for it, (and I do understand the urge) go for a young adult rescue cat whose personality is developed a little. The rescue will be able to guide you.

Snog Tue 28-May-13 21:01:03

Thanks for all the great advice.
I think I will ask the advice of Wood Green Shelter where our kitty came from.
One cat between 3 people just doesn't seem enough to go around but then our first responsibility has to be to our current much loved cat!

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