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Advice on getting/introducing another cat(8 Posts)
I’ve got a three year old British Blue who is a lovely cat, ex-breeding cat and we’ve had her for about a year. Before we got her she was always an indoor cat and showed little interest in going outside despite being allowed out.
We recently noticed her meowing a lot more and bumping in to stuff and she seems to be suffering from some kind of eye problem affecting her vision/eyesight. We’ve been referred to an ophthalmic vet who is going to investigate.
Part of the meowing is that if she’s on her own she seems to get upset and ‘cries’ until she finds someone.
I was wondering if a companion cat would be a good idea? Vet suggested it as something to think about. It would provide company when we are out and someone she can engage with that doesn’t rely on good vision - assume smell etc is as important cat to cat.
My worry is that it could also be distressing and she might hate another cat/kitten.
Anyone have experience of similar or any thoughts?
Hope someone can advise, we've just adopted a cat from a semi feral colony and she is lonely - would another cat just cause more stress or make things better and how do you make them be friends?
I just plonked cheddar down in her carrier and let her out. I knew she would be ok as she'd been with other cats at the rescue and my other cat is very placid. It was fine. But I wouldn't do it for other cats.
We’ve just been looking into this! Our local humane society advised that cats can indeed get lonely and appreciate feline companionship. The best approach is to adopt two already “bonded” cats (e.g., from the same litter and/or who grew up together), but barring that, they said to try to find a cat of a similar age and energy level. They advise against getting a kitten to play with an older cat... they said imagine if you wanted a fun coffee mate and someone dumped a toddler on you instead! Then they recommended making the introduction gradually over time: if possible, keep the 2 cats in separate rooms with separate litter boxes for most of the day to start with, and supervise “together time” over short periods. With some cats, 2-3 days can be enough for them to “click” and enjoy sharing their territory, but they did warn that the process can take up to a month.
@MakeLemonade do you know if she ever lived with other cats in the past? It sounds like a calm, cat-friendly cat of similar age or older than her would possibly suit. It's impossible to know if they would become friends though - some cats learn to merely co-exist but are not close.
@hen10 yours has a great chance of accepting another cat if she came from a semi feral colony, (semi) ferals tend to be very cat-oriented - after all they were living as part of a group of cats by choice. My previously semi feral young pair has been very easy to introduce to a pair of new kittens.
Yes, she lived with other cats as she was one of a few cats the breeder had and she had two of her own litters (although I guess that is a bit different) - I could email them actually and ask a few more questions about how she was.
The other thing I’ve been thinking of is if fostering a cat might be a solution.
Fostering is usually short term (from a few weeks to a few months tops) and most charities ask you to keep foster cats separate from your resident cats for infection control, and because it's stressful for cats to be introduced to each other for a short amount of time and many other reasons really.
I tried to find a companion and it didn‘t work out. But that was because Mia (the cat that came first) supposedly lived her first 5-7 years without any other cat and is thus fixed on humans. She was extremely jealous when Lily, the other cat, was here for a week ( I got her because I wanted a companion for Mia). Lily went back to her previous owners who decided to keep her.
A couple of things make it easier to introduce another cat:
Same gender (Male cats tend to play rougher than female cats)
Same age group (Older cats prefer many long naps whereas kittens play a lot)
Same character (Makes it easier for both of them)
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