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Cat question

Ever since we went from a three cat household to a one cat household, I think the little beast is lonely. He’s a sociable animal. But I’ve very rarely gone out seeking a cat – I wait for them to come to me, and then I have to deal with whatever I get. I’m thinking I’d like to get a jump on the cat goddess and hit up a local rescue for another.

Anyone have experience of mixing cats? My tentative thoughts are: slightly younger than him (he’s just over a year) but not a kitten (I’d feel selfish, since those are usually so much more easily adopted out). Female, so she sticks closer to home (but would he find her as much of a companion and hunting buddy as a male cat?). I’m not used to having choices.

Anecdotal evidence encouraged.


Comment from Ric
Time: September 17, 2019, 9:17 pm

What happened to Jack???

Comment from thefritz
Time: September 17, 2019, 9:46 pm

Sorry, I’m a dog person…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 17, 2019, 11:02 pm

Ric: road accident. Still very sore.

Comment from homer
Time: September 17, 2019, 11:04 pm

Just post your address. I’ll airmail you one.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: September 17, 2019, 11:06 pm

My understanding is that black cats tend to not be generally adopted, so if you can tolerate that, well…

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: September 17, 2019, 11:26 pm

We have been “catted” pretty much constantly since the late 1970’s, but with one exception it was one cat at a time. When we lived in an old cabin [1890’s, former Wells Fargo stage stop] in the mountains, we had a male and a female. The female was both smarter and more dominant and one hell of a hunter. Used to dominate our full grown German Shepherd when she was a kitten. The other cat was a male about the same age and lazy and oblivious beyond belief. When we had to move back to Denver for a couple of years, he either wandered off or became a meal for a “homeless person”. Gender does not, as far as I can see, determine hunting behavior or adventurousness.

If possible, you might want to let them meet before a final decision. There will be some try at establishing dominance, but if it goes beyond that, as in open warfare, you don’t want to deal with that.

That said, if both of them figure out that they are taken care of and safe at your place, they will likely work out a modus vivendi.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Rebecca
Time: September 18, 2019, 12:03 am

I think you are on the right track. A girl kitty is probably best, slightly younger, or you could go with a couple of years older that won’t put up with teenage shenanigans. The folks at the rescue will help you as they will know the tempers of the ones on offer there. Congrats on the incoming newbie! We have 3 and sometimes it just takes time for it to settle out, as I’m sure you know. You could bring the count back up to 3. I tell my husband: one more cat than laps, so if one cannot fulfill lap sitting duties at any given time, you have a backup!

Comment from Drew458
Time: September 18, 2019, 1:24 am

Why not get a young puppy? Something that grows up to be a medium sized 40-50lb dog, but a baby one would probably look up to your slighter older kitteh? We got a cat and a puppy from the pound on the same day, they lived their whole lives together.

Comment from BJM
Time: September 18, 2019, 1:41 am

I go to the local rescue and see who makes a connection and asks to go home with me.

There’s no way to know if the new cat/kitten will bond with Kitteh-No-Name. Gender doesn’t seem to be a reliable factor either…it’s always a crap shoot.

Go…you’ll be glad you did.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: September 18, 2019, 1:45 am

I agree with @BJM. We’ve had from one to three cats sharing our house for 20+ years, and I’ve identified no characteristic that will tell you about compatibility. We’ve had fast friends, and aloof standoffs, but fortunately no outright warfare.

Yes, go to the rescue shelter and take home the one who likes you!

Comment from Armybrat
Time: September 18, 2019, 2:24 am

I’ve only been able to stand one cat at a time. My cats have been divas and damned demanding ones. When we had dogs, I always had several and found the whole pack of them to be far less demanding than the cat.
We’re out of the animal thing now. Our last cat died about 6 years ago and we promised each other we were done.

Comment from Cj
Time: September 18, 2019, 2:57 am

Not a calico. I love calicos. Have always had them. They have never gotten on with other cats. A nice friendly black or tabby of either gender would be a safer bet.

Comment from Ric
Time: September 18, 2019, 5:28 am

Stoaty: I’m so sorry. I don’t deal well with pet deaths. I dont think I ever stop grieving.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: September 18, 2019, 10:21 am

#1 son discovered his Australian shepherd and his girlfriend’s (wife’s) cat get on famously, much to everyone’s pleasure and happiness.

Damnedest thing I ever saw when I was taking care of them and the cat came and laid down next to the dog who was laying down next to me.

and their former stray rather looks like kitteh-no-name, not that there’s any magic to be had in that.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 18, 2019, 2:01 pm

Since your cats have the run of the place, I am pretty sure they’ll be able to work things out….after a while. I tend to believe that one cat living alone becomes neurotic – everybody needs someone around to slap them now and then and say “You’re acting crazy again! Stop that!”

We let our old cat (she’s 14) live alone too long after our other cat passed away a few years back and now she’s having some trouble adjusting to the almost-one-year-old male we brought home from the shelter. We still have to intervene now and then as she (weighing in at 8 pounds) will try to beat up the new kid (who weighs 14 pounds) occasionally.

He puts up with it fairly gracefully out of respect for his elders…

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 18, 2019, 6:41 pm

Thanks for the advice, fellow minions.

Today I called a cat rescue we support and got much the same opinion: there’s just no telling. As with people, I suppose.

The dog idea is a non-starter, I’m afraid. Now and again we see a dog we like the look of (they have to be the size of bears before I get interested) but we are both too lazy to cope with a dog and, fundamentally, we’re just cat people. It’s the ears that give us away.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: September 18, 2019, 9:41 pm

Never forget that, while dogs have owners, cats have staff…

Comment from Stephen Falken
Time: September 18, 2019, 10:01 pm

My cat lost his friend last year. So I went to the humane society and picked the neediest please-get-me-out-of-here cat of the same age. The new cat was so happy to get a new home that within a couple hours he was curled up in my lap purring. After a short time I realized he had pneumonia and that was why he looked so miserable and needy. Anyway, he chased my other male cat around the house for several months until I talked with him and explained that his only job was to be a friend to my original cat. He understood and within a few days they were good friends.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 19, 2019, 10:49 am

Lovely story, Stephen – thank you!

Comment from Teej
Time: September 21, 2019, 11:02 pm

Cj, I didn’t know that! We inherited a calico. She tried to kill our Siamese. For months. Eventually reached a Cold War, that didn’t really end till the Siamese passed away.
And yet, the calico is a sweetie who loves our chihuahua and all the neighborhood kids. Just not her own kind.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2019, 8:38 pm

I had a lovely little calico growing up. I don’t recall how she was with other cats, though.

And I love me a tabby, but every tabby I’ve ever known had a feisty, go-to-hell attitude.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: September 27, 2019, 1:24 am

My experience has been generally positive. Male cats tend to get along well with the ladies and let them have their way. Two males also can buddy up. Females often have more issues with turf with strange cats since they want to have safe zones for future kittens, even if spayed or old.

I’ve found that a well adjusted cat will eventually tolerate to like another once the issues of “is there going to be enough food for all” get worked out.

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