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A Friend For My Cat.

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by r-kins, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. r-kins

    r-kins Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    Mar 31, 2016
    Is this the right place? Sorry, not sure!

    I love my cat and while I don't really need two cats, I think he needs a companion. I should say, I think he needs someone to play with and to keep him company when I'm gone. I'm the focus of all of his attention unless he's asleep, and if I go away for the night, I come back and he's stressed out with runny eyes.

    I'm not running out to get him a cat friend RIGHT away because my apartment is small, but I may be moving soon. The most important thing is to get him the right friend, so it seemed like a good idea to start thinking about it now. He's about three, SUPER HIGH energy, definitely a alpha, extremely demanding, strong, and has play aggression (which I'm STILL trying to train out of him after almost two years). Very sweet, very loving, but a total pain in the butt. Does anyone have suggestions to help me pick out a good friend for him? Things to look for when meeting another cat? Ideally I'd want a lazy cat that weighs more than him but is also a Beta, because there will be nonstop fights if I get another alpha and I don't want to upset him.

    Thanks for any input in advance! Sorry thing is kind of vague but I've never actually gotten to pick a cat myself so this is new territory.

  2. lalagimp

    lalagimp TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 7, 2017
    When I was still living in my small apartment, I had a bunch of guinea pigs and a little dog. I brought my cat home and she was hanging out in the guinea pig pens all the time and then running up to the dog, popping her right upside the nog, and then running away. Why you keep smacking goggie for funs? So, I was open to getting her another cat so if they wanted to beat on each other or cuddle, great. I found Tom at Petco from the county shelter. I didn't actually get him for her; I got him for me. He's very friendly and doesn't exactly need to have people around, but you can love on him just like a dog. He was the only cat at Petco that wasn't either meowing at me, looking depressed ignoring me, or reaching out of the cage for help. He was chasing his tail and made eye contact and said Hi maybe once or twice, and went back to chasing his tail and falling off a shelf. It turns out that he thought the dog was his sister when he came home. He was always sharing her things and spooning with her.
    Check with the return policy when you rescue. They usually give you 2 weeks.

  3. Anne

    Anne Site Owner Staff Member Admin

    Oct 23, 2000
    On TCS
    dustydiamond1 and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  4. msFriday

    msFriday Smokey at 7 months and Indy at 5 years Young Cat

    Feb 18, 2017
    Christiansburg, VA
    Although I am home with our 4 year old rescue cat, Indy, all day and night most of the time, I worried that he needed a cat friend. He came from a cat rescue farm, where he had lived with 106 other cats his whole life (3 years at the time we adopted him), and I wondered if he missed their companionship.

    But I had no actual plans to adopt another cat -- until about 3 months ago when we found a tiny, black ball of fluff running in traffic on a busy 4-lane highway! Needless to say, that day we adopted another black cat! I didn't get the chance to pick the "right" companion; besides, what we think would be "right" might not be right at all! If you get a laid back, Beta cat, your alpha cat might make his life miserable.

    Two things to consider: ANY cat you bring home to him is going to upset him and cause him stress. The key is to introduce them properly (gradually); this is what worked for us. We took the time and introduced Smokey to Indy properly -- fortunately, we have a sunroom that we could close off from the house, and we kept her in there for a few days. Gradually they could be in the same room together without Indy hissing and swatting at her. [She was not at all shy, and pestered him from the first time they were together.] Over the weeks, we made note of several milestones met: first time she laid down very close to him and they "slept together", first time he groomed her, etc. They are now great buddies, and play together constantly. Also, we made sure to give Indy plenty of attention and affection.

    The second thing to consider: Don't MOVE and ADOPT a companion at the same time! Cats don't like change, and moving itself will be very stressful for him. I'd wait a while, maybe even a LONG while, before bringing another cat into his new domain.

    Those are just my thoughts, and I am not an expert by any means! But I've done a lot of reading, on this site and others, since we adopted Indy a year ago, and this is the best advice I can offer.... Good luck!

  5. tinydestroyer

    tinydestroyer TCS Member Super Cat

    Oct 27, 2017
    I agree with @msfriday that the way the introduction goes down is most important. I also didn't get to pick my first kitty's companion - he picked us! I joined TCS to help figure out how to best care for them both. There are lots of helpful articles here about how to make proper intros, (and what to do when you have a minor setback.)

    How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide

    How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction

    I think you should go with your instincts on which cat would be best, but focus on doing your best to let both cats acclimate to each other no matter their personalities. As others outline, having more room so that each cat has its own space, at first, is ideal. And once they're sharing living space, having lots of vertical territory and extra litter boxes that each cat can access while you're gone is very valuable. Good luck welcoming a new member into your family!

  6. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 19, 2006
    Glendale, California
    Hello and welcome to TCS, @r-kins -- and thank you for loving your cat and wanting the very best life for him! Very cute pic, btw -- is that him? We'd love to see more pix! :winkcat:

    The other posters have some excellent suggestions and the links should be very helpful. As I've lived with cats ALL my life and my family has always loved, rescued and adopted cats from "the streets" or from people who needed to rehome their cats for some reason, I of course recommend this type of adoption or one from your local ACC, SPCA, shelter, rescue, or sanctuary. You can use social media such as facebook to search your local area and see pix and stats on cats needing loving forever homes close to you. Petfinder and PetHarbor are two databases (but there are others) you can also use to do a search. I think you're very discerning to know that your cat would probably love a more laid-back friend; and I would sugggest an adult cat rather than a kitten, because kittens are often hyper and because adult cats are just as wonderful, but often passed over in favor of kittens. Maybe a cat around your cat's age of 3, or a little older, with a mellow personality, and spayed/neutered, would be a great choice? Let us know how you do and keep us informed, won't you? :petcat:
    dustydiamond1, tinydestroyer and maggiedemi purraised this.

  7. maxmeezu

    maxmeezu TCS Member Kitten

    Feb 12, 2018
    Aw I was in the exact same position! Only wanted one cat but he seemed to want a buddy.

    My cat is also SUPER high energy and I work all day. Found out he sits in front of the door and howls. Sleeps staring at the door as well. He seemed to like other cats as well, tried to run towards them at the vet. It was hard because I was having anxiety about working late or planning weekend trips away.

    Anyhow, I brought home a second cat a couple weeks ago and they're doing fine. They're both boys so a bit less territorial than female cats. The new one is a 3 mo old kitten and I kinda wish he were larger to be a more equal playmate, but he'll grow.

    Mine are getting alone fine and it really takes some pressure off me to play with my first cat all day evening long, like he would want.

    I agree with previous posters that they should be introduced carefully. Even if your new place is small, a new cat should be perfectly fine in a bathroom or bedroom for a bit. It's more important that your current kitty not feel displaced.

    One thing to add, get any new additions carefully tested for any health problems / viruses before they meet. Nearly all cats come from catteries or shelters where these things are rampant. And the last thing you want to do is compromise the health of your current kitty.
    dustydiamond1, Docs Mom and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  8. Obie-n-Mallie

    Obie-n-Mallie TCS Member Kitten

    Feb 14, 2018
    I went to a shelter and was very fortunate to get exactly what I was looking for right out of the gate... two female kittens, black, and litter mates. The best scenario possible... for me. So, I have zero experience with the whole introduction phase.

    However, I do have a suggestion. Like @tarasgirl06 I think going to your local SPCA, shelter, rescue, or sanctuary is a great place to start. Maybe, compile a little video of your boy and share it with one of their senior staff members, they will know the personalities of the cats they are housing better than anyone. They will be able to pair you up with some candidates for you to meet.

    Good luck!
    dustydiamond1, jinxybean, Docs Mom and 2 others purraised this.

  9. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 22, 2008
    The first time I owned more than one cat at a time was in 1989 when a college friend told me two kittens had been abandoned in an apartment and found with no food, no water, and a sleeping bag on the floor to poop on. He was keeping one and asked if I would take the other.

    I had a very shy cat who I had adopted in 1987. She would crawl on my chest and let me pet her and purr her head off if I was lying down, and she cuddled with me all night, but if I moved at all, she ran and hid (her whole life). Looking back, she must have been a stray/semi-feral, but I was unfamiliar with all that back then and just accepted her fearful personality.

    So I told my friend, “I already have one cat who runs and hides and ignores me unless I’m lying down. Not sure I can deal with another one.”

    Anyway, I did go look at the kitten, and he literally hugged me when I picked him up. He smashed his face into mine, purred away when I flipped him over like a baby and rubbed his belly. More the type of cat I was used to. So…I took him for me, not for the shy cat, but she didn’t seem to mind the addition. The second cat seemed to make neither a positive nor negative impact on her behavior.

    Ever since then, I’ve always owned 2-3 cats at a time and never looked back. :)

  10. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 19, 2006
    Glendale, California
    Excellent idea, @Obie-n-Mallie and THANK YOU for adopting two black kittens from your local shelter! While black cats are my favorites aesthetically, some people are so ignorant and so instead of being the MOST adoptable, black cats are sometimes said to wait the longest for adoption. *We know how much those people miss out, though!*
    dustydiamond1 and Obie-n-Mallie purraised this.

  11. Obie-n-Mallie

    Obie-n-Mallie TCS Member Kitten

    Feb 14, 2018
    So true! I can't quite figure out the right formula for photographing them well, but they are great!!
    dustydiamond1 and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  12. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 19, 2006
    Glendale, California
    Can't wait to see pix! Personally, I don't care about the technical expertise -- I'm just loving to see pix of beloved cats!
    dustydiamond1 purraised this.

  13. happilyretired

    happilyretired TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jun 30, 2008
    Upstate New York
    I have always had just one cat at a time, and the last two I got from a rescue group were specifically noted as needing to be 'only cats.' They did not get along with other cats.

    However, my second cat was so incredibly 'social' that I thought he might need a companion. But when I discussed it with my superb vet, he pointed out that the cat was 'human bonded'--i.e., he seemed 'social,' but it was with humans. He never met a person he didn't love. My vet pointed out that since he was the 'prince' of the house, he'd likely resent any other cat who vied for human attention. So he remained an 'only child' and seemed to thrive--as long as he got enough human attention.

    Sometimes I think we 'project' onto our cats and assume they are 'lonely' when they are simply being feline. As all vets have assured me (when I felt guilty for only wanting one cat), cats are solitary animals and will not feel 'lonely' as we might imagine.
    dustydiamond1 purraised this.

  14. molly92

    molly92 TCS Member Top Cat

    Jan 8, 2016
    Every cat is different so it's a difficult formula to predict, however I do think that playful, high energy cats can benefit a lot from a playmate. Cats can also teach each other good cat manners, like not playing too rough.

    I would suggest not getting a cat who was too docile. You want them to be kind of evenly matched in temperament and energy, so they play together well and one doesn't get tired long before the other one. And also you want the new cat not to be afraid to stand up for himself when the other cat crosses the line-that's how they learn manners. The "dominance" of one cat over the other isn't too important. What is key, as others have mentioned, is doing really careful introductions, and then providing enough resources that are spread out enough that each cat has the option to sleep, eat, drink, and use the litter box separately and in peace if it wants to.

    I just adopted my second cat, and for the new cat's sake (she's older and has had a rough life) I'm going to take things very slowly. But even though I was told that my first cat, Delilah, would be better as an only cat, she is very positively interested in the new cat! She's been very relaxed and on very good behavior, so I have been pleasantly surprised! So you never really know exactly how it's going to play out.
    dustydiamond1 and maggiedemi purraised this.

  15. r-kins

    r-kins Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    Mar 31, 2016
    Thank you everyone for the advice and for featuring my post!
    dustydiamond1 purraised this.

  16. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 19, 2006
    Glendale, California
    Those vets are so wrong! Cats are very social beings. Just look at a cat colony! or observe a family of cats. Yes, cats can live on their own, but they generally love the company of friendly cats, and bond deeply to family members and mates.
    dustydiamond1 purraised this.

  17. TroyRag

    TroyRag TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Nov 14, 2017
    I felt the same way and got myself another cat but kind of regret it now, it's double the scooping, odor, and food expense. And I also had to pay the leasing office another $450 deposit to have an extra pet. But I do enjoy seeing the cats play. It's quite comical.

  18. Olwince

    Olwince TCS Member Young Cat

    Oct 4, 2017
    I adopted a kitten six months ago, and I have been living alone with Gimli for seven years. I am away from home or working in the home office 7-10 hours a day. For me, I feel it's all worthwhile when I see Gimli and kitten basking together on the window, slow blinking and grooming each other. I can be certain both are having a more enjoyable home-alone time now than when there was only one cat.

    At the end of the day, IMO it really isn't much of extra burden. Food disappears a bit faster, two litter boxes doesn't take much more effort than one. There is no pet restriction where I live though.

    It's also super fun to see kitten learning all of Gimli's quirky moves, like pawing the rim of the water bowl before drinking, opening accordion doors, and er....sitting on the warm stove after dinner :lol:
    tarasgirl06 and dustydiamond1 purraised this.

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