Am I selfish for wanting a third cat?

jumperdog

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Hi, just looking for some external advice about whether I am letting my own heart overtake prioritising my cat's needs. Any insight very much appreciated.

As some background, I have two Devon Rexes, one male who is 2.5 years and a female who has just turned 1. We had the boy for about 1.5 years before we introduced the youngest, and they have a funny relationship. At first, they played relentlessly, and then the boy seemed to have had enough of the kitten. They would play half the day and he would spend the other half hissing and yowling at her. There was never any violence, but it caused him stress and for a couple of months he was not quite himself. Now they have settled into a dynamic - he is still grumpy and hisses to warn her off from time to time, but they run around like absolute maniacs all the time, share food, and cuddle together when in the mood.

We had wanted to get a third kitten initially to distract our girl from bothering the boy all the time. I'd also just always wanted three cats I think. We have the opportunity to take a third in, and I would really love to, but I can't tell if I am asking for trouble when our eldest struggled last time. On the one hand I think a third could change the dynamic for the better by taking some of the pressure of our older boy when he's not in the mood, but it could also reset all the work they've done to get along and set us back to square one. I really love my cats and don't want to make life harder for them.

What do others think? Thanks folks.
 

verna davies

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It all depends on the personality of each cat, there is no way of knowing until you try. I had two female cats with very different personalities, only 4 months apart. One wanted to be left on her own, the other wanted to play so there was a lot of hissing going on. I got a third kitten a year later and the two playful ones bonded really well leaving the third to do her own thing which she wanted. Two years down the line and they now only tolerate each other. There's no way of telling if you have done the right thing until you try but I would think carefully about it. I'm sure other members have had success in getting a third cat and hopefully they will share their experience.
 

ArtNJ

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Well, if your going to do it, do it now certainly. Cats get less adaptible as they age. Whatever the odds of a 2 1/2 y.o. befriending a kitten, the odds are a good bit less at age 5, and by maybe around age 8, all outcomes are still possible but your mostly just hoping the resident cat eventually tolerates the kitten.

I don't really believe that adding another kitten reduces the chance of problems, but I certainly don't think it doubles them either. I may be biased -- years ago I added two kittens to a chill older cat, and he got along great with the chill kitten. Never much liked the hyper kitten and would growl at it sometimes. At age one, the hyper kitten decided that being growled at meant literal war, it was aweful, and I never got that under control. I can't speak to odds, but I think my experience demonstrates that just as V verna davies said, the personalities matter a ton. Since you can never really know what personality a very young kitten will ultimately have, its a bit of a dice roll.
 
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vince

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It's pretty much the best time to do it if you're going to. I don't think your two current cats necessarily have a bad relationship, and they've adjusted well to it.

I had two adult males when circumstances dictated that I take in a very young female kitten. My two acted afraid of her for lack of a better term, but adjusted fairly fast. One of those males is a grumpy hisser, but he just hisses to hear himself do it, and gets along fine with the female (now three years old).
 
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jumperdog

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Thanks everyone for your words of advice - it seems there is really no way of knowing how things will turn out! It is good to know at least that there isn't a consensus that it's a terrible idea. Our boy is much like yours vince - he hisses to hear the sound of his own voice, half the time his tail is in the air and he's purring moments later.
 
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