Best Age for Lucy's new friend?

GustifursMom

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Three weeks ago Lucy lost her best buddie Gus. I'm noticing that as the weeks go on, she's getting more and more obsessed with play time - and less food motivated. When Gus was around, she did everything with him. When he went to eat, she ate, when he went to drink, she drank.

The vet says Lucy is the picture of health - thankfully. So, I'm assuming all of this food/water difficult behaviour is psychological. My inclination is to believe she needs another buddy, she's just to socially-oriented to be OK living as the only cat in the house for much longer.

So here's my question:

Lucy is eight months old.
Gus was almost a year old. So, I know that Lucy will get along well with another cat similar in age to her. But I'm wondering what's the maximum age you folks would advise to adopt? Is a two year old cat OK? Is it more just matching behaviours than ages?

Thanks!
 
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GustifursMom

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P.S. I don't think I have the time/energy for another kitten less than eight months old. So, one year would kind of be the lower age limit for me.
 
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GustifursMom

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P.S.S. (lol) is this whole mix genders thing real? Is it really that bad of an idea to get another female cat?

Sorry for all the questions, Lucy (and Gus RIP) are my first experience with cats, so I've got a lot to learn!
 

ArtNJ

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Younger is always better, but a few months doesn't make much difference. An 8 month old plus any non-feral cat under 1 preferably, but even under 2, is going to have a very high chance of becoming friends. If you don't have enough time for a kitten, then avoid a feral rescue, as integration could well turn out to be more work than a kitten. Age definitely helps a ton even with ferals, but your definitely upping the chances of a difficult integration. With a kitten under 6 months, a street resued kitten is going to become friends with your cat without much problem, but at some point (I'm not clear exactly when) being feral does tend to start mattering a bit.

If you get the wrong 1 year old, there won't be much difference in activity between the cat and a kitten though.
 
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ArtNJ

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And, to add to the above, while some people think it is better to have a female and a male, I really don't think it matters much. (I am sorry about Gus. RIP little guy.)
I agree it doesn't generally matter, although even with timely spayed/neutered cats, males do tend to end up a bit larger. So if your current girl is on the smaller side, it might make the play more equal if you get another female. Not a big deal at all, and we are only talking averages, YMMV, but matching the sizes does tend to lead to more equal play, and thus more play. For example, my 8 pound girl likes my 11 pounder a lot. Nonetheless, she is frequently disengaging from play with a squeal when it gets to be a bit much. They would certainly play at least a bit more if they were more equally matched.
 
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GustifursMom

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Thank you so much to you both, this is extremely helpful advice!!
 
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GustifursMom

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This TCS article might help, given Lucy is having to deal with the loss of Gus. Maybe you can get some ideas on what you want to do from reading through it?
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
Good article, I agree. My struggle has been that this is such a unique situation - younger kitten introduced to another older kitten, older kitten dies, and newer kitten now left alone. So, I'm finding the info online anywhere really to be inadequate, b/c thankfully not many folks have to go through the hell that we want through, thank goodness!
 
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