Get another cat?

stephanie junca

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We lost one of our cats almost 3 weeks ago now. He had been really sick the past year or so and got even worse in the last 6 months of his life. He was bonded with our other kitty, Luna.

At first, she seemed ok, but I am noticing more and more restlessness with her. She meows at me all the time now. I let her out in our back garden about 3 times a day whenever I let my pups out there. I play with her as often as I can every day and spend down time with her just snuggling.. She still seems agitated. I know it could just be her sad or confused.

I came home a few hours ago to find a poo in the hallway. In the past she has done this due to stress, so I can assume that she is having issues adjusting to this loss.

My husband would really rather not get another cat as we have Luna plus 2 dogs. But, I keep wondering more and more if she needs a kitty companion to give her the company she keeps meowing at me for that I can't seem to provide. The dogs let her lean on them and one of our dogs has even starting cleaning her which I was amazed to find the other day.

Am I just projecting maybe that I need to fill a missing spot? How long did you wait after your cat died to get a new companion?
 

Furballsmom

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Hi
Can you try Cat Music and a purr toy or heartbeat toy and a calming product or two? However, she's getting worse, it sounds like, rather than adjusting, so I'm thinking you might want to run her in to your vet.
 

ArtNJ

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How old is Luna? The difficulty of introducing another cat to a senior cat is not to be underestimated, and there is very little chance that they will be friends. *If* Luna is a senior cat, then giving her time to grieve and adjust is the best bet. Many people have made the mistake of thinking they were getting another cat "for the benefit of" their senior cat, and it just doesn't usually work out well. The introduction tends to take a long time to resolve, with stress for months sometimes, and they usually never end up friends. If Luna is a middle aged cat, getting another cat is more viable. It doesn't count for much if Luna was great with new pets years ago -- cats get less adaptable and accepting of new pets as they age.
 
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Maria Bayote

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I am so sorry for the loss of one of your cats. I am sorry that your other cat is somewhat experiencing grief. But the dogs are around. She will be fine in no time.

However, just to be on the safe side, and as adviced by Furballsmom Furballsmom , I also agree to take her to the vet as soon as possible.
 

Mamanyt1953

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stephanie junca

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Thanks everyone. Yes, she is a senior lady. She turns 13 in December. I had to switch vets recently due to the previous vet misdiagnosing my other kitty who passed. I set up an appointment for Luna with the new vet already for her upcoming shots and wellness exam but that isn't until September. I will give them a call tomorrow (past midnight here) and see what they say if I should bring her in. She is eating and drinking normally. Haven't seen any other weird litterbox misshaps other than the one misplaced poo today.

We have been getting her new toys and cat areas to play in. My husband made her a cute little hang out spot out of a vintage TV. She was hiding the first week after Spock died in the areas where Spock used to hide in our bedroom so we tried bringing more interest for her to areas we spend most of our time. She has been out in the common areas more again so that's good. I am curious about the suggestion of a heart beat toy. Never tried one of those. See how she engages with it.

I know 3 weeks is not a long time but I guess I just worry about her. I don't want her to be unhappy. I do think the dogs are becoming more accepting of her though which is nice. They used to always keep their distance from Luna because she usually would swat and hiss at them. She is a very playful girl though at 12 almost 13. So I hope she will be ok.
 

Vinster

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I know 3 weeks is not a long time but I guess I just worry about her. I don't want her to be unhappy. I do think the dogs are becoming more accepting of her though which is nice. They used to always keep their distance from Luna because she usually would swat and hiss at them. She is a very playful girl though at 12 almost 13. So I hope she will be ok.
I think you've already gotten sound advice here; I agree with waiting a little while longer--especially given Luna's age. Clearly, she is hurt and confused about the loss. If you think of it from a cat's perspective, they don't KNOW for sure their friend has passed. They might have known they were sick, but then the other cat just *disappeared* on day. (And YOU were the one who took them.) Given the primacy of smell in feline and canine perception, and how long an individual's unique smell can linger, it shouldn't be surprising that they get a little sideways in these circumstances. We are visual creatures, not scent-driven; but imagine if you kept seeing the ghost of your late loved-one hanging around the house after they had passed. That's what Luna is going through from a sensory perspective. Scent is real and immediate to our furry companions in a way that it simply isn't for us.

That said, if and when you decide to get her a new friend, I recommend another male. She will expect any newcomer to be, for lack of a better term, "subservient" to her, as Senior Boss Lady Cat. Introducing another female is likely to stress her more, as she might feel she has to defend her dominance.
 
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stephanie junca

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Happy to report that she is doing a lot better today. Seems as though she was constipated which I have known her to deal with when a change happens. After finding the poo in the hallway last night, she has been a lot more calm. I put out a new water fountain and she has been enjoying that along with the dog she has become closer with. It's a swan shaped fountain so she plays with the water. I also ordered her a heartbeat plush toy. Think she will be fine now. Thanks for your advice everyone. Always so helpful and nice on this forum ☺
 

Mamanyt1953

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Yes, please do update us on how she is progressing. And don't hesitate about asking any questions that come up. We're more than happy to weigh in...we know what it is to love a cat with your whole heart.
 
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stephanie junca

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Well, she ran away tonight for about an hour. She usually stays with us in our backyard when we go out but she decided to go down to our neighbors houses. It was getting dark. Luckily she was wearing her collar with bell so we could hear her. I know if you pursue they will run so we kept close by with treats for a while hoping she would come to us. After a bit, we went back inside and about 10 minutes later she showed up at our door. I know sometimes they do that when in grief after losing their buddy because they are searching for them. She has continued to be vocal more than usual off and on. We decided to not let her out for a bit. I also decided to foster a cat to see if it will help. It's been 5 weeks now 😐
 
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