Getting Another Cat Solely So That My Current Cat Won't Be Lonely?

meto

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Hi everyone, I want to make an honest post describing my current situation to get some advice. I'll be talking about my feelings, so please understand how much I'm considering Caine's feelings here too.

I don't want another cat, at least not right now. If I could have it my way, Caine would be perfectly happy and live forever with me and be the only cat I own. However, I've been really busy lately, and he's spent a lot of time at home alone. It doesn't feel fair to him.

I could get another cat. It would be risky financially because you never know what could come up with vet bills, and I'm in the lower end of society economically. I think getting another cat would be the best way to make Caine happy, provided he actually likes the other cat, which seems like random chance and I'm not sure how to ensure that anyways.

It wouldn't be for me. I would solely be taking an animal into my life to make the current pet I have happy. I don't usually make such long-term decisions that go strictly against my preferences. I would only be happier if it would make Caine happier, and there's nothing in it for me.

Have you had to make a similar decision? What did you do? Do you regret it? Thank you for your time.
 

Hellenww

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The only way my situation is similar is that my younger cat, Sqeeker, was gotten for the older one, Yoshi. When our Monkey cat died I felt Yoshi needed another cat even though I wasn't ready yet. I saw Sqeekers pic on a rescue site and thought he'd be a good match for Yoshi. I met Sqeeker and he hid. I agreed to take Sqeeker on a trial basis. They met at noon and were eating with whiskers touching by 9p. 10yrs later Sqeeker still hides if you look at him too long. I had the finances to care for 2 and retired so had the time to work on introductions.

I'm not familiar with the financial commitment with foster care but I'm believe rescues take care of vet bills.

Visit shelter or pet food store that has cats for adoption to spend a little time with other cats to see if you can live with another cat. Cuddle some and let Caine smell them on you. If both of you are interested contact local rescue groups and find out how foster works.

Asking questions is not a commitment to foster.

You can make Caines time alone more interesting. Toilet paper tubes make great treat puzzles you can hide. Cut holes in side, put treat in and fold down ends. They make small bird feeder that suction cup on the outside of a window. I don't think they cost much. I make a squirell sandwich every morning. Store brand peanut butter and bread cut into 16 pieces. After the squirrels take the pieces away birds spend and hour collecting the crumbs.
 
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meto

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The only way my situation is similar is that my younger cat, Sqeeker, was gotten for the older one, Yoshi. When our Monkey cat died I felt Yoshi needed another cat even though I wasn't ready yet. I saw Sqeekers pic on a rescue site and thought he'd be a good match for Yoshi. I met Sqeeker and he hid. I agreed to take Sqeeker on a trial basis. They met at noon and were eating with whiskers touching by 9p. 10yrs later Sqeeker still hides if you look at him too long. I had the finances to care for 2 and retired so had the time to work on introductions.

I'm not familiar with the financial commitment with foster care but I'm believe rescues take care of vet bills.

Visit shelter or pet food store that has cats for adoption to spend a little time with other cats to see if you can live with another cat. Cuddle some and let Caine smell them on you. If both of you are interested contact local rescue groups and find out how foster works.

Asking questions is not a commitment to foster.

You can make Caines time alone more interesting. Toilet paper tubes make great treat puzzles you can hide. Cut holes in side, put treat in and fold down ends. They make small bird feeder that suction cup on the outside of a window. I don't think they cost much. I make a squirell sandwich every morning. Store brand peanut butter and bread cut into 16 pieces. After the squirrels take the pieces away birds spend and hour collecting the crumbs.
Thank you very much, this is exactly the type of response I needed. I'll consider what you said, and I'll come back to reread this when I have freetime to follow your suggestions. ^ ^ Thanks again.
 

rubysmama

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How old is Caine? How long has he been with you? Has your schedule changed a lot since you got him, or is this the way it's always been?

Is Caine eating, drinking, sleeping, using the litter box normally? Is there a reason why you think he's unhappy?
 

susanm9006

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I would definitely NOT get a second cat simply because I thought my cat needed it. First most cats live very comfortable and happy lives as single cats. As young cats they may need more playtime and stimulation but that tapers off as they mature. And the vision of the joy your cat may get from a friend isn’t always reality. There could be fighting, litter issues and a miserable resident cat. It happens. And lastly, you said you don’t want a second cat. That in itself is the absolute best reason not to get one.
 
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meto

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How old is Caine? How long has he been with you? Has your schedule changed a lot since you got him, or is this the way it's always been?

Is Caine eating, drinking, sleeping, using the litter box normally? Is there a reason why you think he's unhappy?
His age is unknown because he was a stray, but probably around 5 years old. I've had him for almost two years. Up until a few months ago i mostly worked from home, so I was always here with him. He's very social and he wants nearly constant attention, any sort of attention is good but if you leave him alone he'll meow out the window and run around, unless he's asleep. Even then, he likes to sleep right next to me, so he usually notices when I get up from the bed or couch. A few months ago I started a part-time job, and then another. I've been out of the house most of the day on weekdays lately. I don't plan to stay at these jobs, but I think the next thing I do will also involve me being out of the house. I don't see any significant changes to his diet or litter box when I leave. He's always really excited when I get home, and upset when I leave.

Edit: he has a lot of other attention-getting behaviors like playing with specific objects he knows I don't want him to play with, walking on surfaces he knows he's not allowed on. Usually accompanied by meowing. He never does these things when I'm away, so it's just him communicating to me. I give him as much attention as I can when I'm home. One time I came home from a one-night trip and his voice was weak, and I think it was from meowing so much out the window while I was gone.
 

susanm9006

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One thing I would suggest is that you get a inexpensive video cam, like a Wyze Cam that allows you to see on your computer or smart phone what Caine is actually doing during the day.
 

rubysmama

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Poor Caine. Poor you. There's, obviously, no easy or simple answer. Because getting another cat, isn't guaranteed to be a friend for Caine. They could hate each other, and things would be worse. :(

Have you considered Feliway? Some people find it helpful, though others don't, and it isn't cheap. There are also calming treats, so maybe you could look into those.

Not sure if it actually applies, but here's a TCS article that might be helpful:
Bored Cat? What Cat Owners Need To Know (including 10 Actionable Tips)
 

She's a witch

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I got a second cat although I didn't really want it; the way I saw it was that my cat's well being equals my well being so eventually I gave up. But my situation was different from yours as the first cat was a kitten and it's almost guaranteed that kitten will get along with another one. Almost two years later, I don't regret it in the slightest, I love them both to pieces and couldn't be happier with the way they interact and that they have each other when we're gone (which is often). They are not best friends, I would describe their relationship as siblings in their early teens :-) but they keep themselves occupied which is what I wanted. The fact that they have each other when we're not home gives me huge relief and less guilty feeling that we left a cat alone. And when we're home, watching them is endless entertainment.
But your cat is past "young adult" stage and you don't know how he will react to the company. You describe him as social and liking your company, which gives hope. Remember though that the introduction itself may not be easy and will require time and effort from you. Whatever you decide, good luck!
 

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Could you get someone to come in and spend time with your cat during the day when you are extra busy?
 
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meto

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Could you get someone to come in and spend time with your cat during the day when you are extra busy?
Thank you for the suggestion. I can't think of someone who would want to do that for me every time my work is busy. There's a pet sitter I pay when I go on trips, but it's too steep for multiple times a week. If I eventually got a roommate maybe they would be around at different times than me, but there's no room for a mate at this place, and I'm stuck here for a while.
 
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meto

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I got a second cat although I didn't really want it; the way I saw it was that my cat's well being equals my well being so eventually I gave up. But my situation was different from yours as the first cat was a kitten and it's almost guaranteed that kitten will get along with another one. Almost two years later, I don't regret it in the slightest, I love them both to pieces and couldn't be happier with the way they interact and that they have each other when we're gone (which is often). They are not best friends, I would describe their relationship as siblings in their early teens :-) but they keep themselves occupied which is what I wanted. The fact that they have each other when we're not home gives me huge relief and less guilty feeling that we left a cat alone. And when we're home, watching them is endless entertainment.
But your cat is past "young adult" stage and you don't know how he will react to the company. You describe him as social and liking your company, which gives hope. Remember though that the introduction itself may not be easy and will require time and effort from you. Whatever you decide, good luck!
Thank you. That sort of situation would be what I'd hope for with a new cat. I'd feel much more relaxed knowing that Caine has someone else to turn to when I'm gone.

I think based on all the advice that everyone has given me, I won't rush into getting a new cat. What I'll do is keep an eye out for cats that need a home (just today there was a stray kitten outside my work actually), and try to get into fostering in order to "shop around" i guess, to see if I can find a cat that Caine likes. It could be fun, and also rewarding to help some cats in need. I'll just have to make sure to foster cats only for short periods when I have free time, so that I can give them the attention they need and make sure the introductions go properly. So it may be a while before I find a good buddy for Caine, but at least he'll get to meet some new cats in the process and won't feel so alone. Ideally someday we'll meet a cat that both of us grow attached to, but as long as Caine is happy and there is peace in the home I think it could be worth it.
 

5starcathotel

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My honest suggestions, are not for a second cat.

As much as you can, given your work situation, introduce routine and rhythm into Caine's life. Schedule 15m of interactive playtime, then feeding, in the mornings, and then again when you come home at night. And of course, let him sleep on the bed with you!

Then just "catify" your place, making sure he has easy access to lay in windows (aka, "Cat TV"), or if you have a balcony, you can catify that too and give him access there.
 

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We are home all the time. Given that, our only cat sleeps 7 hours a day. We checked, yep, 7 hours sometimes 8. That way she has the
energy to play with us at dinner time, and at 6 am. this isn't to say
you should get or not get another cat. It's simply to say a grown cat sleeps a lot while you are gone.

when I had dogs I walked them separately. As the first dog and I left the house the second dog would start barking. I could hear him until we were passed the next door house. Worried about the neighbors I asked if his barking bothered them. They said he barks when you leave, when you walk by your house and our house, the one next to mine, and stops as soon as you move beyond our yard.

Get the nanny cam. It's possible Caine stops calling as soon as you and the car leave his sight. If so, wouldn't that affect your decision? there's a good chance he wants you, not a cat.
 
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