Getting another cat

Asrais

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Two weeks ago today we said goodbye to my cat Raven. My other cat, Magpie, was adopted with her when they were both 12 weeks old. They weren't litter mates and weren't super bonded, but they tolerated each other, and sometimes even loved one another.
I know he misses her, even though he is doing well. Or at least he misses having another cat around. And frankly, even though I am still grieving, I feel the need to fill that gaping hole that Raven left.
So the question is, cat or kitten?
Magpie is 11, very chill, but untested with any cats other than Raven and Felix, who is the neighbourhood wanderer.
I also have Pip, a small dog, who has een around cats her whole life and 3 birds, 2 cockatiels and a budgie.
Magpie has grown up with the birds and has no interest in them, but I am worried that if I get an adult cat, they will hunt them. (no cats or dogs are allowed in the room when the birds are out, but the house is fairly open plan, so I would like to be able to trust them not to charge the cages.
I have a large cat run, a garden, no kids and I am home all day.
I am so confused, I would love a kitten, but I am afraid they would annoy Magpie. I would love to rescue an older cat, but I'm afraid they will eat my birds.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Maria Bayote

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If I were you I'd give it some time. Based on your post Magpie does not really seem to be affected by Raven's absence. He still has Pip, the budgies and the cockatiels. If you get a kitten, expect it to have unlimited source of energy and may (or may not) annoy Magpie. Plus the kitty will be super curious about the birds, so you can't leave it alone with them. If you get an adult cat, you need to introduce it to the resident cat slowly and surely, and also to the dog Pip. Plus again there are the birds that you need to think about. There is no guarantee that a kitten would be better than an adult cat, or vice versa. It will all depend probably on the personality of the cat itself.

However, on the other hand, a new cat may also work wonders to Magpie. With the right introduction not only to the resident cat and dog, but also to the birds, it may just work out perfectly fine.

BTW, I am so sorry for Raven's loss. Allow yourself some time to mourn. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
 

ArtNJ

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Its a minor miracle if an 11 year old is happy about a new cat of any age. Definitely possible, but a good bit more likely that there will be stress and a long slow climb to toleration. When did your cat first meet this wandering outside cat? If it was recent, and she was chill about it, thats somewhat relevant and encouraging. If the first meeting was a bunch of years ago, I wouldn't put too much stock in that, as cats get worse at meeting new cats as they age.

There are advantages and disadvantages to the new cat being a kitten. The advantage is that adults never try to actually hurt or fight a kitten for real. The disadvantage is that matching activity levels is obviously impossible. Once in a while you get a kitten that takes no for an answer, and won't be super pushy constantly trying to play with an older cat, but there is no way to guarranty your getting one o those miracle kittens. You kind of have to assume they kitten will ignore hissing and growling and just keep trying to play, play, play with the older cat, and yes, that very much does not help.

With an adult, you try to match "personalities" which really mostly just means activity levels. Problem is, even if you get two inactive sweet 11 y.o.s, that isn't a guarranty they won't try and murder each other. A lengthy introduction process generally takes care of that, but lots of people have accidents where a cat gets out or something, and the possibility of violence is just another level of tension. Once thats gone, you'll generally have the long slow climb towards toleration where both cats are stressed, potentially for months. Not always of course, and if they are both inactive and not inclined to be physical, improvement might be faster. If there is a true personality match, the odds might even be better than with a kitten -- although with a kitten, at least one side (the kitten) wants to be friends.

I can't address the bird & dog, but others will I'm sure.
 
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di and bob

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I would get TWO kittens if you can to keep each other busy, Magpie could then 'teach' them to be a cat. Males, though annoyed with all the wanting to play, are much more tolerant of kittens. I think it would keep him occupied and also keep him company. Two are really no more expensive than one. Maybe double the vaccinations, but only one office visit if brought in together. Your birds may need to be watched closely though, even though you think Magpie is trained to stay away from them, and you would have to train the kittens, bird exposure to the kittens would help, especially at a young age, but instinct always triumphs over training. So be careful.
 
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Asrais

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BTW, I am so sorry for Raven's loss
Thank you. She and I shared a special connection.
Any new cat would definitely be for me... I know that Magpie has noticed she is gone, but, he is fine... I am the one feeling lonely without her.
 
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Asrais

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Its a minor miracle if an 11 year old is happy about a new cat of any age.
So fingers and paws crossed? 😊
I have been doing research on introducing cats and have mapped out what that would look like in my home.
Felix, the wandering cat first appeared about 5 years ago, as an approximately 6 month old kitten. Magpie wasn't concerned in the slightest about him (we would have adopted him but Raven wasn't having it).
So, yea it probably doesn't give me a good gauge as to how he will react.
 
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Asrais

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I would get TWO kittens
This was my original though, but 3 cats seems like a lot of cats!
Magpie is a very large cat for a dsh, if the kittens ended up the same size, I would be overwhelmed with kitties 😂
But I do see you point, and I remember how easy it was having the two as kittens.
If I can convince my hubby to let me have 2, I think that is the way I will go. (he is very much a go with the flow kind of person, he is happy with or without any new additions)
 

ArtNJ

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So fingers and paws crossed? 😊
I have been doing research on introducing cats and have mapped out what that would look like in my home.
Felix, the wandering cat first appeared about 5 years ago, as an approximately 6 month old kitten. Magpie wasn't concerned in the slightest about him (we would have adopted him but Raven wasn't having it).
So, yea it probably doesn't give me a good gauge as to how he will react.
Yep, acceptance of the wandering cat is too old to mean much, but hopefully it bumps your chances up some. We have a guide that I think is pretty good you could check out as well. How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles If you get an adult cat, try hard to match activity levels, which is really hard when getting a cat from a shelter. I've noticed that how cats are in shelters just isn't a great indicator of how they are in a home. Unless you can find a good match from a home, or maybe if the shelter is really very convincing, I'd probably go with a kitten. (Assuming you are committed to doing it.)

Not a bad idea to make sure you have a return option just on the off chance that Maggie is hit with unusually high stress and stops eating, using the liter box, gives herself hot spots or whatnot. That sort of stuff would be fairly unusual, but if you get that, its an early marker of a harder and more stressful than normal process, and personally, if it happens early, I'd bail out of the process for the sake of the 11 y.o.
 
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