Is Getting A Second Cat For "Company" Really A Good Idea?

Cat_Herder

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Our female spayed cat Kenna is almost a year and a half. She's sweet and very playful, and we love her dearly. But sometimes we worry we don't give her all the attention she deserves. Especially since we go away most weekends. We've thought off and on about getting her a playmate.

But here's the thing. When I was young, we had a cat named Cody. Before we eventually got her spayed, she had kittens, and we kept one. A male named Benji. He was a loveable purring machine, but Benji was an obnoxious pain in the ass to his poor docile mother, who basically lived in fear of his frequent attacks.

This continued until Benji unexpectedly dropped dead one day, at the age of 4 or 5. I had passing thoughts that Cody finally murdered him lol, but in spite of the grief, I was happy for her. She was instantly more cheerful, and lived the rest of her life in peace.

The point of this story is that I want to make Kenna happy, not miserable. And the same goes for the other cat. Should we leave well enough alone?
 

Biomehanika

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I think it really depends on the cat. Some cats are happy on their own or will straight up not tolerate another cat, while others have their lives extremely enriched by having a friend. My Bentley who passed away in late January would not have lived such a happy life had I not gotten him his little girlfriend Bitsy 12 years ago, he loved her and really really benefited from me adopting her when he was about 3 years old, but never showed signs of needing a friend previous to me getting her. I always assumed their bond meant Bitsy liked other cats too, and got a third cat before the New Year, who Bentley really liked too, but it turns out Bitsy’s pretty indifferent and only really loved Bentley, and probably would have been just fine as a solo cat too.

How much do you know about your cats history? When you adopted her was there any info regarding how she was with other cats? Or was she with other cats/siblings at the time? That should hopefully help you gauge in making a decision if so. If you do decide to get another cat try to get one that is on the calmer side and has grown up around other cats, and therefore knows “cat manners” and how to gauge other cats body language/social cues.
 

rubysmama

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tiggerwillow

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How does Kenna react when she sees other cats through the window? :catrub:
 

ArtNJ

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A 1.5 year old has like a 90-95% chance of becoming good friends with a kitten. It gets harder as cats age, but its pretty close to a guaranty w/ a 1.5 y.o. and a kitten. Which is not to say that one wont be bigger or more active, and there won't be some light hissing when it gets too be too much. Sometimes its like that permanently.
 

danteshuman

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Get a kitten 3 months old that is the same gender as your resident cat. Match the kitten’s activity level to around what your cat was at that age.

my failed pairing was my passive calm cuddle bug ….. then I adopted Dante a extra hyper insecure bully. They were more frenemies then bff. They both passed.

Now Jackie (lynx) is hyper, easily stressed & super attached to me. His brother Nick (black) is high energy but not hyper, brave and he calms my scaredy cat down.

6F96453D-F27E-400E-BD3D-D86F449071EC.jpeg
 
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Cat_Herder

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Sorry I haven't replied, had some car trouble yesterday.

Actually have no reference for Kenna's reaction to strange cats. There haven't been any in the window recently. I've been told that she did see a racoon, and reacted with curiosity more than anything. That's significant, because my last cat would've taken the racoon's head off.

Our biggest concern remains ending up with one happy cat and one sulky cat, due to dominance issues. We may decide not to risk it, but we'll see. We'd gladly take Kenna with us when we visit our boat, but she remains deathly afraid of weird sounds, and consequently the cat carrier. She makes a whimpering noise every time someone sneezes or opens the fridge.
 

iPappy

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Sorry I haven't replied, had some car trouble yesterday.

Actually have no reference for Kenna's reaction to strange cats. There haven't been any in the window recently. I've been told that she did see a racoon, and reacted with curiosity more than anything. That's significant, because my last cat would've taken the racoon's head off.

Our biggest concern remains ending up with one happy cat and one sulky cat, due to dominance issues. We may decide not to risk it, but we'll see. We'd gladly take Kenna with us when we visit our boat, but she remains deathly afraid of weird sounds, and consequently the cat carrier. She makes a whimpering noise every time someone sneezes or opens the fridge.
Some shelters and rescues have a "foster to adopt" program, you can foster a kitten or cat for a certain period of time before you commit to an adoption. That way, Kenna can have a say in it. :)
Personally, I love having more than one cat. I had litter mates for 15 1/2 years. They slept together, ate side by side, got into spats, play fought, and would cuddle while purring. I now have an almost 16 year old and an almost 10 year old. It makes me feel better knowing they have one another if I take my dog with me and go somewhere for part of the day.
 

Kris107

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I would second the idea of fostering. It's a good way (with certain precautions) to bring a cat into the home on a trial. I agree with Biomehanika Biomehanika that it just sort of depends on the cats. My previous 2 coexisted nicely and my current 2 really like each other. Can be hard to know sometimes.
 
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