Should I Get A Second Cat?

Should I get a second cat?


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Count

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I know this question has been asked many times before, but I wanted to ask for my case.

I have one 8 month old neutered male maine coon cat named Count. The reason I want a second cat is because I get the feeling that Count gets bored often, runs around like a lunatic and out of boredom he play bites me as well. It should reduce the destruction in the apartment as well since every movable object is his toy atm. Plus, he never leaves me alone when eating food, constantly trying to eat my food, even though he has food in the other room. I figured a distraction could be helpful with this.

My concern with him in this case is he is a bit clingy and jealous. He constantly paws my phone out of jealousy, and I'm not sure if he will accept another cat. Plus, even if he does, I want them to share food bowl and toilets as well since I am limited in space, and I'm not sure if he will let the new cat use them. That being said, Count really enjoyed playing with Leo, and they were fine sharing these. They never fought and I never saw Count get aggressive at him or anything or anyone ever. (He even lets guests pet him) But they were introduced when they were 3 months old, so I'm not sure if it will be the same.

In either case I want a second cat eventually because, in the future, loss of my only cat would be devastating to me, a second cat should help with that feeling, so it may be wise to introduce them while Count is still young.

Another thing to consider is that I will have to reduce the amount of wet food I feed per cat, because I can't afford the same amount of wet food for both of them, but this probably isn't a big deal. They will still get plenty of wet food.

What do you think? Should I adopt a new kitten?
 

FeebysOwner

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No one can probably answer that question but you. However, things that came to my mind for you to take into consideration:

- Some cats don't like to share food bowls, so that may not turn out to be an option. And, if you get a much younger kitten, s/he will likely need more food than Count until it gets older.
- There are also cats that don't like to use the same litter box, which would necessitate a second box. You really should consider a second box regardless - perhaps a box that looks like an end table or similar piece of furniture?
- Even with Count not being very old, you will need to make accommodations for keeping them separated during an introduction process.

Maybe some of the TCS articles would help you with your decision - at least until other members come along with their ideas/advice.

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide

Potential Stressors In Cats - The Ultimate Checklist

Do Cats Get Jealous? (and What To Do About It When They Do)

I am glad to see that Count's health is better and that getting a second cat is now an option for you!!
 

ArtNJ

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Most 8 month olds do pretty well when you add a kitten after an adjustment period (see post above for guidance). However, I think its wishful thinking to think that the destruction level will go down. If Count is only 60% as much of a crazy whirlwind, the kitten will more than make up the difference. Two cats that get along isn't remotely twice as much trouble, but its certainly not less trouble than one cat. It just doesn't work that way in my experience. Lot of reasons to get another cat if you want too, but reducing the chaos that isn't a particularly good one to me.
 
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Maria Bayote

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A new kitty will not guarantee that Count will now leave you alone. You can try to foster a kitty and see how it goes. However, you mentioned that you have limited space and the cats may share food bowls, etc. This may not work well. Also, you mentioned that you may reduce the amount of wet food for the cats due to finances. This alone will have you to think many times if you do need another cat.
 

She's a witch

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My kitten was around 8months when I adopted another one. She was hyperactive, full of energy, always on the move. Adopted kitten hugely reduced the amount of time I spent entertaining her. Plus it gave her kind of species related activity that I could never offer - I'm not such a fast chaser and even worst wrestler ;) Watching them play, even now when they're adults, it's so satisfying. Even when they do cause a lot of chaos but I don't mind at all. And leaving them alone when we travel is almost guilt free, knowing they have their own company.

Having said that, you never know how that would end up in your case. The fact that Count is young and playful is very positive sign that all will be well.

But you absolutely have to find a place for at least another litter box, at least at the beginning - if they end up accepting using only one, and if you scoop it very regularly and often, it might work with just one- we kept only one, big litter box for two adult cat and it's working good.
Separate bowl for their wet food is a necessity.
Food finances will double - unless you buy wet food that goes with bigger cans.
 
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Count

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My kitten was around 8 months when I adopted another one. She was hyperactive, full of energy, always on the move. Adopted kitten hugely reduced the amount of time I spent entertaining her. Plus it gave her kind of species related activity that I could never offer - I'm not such a fast chaser and even worst wrestler ;) Watching them play, even now when they're adults, it's so satisfying. Even when they do cause a lot of chaos but I don't mind at all. And leaving them alone when we travel is almost guilt free, knowing they have their own company.

Having said that, you never know how that would end up in your case. The fact that Count is young and playful is very positive sign that all will be well.
That's what I'm hoping for. Before certain events, Count used to play with Leo almost half of the days. It was so satisfying to watch them play, and I hope to provide that to Count.

But you absolutely have to find a place for at least another litter box, at least at the beginning - if they end up accepting using only one, and if you scoop it very regularly and often, it might work with just one- we kept only one, big litter box for two adult cat and it's working good.
Separate bowl for their wet food is a necessity.
Food finances will double - unless you buy wet food that goes with bigger cans.
Separate bowl is doable, if I can't get away with using one. Leo and Count shared their bowl fine, so I might try that first. Food finances will increase, and I can double them if I have to, but I might give more kibble less wet to keep it lower, or just give cheaper wet food.

My main concern is litter box. I can temporarily set up another one in the living room I guess, but I can't have one there forever. I just can't deal with the smell and the tracked litter. By design of the apartment, there is no hallway, the toilets are too small for a litter box, I don't let them in the kitchen, and I don't want the mess and tracked litter in the bedroom and living room. This just leaves Count's room, which already has a litter box in it.

Most 8 month olds do pretty well when you add a kitten after an adjustment period (see post above for guidance). However, I think its wishful thinking to think that the destruction level will go down. If Count is only 60% as much of a crazy whirlwind, the kitten will more than make up the difference. Two cats that get along isn't remotely twice as much trouble, but its certainly not less trouble than one cat. It just doesn't work that way in my experience. Lot of reasons to get another cat if you want too, but reducing the chaos that isn't a particularly good one to me.
When Count and Leo were together, they played with each other instead of playing with wires, paper bags, or anything they can get their paw on. Overall, it was less destruction. But I do know they are more energetic when together so I get your point. Maybe it will be worse in terms of destruction. I guess I will see if I adopt another kitten.

No one can probably answer that question but you. However, things that came to my mind for you to take into consideration:

- Some cats don't like to share food bowls, so that may not turn out to be an option. And, if you get a much younger kitten, s/he will likely need more food than Count until it gets older.
- There are also cats that don't like to use the same litter box, which would necessitate a second box. You really should consider a second box regardless - perhaps a box that looks like an end table or similar piece of furniture?
- Even with Count not being very old, you will need to make accommodations for keeping them separated during an introduction process.

Maybe some of the TCS articles would help you with your decision - at least until other members come along with their ideas/advice.

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide

Potential Stressors In Cats - The Ultimate Checklist

Do Cats Get Jealous? (and What To Do About It When They Do)

I am glad to see that Count's health is better and that getting a second cat is now an option for you!!
- Food bowl is not a huge deal. I want them to share, but I can get another one if I have to.
- Litter box is a problem as I explained above. I can't find anywhere to put it.
- Introduction will take some effort, I get that. I will first try our approach back when Leo and Count were introduced, if there is a problem, I will follow these guides online.
Thanks for your help during Count's health issues. You were a big help emotionally. He is fine now, other than an occasional sneeze or diarrhea. Nothing too serious. His incisions have healed great as well, and fur is growing back around it. He always has his tail raised, always really playful or purring on my lap. I am sure he his health is good at this point, and I'm sure he is happy with his life.

A new kitty will not guarantee that Count will now leave you alone. You can try to foster a kitty and see how it goes. However, you mentioned that you have limited space and the cats may share food bowls, etc. This may not work well. Also, you mentioned that you may reduce the amount of wet food for the cats due to finances. This alone will have you to think many times if you do need another cat.
I can double or even triple my cat budget if I have to. I am just considering having a lower budget so I can spare some money for myself, but of course I won't lower it if I think I am taking away from their health. If your concern because of the vet costs, don't worry. I went through a lot with Count's vet bills, and I know how high they can be. I wouldn't think about another cat unless I was confident about being able to afford vet bills even in emergency cases.
 

tarasgirl06

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That's what I'm hoping for. Before certain events, Count used to play with Leo almost half of the days. It was so satisfying to watch them play, and I hope to provide that to Count.


Separate bowl is doable, if I can't get away with using one. Leo and Count shared their bowl fine, so I might try that first. Food finances will increase, and I can double them if I have to, but I might give more kibble less wet to keep it lower, or just give cheaper wet food.

My main concern is litter box. I can temporarily set up another one in the living room I guess, but I can't have one there forever. I just can't deal with the smell and the tracked litter. By design of the apartment, there is no hallway, the toilets are too small for a litter box, I don't let them in the kitchen, and I don't want the mess and tracked litter in the bedroom and living room. This just leaves Count's room, which already has a litter box in it.


When Count and Leo were together, they played with each other instead of playing with wires, paper bags, or anything they can get their paw on. Overall, it was less destruction. But I do know they are more energetic when together so I get your point. Maybe it will be worse in terms of destruction. I guess I will see if I adopt another kitten.


- Food bowl is not a huge deal. I want them to share, but I can get another one if I have to.
- Litter box is a problem as I explained above. I can't find anywhere to put it.
- Introduction will take some effort, I get that. I will first try our approach back when Leo and Count were introduced, if there is a problem, I will follow these guides online.
Thanks for your help during Count's health issues. You were a big help emotionally. He is fine now, other than an occasional sneeze or diarrhea. Nothing too serious. His incisions have healed great as well, and fur is growing back around it. He always has his tail raised, always really playful or purring on my lap. I am sure he his health is good at this point, and I'm sure he is happy with his life.


I can double or even triple my cat budget if I have to. I am just considering having a lower budget so I can spare some money for myself, but of course I won't lower it if I think I am taking away from their health. If your concern because of the vet costs, don't worry. I went through a lot with Count's vet bills, and I know how high they can be. I wouldn't think about another cat unless I was confident about being able to afford vet bills even in emergency cases.
You can put two litter boxes in the same room. There are three cats here, and because the family used to be larger, we have 7 boxes in various rooms. This house has 10 rooms, so there are a lot of options. There are 3 boxes in the master bathroom, 1 in the master bedroom, 1 in the guest room, 1 in the laundry room and 1 in the guest bathroom. We don't need that many, but I just haven't changed this. Experts say one box per cat, plus one; I didn't follow that rule when the family was larger, partly because all the boxes are quite large. It's important that the box be large enough for a cat to turn around comfortably and not have to scrunch up to use it. We use clumping litter, and I scoop 5 times a day, so it is really not a problem at all.
I hope you will decide to feed mostly wet, and the highest quality you can afford. Just like with people, "you are what you eat" and if you eat well and maintain good health, you have far fewer (if any) medical expenses. For us, diet is THE most important thing. I am far from wealthy, but I feel this is critical because I do not believe in allopathic (western, symptom-based) medicine and cannot afford huge expenses (which people here have even with insurance). The same holds true for my cats, who are my family. I love them with all my heart and soul and their health and happiness are #1 priority for me.
 

She's a witch

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But you can have another litter box in the same room, even next to each other.

The litter box smell is somewhat worrying, obviously it will never be pleasant, but personally, I'd want to check if the smell is parasites/food related. My cats' poos hardly smell now, but they are on high protein wet and raw diet, and I know that dry food causes one of my cat's poo smell sooo bad... But if I were you, I'd check for parasites first. Smelly poo can be a symptom.

EDITED to ask: what kind of litter do you use? some tracks more than the others.
 
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Count

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You can put two litter boxes in the same room. There are three cats here, and because the family used to be larger, we have 7 boxes in various rooms. This house has 10 rooms, so there are a lot of options. There are 3 boxes in the master bathroom, 1 in the master bedroom, 1 in the guest room, 1 in the laundry room and 1 in the guest bathroom. We don't need that many, but I just haven't changed this. Experts say one box per cat, plus one; I didn't follow that rule when the family was larger, partly because all the boxes are quite large. It's important that the box be large enough for a cat to turn around comfortably and not have to scrunch up to use it. We use clumping litter, and I scoop 5 times a day, so it is really not a problem at all.
But you can have another litter box in the same room, even next to each other.
There isn't anywhere I can put a second box in that room either. (Other than putting two boxes on top of each other, will that work?)

The litter box smell is somewhat worrying, obviously it will never be pleasant, but personally, I'd want to check if the smell is parasites/food related. My cats' poos hardly smell now, but they are on high protein wet and raw diet, and I know that dry food causes one of my cat's poo smell sooo bad... But if I were you, I'd check for parasites first. Smelly poo can be a symptom.
His diet consists of half wet half kibble atm. His poop always smelled, but not too terribly. The real smell problem is when he has diarrhea, which happens often because of his sensitive digestive system.

EDITED to ask: what kind of litter do you use? some tracks more than the others.
Ever Clean Less Track clumping clay litter. Seems to be the best one I can find in terms of clumping force, less tracking and odor control.

I hope you will decide to feed mostly wet, and the highest quality you can afford. Just like with people, "you are what you eat" and if you eat well and maintain good health, you have far fewer (if any) medical expenses. For us, diet is THE most important thing. I am far from wealthy, but I feel this is critical because I do not believe in allopathic (western, symptom-based) medicine and cannot afford huge expenses (which people here have even with insurance). The same holds true for my cats, who are my family. I love them with all my heart and soul and their health and happiness are #1 priority for me.
I feed about half kibble half wet atm. My options are to increase kibble or to opt for cheaper wet foods. I prefer the latter, but it just depends on the options that I can find.
 

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There isn't anywhere I can put a second box in that room either. (Other than putting two boxes on top of each other, will that work?)


His diet consists of half wet half kibble atm. His poop always smelled, but not too terribly. The real smell problem is when he has diarrhea, which happens often because of his sensitive digestive system.


Ever Clean Less Track clumping clay litter. Seems to be the best one I can find in terms of clumping force, less tracking and odor control.


I feed about half kibble half wet atm. My options are to increase kibble or to opt for cheaper wet foods. I prefer the latter, but it just depends on the options that I can find.
No, that wouldn't work :lolup::crackup: with the litter box. They don't take up much room. And yeah, when anyone has diarrhea, it's strong. Nothing can be done about that. Maybe a spray room air freshener might help you. And scoop the box when that happens, as soon as you are able.
 

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Personally I think cats should always have a cat buddy if it is at all possible. That said I can’t afford a second cat, so sometimes you can only have one. I give mine play dates with his brother & sister (usually once a week.) Perhaps if you can’t get him a second cat you can take him on daily harness walks where hopefully he will meet/make friends with other cats (slowly over time.)

You could put a litter box in your closet. If you get one with a lid and use a litter mat it should be fine. I’m not sure what kind of litter you use but if I clean my boy’s litter boxes once a day there is no smell except for when he eats cheese and makes stinky poo. Since I live in Southern California most days my sliding glass door is open to air out the place. However (at my old place) in the winter I had 2 litter boxes that 2 cats were using and I bought a airwick automatic air freshener and again no scent. (I use tidy cat light weight but arm and hammer clumping litter works well and reduces the smell.) Honestly I had more smells from my stinky (human) male room mates using the bathroom! (Yes I bought an automatic air freshener for the bathroom!)

Lastly if your cat’s poo really reeks you should look at his diet. Does me need probiotics? Is he allergic to something? Is he lactose intolerant? (Oh and your boy should be getting kitten good until he is 2 years old because he is still growing. So a second kitten will not affect that.)
 

tarasgirl06

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Personally I think cats should always have a cat buddy if it is at all possible. That said I can’t afford a second cat, so sometimes you can only have one. I give mine play dates with his brother & sister (usually once a week.) Perhaps if you can’t get him a second cat you can take him on daily harness walks where hopefully he will meet/make friends with other cats (slowly over time.)

You could put a litter box in your closet. If you get one with a lid and use a litter mat it should be fine. I’m not sure what kind of litter you use but if I clean my boy’s litter boxes once a day there is no smell except for when he eats cheese and makes stinky poo. Since I live in Southern California most days my sliding glass door is open to air out the place. However (at my old place) in the winter I had 2 litter boxes that 2 cats were using and I bought a airwick automatic air freshener and again no scent. (I use tidy cat light weight but arm and hammer clumping litter works well and reduces the smell.) Honestly I had more smells from my stinky (human) male room mates using the bathroom! (Yes I bought an automatic air freshener for the bathroom!)

Lastly if your cat’s poo really reeks you should look at his diet. Does me need probiotics? Is he allergic to something? Is he lactose intolerant? (Oh and your boy should be getting kitten good until he is 2 years old because he is still growing. So a second kitten will not affect that.)
Big props to you for the good suggestions, danteshuman danteshuman and also that observation on air freshening -- humans that eat junk food, evil-smelling cheese like Parmesan, and meat are worse IMHO than cats in that department!
I just differ in one recommendation -- cats do NOT like perfumed litters and most cats do not like hooded litterboxes, which make them feel insecure and trapped. I have one hooded box and it is rarely used. Having windows open *as long as they're securely screened!* and having a cross-draft can help freshen the air. I have a very sensitive nose, and really, cat litter boxes do not bother me, as I scoop 5 times daily.
 

danteshuman

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I buy unscented litter. After I found out air freshener bothered cats I moved it so it wouldn’t be near their boxes (& currently have nothing set up.) Arm and hammer clumping litter is unscented to, isn’t it? (I live in a 1 bedroom apartment and even with everything closed, provided I don’t use the bathroom for 10 minutes or so after he goes #2 there is no smell.)

Yes the fresh air helps plus kitties like looking out! My boy is going to be trying probiotics to see if it makes his poo less smelly.
 

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I think top entry litter box can be a good compromise between open and covered litter box, for young cats. The idea of covered box is scaring me due to smell and dust in a limited space, it creates possible dangers for cat's respiratory system - and as far as I know, Count still has some lungs issues? I would avoid him being in a small dusty box. And unfortunately the same goes with air fresheners in an aerosol forms, these are irritants to cat's lower respiratory track so I'd avoid this.. Maybe an alternative would be activated charcoal bag placed next to the litter box?
For tracking situation, I highly recommend honeycomb type of mat, I have a litter that tracks horribly and that kind of mat helped tremendously.

But - covering the smell is hardly a solution, and personally - I wouldn't accept the "sensitive stomach" explanation; sensitive to what? what can he eat not to irritate the digestive system? is there anything vet can suggest to strengthen his intestines? I just wish you had all the food options available that zooplus gives in other countries...
 

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The charcoal bag is an EXCELLENT suggestion, She's a witch She's a witch and one that I've seen but forgot about. Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) is another natural deodorizer that could be put in a small bag, like a drawstring bag, and used next to the box. It's natural, unscented, and hopefully effective! But bottom line, the best thing for this is to scoop often and soon after the box is used. Thankfully we still have plastic bags here and I put the scoopings into one and twist it shut. I have it in a rubbish bin and take it out daily to the main rubbish bin for collection.
We have two rubber texturized litter mats that work pretty well. But for the tracking that happens regardless, I have bought small *portable* brooms and dustpans, that come in a set here, and placed them either close to or beside each box, or in a cupboard very close to them. I got most of them at "dollar stores" and they are very affordable. It just takes a moment to sweep up any granules and put them back in the box or in the rubbish. These habits are not unpleasant or time-consuming at all.
 
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