Would getting a third cat help?

CityCatMom

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I have two cats - C & M - both girls, though with a big age difference. They don't get along as well as I'd like.

C is 12 years old and quite a grumpy baby who has been suffering from limping while walking since last year (beginning states of arthritis, we think. The doctor has asked us to help her lose weight). As it is, she is not a fan of other cats - whenever she sees our neighbour's cat by the door, she freaks out and starts wailing or redirects her aggression onto M, which leads to a fight (thankfully, this only happened once). Her demenour is usually relaxed, unless someone (M) bothers her, then she starts hissing and slapping, though no hair flying or bleeding, etc. She a paranoid, scaredy cat to her own detriment unfortunately.

M is 2 years old and a bundle of energy. She has calmed down a lot since we adopted her at 1 years old, but she still loves to run around and wants to play with C all the time. Of course, C is not interested in this at all. She will ignore M for the most part. Sometimes, she will even tolerate letting M rub herself against her, but more than once, and she gets annoyed and slaps M away. Constantly being rebuffed has led to M chasing C, surprising her and slapping her from her favourite scratching box and sometimes even bothering C when she is using the litter box. I have to add, M can be a bit territorial and corners C on the staircase often - I hear C hissing at M every time they see each other on the staircase.

I can see that M gets bored and wants to play. We try to play with her throughout the day, but she seeks out C almost daily. We wonder if she is looking for a cat play pal and if getting a third cat - a kitten with lots of energy to play with her - would help?

We want M to have a playmate, but we also want C to be left alone in peace. She is getting older and needs a lot of relaxing time.
 

susanm9006

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Possibly having a playmate will help keep the younger occupied but it is also quite possible that adding a third will result in the two younger ganging up on the older. I have had it go both ways. If you can, maybe try fostering to see how it goes before committing to adoption, although even that isn’t fool proof since sometimes the negative behaviors don’t start coming out until the kitten is full grown.
 

Kokomo

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I had one older male cat and a younger female cat who had some very different ideas of how life should be lived. I brought home a little supposedly feral kitten to see if I could create a balance. I was very deliberate in my introductions and the kitten did not meet my female for over a month so he and my old man could develop a solid non-aggressive relationship. Now all three of my cats are buddies. Bug, the kitten, roughhouses with Calypso, my female, and plays chase with Shadow, my old man. And Shadow and Calypso now sleep and hang out together and never have issues. For me it worked out great. I went from a house with two cats having issues to three cats who all hang together and are best buds.
 
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CityCatMom

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Possibly having a playmate will help keep the younger occupied but it is also quite possible that adding a third will result in the two younger ganging up on the older. I have had it go both ways. If you can, maybe try fostering to see how it goes before committing to adoption, although even that isn’t fool proof since sometimes the negative behaviors don’t start coming out until the kitten is full grown.
Thanks for the idea! I think that would be ideal since if it doesn't work out, we can hopefully rehome the kitty to a better suited situation.
 
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CityCatMom

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I had one older male cat and a younger female cat who had some very different ideas of how life should be lived. I brought home a little supposedly feral kitten to see if I could create a balance. I was very deliberate in my introductions and the kitten did not meet my female for over a month so he and my old man could develop a solid non-aggressive relationship. Now all three of my cats are buddies. Bug, the kitten, roughhouses with Calypso, my female, and plays chase with Shadow, my old man. And Shadow and Calypso now sleep and hang out together and never have issues. For me it worked out great. I went from a house with two cats having issues to three cats who all hang together and are best buds.
Thanks for sharing your experience! When I introduced C & M to each other, we kept them separated for two months (with supervised interaction times) because C felt so threatened by M the first time she accidentally saw her that she full out tried to attack her. I'm hoping since a kitten will be much smaller than the two of them, they might be more open to amenable to it. I'm mostly worried about C freaking out and redirecting her anger onto M.

Can you share some techniques you used to introduce the kitten to you cats?

I don't think I could keep the kitten away from my energetic cat as she is suuuuuper curious and will scratch at the door until she gets to go into a closed room.
 

Kokomo

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I think the fact that Bug came from a feral cat colony helped the introductions. Bug was very gentle and submissive. I kept him separate in one room for the first almost two full weeks. The cats could all interact under the door, but no actual full-blown contact. I fed them on either side of the door and swapped beds and toys for scent swapping. I then allowed Shadow and Bug to meet while Calypso was separated. Shadow is my old man and had been slightly terrorized by Calypso so it was very important to me he was comfortable with Bug. I let those two have half days together for a couple weeks and then added Calypso to the mix. It took a while to go through all the introductions but it was worth it in the end. All three cats now get along great and Calypso gets all her roughhousing desires met without going after Shadow.
 
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