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Can I get a second kitty?

If you are wondering what is the right cat for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about purring and learning.

  
Slyvy

I will rule the- world right- after a nap
 
 
Purred: Sun Jan 20, '13 3:40pm PST 
Mommy is thinking about getting a second cat but she's really worried about it. I had a sister for a while, before Mommy left the Mean Man and I hated my sister. I'd hiss and swat constantly! The poor dear was never allowed to leave the guest bedroom.

To this day I hate sharing space. It's so bad that when a stray kitty goes on the back porch, I bristle and yowl Mommy has to put the food for him out of sight.

She's tried the feliway and various calming essences but nothing seems to work. Whenever I see a cat, I get possessive!

Mommy wants to bring a stray home to love and give me a companion so I'm not so clingy but she's worried. She thinks that maybe I'll never get another kitty a chance and bully him.
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Buddha

1283889
 
 
Purred: Mon Jan 28, '13 9:58pm PST 
When there's tension in a household between humans as in the case of when you had your cat and her sister, the animals in the household sense the tension and will tend to "act out" as a result. Most dogs and cats are territorial and will react to seeing a strange dog or cat too close to their own territory. You don't say how frequently your cat chased her sister or whether your cat's sister exhibited fear reaction at sight of your cat or whether the chasing ended in an actual fight or what, which makes it hard to evaluate the situation.

As for young kittens, most adult cats tolerate a young kitten but if an older cat acts aggressively toward a young kitten, the adult could hurt the kitten and the kitten could become traumatized with fear, especially if the kitten doesn't have a confident basic temperament to start with.

If you want to get another cat, you might do well getting a confident friendly young neutered male that likes other cats. Confidence and liking other cats are the key elements you most need to have in your new cat. A confident cat is less likely to run from the other cat and a cat who likes other cats is going to be more willing to try to befriend your older cat. You don't want to bring in a new cat who is afraid of other cats. When a cat reacts to another cat with fear aggression and runs from another cat, it encourages the other cat to chase and bully the fearful one. For a cat to chase another or fight with another, it takes two participants. If one cat starts trouble and the other cat ignores it or responds with friendly confidence, the first cat usually will give up because of lack of any fight or flight reaction.

I would start out by putting the new cat in an extra large dog crate with his bed, litter pan, food, and water. In the crate he is safe but the cats can see and hear and smell each other. Your other cat will see and hear and smell him in the crate but she won't be able to hurt him.

Once a day, shut your other cat in the bathroom for awhile and let the new cat out to play in the house, then put your new cat back in the crate and let the older cat out again. This will let him get used to her scent being in the same place he is and let her get used to the idea of his scent being in her territory. Don't get in too big a hurry to try to put the cats together.

When the older cat comes near the new cat in the crate and he comes to the front of the crate to check her out and neither show aggression, then you can try letting them out together.

Before you introduce the cats to each other, make sure both cats claws are clipped. Have some catnip or interactive cat toys on hand so that if your older cat starts getting upset at the presence of the new cat, you can try to distract her. Be patient, it may take a few weeks or even a couple of months to get to the point where the two cats begin to coexist relatively peacefully (even the best of feline friends occasionally have arguments!) The biggest mistake people make when introducing a new cat to a household is being in too big a hurry and giving up too soon.

I've successfully introduced many cats to my feline family over the years using the crate method.
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Slyvy

I will rule the- world right- after a nap
 
 
Purred: Sun Feb 3, '13 8:50pm PST 
There wasn't any fights, just idle hissing that sent Payton running for cover! Poor Payton never came out of the bedroom and when she did, Slyvy would hiss and posture, which sent her back!

I did the slow introduction but in a year, it never went beyond the running and hiding.

I would love-love-love to get a kitty companion for Slyvy but I'm worried because in that year she never warmed to Payton and always hissed and chased her!
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Member Since
01/08/2010
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 4, '13 5:13pm PST 
I agree that a confident neutured young male might do well. Some of our female cats bicker all the time, but the male cats often get along with everyone very nicely.
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