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Cat-Kitten Advice

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Marilou, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Marilou

    Marilou Well-Known Member

    After having to put down my "baby" last year (she was 14), I think I am ready to get another kitten. My sister-in-law has some kittens she is trying to find homes for, and I am very interested in taking one. The concern is for our other cat who is 15 and not in the best health. If we do this, we want to make sure the older cat isn't traumatized. Does anyone have experience with this? Should we try or would it be better to wait?
  2. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    Sorry for your loss, Marilou.

    I gather that your 15-year old cat has lived with other cats before? In that case, it might be okay to introduce a kitten to your household. The best way to do it is slowly. Put the new kitty in the bathroom or another room for a while before you introduce them - your other cat will be aware that something is going on and might scratch at the door to the room where the kitten is housed. And there may be some squabbles after that.

    Usually it is much easier to introduce a kitten to a household with an existing cat than it is easier to introduce an adult cat. In my experience Introducing an adult cat can be very traumatizing for for all the cats involved. When hubby and I joined households each of us had two cats and the introduction of the pairs led two to retreat under the bed for days.
    And when I tried to introduce an adult cat to the household last year (we had one elderly cat) both cats didn't like it and the new one ended up moving in with a neighbour.

    Also, you need to make your older cat's health a priority. If it is failing it might actually be better to wait to get a kitten. We have a 17-year old cat and won't get another until she has passed on - but we have a dog as well, which complicates the situation a bit.
  3. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    We have a year old cat, and were also thinking of adding another. I'd suspected a kitten might be a better idea than an older cat. There is one other year-old cat that I'm kind of considering, though - he and my cat were shelter cage-mates at the animal shelter, and the other cat is still there. They've been separated for about six months.

    But I'm thinking a kitten would be better.

    The idea would be to give my cat some companionship during the long hours when I'm at work or when I'm travelling. But I'd be just fine with not adding another cat, if you all don't recommend it. So what do you think? Add another cat, or forget it? And if we were to add another cat, should we go with a kitten, or my current cat's shelter cage-mate?
  4. mpal2

    mpal2 Well-Known Member

    Does your cat act lonely when you come home? If yes I think you would be fine with the shelter cage-mate or a kitten. If no, the most submissive kitten in the bunch would probably be safer.
  5. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    The cat does act lonely, which is what got me thinking.
  6. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    I can't be objective, I keep thinking of that poor kitty in the shelter cage for 6 months. The shelter may work with you and let you adopt the cat on a trial basis and be willing to let you bring it back if the two cats can't get along.

    Marilou, so sorry for your loss. If your older cat has any health problems or seems very sensitive to his enviornment, I'd probably wait to adopt another cat. If your 15 year old is in good health and has a pretty easy going temperment, then it may be fine. Just remember when you introduce the new cat to do it slowly, and give your current kitty plenty of attention.
  7. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

    Marilou, sympathies for your loss.

    I actually brought 2 kittens into my home after the death of my cat. I did also had an older cat and decided on 2 so they could grow up together. I kept them separate from my older cat for a good 10 days or so and then allowed supervised visits. After about another 4 days, I felt comfortable allowing them to mingle all the time. It worked very well. They got along very well. Good luck with yours.
  8. DubbalinGirl

    DubbalinGirl New Member

    My parents had two sister cats, one of which died last year at the age of 12. The remaining cat acted so pathetically lonely that everyone, the vet included, said to get another. But the vet said to get two on the outside chance that the old girl rejects the kitten. Well she did. She hates them both. They followed the slow introduction method, keeping them separate, then a gate between them, yadda yadda...and 18 months later the older cat hisses and attacks them constantly and won't let them sleep or eat near her, though on the very odd occasion she will clean them and let them clean her.

    What is weird though, is that when my mom took the "kittens" to the vet last month, the older cat howled and cried the entire time, walking around the house looking for them. So deep down she "missed" them on some level. But once they were back, she was up to her old tricks.

    I would just temper your expectations....they may not get along the way you hope.
  9. Marilou

    Marilou Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your responses. We decided against the kittens that my sister-in-law was trying to find homes for. It turns out they were basically wild cats that had been living in her back yard. Because they had not had a lot of human contact, and we are concerned about introducing unknown health issues to our older cat, we thought it best to pass. We are going to get a kitten, but would like to go through a shelter where the kitten has had it's first shots and been dewormed and de-fleaed.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  10. skatecat

    skatecat Lurker Extraordinaire

    So sorry for the loss of your kitty ((hugs)).

    I went through something similar at the beginning of this year. An older cat died, and I had two older cats remaining -- but the female (13 yrs old) would have nothing to do with the male (10 yrs old). I needed a new companion for the male (whose best buddy is the one who died).

    Enter a 4-1/2 month-old shelter kitten. It was a tense few months as the kitten terrorized the 10-yr-old male. About six months later, the kitten has now been accepted by both cats and I'm wiping my brow in relief.

    The advice I would give you (and that my vet gave me): get two kittens, because kittens need some serious, hard-core play time, and your older cat will likely be unable or unwilling to supply that kind of intensity.

    Good luck!!