An Only cat? Need advice ?\'s at the end

Lia BinettiLia Binetti Spring HillMember Posts: 41
edited 19 November, 2006 in Choosing the Right Cat
Hello fellow catsters... some of you may be aware of my recent dilemma re: finding Mr. B a good companion. My quest started because I thought he really wanted company, since I'm out a lot. Also, when we moved to our new house in Feb., he was no longer able to see the stray that would come visit him, so I thought that was what stressed him out (he actually had "stress induced anorexia"). Well, after a long, laborious search (see need advice on which cat to choose posts & his diary for info on that) I bought home a sweet boy (Cinder). I knew how I was supposed to introduce them, but it didn't work out that way and Cinder was extremely friendly. Mr. B hissed and growled and Cinder just laid in a submissive position, not responding or running away. He looked at him like, "what's wrong with you, I just want to be your friend". I gave it a couple of days (I know that's not enough) but told the foster to take him back becuase I felt bad for both of them. Mr. B was miserable and angry, and Cinder was miserable because he was forced to be in a room all alone when he just wanted to be out and play. I think I did the right thing, but my question is this: How do I know if Mr. B just doesn't want a companion, and would rather be an only cat? Would it be better if I tried again at a better time, with appropriate introductions and maybe a girl? Since Mr. B is such a stressed out cat, I don't want to put him through that again unless I'm sure he wants a companion! Is there any good way to tell?

Comments

  • Jill McWhiteJill McWhite Duke City, Land of EnchantmentMember Posts: 1,098
    edited 18 November, 2006
    I am not sure if there is an answer for this, but I think that you are right, it will take longer than a couple of days for most cats to adjust to each other. Tito was an only cat for a long time. I lived with roommates on and off when he was young, and he never really made frined with the other cats that he had to cohabitate with. When he was the king of the castle all alone for a few of years, he got a little weird. Very deperate and clingy, to the point of seeming a little crazy. When I got home from work he would be angry with me, and meow and meow with his insistent voice, and he would have to knead on me ALL of the time. Anyway, I don't think that he thought he needed a frined, but I decided he did. I think the point is, if you think that he may need a buddy, go ahead and try it again. However, it will be tense for a while, and even if they hate each other at first, they could be best friends in the future!
  • edited 17 November, 2006
    I have heard from humans (and other cats, of course!) that sometimes a male and female can get along better if you are going to get a pal. Not such territorial stuff. Also, yes, a few days is not very long. Sometimes a younger cat of the opposite sex is good...a cat would be less likely to be aggressive with a kitten or cat a year or so younger that he can "teach." Just my observation. My CT alternated male/female with happy results...but fortunately has not had deaths or many situations to count as evidence.
  • Yipee LadybugYipee Ladybug Member Posts: 3,805
    edited 17 November, 2006
    Cats have their personalities, so some can get along right away and some...well, they can take a while. Like a year. When Missy was first introduced to Casey, Missy was VERY upset, and stressed to the point that I had to put her in a separate room and reintroduce her slowly again. Casey had no problems. They refused to be in the same room together for the first six months...the next six months, they were okay being in the room together...as long as they couldn't see each other. Even if they were "touching butts" when they were resting on the bed. After the first year they tolerated each other, but didn't hang out much together unless there was a common threat. They were never friendly with each other. Casey didn't like it when Donny and Marie the white kittens came along. She treated EVERYONE as a traitor for bringing home some young in-your-face upstarts. After the first month, she tolerated them as long as they didn't interact with her. It's now just over a year and Casey sometimes will start a game of chase with Marie. If you check out Casey's latest picture, you'll see that she didn't mind Marie sharing the armchair...and they were even holding paws! Awww! [They were watching Dr. Who on TV.] So, Mr. B, we say...go for it! But you need to give them time and space. Preferably lots of both. Sometimes they'll get along right away....sometimes, it can be a year. As long as they aren't fighting to kill, then it will work out, even if all they'll do is tolerate each other. I know Missy didn't like Casey around, but when she was scared and/or lonely, she was glad there was another kitty around!
  • Donna LenzDonna Lenz BethelMember Posts: 4,600 ✭✭✭
    edited 18 November, 2006
    I HATED every cat who moved in here for years. But after a few weeks I made friends with them. Mom says I have small cat syndrome? It takes a little time - but we get used to each other and become buddys. I tortured Morgan for a while. When I hissed at him I got sprayed with the water pistol. Can you believe it - me? Hey I'm an old kitty - and he was just a little kid. But my parents told me he was a handicapped kitty and wasn't go anywhere. I had to deal with it. Now we play chase together.
  • Denise GraysonDenise Grayson BothellMember Posts: 2,468
    edited 18 November, 2006
    A few days isn\'t enough time sometimes. Especially if they have been a only cat for a while. Sometimes getting a younger kitty helps. Or separating them to where they can still see each other through a window or screen to ease the transition. I use to be a only cat and for a long time mom thought I would not except any cats in the house. They had taken me to petco to see how I would do with a kitty they were thinking of getting and when I saw the human cat toy holding and petting it I started growling and wanted to rip its head off. Shortly after that though a kitty would come up to our window and after a while I was smitten with it. Well what happened with her is another story and not a very happy one. But mom saw how sad I was when she wasn\'t around at the window anymore so they thought they might try again. Boots came into our lives shortly after and they were very cautious at first about me having a problem with him. But the moment he came into the house we were friends. It is tricky finding the right second kitty sometimes. Just like our servants are with their friends. Some kitties you just instantly hit it off with and some for whatever reason is your own you can\'t stand them
  • Heather BellamyHeather Bellamy Perry / StatesboroMember Posts: 5,506
    edited 18 November, 2006
    I'd say introductions take generally several weeks all the way up to a few months. I know that's a long time, and it's really disappointing when you are SO excited about adding a new cat to your family only to have the immediate reaction of your resident cat be rejection of the newcomer. When Mom got me, Sir Thomas and I HATED each other. I mean we HATED each other so much. I've been in my family a year now, and although Sir Thomas and I still are by no means close, we no longer hiss at each other. It took around six months for us to get to the point that we could coexist peacefully in the same room. That's probably longer than normal; Sir Thomas was the alpha cat in my family and I took over his position. On the other hand, Luna and my neighbor Shadow are best friends. They immediately bonded. It just depends on each particular cat, I suppose, but I'd say that giving it only a few days isn't enough. Some cats will coexist peacefully but never really bond. That's how Dutch is. For the longest, it was just he and Lucky Boo, and then when Luna and Sir Thomas arrived in "his" house, he simply ignored them. He still does for the most part. But he and I are really close. Mom thinks the relationships we cats have with each other are almost as complicated as the human kind of relationship!
  • eva pennyeva penny chehalisMember Posts: 528
    edited 18 November, 2006
    Diesel HATED Tucker when we brought him home. It's been a week and Diesel and Tucker have become great friends. Diesel still plays too rough sometimes but hasn't hissed for several days. They just woke up from a nap together and Diesel is holding Tucker down grooming him now. Don't lose hope, cat's can adapt, just give it some time and let them have space for awhile before you let them be together..
  • Lia BinettiLia Binetti Spring HillMember Posts: 41
    edited 18 November, 2006
    Thanks for everyone's encouraging advice! Cinder is gone now, but I think I will try again, with a female, maybe a little younger, and when I have more time to spend with both of them. I got Cinder on a Tuesday night, and I'm going to be going away for the Thanksgiving weekend, and then for 7 days for Christmas. So since they didn't get along right away, it would not have been fair to either of them. I'm a teacher, so I figure I could try in the summer when I've got all day, and 2 months! :) Thanks again :)
  • P IngramP Ingram EaganMember Posts: 7,400
    edited 19 November, 2006
    *winnie and Chester's mom here* I am a firm believer in the younger/older cat combo and mixed genders. When I adopted Winnie I wanted her to have a friend (I travel a ton for work) and went with another female her age (Violet) what a disaster. Three stressful days later Violet went back to the Shelter and they suggested a younger male, hence Chester, a year younger (he was 8 weeks old) and male, Winnie took to him immediately, almost as her child. They are now incredibly great buds, to the point I almost dont exist to them at times. I also think there is another side to this "new pet" transition we never really thinka bout, and that is the personality of the new cat. Are THEY ready to have a friend or are they an alpha dominant cat. That was part of the problem with Violet, she needed to be an only cat. Winnie was willing to accept her, she wasnt willing to accept Winnie. Violet wanted all the attention and was not willing to share attention with anyone or anything. If possible spend some time getting to know the new cat before even trying to bring them into your home so you feel your home is a good match for them as well as for you. I think we all worry will our existing cats be ok with it, but not about the personality of the new kitty.
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 19 November, 2006
    When Mommy had Spice, Spice was an only kitty. Now I am an only kitty. I love it. I am so happy with my life right now (you can just see the contented cow look in my pictures.) I hate when I see other cats outside in 'my territory' (ie, the part of the yard I can see.) My tail gets bushy and sometimes I will even make a noise like a coyote. I get very upset and sometimes, if a cat comes too close to the house, it takes me a few minutes to calm down. I show no signs that I am at all interested in a brother or sister. My Mommy figures that if it is going to make a kitty that upset...for a few days, weeks, or even longer to have a new cat introduced then did they really want a companion to begin with? And is it worth it to put the cat through that much stress? There are a lot of studies/schools of thought that go both ways on this. Many say that, unlike dogs, cats are not pack animals and are more solitary. Of course, if forced to adapt to a multi-cat household they will. In general, it seems they do best when two cats are adopted at the same time. Also, she can not help but notice how many MANY cats that are on pertfinder and on the local news pet connections that say 'does not like other cats/must be the only cat.' Plus, my Mommy knows many people with more than one cat. They do not interact as much with the human members of the family even though they also do not necessarily spend a lot of 'quality time' together with their kitty siblings. Granted, these are just observations, but, based on what she has seen and the close relationship she had with Spice and now has with me, Mommy is glad she chose to have me as an 'only child' and the center of attention.
  • Julie BellizziJulie Bellizzi StaffordMember Posts: 196
    edited 19 November, 2006
    It has been a little over a year since Demi adopted my house. She is extremely territorial (having been outdoors her whole life). I kept her separated from the other two cats for the first week, then slowly started introducing them. Food was the best inducer - I started their bowls on opposite ends of the hallway and gradually moved them closer - if they wanted to eat, they had to move with the bowls. It took over a month before she would tolerate them being in the same room. A year later she still growls when they come too close to her, but I count myself lucky that at least it is not open warfare. My point is that I do think some animals (like this one of mine) would be happier as only cats. It sounds like you had found a good companion for Mr. B, I am sorry you got discouraged so quickly. I hope you will consider trying again =) How does your cat react to strangers or other people it knows? That could help you decide whether he is interested in a playmate.
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