Bringing in a second cat: adopt a kitten or adult?

Julie SaundersJulie Saunders Member Posts: 1,322
edited 4 January, 2015 in Choosing the Right Cat
Hi Catsters! My cat, Dorian (who doesn't have his own Catster profile, sorry!), is four years old, super playful and has briefly met other adult cats without any hissing or territorial issues. He was a rescue, adopted about 2 years ago, and has been an only cat since then. It seems like he was exposed to other cats before he was initially surrendered to the shelter, however, as he's comfortable around any neighbor cats that he's met (he's indoor-only, but has seen a few by the door or has met while both were being held, that kind of thing). Dorian hates being alone and loves people, but can be a little shy/skittish at times. Dorian has been a bit lonely-seeming lately (my husband and I both work) and we think he'd benefit from a cat companion. My husband and I would also like a second cat, of course, but we're especially hoping that any new cat would get along with Dorian - and hopefully play with him some too, as he's got a lot of energy to burn. So all that brings us to two cats we met today at the shelter, and I'm wondering if you guys could give us some input on which (if any) to choose: Adult cat: She's a long-haired calico the shelter calls Isabella, about 6 years old. She's unflappable and easy-going, a bit bigger than Dorian but doesn't seem bossy or aggressive. She took to us right away but was still curious enough about the meet-and-greet room. Not too interested in toys. She was an owner surrender to the shelter and previously lived with another cat, whom she used to wrestle/play with quite a bit. Kitten: A short-haired gray and white cat, just 3 months old, the shelter calls him Strudel. He just got neutered so we couldn't meet him today, but we're going back tomorrow and he should be available then. He is super cute, people-friendly, and is housed with his brother (another kitten). They obviously get along well. I've heard that it's generally easier to integrate a new kitten than an adult cat, especially when the existing cat is high-energy. However, my husband is a little nervous about how much work kittens are (I haven't had a kitten since I was a kid), plus it seems somehow nicer to adopt an adult cat, since I know they have a harder time finding homes. Plus you have more of a known quantity with an adult cat - the kittens we had growing up often bonded with another cat when young then grew up to be really territorial, so I worry about that. Anybody with experience getting a second cat who can give us some advice? Both cats would be living in our (admittedly large) apartment with no outdoor access, so it'd be nice if they could do more than just tolerate each other.

Comments

  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 3 January, 2015
    It's so hit or miss bringing a new cat in. I foster so it's like a revolving door here, and every cat is different. What I would do first is find out what the rescue's return policy is. Can you "foster with intent" where they give you a trial period and you can exchange the cat if it doesn't work out? If so, I would try the adult. Less work, less chaos and adults have a harder time finding a home. Whatever you do, give it a trail period of at least two weeks. It usually takes that long for the new cat to settle in and show their true personality. Good luck!
  • Julie SaundersJulie Saunders Member Posts: 1,322
    edited 4 January, 2015
    Good to know, thank you! We'll be taking home another adult as soon as he's been neutered - they took another look at the surrender information on the cat we were looking at and discovered she was given up for not getting along with the other resident cats. The new guy was brand new at the no-kill shelter when we went in for a look, and he's very playful, VERY friendly to other cats, and seems confident without being too dominant. We're going to take it slow and see what happens. Based on the behavior of the shelter cat, Dorian's the one who would be a problem if either of them will be. I've googled some good intro protocols, though, and we'll just take it a day at a time. Thanks for the advice! When I looked into it some more, I decided I agreed with my husband on kittens...too much craziness for us right at the moment.
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