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Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:07 am
by Tysiana24
Hi everyone,

Just joined this forum in hope of getting some advice/ideas.
We adopted our cat, Ori, a year ago and absolutely love him. He is a 5-year-old outdoor cat that loves to go outside and hunt.
Recently he stopped going out as often which is strange as both me and my partner have 9-5 jobs so he would usually go out for at least an hour after we're back home. I'm thinking he might not like the colder weather maybe? :?:
Anyways, since he doesn't go out for long anymore and we are only back in the evening his needs for attention and playtime increased dramatically. I play with him as often as I can but after I stop he sits next to us and meows for more attention/play.
After we saw a poster at our vet's of someone looking for a new home for their cat - we started considering adopting another cat. We realise the introduction process might be lengthy and require us to work on it quite intensely but it is something we are willing to do if in the end of it Ori might be a bit happier and get a bit more stimulation at home, also we would free another spot at some shelter so there's that :D
In June we moved into an area with a lot of local cats and from what I've observed Ori managed to break ice ok with some cats and enjoys jumping around and chasing each other. I even saw him playfully roll around when a neighbour's cat looked into our living room. He's fine with other cats except one bully cat that always wants to attack Ori.
Obviously I know it's important to take the introduction process slowly to achieve such results but maybe it's possible?
So my question really is, what is your opinion? In research of this topic I've found many contradicting information. Some say, some cats will never accept another into their household, some say that cats can adjust as long as the introductory process is followed correctly and corresponding to the cats' reactions.
So would it be a good idea to try? If so how do you usually would approach it? I can see cats needing home however most of them are kittens or cats that do not tolerate other cats. Would I just call a shelter and explain what I'm looking for?

Thanks a lot and sorry for the essay!

Stop this nonsense, hooman!
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Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:43 pm
by Lilith
Hi and welcome :)

Better more info than less - it's a help. What a gorgeous boy - I have a black tux just like him, only she's just got half a white moustache lol.

There are two ways of looking at this -

a) He wants you and your attention now the weather's getting colder and it's more inhospitable outside, even though he's clearly confident with neighbourhood cats. He might not want to share you though.

b) He might enjoy having an indoors playmate, but you might have to be very careful to give him the lion's share of attention and praise and always let him feel he's boss. A lot of tact and time might be needed - for both cats, because the newcomer will need love and reassurance and fuss. So more time than would have to be spent on paying him attention when he's the only cat.

He's a dominant type - I used to think that that playful rolling was just playful rolling until I came across it in a very menacing cat. Personally I feel it means - 'I'm boss here so watch out, mate!'

Perhaps a young gentle female (but with character of her own - girls generally have) might suit and charm him - with a great deal of supervision. I don't think a fellow thug would - in some cases I'd recommend a thug, but not here.

Whatever you do, a lot of time and attention is going to be required.

Sorry to play devil's advocate with no conclusive ideas, but hope this might help nevertheless - hopefully other people will be along with more ideas - all the best and please let us know the outcome :)

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:42 pm
by Tysiana24
Thank you a lot for the reply!
Oh wow, would never have thought the rolling was a dominant thing :o That's very interesting!
All of what you say makes sense - I think it's one of these things where there's no one right answer as you cannot guarantee what the outcome will be for you or your cat but it's really helpful to get input of other more experienced cat owners.
I'm glad you said we should get a girl - that's what we were thinking. There is a girl cat that seems like might suit looking for home just now but there is someone else interested so we're waiting on updates. Definitely won't be rushing anything just yet! :)

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:45 pm
by Ruth B
Welcome to the forum and as Lilith said better too much information than too little. He's certainly a gorgeous lad, my tuxie got his face further into the cream pot and came out with full white muzzle puffs, I also know that look, 'stop playing your stupid game and pay attention to me' I get it regularly as well (don't quite recognise the game, but it looks kind of familiar).

The reason that there are so many contradictory answers to this question is that every cat is different.

If you are out all day, working full time say, then he might appreciate another companion, if you can give him the time he wants then he could be fine as an only cat.

If you do decide to get another cat then choosing the right one is important but we have all made mistakes along the way, so if it isn't the perfect introduction and instant friendship don't despair, many cats will accept living together even if they aren't close buddies. Like Lilith i would suggest a cat with a laid back attitude, but not necessarily female, some males can be very placid as well, you just need to make sure the rescue knows what you are looking for and if things really don't work out they will be willing to take the new cat back, if they are willing to do this it also shows they care about the cats and want to match the cat with the best home possible. Most shelters will have a whole load of adult cats wanting homes as so many people only want kittens, and with an adult you know far more about their temperament than what a kitten will become.

As for the rolling on the back I remember a cartoon, possibly a Calvin and Hobbs one, with the caption 'i always forget when you do that it means that you are sharp at all five points'. I've seen my girl do it when my lad becomes to boisterous all paws and teeth ready to attack if he gets too close.

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:24 pm
by Tysiana24
Thank you, Ruth!
The game's Mass Effect - I only manage to play a little bit during weekends but even this is a bit too much for our Ori recently :lol:
So many tuxies, yaaay~! :D
I think I've been confused about the rolling as I've heard that if the cat is exposing it's belly then that means they're friendly..? It's good to know the rolling is the other way around and not what it seems at first glance.
I will make sure to explain the situation the best I can, when the time comes, so that we could be matched with a more laid back cat then :)
I'm not sure if my cat is totally dominant as I've mostly seen him hiding and running away from confrontations at first and then I just saw him having the 'stare game' in our garden with no fighting but he must have become more confident as he settled into the new neighbourhood.
P.S.: I kinda saw him "trolling" another cat, that often comes to our garden, by sitting next to their home - owning the territory I presume? But then many times another bully cat I mentioned would show up and he would run away from the fight the cat wanted to start.

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:07 pm
by Sniper1
Hi personally I would give another cat a try go for a younger cat male or female who is also sociable with other cats your obviously sensible and caring and will take care with introductions so some lucky cat will get a good new home and hopefully bring you all a lot of joy

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:33 pm
by Tysiana24
Thank you all for your input. I will be updating if there's any progress! ;)

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:34 pm
by Tysiana24
Hello again.

So we've adopted another cat a week ago - small tuxie female approx 3/4 years old from Cats Protection again (same branch as Ori too). We named her Mika :D
Everything is going ok so far - they don't mind eating nose to nose through slightly opened door but as you mentioned Ori displays some dominance especially when we swap them, he tends to sit by the door and moew. There's been no hissing or tail wagging when they're next to each other but when treats run out Ori tries to hit her with his paw. Not sure if he uses claws or not as there was no physical contact as Mika backs off.
This makes me slightly confused as both cats seem to be confident which makes me feel a bit unsettled and unsure of how things are going to go.
Also Mika sprayed about 3 times in the beginning when we first swapped them - I was not sure if this was because of stress as she seems very loving and confident. I was thinking maybe she is not spayed - as this is one of the cats who's report card says: "Previous owner stated neutered".
We went to our vet today to give her a second vaccination and I wanted to ask for the vet to check but she said that the only way to make sure is to operate again?? Seems pretty strange.
Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks! :)

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:15 pm
by Lilith
Awww, congrats on getting Mika :)

Ohhh yes, neutered girls spray too lol. Hopefully in Mika's case though, it's just the newness and strangeness and I hope she settles down. I agree, it's barbaric to put them through a second op - but if she is entire and comes into call - you'll know.

They sound to be settling and socialising very well, the odd swipe and fuss at this stage is nothing to worry about - just normal cat conversation - again congrats :D

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:52 pm
by Tysiana24
Thank you Lilith! :D
Mika is a very loving and vocal cat, we are very chuffed indeed to have her with us. I really hope they will both come to like or at least tolerate each other so fingers crossed!
So it really is the only way to tell if a cat is spayed... I was thinking they could check for a scar or something but as you say I will just keep an eye on her. She hasn't sprayed recently so hopefully she starts feeling more at home.
I'm going to go to a DIY store and try to find a baby gate or something similar to put in between them before full-on face to face meeting.

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:36 pm
by Mayday21
Hi Tysiana my Harper’s a tuxedo & a female. She’s a terror & rules it over my other four. As Lilith says watch Mika & if she starts “calling” keep her under lock & key!! Apparently another trait if they’re coming into season is that they rstart getting very affectionate. When I had Harper speyed the vet told me she was getting close as she was rubbing her scent all over the cage. Perhaps more experienced Chatters can comment on this. Vivian & The Famous Five from Oz.

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:25 pm
by Tysiana24
Hi all,

It's been a while now so I thought I'd update :)
Ori and Mika have not bonded but I feel like they tolerate each other more and more so who knows what future will bring :D Overall I would describe their relationship as on-and-off.
They tend to chase each other - I'm not sure whether that's good or not but sometimes when they wrestle Mika cries out which is the only situation in which we intervene by throwing a pillow next to them to spook them. Mika is much more sensitive around her belly area than Ori (she also hates to be picked up), so Ori doesn't get to play much with her.
We see them touching noses often and sometimes they lay near each other in bed. They are mostly comfortable next to each other while eating etc. I still cannot tell who's 'the boss' amongst them to be honest. Mika can stare down Ori and make him, e.g., go out of his box and walk away. But Ori can sometimes feel uncomfortable with her coming into the bedroom and chases her down the stairs. Cannot say whether that decreasing in occurrence much as it depends on a particular day.
One thing I've noticed is Ori doesn't eat his food in one sitting, he likes to come back to his food to eat later but Mika would eat all his food! So she gained weight while he lost lots! I started monitoring them more and put his food away once he walks away and I give it to him later.

I'm thinking to take Mika for a medical checkup to make sure all is ok with her belly but I'm sure she's spayed now! Her behaviour would not change even once so she hasn't been in heat. :)
I also wanted to ask about cattery situation - since they're not bonded I think we should always put them in separate pens at catteries right :?: I wouldn't want to stress them out!

Here are a few photos of them:
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Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:58 pm
by booktigger
Honestly, while you might not think they are bonded, I've had cats who've lived together for years and not slept or sat that close to each other, so that is remarkable after just a couple of months. It might be worth booking adjoining pens in case they do fret in the cattery

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:24 pm
by Tysiana24
Thanks for your reply!

I absolutely agree, it could have been a lot worse and it's not bad at all. :D I just think many owners just aim for that perfect bonded friendship between their cats but the truth is cats are so individual you might never know how it's going to be. But I'm satisfied with how things are!
I will look into local catteries and their options for them :)

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:51 pm
by Lilith
Aww, this reminds me of my youngest cat Molly and the time she moved in and straightaway snuggled up to the old tomcat Finn I had then :D

He was her uncle lol.

Those guys have hit it off :D

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:59 pm
by Catotum
Well, you've added & it sounds like a good choice. It also sounds as if you need to get some of the chip sensitive feeders. They aren't cheap but it is the only way I managed to avoid the starve/bulge combination with my trio (all various types of adopted.) The feeders are battery operated & a sensor detects the chip in your cat & opens only to them. Mine are Surefeed. Make sure you don't buy the cheaper one that is just a body heat operated feeder to keep out flies in the summer. You could just get one for the cat whose food is being stolen. Do put their bowls in different places so they each have a feeding territory.

Spraying on first acquisition is normal. She should stop - try a pheromone spray if you need to. Something like Feliway which might make them more relaxed. They do this to make something smell theirs.

Time will improve their relationship. If they sleep close by each other, I don't think you have any real problem.

I learnt a lot about introducing cats from the book: Cat vs. Cat: Keeping Peace When You Have More Than One Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:32 am
by Jacks
Hi there - coming in late to this conversation, I'm afraid - but your two seem really delightful and I personally wouldn't have any qualms about putting them together in a cattery if you were away - from what I've heard cats seem to 'hunker down' when they are in an unfamiliar environment, and this might be even more bonding for them. Their interactions sound pretty normal and actually pretty great since they haven't been together that long. My lot have been together for a few years now and there are still little 'arguments' and occasional chases... Your two are not bonded siblings but they get along, in their own way - and sleeping that close together is a VERY good sign!

Re: Dilemma - adding another cat or not?

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:43 am
by Mollycat
Agree with microchip feeders, it has made the world of difference for my little family and I wouldn't have it any other way now, best £200 I ever spent. Very handy when they are on different diets, or one is greedy, or suddenly a dog arrives, or hot summers ... they are great.

Also agree see if a cattery can put them in adjoining pens if you're unsure of their relationship. This is not just so that they can still be close, it's also to make sure you don't have to start all over again with introductions when you get them home. Even if they hated each other I would still do that.

My second cat wasn't my choice, I had to get her because my first was so stressed on his own. He is perfectly happy and not stressed at all, it's been 6 years now and you wouldn't think they cared one bit about each other but they do. They used to chase each other, they or at least he is a bit old for that now. They have never curled up together, shared scent or licked each other, and yet they happily share litter food and places. She is the one who likes to maintain her personal space and scent but he is respectful and doesn't push her, he is content with the company. Cats don't have a top cat as such, they tend to take on roles in the househld so one or other will be the boss in different situations. From your pictures they look pretty good together.