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Adding a new kitten? Good Idea or Bad Idea

June 23rd, 2006, 09:13 AM
Ok heres my plight:

Last September I adopted a 1 month old (I know this is very young!) little kitten from a shelter who had been rescued from the Katrina disaster. It is a male tabby, and despite a few initial health problems, is a very loving and wonderful pet now. The problem is, he is very needy. I used to let him sleep with me, but because of the constant kneeding and moving around (he is nocturnal after all) I have had to kick him out (I was getting almost no sleep). I tried letting him have the whole house, but he would just sit in the living room outside my door and meow for literally hours upon hours. This was even worse than before. I felt sorry for him, but decided to move him to another area of my house, giving him what has basically become his own bedroom/bathroom. He now sleeps there every night, but I'm worried that he is still very lonely. I don't hear him crying anymore, but I'm sure he'd rather be sleeping in my bedroom again. Because of work, I'm also away from my house from about 9 am until about 5:30 PM every day. I think he's lonely and would like a friend, but don't really know if this is the case.

I read on a website that cats are solitary creatures, and while they will live peacefully with another animal and coexist friendly, they won't become "best friends" like people or dogs would ("pack animals").

To complicate matters, over the next year, starting in Novemeber and finishing in June, I will be out of town quite a bit. Sometimes I will be able to bring my cat with me, but many times I will be relying on having a friend come over and feed/play with him. In all, i will be making 4 total trips of at least 4 days each.

So heres my dilemma: I want to get another kitten for my cat to play with and become friends with in order to help alleviate his loneliness, and what I would assume to be his boredom during the day when I'm not around, but I don't know if this is me inflicting human behaviors/emotions onto him. Would he actually prefer to be alone, or do you think he'd prefer to have a buddy? My main reason for concern is that whenever I've tried bringing him over to my parents house (for long trips) he hisses and growls at the other cats and basically creates a terribly anxious atmosphere for himself. Will he get over this with a new kitten, or will he simply "coexist" and wish he was alone again?

Please help, as you can probably tell, this is my first cat and being so used to dogs, I'm very confused as to what they are thinking!

June 23rd, 2006, 09:31 AM
I think it's a great idea to get another kitten. Try to find one that's around the same age and size. Make sure they are both neutered (some vets will neuter kittens very young). I have heard it's easier to integrate a female with a male.
Introduce them slowly, keep the new kitten in its own room for a few days, exchange blankets so they get used to each other's smell, then after two or three days bring them together and supervise closely. Hissing and hiding is fine at the beginning. Separate them again if there is any hard biting or other aggression. Try again later. The new cat should have access to its hidey-hole (its room) at all times.
Kittens really need the stimulation that comes with being together. And your little guy never got any of this sibling education, so it would be that much more beneficial for him.
You'll sleep better (having kitty-proofed your apartment so no crystal vases go flying) and your boy will be much happier.

June 23rd, 2006, 09:38 AM
Cats can become best buddies . . . They do better if introduced as kittens, though, as older cats will look on another cat with less favor (usually.) :) In fact, I think getting another kitten is a great idea! It's really a lot easier to care for two than for one because they keep each other company and always have a ready playmate.

Badger, I've heard the opposite--that two females or two males do better together, LOL. I guess it doesn't matter too much after the spay/neuter anyway. ;)

Here's a picture of my two kitties a few months ago:

And now:

June 26th, 2006, 01:09 PM
I think it's a great idea and agree with everyone's advice. One cat can be so lonely especially if you are away from home a lot.

June 26th, 2006, 04:26 PM
Sure get another kitten,contrary to what you say,cats are not always solitary animals,even ferals form packs.
I have 3 males,always found males to be more laid back and calmer.
If you are careful with the introduction,I am sure they'll be best buds in no-time.
Their needs are not all that different from a dogs need,they need love and companionship and yours definetly needs a buddy to play with.
Here are my guys!

June 26th, 2006, 04:53 PM
I myself started off with one kitty....then I got another....and now both are happy :) (I also rescued the second kitty too....)

So far I haven't had to go away for a while so I haven't had to worry about that part of life yet. But oh they are quite good friends, they play and play and play and play and fact I'm sure that my neighbour below us must think we raise elephants or something they play and chase each other so much (actually to heck with them *I* swear we have elephants instead of cats)! Of course they're only that noisy because we have hardwood flooring throughout the place and no carpeting to help balance out the noise.

My two are both boys and they will both be snipped as soon as the vet will allow it. We never had any problems introducing the two of them and we actually (I found this out later) did it the wrong way. We pretty much up and tossed them in the same room together (with supervision...we're not that stupid) and it went ok. I thought it could have gone much worse, but Leo wanted to play and Pawz just wanted to sleep. They're just fine now though and haven't had any problems (with each other anyway...the little demons). Leo (the all black one) is the instigator and is the one who gets in the most "trouble" but Pawz does his fair share too.

In your case I'd follow the other's advice about the actual introduction. As I'd learned I did it quite stupidly and well it did turn out, but probably shouldn't have.

I don't know if this helped any but....good luck!

Here are my boys