Growing up, we always had two to four of the fuzzy friends roaming around but I have not had a pet since moving out on my own more than twenty five years ago. I like the little fuzzballs and I really want to get one, maybe two. I’ve checked the webpage of a couple of local shelters and there are several eminently adoptable adult cats looking for a forever home. Of course it’s early summer here so we also have a fine crop of fuzzy, bouncy younglings ready to claw their way up my leg and into my hands. I would really love to bring one home.
Of course, there is a problem. I live alone and work long hours. Any pet I invite in is going to spend half it’s life alone in a house unoccupied by their person. I’m not sure I could ethically get a goldfish on these terms much less an intelligent, sensitive mammal. I have a hard time not seeing this as neglect.
Am I over-thinking this? Should I take the plunge and adopt one or maybe two cats so they can keep each other company? Should I just forget about this idea entirely?
How long are your hours? Are they regular or irregular? Would you consider getting an automatic feeder so they can have guaranteed regular mealtimes? How much of your limited free time are you prepared to spend playing with them? (I do think you should look for an adult brother-sister pair.)
Go big or go home, I always say.
My hours are somewhat regular. Counting commute time, I’m gone from 6AM-7PM at least 5 days a week plus usually one half day. Even when I’m home though, I’m usually beat. It’s rare for me to be awake past 9PM. I have no problem with an automatic feeder and self cleaning litter box.
As Esprise Me said, I think regular routine is important - disappearing completely for a week at a time would be more stressful than long but regular daily absences.
I think if you get two, if you are an attentive owner when you are home, and you’re getting shelter cats - it’s hard to see how you’re not making their lives better.
A cat will not care frankly if you are gone 90% of the time as long as there is food and you clean his litter box.
Dumb question but are you sure you are ok with cats allergy wise? I grew up with cats and then moved away for college and by the time I came home I was totally allergic to them. I am assuming that you have been around them lately enough to know that you are ok.
In your situation you cannot adopt a cat. But you can adopt two cats.
Cats aren’t as solitary as people assume, but at the same time as long as they have some kind of company, be it a human, another cat, or an especially tolerable dog, they’re okay for long stretches even when their primary owner is gone all day. We had two cats, but one died of old age 11 months ago. If the remaining cat outlives my dad, I know from Dad’s hospitalizations and how mopey he gets after just a few days that I’ll need to get him a buddy because he won’t do well all alone for 11-12 hours a day. Or two little buddies actually, because I’m not inflicting the singular attention of a kitten or very young cat on an elderly one.
If you read ads for shelter kitties, you’ll very often find ads saying that so-and-so should be adopted with their sibling or best pal at the shelter because they’re really bonded. Those are the two who are right for someone like you who has no existing cats in the home but wants two.
Definitely two; and, if you can find them, two who already know and like each other, as you also won’t be able to deal with long introductory processes. Cats IME almost always wind up getting along eventually, but in some cases it can take quite a while.
Two such adult cats would be better than kittens, as they’re already more settled; but, if you’re getting cats who don’t know each other already, then in your circumstances get kittens as they’ll make friends faster. But elfkin has it right: take an already-bonded pair if you can.
Let them sleep on your bed; that way they’ll have at least some time with you even when you’re asleep. And do of course give them what attention you can when you’re home. But getting two will provide a lot of their social needs. Also they can exercise each other.
Try to bring them home when you’re about to get some time off; at least a weekend.
Echoing the above: get a bonded pair.
Two years ago, our cats Rocky and Oliver were 11 and 13 respectively. They had been together all of Rocky’s life. Oliver passed away, and suddenly, when the humans were all at work or school, Rocky was alone for the first time in his life.
We quickly decided we needed another cat. We found a good candidate being fostered a few miles from us, so we went over to meet him. It turned out it was he and his sister, and they were six months old. We fell in love with both of them, and we didn’t want to break up a happy family, so Irving and Ophelia came home with us. They came with those names, which were too cool to change.
Now, as my daughter says, Rocky is a “gruncle” (grumpy old uncle). They all get along well, and The Kids love Rocky. Though sometimes, as The Kids are rampaging around the house, it seems Rocky is thinking “why did you people bring these little shits into my house?”
You should adopt two cats.They’ll keep each other company when you’re not their.
And let them sleep with you in bed. This gives them maximum time with you. But mostly, why the hell do people with pets not let them sleep on the bed?That’s the whole reason for having a pet.
As for the adoption process: dedicate a couple days to this full-time. Maybe take a Friday off work so you have a long weekend.
When you bring the kitties home, spend all two or three days with them. Don’t go out for more than an hour or two at time. Then spend all day just sitting around, quietly. No jumping up, making sudden moves or loud noises (Don’t let doors slam). Spend as much time as you can sitting on the floor. Don’t go running after the cats. Let them run around and explore the house. It’s a strange new world to them, and it’s scary. Let the cats explore everything and learn that it’s a stable, safe environment. Do not move any of the furniture…that’s like an earthquake to the poor kitties; it completely shakes up the reference points they use to navigate ( the spots with the comfy cushions, and the “safe spaces” and crannies to hide behind if necessary.)
Stay quiet and calm, and they will calm down quickly too.
Then when they come over to you and jump on your lap, you know you’ve made friends for life.
And remember the rule about kittie pics…we’re all waiting.
Maybe someone should suggest adopting a bonded pair of cats.
Another vote for a bonded pair!!
Another vote for a bonded pair.
Or a litter, like the man in London who found a cat had given birth under his bed. He seems quite happy.
(He does, actually, seem very happy.)
So, you’re suggesting a serval?
A friend has one, and based on his experience, I’d say Noooooooooo.
Many thanks for your kind thoughts and support.
I think these two might just fit the bill.
If I do get them then I’ll be sure to post pics and ask for name change suggestion. The cats are perfect, the names, not so much.
Kitty kitty kitties! they do, indeed, look like a good choice (presuming that you’re prepared for them to Kitten all over your housing. Got all your breakables put away, clear up to the ceiling? And put away in cabinets/closets they can’t get into? 7 month kittens will get into, onto, over, and under absolutely everything, and do so at full gallop.)
(That’s not a calico, by the way. And if they’re more correct about the sex than the color, it would be surprising if he were.)
Pretty kitties! I rather like the names, though you could change “Brussel” to “Bean.”
I’m a recent cat adoptee and convert, so I say yes, but get two. I got the cat for my dog, and they keep each other good company during the day when I’m at work.