We have one cat. Should we get a kitten?

Here’s the back story on my request for advice.

About three years ago, we took one of my husband’s aunt Pam’s cats. Pam had several mostly outdoor cats and was trying to pare down because her husband (my husband’s uncle) Greg had just found out that he was allergic to cats. Also, Ace tended to not be able to fend for himself very well among the other cats. They didn’t physically fight or anything; he just often didn’t get his share of food, for instance, because he’s not very assertive. So … Ace came home with us.

Fast forward to a year ago: Ace is a happy about-seven-year-old kitty, a little fat, but much healthier-looking. A friend of mine knew someone who, for reasons too involved and boring to get into here, had to get rid of her cat. They were going to take it to the shelter. :frowning: I said that we would take her. So … we got another cat. Tigger was a five-pound ball of fur with no front claws. (Side note: she was beautiful. She had the markings of a standard tabby with the coloring and points of a Siamese–and blue eyes.) Unfortunately, after a while it became apparent that Tigger and Ace weren’t going to get along, mainly because she decided she owned all the rooms in the apartment. So … off she went to my mother-in-law’s house. (That part was a happy ending because my MIL hadn’t had a kitty since her two that she’d had for 15 years had died.)

Today, Ace is a well-adjusted kitty, for the most part. He loves my husband and me; in fact, if he thinks no one’s in the house, he’ll cry. He has no idea that cats are supposed to enjoy solitude. :slight_smile:

Anyway, here’s the question: we’ve been thinking about getting a kitten. Maybe Ace wouldn’t be threatened by a little guy, and maybe they could keep each other company. (It breaks my heart when we leave and can hear him crying.)

Advice, kitty dopers?

I just realized that I said, “Here’s the question,” then didn’t ask a question.


The question is/questions are, has anyone had experience with this type of situation before? Is it easier for a chicken of an adult cat to get along with a kitten than another adult cat?

My wife and I were concerned about our 10 year old male cat (Buddy) getting lonely during the day, so we decided to get a female kitten.

They don’t act like litter-mates, but they get along OK. They won’t cuddle up to each other or clean each other, but they play and chase each other around the house. They also have some good wrestling matches where no one gets hurt or scratched but often leaves a good pile of hair behind :).

Our Buddy cat is healthier now that he wrestles and romps, and now that the kitten is 3 years old she is starting to mellow a little so he can enjoy his old age without getting pounced on every 10 minutes.

It’s a gamble though. A new kitten can totally change the dynamics of your cat’s personality, but I say try it!

Your cat sounds a lot like my Feather. When I got her, she was a juvenile, and she got along great with my big suckie older cat, Lou. I had to give Lou away, so Feather was my only kitty for almost two years after that, then she moved in with my husband’s cat, Max, who is much more aggressive and dominating than Feather.

Feather and Max will never be friends; they are in a state of armed truce which often breaks out into hostilities, but they do like to have each other around for company (when Max got left outside one day, Feather was very worried about her). They don’t really play together as such, but they sure like to chase each other.

Long story short, I would get a kitten if I were you. Ace may never get to love the kitten, but he will benefit from the company. I think it’s important that if you do get a kitten, make sure Ace still gets lots of attention and rubsies. I make a point of petting Feather first when I come home - I don’t know if she cares, but if she does, I’m doing it for her.

(Max does the crying thing too when her daddy leaves. It’s a sad, sad thing. People who thinks cats are cold and unaffectionate have no idea.)

It could work. I’d recommend a kitten of the opposite sex, which seems to reduce tensions. Try to find one that is less dominant, and more docile, so that it will hopefully take direction from the big cat. Give big cat lots of attention when kitty comes home, so he doesn’t feel he’s losing out to the new furball.

By nature cats are not the solitary animals they are made out to be. Leave them to their own devices in the wild and they form packs. Although they will not be seen roaming (a la wolves and such) they do depend on their pack for companionship.

I would definitely get a second cat. Even if their personalities don’t mesh, their sheer presence to each other will at least help in the area of loneliness and boredom…if cats do, in fact, get bored. Hmm…

FWIW we have 3 adult cats, 1 female (Cleo) and 2 males (Kiaora and Coke), and about 7 weeks ago we got a kitten, Halle.
At first Cleo and Coke were a bit hostile, but Halle seemed totally unphased, and still is whenever they get a bit annoyed with her. Kiaora has been an utter sweetie to her the whole time though and within about 5 hours of meeting her was washing her neck and ears. After about a week Cleo and Coke were also fine with her, Halle and Coke bonded over some tuna, and I think Cleo just realised that Halle was here to stay.
So my advice is get another cat! Kittens are so much fun, and if yours is anything like Halle then they are pretty tough and don’t seem to mind hostility…
(And I don’t think this has much (any) scientific basis - but Ace would probably get on better with a female kitten than a male one, less threatening to his social standing?)

Thanks, guys. I talked with my husband last night, and I think as soon as we have time (we’re super busy right now), we’ll probably go down to the shelter and find a kitten.

I think as long as Ace doesn’t get too jealous (and we will be sure to give him plenty of affection) or threatened, he’ll actually enjoy it. He’s kind of like a kitten himself; he’s the only eight-year-old cat I know who chases his tail all the time. At least once a day, anyway. (It’s hilarious to see him chase his tail, stop, start walking, glance behind himself and see this “thing” following him, get spooked, and run 10 feet or so.)

It’s kind of funny when you think about it. If we’re going to get a kitten so that Ace doesn’t get lonely and has someone to play with, doesn’t that make her his pet?