Pets

Tips on adopting a cat to live with an older cat

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 2nd, 2019 4:47 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 22, 2012
124 posts
30 upvotes
Montreal

Tips on adopting a cat to live with an older cat

After saying goodbye to our beloved Branco some weeks ago, we're looking for a companion to his brother, Preto. But we're not really sure how to proceed.

A bit of history: Branco and Preto (both males) have been adopted together, 11 years ago, when they were very small kittens. They've been together every day, 24h a day, 7 days a week. We even took them both together to the vet to avoid hissing when we would come back. Branco left us a few weeks ago (our little warrior fought stomach lymphoma for almost 3 years!!). Now Preto is lost. They used to sleep together, play together, eat together. We've noticed Preto is needier now, he wants constant physical contact and attention, he now meows when there's no one on the couch for him to sit on our laps!

He's a fat cat, not very active (he has his bursts of activity from time to time playing with some toys) but in general, he's a very lazy cat. Branco was the complete opposite: always running and jumping and playing! (gosh, I miss him!)

Should we try to adopt a kitten or an older cat? A male or a female? A quiet cat or a more active one? We're really lost, and we want him to not feel this alone anymore, but we want to try to do it in the less stressful way possible.

What tips would you give us when adopting a new cat to live with an older, lazy cat?
10 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
2449 posts
924 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
You might try fostering a cat and adopting it if they both get along. Hard to say if the cat will get along with a new stranger.
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
Member
User avatar
Feb 11, 2009
204 posts
46 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
I think foster to adopt is a good idea. I took the chance and took in a younger cat.

Similar happened to my cats.
I adopted 2 cats (both male) from a friend who left town and he got them when they were kittens.
They were 4 when I got them. And they did EVERYTHING together. Sleep, play, eat...etc.

One of them got cancer when he was 13 and passed away after fighting for 2 months. :(
The other cat got really in-active and got FAT and he looked depressed.

After about a year, my husband saw a cat (young male) available for adoption from a pet supply store and we contacted the rescue and arrange for the adoption. (We did mention about the chance of taking the cat back... in case it really doesn't work out)
We let them "met" (smell and sound only) between bedroom door (I kept my older MigMig stayed in my bedroom and the new rescue in the living area). After a few days, we let them met thru a carrier and then met without barrier. ...etc.
Anyway, they get along OK. I was able to teach the younger cat to wait for MigMig to finish eating before he eats his bowl.
And same for snack, MigMig always get the snack first before Meringue gets his share. And they are OK with it.

They do not sleep together unless it's really cold. And they play-fight some times. They won't be like the original pair. But they are OK with each other.

Now MigMig is 21, skinny but still mobile. Meringue is 10 and not a young cat any more but he is still our baby.
:)
Deal Addict
Apr 25, 2011
1157 posts
746 upvotes
British Columbia
Adopt a cat of similar personality. If yours is laid back and sleeps all day, get something similar. I wouldn't get a kitten, they're usually too high energy for older cats. Gender doesn't matter so much.

Please keep in mind that cats are territorial by nature and that is especially true with their own species. If they have not grown up with another cat they may not want another cat in their home. Your cat being at a loss and more needy does not necessarily mean he's lonely and wants another cat buddy.

Introducing cats can be a long process. It can take months or years or they may never get along. And by "get along" I mean not hissing and attacking one another. You'll likely never get another cat that will interact with your cat the way your previous cat did, usually only littermates curl up together and groom etc. They may learn to keep each other company and occupy the same rooms peacefully and/or play with one another.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 19, 2012
1841 posts
274 upvotes
Canada
fostering is not a good idea as it's very transient
for a male cat
its better to get a kitten or female cat
you sound like a caring owner
i hope you find a solution
as there are many cats looking for good homes like yours.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 22, 2012
124 posts
30 upvotes
Montreal
Thank you so much for the feedback, folks!

I've been dealing with the SPCA and the ladies there told me almost the same. I'm going there this weekend (to make use of the long weekend to be with the cats at home) to seee if they have any cats left, and if any of them likes us, we'll try. They have a 15-day return policy for cases like ours, so we'll give it a try.
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 9, 2006
11369 posts
1949 upvotes
My biggest fear is what I'll do when one of my cats passes away. They are 11 now. Very similar story. Mine are brothers in the same litter. While one was the biggest and the other was the runt, those 2 were inseparable since birth. My cats did that too when one comes home from the vet and the other will hiss at them. I would rub the two of them together, so they both smell like the vet, which kinda worked, but now I just take them both to the vet... in one large carrier as they can't even be in separate carriers.

All the best in your search! Hopefully, your cat bonds with the new kitten.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 22, 2012
124 posts
30 upvotes
Montreal
joeyjoejoe wrote:
Jun 26th, 2019 4:54 pm
My biggest fear is what I'll do when one of my cats passes away. They are 11 now. Very similar story. Mine are brothers in the same litter. While one was the biggest and the other was the runt, those 2 were inseparable since birth. My cats did that too when one comes home from the vet and the other will hiss at them. I would rub the two of them together, so they both smell like the vet, which kinda worked, but now I just take them both to the vet... in one large carrier as they can't even be in separate carriers.

All the best in your search! Hopefully, your cat bonds with the new kitten.
Thank you very much for your kind words!

Maybe get a third cat now so no cat gets alone ever? I wish I had done that several months ago.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 22, 2012
124 posts
30 upvotes
Montreal
shoppingBear wrote:
May 15th, 2019 6:31 pm
I think foster to adopt is a good idea. I took the chance and took in a younger cat.

Similar happened to my cats.
I adopted 2 cats (both male) from a friend who left town and he got them when they were kittens.
They were 4 when I got them. And they did EVERYTHING together. Sleep, play, eat...etc.

One of them got cancer when he was 13 and passed away after fighting for 2 months. :(
The other cat got really in-active and got FAT and he looked depressed.

After about a year, my husband saw a cat (young male) available for adoption from a pet supply store and we contacted the rescue and arrange for the adoption. (We did mention about the chance of taking the cat back... in case it really doesn't work out)
We let them "met" (smell and sound only) between bedroom door (I kept my older MigMig stayed in my bedroom and the new rescue in the living area). After a few days, we let them met thru a carrier and then met without barrier. ...etc.
Anyway, they get along OK. I was able to teach the younger cat to wait for MigMig to finish eating before he eats his bowl.
And same for snack, MigMig always get the snack first before Meringue gets his share. And they are OK with it.

They do not sleep together unless it's really cold. And they play-fight some times. They won't be like the original pair. But they are OK with each other.

Now MigMig is 21, skinny but still mobile. Meringue is 10 and not a young cat any more but he is still our baby.
:)
I'm sorry about Migmig's brother. I'm sure he had a good live with you :)

But I am happy Migmig is 21!! Awesome! Here to many more Migmig birthdays with you and Meringue! <3
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2013
1235 posts
608 upvotes
Durham
We have a 6 year old male and a week ago we just adopted male kitten. On the first day, my older cat was not upset, but just curious while the kitten hid. Fast forward a week and they are best friends! Where ever the older cat is, you can see the kitten following him. They have their little fights as cats do. But they actually play a lot and look out for each other. My 6 year old is chubby, so hopefully the kitten gets him active lol
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 22, 2012
124 posts
30 upvotes
Montreal
Kkhan15 wrote:
Jul 2nd, 2019 4:36 pm
We have a 6 year old male and a week ago we just adopted male kitten. On the first day, my older cat was not upset, but just curious while the kitten hid. Fast forward a week and they are best friends! Where ever the older cat is, you can see the kitten following him. They have their little fights as cats do. But they actually play a lot and look out for each other. My 6 year old is chubby, so hopefully the kitten gets him active lol
That's adorable!! Good for you (and them)!

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