Tips on adopting a cat to live with an older cat

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  • May 16th, 2019 2:25 pm
Jr. Member
Dec 22, 2012
105 posts

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?
4 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
1583 posts
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
Jr. Member
User avatar
Feb 11, 2009
185 posts
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.
Sr. Member
Apr 25, 2011
941 posts
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
1796 posts
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.