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Thinking About Adding a Second Cat to the Family?

If you’re thinking about adding to your cat family, you may be confused about whether that second kitty should be an adult or a kitten. Male? Female? How can you be sure you’ll bring home a cat who will be a good match for your resident cat? Well, there’s no way to guarantee the choice you make will result in a harmonious household, but I do have a few tips to help you hopefully increase your chances of a successful match.

For an elderly resident cat, don’t try to match her up with a kitten. Kittens have very little respect for territory and boundaries. The revved-up kitten’s attempts at playful curiosity may end up being too stressful to the senior cat. If your elderly cat is ill, has limited mobility or is impaired in any way then it’s not a good idea to add a second cat at all. The last thing your elderly cat needs is more stress. If your older cat is happy, comfortable and content, carefully think about whether the stress of having to adjust to life with another cat will really be of benefit or not.

If your adult resident cat is playful, healthy, sociable and energetic, then a kitten might be a good choice. Just be sure the kitten you choose is old enough to go through the introduction and isn’t put in a dangerous situation.

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Complementary Personalities

Think about your resident cat’s personality in general. Is she out-going? Assertive? Is she a take-no-prisoners type of cat? If so, then look for a second cat who won’t compete with that personality. If you choose another take-no-prisoners type of cat then you’ll probably end up with lots of nose-to-nose confrontations as each cat tries take charge. On the other hand, you also don’t want to choose a cat from the opposite end of the scale. A very timid, shy cat would not do well with a very assertive cat. Choose a cat with a complementary personality. One who is out-going and friendly but not on either extremes of the personality chart.

two cats grooming

Photo: Pexels

Male or Female?

As for whether to get a male or female, many people have believed for years you should get a cat of the opposite sex. I have never followed that theory and in all my years of doing professional behavior consulting, making good personality and temperament matches have been far more important than whether the cat is male or female. It all comes down to whether the personalities will mesh or compete.

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