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I just lost my male 16 years old cat. I have a 5 years old female, very sweet but lonely. She is declawed in her front feet. I want to get her a new cat, what age, sex and with the claws do you recommend? They are inside cats.

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The most critical thing is how you introduce the new cat. Others can advise better than I, but best practice seems to be to start by keeping the new cat segregated in one room and let them first "meet" by smelling /hearing each other through the door. After some days of that, you can open the door for supervised encounters; expect a lot of grumbling and posturing, and be prepared to intervene if a fight seems about to start, but otherwise you can mostly let them negotiate for a while. Make sure the established resident gets plenty of attention between visits. Eventually, leave the door open. – keshlam Jan 15 at 23:46
    
Agreed, this is what can happen if you do it wrong. – Mazura Jan 16 at 0:05

I'm sorry you lost your male cat. Getting another cat will be good for both you and your female cat.

I would get an adult cat, not a kitten. A mature cat will likely be calmer, and less likely to annoy your cat. Plus, you'll be able to determine the cat's temperament. And you'll be giving a home to an adult cat (they are harder to find homes for than kittens). The sex of the cat isn't really important, assuming it's spayed/neutered.

I suggest that you go to a shelter and explain your situation. They'll know the temperament of the different cats, and will help you pick one that should settle in nicely with your cat. In my experience, shelter staff are very good at matching the right animal to the owner and situation.

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I disagree that the sex isn't important. From what I understand, a dominant female will be much more accepting of another male then another female. Either might have territorial issues (or maybe both of these), but the same sex will have hierarchy disputes until it becomes established (if you're so lucky that that ever happens; I wasn't). However, an excellent answer. – Mazura Jan 15 at 23:58
    
thanks I think a malewould bebest too – ann Jan 16 at 0:44

As Im sure you know, this is no small undertaking. First, how long ago was "just"? What behaviors is your 5 year old exhibiting that makes you feel she is "lonely"? I can tell you from extremely painful experience that you need to be very careful - it is not hard to find yourself in a situation where, though you had the finest intentions, at least two are miserable (and I include you). Once you bring in another cat the die is set and the whole household has to live with the situation.

I strongly urge you to put this off as long as you comfortably can, and make the selection process as long as you can. Your female won't mind that you want to make the best decision possible. Who doesn't fall in love with kittens? Yet they are sooo full of energy, so high maintenance, so in-your-face.

I also suggest you set some benchmarks, preferably with a vet's (or some other professional's) help, such as "how will I work their feeding","what do I do if a cat wants to eat the other cats food", "what if they fight", "what would I like to see my house look like after week 2/month1/week 6 ... etc". The more prepared you are for situations the better the process will work out.

I wish you - and your 5 year old - the very best!!

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I'd suggest trying to find a cat of the opposite sex that's close in age to your five year old. I've had a similar experience in bringing a second feline into the fray after losing one. Another thing to do is to try and spend some time with the cat you're considering adding to the family to make sure that it has a temperament that you feel is compatible with your current cat's. The times I've added on a cat I haven't ever really experienced problems, at least not after the initial hissing and spitting to determine who's the boss.

Something else to keep in mind is that while most of us treat our cats like they're our children, they are cats and the social hierarchy of animals is determined in a different way than that of humans. Try not to force anything. I've read about I don't know how many horror stories of people and their cats not getting along. I've never experienced it with any of the cats I've had and I have always ended up bringing another cat into the mix at some point. None of them have ever done serious damage to each other and I haven't had any that have constantly fought or anything along those lines. I'm sure it'll work out and you'll have a pair of lap heaters.

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