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A couple months ago, me and my boyfriend rescued a 6 week old kitten who was thrown out of a car. We decided to keep him, but we live in a two bedroom apartment, with a roommate who is allergic to cats, so typically he stays in our room all day. Sometimes we let him out when our roommate is gone, but that’s not very often. It’s a big room with a bathroom connected and he has toys and a tall cat tree that he can look out the window on.

My boyfriend works full time and soon, I will start working more so he’s going to be spending more time alone, but we are considering a second cat to keep him company. He is about four months old now so we’d try to get him a friend about the same age. I’ve read that when it comes to getting cats to get along, the younger they are the better. We are planning on moving in about six months to an apartment where the cats can roam all throughout, but are worried if we wait until then to get a cat, it will be harder for them to bond, and our current cat will be lonely over the next six months.

However, if we got another cat now, they’d both be confined to our bedroom pretty much all the time, and I don’t know if that’s good for them, or if it’d be okay since they’re both kittens and we’ll have moved once they are adults. Can anyone offer any insight on this or share your experiences?

Edit: Thank you everyone. We have decided to just hold off until we move to get another kitty. In the meantime, I am trying my very best to provide the most enriching environment for our current kitty. He does get at least 15-20 minutes a day to go out into the living area and kitchen and run if he wants and he has a lot of places to climb and hide and play in the bedroom. He is happy here so I don’t want to risk changing that by bringing another kitty in just yet.

  • Hi, welcome to Pets, I love your name ^.^ and thank you for saving this little cat. – lila Aug 12 at 23:40
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    Cats don't understand the human concept of "rooms". If you have two indoor cats "sharing" a common space, they will divide it into two territories with invisible boundaries between them, often in a way which is far too complicated for humans to understand. – alephzero Aug 13 at 11:56
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    @alephzero It's not that complicated - if you pay any attention at all to your cats it's pretty clear who owns which zones, and when. It is a dynamic power struggle, so the borders tend to move around over time - sometimes cyclical, sometimes not. With that said, many cats sharing too small a space will lead to more conflict, especially if the cats don't have much else to occupy their attention with. With that said, I wouldn't have a cat at all with an allergic roommate. Either they're really not that allergic, or they will be perpetually miserable. – J... Aug 13 at 15:30
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    Imo it's best not to get another pet for your pet, only get another pet for yourself. Plus, if life happens and you cannot move in 6 months, what then? – jackwise Aug 14 at 15:59
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    Which two cats, specifically? I suggest living in the same room is no problem for many, if not most cats. At the same time, never mind rooms: living in the same house is too much for some cats. Can you Post more details? – Robbie Goodwin Aug 14 at 22:19
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You have a cat, you both are going to be working more and you have an allergic roommate? I'm sorry, but are you sure it's a good idea to get a second cat?

I understand it looks like choosing between two evils here, but I'd ask you to reconsider. I'd definitely wait till the move is complete. Moving is already stressful for a cat, I doubt it will be easier with two. A new cat takes some extra time and effort too, which you may not have available with both of you going to work more.

Besides, what happens when the move doesn't go through for whatever reason? A lot can happen in 6 months. I wouldn't take the risk. Find a different approach to keeping your cat happy, there are plenty of cats that don't have an animal friend yet are not unhappy.

If the cats have significantly more room at your new place, them getting used to each other will actually be easier after the move than before. After all, they have more territory so won't be forced to be close to each other all the time if they can't stand each other initially.

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It’s a difficult question; neither choice is clearly right or wrong.

I would lean toward getting him a friend now, and the same age or younger. The smaller the newcomer, the less your existing cat will see it as a threat in his territory. I assume your cat is already fixed, but if not, I’d do that first.

Having a small space is a challenge, but remember that cats see the world much more vertically than we do, so that space can be made larger and more interesting by adding things to climb and perch on or hide in/under; a bunch of boring floor space isn’t as interesting to cats as it is to us. (Keep this in mind as well for your future place.)

There are several other questions here on how to introduce two cats, so I won’t go into detail, but I’ll point out that your bathroom sounds like a good initial spot for the newcomer, and he can explore the bedroom while the existing cat is out of the room.

In addition to them (eventually) having each other for company while you’re both away, they will also have each other for security and confidence when you move, which is a scary and disorienting experience for cats.

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    +1 despite I disagree in my own answer, but if you decide to keep it and if you decide to get it a friend, follow this advise and get a friend the same age and early on. – Tom Aug 13 at 10:05
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I wouldn't recommend it.

The advice on how much space you need per cat is pretty variable, from one bedroom per cat to various square footage per cat. And even then, you might have trouble with getting some cats to share space no matter how big it is.

However, one bedroom and bathroom sounds very small to me, especially when you consider that the advice on litterbox number is pretty consistent, which is one litterbox per cat, plus one additional litterbox. This means three litterboxes for two cats, which sounds like an awful lot of litterboxes for such a small space. You might be able to get the cats to accept fewer, but then obviously it's better to clean them even more frequently, which might not be very doable when part of motivation for adopting another cat is that it'll be alone more. Also, I personally don't think it's very fair to the cats to make them accept a situation they'd probably prefer not to when there's also the option of simply waiting to adopt until you have the room to fit enough litterboxes.

The other consideration I would have is your ability to accommodate the two cats if it turns out introducing them doesn't go entirely smoothly. You might need to get more things if they don't like sharing, or you might need to have a much slower introduction process, and I don't think it's very ideal to keep one cat in a bathroom for an extended period of time. It seems to me like you'd REALLY require more space if any problems crop up.

Lastly, there is actually a positive to holding off on adopting until you move into a larger home. Namely, that if the territory is new to both cats, then they're more likely to allow each other into the space, versus when the one cat is feeling like it owns the space, it's more likely to feel like it needs to defend its territory from the new cat which it sees as an intruder.

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Strongly advise against it. Cats need space. Research how much territory a cat has in nature (male and female differ a great deal here) and you'll realize just how tiny even a large house is to a cat's instincts.

One room? Seriously, that is cruelty to animals. Putting two cats into one room is insanity. Like humans, they sometimes get along and sometimes don't want to see each other. Our cats sleep together on one day, and in separate corners of the house on others. They want to get away from each other sometimes. Putting them into one room where they can't do that would definitely cause serious stress to them.

But one cat also isn't a solution, especially not if you're working full time and not home much. While cats sleep 14-16 hours a day, they need something to do the remaining hours, or all kinds of bad behaviour develops.

I realize that you most likely don't want to hear this, but for the sake of the cat you should consider re-homing it to somewhere that can meet a kitten's needs. Maybe one of your parents have a house and a heart for cats? That way, you can take the kitten back once you have more living space.

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    I disagree with the advice given here, but I strongly disagree with the claim that keeping a cat in a single bedroom is "cruelty to animals". Cruelty to animals in a criminal offense in many jurisdictions and it is hugely immoral anywhere. I think rescuing a cat that was thrown out of a car is a moral and kind thing to do even if the new situation is less than ideal. They even have a plan to improve the living conditions, so they are really on top of things – Kevin Wells Aug 13 at 18:19
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    We rescued him from a busy road. It was raining and he was inside a pillow case. No, we weren’t expecting to get a cat at the time but he found us. He now has comfy places to sleep, plenty of food, a clean litter box, all the toys he could ever want, vet care whenever he needs it, and two owners who love him. Maybe he’d like more space, so we’re working on that. We’re in this lease for 6 more months then we’re leaving to a better space. He’s been with us since he was 6 weeks old, so no, we will not be rehoming him. Sorry, but I resent our situation being referred to as “cruelty to animals.” – Lily Aug 14 at 23:09
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    @Lily I totally appreciate you rescuing him. Just a frame challenge: If you saved a child from drowning in a lake, you'd be looking for its parents next, not taking it home, right? I don't mean you should be looking for the cat's previous owners, obviously. I mean that rescuing and keeping an animal are seperate activities with different requirements, and you can do right in the first and wrong in the second. – Tom Aug 15 at 6:08
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Cats in general don't like each other, by instinct.

Then again, small cats can grow together and be tolerant to each other as long as you don't separate them for more than a few weeks.

Your cats are at the limit of "small", but if they are indoor-only and not used to fights for teritory, you have a very high chance to succeed. It helps (a little) if they are both neutered.


Edit regarding colonies of feral cats: they form around abundant food sources. Fights start as soon as the food supply (be it human-delivered, or overpopulation of rodents, or both) starts to decrease. Cats never hunt in pairs or in larger groups.

Living with humans is another matter. For a cat, human is something like a mother. The cat psychologicaly doesn't grow up. That's why it is hard to convert a feral cat to domestic one - it is already grown up.

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    It depends on circumstances, but it's not uncommon for feral cats to form a group living arrangement all on their own. Pretty much the main difference between domesticated cats and wildcats...the domesticated ones are the ones who could get along with others (humans and other cats). – user3067860 Aug 13 at 14:10
  • Many times cats can get along well and even become close companions. That certainly isn't true of all cats, but it isn't universally a bad idea. In fact I have an indoor cat and we have semi-adopted a semi-feral neighborhood cat (feed him, give him shelter, get him medical care if he needs it, etc.), and while they aren't close companions they do like to sit next to each other on either side of a glass or screen door, and they do alright when they do have a chance to be in the same space. – Kevin Wells Aug 13 at 18:20
  • This answer is completely false. While individual cats might not get along, just like people, cats do form social groups. Cats have been known to form groups as large as 80 members. – Keltari Aug 14 at 13:57
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It will depend more on the cats and your own space needs, but it's definitely doable. We have two cats and a dog, and live in a relatively small house. My husband is mildly allergic to cats to we do not allow them in the bedroom. The dog stays in the living room/dining room/kitchen, and the cats have the second bedroom (which we use as an office and their litter box is in the laundry room across the hall. We've moved three times with the pets and that's pretty much always been the amount of space they have had. They do occasionally explore around the living room at night or when the dog is asleep but spend probably 90% of the time in the office or going between the office and their litter box in the laundry room.

In our case, we got both cats at a young age together (they were litter mates). We do provide a variety of different "spaces" for them in the room so they can get away from each other when they want to; we have two cat trees in opposite corners, a box on my desk, and a cat bed in the closet. They will also occasionally climb the bookcase or make their own spaces. Cats seem to be very adaptive and we haven't seen any issues at all with their square footage being limited.

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I think it depends on the situation, some cats like but some cats not, it depends on the cat’s personality. Now I have two cats, they are totally wrong and not like each other. One cat is male and one cat is female, they fight all day long. But before I also had two cats, they slept completely together. You might as well put them together for a while and you will know the result.

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A compromise plan, depending on the time frame, might be to get the new cat when you move into the house. Bring them in separate doors and let them be. Both will be exploring, and neither will have had a chance to get territorial about the space. For all they know, the other cat was there all along, and they're the intruder that needs to appease the other.

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There are types of cats that may be more suitable for people allergic to cats. It depends on what from the cat they are allergic to. If it is the hair part of their skin, you might look for cats that have no hair on their skin, but those are hard to find. These usually need to be kept inside all day because they are very poor at tolerating cold.

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