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We already have a seven-month old kitten, and we're thinking of adopting a new kitten around the same age.

I understand that for some adult cats, even if you take all the right precautions in introducing them, they may never really get along, and actually end up being less happy in their lives than they would be if they lived alone.

I would like to know if this is a realistic concern for kittens this age, or if they always tend to accept each other. If there's a significant chance they won't get along, we may just forget about it.

The kitten we have is very energetic and playful. He's neutered.

I see that there's another question on a similar topic, but what's there doesn't really answer my question.

What is the chance of two kittens being introduced and housed together without improving their lives?

I mean that overall, in terms of the cats' happiness, they would be better off apart. That is, the stress of sharing the house with another cat outweighs any companionship. I think snuggling and playing is a good indicator of this, because if they're not friends, I only see a downside for them. The downside could range from a certain low-level stress (being wary of each other) to something more extreme (fighting).

I don't want to adopt a kitten, that ultimately decreases the quality of life for either or both of them.

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The chance of another kitten not improving your current's kitten life is very very close to 0. In my experience (cat owner for 9 years, multiple cat household) unless you live in a very small place, even if they don't really like each other, the company will always improve both kittens lives. I mention the size of your home because each cat should have one room/room sized area that they consider their own until they have time to adjust and hopefully become good friends. The time the adjustment will take depends mostly on their personalities. In my experience outgoing playful cats adjust easily to changes independently of their age. Stubborn more reclusive cats take longer, even years.

You said:

if they're not friends, I only see a downside for them

I have to disagree with that, even if they are not friends, just keeping an eye on each other and slapping the other cat when he gets too close is a fun activity for most cats and will keep them more alert and active. I only wouldn't recommend getting a second cat if the current one is aggressive.

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    Agreed. It's rarely all or nothing; there's always going to be some "sibling" rivalry, but on the other hand I've seen cats who normally keep their distance using each other as pillows, especially in cold weather. It may take them a little while to work out the rules between them, but they'll almost certainly do so. – keshlam Jan 20 '15 at 18:26
  • @keshlam yeah winter is bonding season for cats ;) It even happen when we got a dog, on his first winter home two of the three cats were sleeping with him. – elibud Jan 20 '15 at 19:50

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