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Due to a recent event, my dad's life is changing massively. My parents had 4 cats. My dad has decided to move to Florida (the old house has too many memories of my mother for him) and he does not want to take more than 4 cats with him. My sister keep one of the cats. My dad is offering me a pick of one of the other 3 cats.

My questions are:

  1. How will it affect the other cat? It has just lost one of its owners (my mother), and will (if I take it) lose it other owner and 3 of his/her friends that it has known for a long time. Could this be bad for the cat?

  2. I already have a cat (Shiloh). How would he react to the new cat, for the last 3 months (only got him in March?) He has been the king of the apartment. Will introducing a new cat so soon after getting him be OK? I cannot just take one of them to meet the other, as I am in Baltimore and my dad is currently in Pittsburgh, and I don't think Shiloh would like the 5 hour drive. Heck, he hates 10 minute drives. He cries the whole time when I take him to be groomed).

  3. I know my apartment is big enough for 1 cat at 850 ft2 (79 m2). Would it accommodate 2 cats?

  4. How much different is it to keep 2 cats versus 1 cat?

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There will be an adjustment period for the cat. But cats do tend to adapt quickly. The same can be said for your existing cat. They probably won't be best buddies from day one, but given a proper introduction period, they should be able to co-exist just fine. And honestly, introducing a new cat now will probably be easier on the existing cat, because he is new to your home. I wouldn't stress out Shiloh with the car ride. Instead, when you bring the new cat home, introduce them slowly over the span of a week or so. The ASPCA has some good advice on introductions here.

Your apartment in definitely big enough to house two cats. It's really not much different having two cats instead of one. You will need another litter box, and you'll be buying more food, but if they end up bonding, it can actually be easier to have two cats (they keep each other entertained, lol)

A few other notes. Please make sure that both cats are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations before you introduce them. This can decrease the risk of any behavioral/territorial issues cropping up (and if you get a boy and a girl, you don't want kittens). And you should find out what your dad is currently feeding his cats, and slowly switch the one you take to the brand you feed. Switching straight from one food to another can cause upset stomach issues.

Hope that helps.

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