Author Topic: Lonely Cats  (Read 874 times)

Offline katermuffins

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Lonely Cats
« on: November 14, 2012, 11:42:32 AM »
When we first got our cat, Oliver, we knew that his breeding was less than ideal. He's inbred and not particularly brilliant, but has adjusted to us fairly well. There's almost always someone in the house, or if not, he's not alone for longer than a few hours. Whenever we come home though, it's like he's mad at us for leaving him alone. He'll jump out and bat at our legs (not a huge issue because he's declawed, but not good either) and sulk. He brings us his toys all the time, he loves to play.

We thought maybe a companion would be good for him. We had a large lab when he first came to us, but he was not a fan. The dog was nothing but sweet, having lived with our old cat as a puppy, but Oliver would hit him whenever he came close and spent most of his time hiding. We've only seen him interacting with other cats through the windows, some of which he waited for gladly, others he fought with. At one point, we had a visiting dog, one that was smaller than him, and that's the best reaction we've seen. Ollie followed him around, watching from around corners, but didn't seem happy. My father referred to the dog as a 'rat' and doesn't like the idea of getting anything smaller than a german shepard. What could we do to make him happier?

Offline nakedrats

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Re: Lonely Cats
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 10:54:54 PM »

I would advise against getting a dog mainly as a companion for a cat.

I would recommend fostering other cats though.  Most humane societies and animal shelters are trying to find people to take cats into their homes while they wait for adoption.  This way the cat doesn't have to live in a cage, and some cats really don't do well at the shelter.  It's a very stressful and scary place for cats. 

If you're going to bring a new cat into the house, you want to do slow introductions.  Also make sure it's healthy.  Ask the shelter for a FELV/FIV test, and make sure your cat is up on his vaccinations.  For slow introductions, you want a room where you can keep the new cat confined and away from your cat.  Cats are very territorial (usually) so you can't just plonk down a new cat in the house and expect your current cat to be happy and friendly with it.  Give the new cat a week to calm down and get comfortable in its new room, then start exchanging 'territories'.  Put your cat in a carrier, let the new cat out into the house.  Shut your cat in the new cat's room.  Give them a couple of hours to check everything out.  They'll be getting used to the smell of the other cat without being face to face and getting upset.  The new cat is also becoming familiar with the house so he won't be freaked out when he gets let out into the rest of the house.  Lastly, the smell of the new cat is getting all over the house, so it smells like both cats.