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25 August 2008 @ 12:04 pm
a new kitten  
I wasn't going to post about this, because I wanted it to be an lj-surprise if I got one, but I have so many misgivings, I wanted to open up my knowledge base a bit more. We've been thinking of getting a third cat, a kitten, specifically this one:

I've been talking to people, and introducing a third cat is very difficult and one person I talked to just flat out said that she'd never seen it go well. The other said they it and kind of go ok. So I'd appricate any horror or sucess stories you have. We have the space and the time to do the introduction right, but the new kitten really likes other cats, and I worry the weeks she'll have to be alone will be hard on her. I also worry that Iz and Nate will be the worse for wear. The foster mom is bringing the kitten for an test reaction on Wednesday (we'll be keeping the kitten crated.)

I've post a poll, but I'd also love to hear stories or words of wisdom. I'm at the point of just thinking I should email her and all it all off. :/

Oh, the kitten is in good health, has never been outside, I've met her and she seems like a good kitten (it's always hard to tell their personalitys that young.) She's polydactyl. I met her mom, and her mom was sweet and affectionate. So my concerns are only about introducing a new cat.

Poll #1247980 3 cats?

What do you think of me getting a 3rd cat?

2 cats is enough
it would be unfair to the kitten and/or Izzy and Nate to put them through the stress
it's unlikely to turn out well
go for it
Bryantbryant on August 25th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
It worked out fairly well for us. Lengthy story follows, so you can consider the details:

We had two cats, Bunny (dominant cat, fairly sedate) and Nixie (extremely timid, somewhat slow of mind, probably both due to a really childhood accident before she joined the household). They got along fairly well, didn't interact a ton.

We brought Maggie in as a kitten right before we moved to our current house. Bunny didn't care at all. Nixie /hated/ the idea for a couple of weeks -- she yowled, complained, and hissed. We kept Maggie isolated in one bedroom for two weeks or so, and didn't really let them mingle until we moved, if I recall correctly.

Nixie did get over it within a month. She's definitely the bottom of the totem pole; Maggie is far more outgoing than Bunny, and Nixie doesn't always like attention, so Nixie winds up trying to bat off Maggie's grooming from time to time. But not always, and they're happy being in the same room. It's more than Nixie shies away from any contact than that Maggie picks on her.

Maggie is at least half Maine Coon, and has the sociability you'd expect of that breed, which I think helped.

Bunny is very self-assured and confident and doesn't interact with Maggie a lot, which probably also helps. We've captured Maggie grooming a sleeping Bunny on film.

I suspect it's also helpful that there are three of us. Maggie imprinted very firmly on me starting with the ride home -- I kept my hand in the cat carrier for the whole drive, and spent a lot of time with her in the first weeks. Susan is Bunny's human, and Wyatt is Nixie's human. It might have been more difficult to assimilate the kitten if there were only two of us, not sure.

The size of the house doesn't seem to be an issue. Our place isn't huge, although it's bigger than an apartment, but the cats congregate in the same room as often as not.

We are very glad we got a third cat, all in all, and the cats all seem happy about it as well.

The rest of the household may have further comments or corrections to this. :) I'll point 'em at this entry.
mathhobbitmathhobbit on August 25th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
L brought home 3 cats from the pound -- siblings and an older cat -- and they apparently get along well.

While I was a graduate student, 2 cats moved into our house. Eleanor refused to be in the same room with the exceedingly friendly male cat, ever. She gained a lot of weight while hiding in the basement (sneaking upstairs only to steal his food). She bullied the small stray female cat.

The cat I had as a child sulked for a long time (2 months?) when my brother's kitten was introduced to the house. They eventually came to co-exist about as well as Willow and Phoebe do now.

Except in L's case, there wasn't much attempt to introduce the new cats in a "right" way, which may be significant.

The kitten is hugely cute. Is there nobody else willing to adopt it?
The Water Seeker: Keiun sleepingplymouth on August 25th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
I'm still trying to decide whether the third cat was a mistake. The first couple of weeks were sucky, with Tsuki protesting by shitting on the bed and couch. She's chilled out a lot but still fights with the kitten. Hoshi and Keiun pretty much get along and only have spats when Keiun taunts Hoshi, like attacking her tail or trying to take her food. Tsuki seems to be having the harder time of it because she was the alpha cat before and she doesn't think the kitten is respecting her authority. I'm still hoping that when the kitten gets older and less spastic she'll start respecting Tsuki's alpha-cat-ness and they'll get along. In the meantime... damn, it's a good thing she's so cute!
blk: kittenblk on August 25th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
I have no experience with socializing cats. Kitten!!!!
Fashionable, but unable to tell fact from fictiontesting4l on August 25th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
Pablo & Gertrude -- the cats I grew up with were sisters. We ended up with a stray that wormed its way into my mom's heart. Pablo & Gertrude were pretty old cats -- around 12 or 13. We thought we might have to keep an eye on Freeway to make sure she didn't get beaten up.

Turns out they were both scared of her.

Eventually, things settled down. Pablo at one point curled up with Freeway. They occasionally groomed each other, so things had to have been at least semi-friendly. We didn't do anything special to introduce them. We just put them in the same room.
Katy: Narshiekatybeth on August 25th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)

In my case the second cat was probably a mistake, as my first would still prefer to be an only cat. But she eventually came to tolerate him, and now that we have a big house they're even fairly happy together. And I wouldn't give either of them up.

I think the test visit will probably tell you something about their reactions.