Service Cats: Does My Cat Need A Friend

Meow and welcome to another Service Cat Monday. We seem to be getting’ a later start these days, but we do hope you’re enjoyin’ these posts. Let me get the disclaimers outta the way and we’ll jump right in to today’s posty. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

So, last week we talked about Training kitty to play with toys and not hands or feet. Awnty Juliea had asked a 2 part question; the second part being about getting a playmate or “Buddy Cat” for her newly adopted Patzy. So today, we’re going to discuss the dynamics of adding a second cat to your home. Does your kitty want a friend? Would adding another cat help calm an Aggressive cat? Is my cat lonely? Am I adopting another cat for the right reasons? All of those and more are loaded questions; but questions we get asked a lot. Each cat is different, and will respond to a new addition in a variety of ways.

 

 Dezi and Raena atop the liberty cat tree with Yeowww toy

 

 

In recent years some shelters and rescues will only adopt young kittens in pairs. The idea being that if they grow up together, they will be happier and better pets. More often than not, kittens raised together will bond and become the best of friends, however, the opposite can also be true. Even littermates can grow into enemies. While this is rare, it can and does happen.

 

Dezi looks at Raena at the top of the Liberty cat tree

 

 

So, you adopted a kitten between the ages of 6 months and a year old. Kitty is a little more aloof than you had expected, or has some undesirable behaviors. Will adding another kitty help? Your needs, desires and wants must be secondary. Always make your resident cat’s personality and needs first. Do Not rely on a second kitty to change the behaviors of the resident cat. Kittens learn boundaries from their mothers and littermates in the first 6 to 8 weeks. A cat that was taken away from his/her mother too young will miss out on some of those lessons. A “Friend” or “Buddy Cat” is not the same. It’s better to Train the resident cat appropriate behaviors before introducing a friend in the mix. As we’ve discussed in earlier posts, introducing a new cat into the home can often come with it’s own challenges.

 

 Dezi cares for Raena atop the Liberty cat tree

 

 

Although feral cats will gravitate to a colony for survival, and cats can live happily in multicat/pet households, they are by nature a solitary animal. That being said, we personally like to see more than one cat in a home. If you have a dominant cat, we suggest adopting a slightly older kitty with a more sedate personality. If kitty is more laid back, bordering on the lazy side, we recommend a slightly more playful kitty. And we do mean Slightly. It’s never a good idea to adopt an overly playful kitty/kitten as a friend for your older more laid back kitty. Although mommy and others have successfully integrated young kittens into homes with older cats, it poses quite a few challenges. Breed traits become very important when doing this. Remember, your resident cat’s needs must be given priority.

 

 Raena stands on perch and looks out door

I’s can see any intruder from here.

 

 

Awnty Juliea did make note that Patzy reacted by hissing and acting territorially when she saw another cat from her window in her yard. This is typical behavior and doesn’t really determine how a cat will act toward a new kitty in the home. However, there will be hissing almost anytime a new addition is added to the home. Cats have a hierarchy and this is one way they communicate that. Me still hisses at Raena every time she follows me up the cat tree and tries to trip me. Till the day she left us, sis Lexi hissed at me every time me stuck me’s nose up her behind. But, we loved each other very much and got along great, like me and Raena. So if you decide to add a “Friend” be prepared for some growing pains and hisses.

 

Dezi and Raena play

Well c’mon squirt, let’s play.

 

 

We recommend asking the shelter or rescue where you adopt kitty, how well they get along with others. We also recommend not waiting too long to adopt that new friend. The longer a cat lives a solitary (only cat) life, the less likely they will be to truly accept a “Friend”.

 

 Dezi and Lexi laying together on the bed

 

 

The hardest part about answering this question, is that we’re not there. We don’t know your cat, their personality or how they interact with others. So, of course we can’t give a definite answer as to whether or not you should adopt a new kitty. Remember, when you adopt a cat/kitten, it’s a lifetime commitment!!! Not an “Oooops, it didn’t work out” commitment. Watch your cat, if they’re truly lonely, they will give you signs, usually inappropriate behavior (severe pica, excessive meowing, excessive chewing, etc.). This can be corrected by you spending more quality time with kitty. We can’t stress enough how important it is to make the resident kitty a priority.

 

 Lexi and Dezi lay together on window perch

 

 

Do Not adopt a Friend for your cat, just because your resident cat isn’t quite what you had hoped for. What do we mean? Well, maybe you wanted a lap cat, but after getting kitty home, you discover they’re not much for being held, much less laying around in your lap. Again, a little extra quality time spent with kitty and some Training, can change that over time. But it’s unfair to the resident cat and the “Friend Kitty” to adopt a possibly unwanted friend just so you can have a lap full of fur. Our final remarks on this subject would be to adopt 2 kitties at the same time if you possibly can. This will improve the chances of acceptance and happiness in your home. We also recommend trying to adopt kitties around the same age and activity level. And always remember, every cat can use some Training. We wish anyone who is adding a kitty to their home the best of luck. And we thank you for saving a life. 

 

 Raena hugs Dezi while she lays on the brown cat tree

I’s luvs you thiiiiiiiiiiiis much sissy.

 

 

We do hope this has helped somewhat. Sorry we can’t tell you exactly what to do, but we think if you spend enough time with your resident kitty, you’ll get your answer. Don’t furget, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can click the links below. And be sure to leave any questions or topics you’d like us to cover in the comments section below, or send us an email. And remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards.

 

Till the next time……………………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

 

Service Cats

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective     Hands Are Not Toys

About Deziz World

My name is Deztinee. I am a Ragdoll. I was born 11/1/2009. I am a service cat along with my sisfur RaenaBelle, also a Ragdoll, for our disabled human mommy. My sisfur Raena was born 4/21/2016. In March of 2016, mommy and I had to say goodbye to my mentor Alexandra (Lexi), a black tabby born 4/29/1999. This blog is about our daily life from the kitty's point of view. We were both rescued from bad situations and our mommy raised us and trained us to be service cats. I want this blog to be interactive and get to know all of you, so comment and visit often. I will also offer advice, training tips and education when possible. Copyright © 2014 - 2017 {Audra High via Deztinee High and RaenaBelle High} All Rights Reserved All personal content (story's, poetry, etc., videos and music) are the property of the human behind Deziz World, and may not be used, copied or otherwise re-published without prior written permission/consent from the author (A. High-the human behind Deziz World). We have an amazon.com wish list and a PayPal account if you would like to help/donate to us.

Posted on October 2, 2017, in Educational, Feline Behavior, Human Speak, Questions & Answers, Service Cats, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. When we brought Simba in our den for Groucho…it took about a week, and then Groucho, age about 7 or 8 had a kitten to mentor…followed seven years later by Suki and Toki…he was like their Grandpa by then, MOL! Suki hated Toki with a passion…even though she was only about 6 months when Toki came in to our den. Eventually she relented and sometimes they curled up together…but she was quick to hiss, swat at the others…or else she would ust stalk off to be aloneShe was our little Diva princess kitty who wanted to be the single recipient of all the attention. When she was a few years old, Dog-guy (MJF) came in as a wee puppy. Toki loved on him, she hisses at evfurryone, feline, canine and even her peeps! OMC! When Toki had to go OTB at age seven, we brought in Pipo & Minko. More hissing on the part of Suki…but she had figured out there was enough love to go around:)
    When she got sick a few years later, she finally got her wish to be alone…but petcretary had to keep her away from the others because they ganged up on her when she had her seizures and wobbly times. That lasted about a year before she too had to become an angel…
    Right now Pipo seems to be OK with being the sole recipient of kitty love times:)
    Dalton is a bit crazy for MJF, but they do get along pretty well…and Dalton is OK with Pipo, he play bows to him…and gets hissed or swatted, MOL, MOL! Then he just stares at Pipo in bewilderment. Pipo knows kitties rule!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An excellent post! In our household, I know that Olive would be fine being an only cat. She’s the loner and often found by herself. But with that said, she will snuggle with Dexter in the colder months. And while not everyone gets along all the time here, they do tolerate each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i am only allowed to have one animal here, or I would once again have two (after brandi’s passing. She was a solo kitty, too, but before her I had two–suki and sasha) . But I appreciate the suggestions. You do have great talents in kitty knowledge! Putting Suk and Sash together was a little tough in the beginning!

    Like

  4. The neighboring kitties were litter mates, but still don’t get along. Mom says they’re about 10 years old now. Mom thinks about getting me a kitty sisfur or brofur, but since I have a lot of health issues she worries that adding another kitty to the household might stress my health (PKD, seasonal allergies, asthma). I am a very laid back kitty, though, & I think I’d make a good brofur. She also worries, ’cause she grew up with two kitties that didn’t get along at all. Do you think my mom worries too much?

    Like

  5. Another great post! I have had cats that never got a long and cats who fell in love and became best friends! All in all it seems like a crap shoot–though I always like to try to give them a friend — and i loved this very smart line-“Always make your resident cat’s personality and needs first. Do Not rely on a second kitty to change the behaviors of the resident cat. ” SO TRUE!

    Like

  6. My two cats Scooby and Zeke are a great success. They are much alike except in looks and breed!!

    Like

  7. This is such a tough question. I found Bear on the street and fell in love with him – but I had a 15 year old cat who only knew being an only child. I did everything right in the introductions – but it was six months of misery to be honest. Bear wanted to play … and couldn’t stand being closed out of a room … I am stubborn as all get out – but Bear trumps even me. I’ve never given into a cat before. Because of all this, I was really worried when I fell in love with Ellie. Her foster mom said she held her own against other foster cats. I was still uncertain – luckily her foster mom was kind enough to let us meet Ellie a couple more times before we adopted her. Adopting is a huge deal – and I didn’t want to get Ellie on an impulse. I was the same way with Bear – between when I started feeding him and when I adopted him was a good 3-4 weeks – same as Ellie. It’s been a couple nights since I’ve had to get out of bed to mediate a fight … it seems like we’re going in the right direction! They don’t cuddle yet – but they spend more and more time right next to each other. And it makes me happy that Bear finally has a playmate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes awnty Kat, God knows things we don’t and sends a kitty who needs luv our way. With cats, it’s always difficult, but, ifin ya’ just bear with us, no pun intended, eventually, you’ll have a happy home. Bear and Ellie may never cuddle and groom each other, but dat doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to be together. From all da fotos we see, things are goin’ very well. Trust me, there’s no shortage of hisses in our house. Raena’s young and offen a little more hyper than me would like, but me does luv da little brat. MOL And, we’re not much fur cuddlin’ each other, but we do luv to cuddle up next to mommy…in our own spaces of course. 🙂 Just hang in there, you’re on da right track. Big hugs

      Luv ya’

      Dezi and Raena

      Liked by 1 person

  8. dezi N raena……me N sauce never troo lee getted a long; N de food servizz gurl dinna noe thiz when we waz adopted…sure we both came from de “surrendered” room but eye waz knot ther long enuff for de staff ta lurn bout my purrson al a tee….eye waz 15 monthz, sauce waz all reddy close ta bout 5….bye nature eye am a bullie…sauce waz knot….mis takez waz made all round ….but….. itz a lesson lurned …for de next trout towne rezidentz

    tuna of moon ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Service Cats: Is Your Shy Cat Being Beat Up | Deziz World

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