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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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
When the Handler Dies Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty Internal Disputes
The Rest of the Story Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4
Stop Kitty’s Begging Calling For Help Options Pt. 1
Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3
Posted on October 2, 2017, in Educational, Feline Behavior, Human Speak, Questions & Answers, Service Cats, Training and tagged #RagdollCats, #ServiceCats, #TrainingTechniques, #TrainingTips, Buddy Cat, Deztinee, Educational, Friends, Human Speak, RaenaBelle. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.