New Cat: Older or Kitten?

Discussion in 'Lantus / Basaglar (glargine) and Levemir (detemir)' started by oreosmom, Mar 6, 2014.

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  1. oreosmom

    oreosmom Member

    Apr 16, 2012
    Hi Lantus Friends,

    I posted on the general board but wanted your opinion since you have been my mentors. As you know, Oreo passed away Dec. 24th. Debbie is our surviving calico. She is 13 years old and was quite close to Oreo. Debbie isn't very active and has some arthritis. After Oreo's death, she was really lonely and depressed. Then about three weeks out, she started spending more time with us, she is friendlier, playing more and letting us pick her up more. Now she is also sleeping with us along with her stuffed toy cat.

    At first, I thought Debbie would need a new friend. But now I realize that I am really the one who wants the new cat! I also worry that Debbie will be lonely when we are away from home (though we would have a sitter). My question is this: What age of cat would be best? Everything I have read and heard says a more mellow, mature cat would be best. But I just talked to our vet and she has a different opinion: She feels it is not wise to get a cat for your surviving cat, since you can't guarantee your cat will like the new kitty anyway! Instead she thinks you should get a new cat for YOU. She recommended a kitten! She feels that the kitten has less "baggage" and less threatening to the resident cat.

    I would love to hear your opinions on this. I have my eye on a young kitten and a one year old. I can use some advise. Thanks!
  2. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2013
    There are good points for both.

    While a young kitten is less of a threat, and generally easier for the established cat to accept, they're also very lively and playful, and if your cat prefers the quieter life, a kitten may be annoying and unwelcome.

    Just the opposite on an older cat. Because it's not a young kitten, introductions would have to be slow and gradual (and I've never really found any cats that couldn't live together if they were introduced properly), but once that's over, an older cat (not OLD, just older than kitten) would probably make a good companion, as well as be willing to "play" with Debbie at a little more her "speed"...and once they're life long buddies, they'll be lots of snuggle time between them while you're out and there aren't any available bean laps to lay in.

    I'd probably try the 1 yr old. Still young enough to be a good playmate, but not so crazy as to annoy a "senior lady of the house". Also, I'm just a sucker for an older cat anyway since kittens have no problems finding homes. Older cats tend to sit and wait for someone to see that "special something" in them that "outshines" the kitten "cuteness" factor before finding a new furever home.

    Just my opinion!
  3. Shelly & Jersey

    Shelly & Jersey Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2014

    I'm not sure I've ever met you, oreosmom. I'm a relatively new member on the board. First, let me say that I'm so sorry for your loss of Oreo. We lost Tiger, our outdoor civie, in December, too. I didn't plan on getting another outdoor cat, but we had the perfect setup for one. Tiger adopted us several years ago, and we had purchased numerous items over the years - the heated water bowl, the cat beds, etc. We even built him what we call the cat "mansion." It's a sheltered house off the ground with a window in the bedroom and a hallway to block the wind! ( husband thought I was crazy when I designed it.) I just couldn't seem to let all of those things "go to waste," and I knew the Humane Society was at full capacity.

    The day I went to the Humane Society, I told my husband that I was going to go get the oldest kitty they had - the one that would probably never be adopted. I came home with two teenagers! (First of all, what kind of husband sends a crazy cat lady to the Humane Society by herself?! :lol: ) I went into the Humane Society, sat down on the floor of the cat room, and was immediately adopted by Rabbit. Nona soon came and joined us. Although I originally wanted an older cat, I couldn't turn away from the ones who had picked me. They were about 8 to 10 months old when I adopted them.

    The girls (Rabbit and Nona) have adjusted well. They are definitely full of energy, but they also like to cuddle. They are at the age where they don't need constant attention and care, which is good since Jersey (the sugar kitty) is taking up the majority of my time right now.

    We have a fenced-in back yard, and the indoor cats do get to go outside every day. That means the indoor cats and outdoor cats interact regularly. I found that the girls were at a perfect age for interacting with the indoor cats. The girls are old enough to protect themselves if the indoor cats attack. (Unfortunately, Jersey has attacked Nona once. She can be a hateful little kitty.) They're also young enough that they don't try to challenge the dominance of the indoor cats. Except for Jersey (the hateful kitty), everyone has gotten along really, really well - although it did take about 10 days for everyone to settle in.

    I have no idea if any of this helps you, especially since the indoor-outdoor situation is a bit different, but I wanted to share my experience just in case it might be of some help.

  4. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    I think a lot depends on the cat. When I bought Gabby home, George was probably 8 yrs old. He was a very mellow cat. He hissed at Gabby once and at one point, ran into her and she somersaulted down the hall. On the other hand, Gabby was probably 10 when Gizmo showed up. Gabby is not a terribly active cat, shy, and a diva. Gizmo is a clown. Their personalities are very different and Gizmo only wants to play while Gabby wants to sleep. As a result, Gizmo pesters Gabby and she's not amused. My 2 cents is to find a cat who's personality will be compatible with Debbie's.
  5. julie & punkin (ga)

    julie & punkin (ga) Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    punkin passed away last May. We also had Anya, a 4 year old at the time. Punkin was about 11 when we got her as a kitten (~8wks), and it was instant affection between them. He was a big mellow guy and she was a tiny delicate little girl. They loved each other up, played together and washed each other's faces. When we took punkin to get the acro treated, driving from Oregon to Colorado, we took Anya along to keep him company.

    After he died, Anya glommed onto us more than she ever had before. I thought she was lonely and was worried that when school started up in the fall and I went back to work, she'd be alone too many hours. In early August we got two 4ish month old kittens, both boys. I thought getting another girl might be a mistake. They were still pretty small and kittenish. Neither one is at all aggressive.

    Well . . . we did all the "right" things to introduce them, right down to putting the kittens in a cage in the living room for a while. She hates them. She's only 5, but she acts like they scare her. We have pretty constant growling and hissing from her. I'm watching her right now, growling, and she just jumped up on the back of the recliner where Frodo was sitting and watching the tv. She whacked him until he jumped down. She's pinned the kittens down and bitten their backs. She's attacked them while they are sitting on my lap. It's been 7 months and It's still a bit crazy.

    I'm glad we've got them but it sure hasn't been smooth. Anya would be infinitely happier if Frodo and McGee went away. Today, preferably. So . . . not sure that helps, but in retrospect, i think to make her happy it would've been best not to get more cats. Second choice would've been to only get one fairly youngish kitten that would've tolerated her being the boss.

    I'd love to see pics if you do get kitters!
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