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Q: Advice needed on adopting a new friend for a 13 year old playful, pastel calico

February 19, 2010 | By Tlw100 | 3 answers | Expired: 1640 days ago

Advice needed on adopting a new friend for a 13 year old playful, pastel calico

My old girl Lily passed away in December and left behind her catpanion Betty. They had been respectful housemates for 12 years and since Lily's passing, she has needed a lot of extra attention. Once Betty realized she was alone, she howled all night long until I started bringing her into the bedroom with all the necessities.

Now I really think she needs a new friend, but I need some advice on age/sex for a playmate. It would be great to have a real playmate she could love and cuddle. I will be moving in 2 months and will definitely wait until we get settled in our new digs before adopting.

Readers' Answers (3)
Gail S.
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Feb 20, 2010

Either a male or female will be fine if they are spayed/neutered.Try adopting a cat that's over the age of 1 years old and already beyond the kitten stage. That way its activity level will more closely match your cat. Spend some time getting to know prospective adoptee cats and you'll find one whose personality more closely matches your cat's.

When you bring the cat home, take introductions very slowly. Start by isolating the new cat in a single room with food, water and a litter box. Keep them separated for about a week, permitting them to sniff, scratch and growl under the door to get to know one another. After a week, let the new cat out of the room for about an hour (supervised). Hissing, growling, puffing up, etc. is to be expected and is perfectly normal. Do not intervene unless they are actually fighting and in danger of harming one another. After an hour, put the new cat back in its "safe" area. Repeat this process each day, increasing the amount of time that the new cat is out. Once they're able to remain together without incident for about 6-8 hours, it should be fine to leave them out together full time.

It's been my experience that taking things slowly when introducing cats works best. If they're not rushed, your cat won't feel threatened by the presence of the new cat and the new cat won't feel intimidated by your cat. It just takes a little time for cats to adjust to one another's presence and they don't tend to do well when they're just thrown together to work things out on their own. It's not common at all that cats can't learn to live together if the introduction is done properly. Good luck, and I hope you're able to find the perfect companion for your cat!

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Michele Z.
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Feb 20, 2010

I agree with Gail (below) that you should adopt an adult cat, but I'd say one at least TWO years old. A 13-year-old cat, even if energetic and playful, won't want to be "bothered" by a kitten or adolescent cat.

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Jillian
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Feb 21, 2010

my cats are always more accepting of a kitten under 6 months than cats who are older than that. whether they're only a year old or 13, younger cats are less threatening before they reach sexual maturity.
i agree not to get a hyper kitty, but not all kittens are balls of energy. you will need to see them in a comfortable environment during playtime to really access their energy and submissive/dominance levels.
i would advise against getting a cat over two years old. two years is commonly the point of emotional maturity and the older the cats are, usually the less adaptive they get. however, if you find an older cat who adjusts easily and gets along great w/cats, don't discount them b/c they may be the perfect match. the last cat i adopted out {just last week} was a 6-8 year old male who went to a home w/a 4 year old female. his behavior was excellent w/every cat he met at my home and now he is best friends w/this girl kittie.
i take in a lot of fosters of all ages and the ones who generally do best w/the other cats are those under 2. this is in a house w/three permanent cats - a 12 year old male, a 2 year old male, and a 9 month old female. the girls never seem to get along w/other girls and do much, much better w/the boys. the boys rarely care if it's a girl or a boy kitty, it's always just a matter of personalities there. usually girl kitties have to grow up around another female to really like them, so opt for a male.

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