Correcting the cat-human ratio: Kitty no3?
June 30, 2017 12:28 AM   Subscribe

We have a lovely 9 yr old female cat and an active young male cat. His buddies next door have moved, and he needs to play... not with our other cat. Should we get a playmate?

They get along, but he wants to play and she doesn't. Lots of kittens have come and gone from our neighbourhood vet's adoption space, but they currently have a really sweet affectionate pair about six months old. We just found out the boy has been adopted, and are thinking the girl may make a good playmate for our younger cat (18mo) - ideally they would play together and leave the older cat alone. The vet is just down the street from us, and she comes with a two week trial period. Worth trying?

I wouldn't try with just any cat - this one is particularly calm, affectionate, and is used to having a brother (and isnt a *baby*). Obviously we are crazy cat people. We can afford it, our space isn't huge but would be adequate, preliminary discussions with the vet seem good. Had anyone else done this? Anyone else have three cats? Worth trying?

And yeah...we've been short one cat since we had a kid a few years ago!
(Kid is great with current cats.)
posted by jrobin276 to Pets & Animals (10 answers total)
Response by poster: Apologies, no picture but if we bring her home they'll be a subsequent name this cat question!
posted by jrobin276 at 12:30 AM on June 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

A friend was in a situation where that worked out exactly as you'd hope.

It's an utter gamble, naturally. If they end up double-teaming older kitty, you'll have to rehome newkitty, so be ready for that. I'd guess there's a medium chance it wouldn't work out, but it's worth a try.

Also, get a third litter box now, before that becomes a source of stress for them.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:12 AM on June 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Here's my theory on Cats - they are like Tribbles, once you have one, you have three. They multiply. Hello.

If it's the right mix of personalities, go for it! Just know this is A Thing. It's OK. Try to stop before you get four.
posted by jbenben at 1:25 AM on June 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm a fan of three cats. It's worked out great in our house and transitioning when sad things happen has been better on our guys I think.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:48 AM on June 30, 2017

Three cats is a good number of cats. I say go for it.
posted by theweasel at 6:33 AM on June 30, 2017

I have three, but they're all related (mommy cat and 2 of her now 8-year-old kittens). I can't imagine it's any more work than 2, with the exception of the vet bills. And 3 needy cats might be a lot of cat depending on the number of human laps that are available. But the only issue i've noticed is that 2 of my cats are significantly more bonded more than the 3rd, so sometimes i feel bad for the one that's left out. I'm sure it's just me projecting onto them human emotions though. They all still get along and play and co-habitate peacefully for the most part, but the lines of favourtism amongst them individually are clear. Also if one picks up a bad habit or behavior it's now twice as likely at least one other cat will also learn this undesirable habit and drive me nuts with it.

I really do think this is what feline highschool would be like sometimes - Z is obsessed with K and goes where she goes. K tolerates this, but lurrrves me. Z tolerates me because K is my shadow, but I'm the only human she'll begrudgingly put up with. E and Z play together, quite frequently, but it's definitely a sibling-esque relationship. E also is extremely needy with me, and is otherwise quite obviously the 3rd cat out most times and I feel bad.
posted by cgg at 7:31 AM on June 30, 2017

I had this exact situation. I got Shadow to be a buddy for young Bear, because Bear needed to play and my older girl Harley was NOT INTERESTED. (In fact she still hopes Bear will die a sudden and fiery death but luckily she has no access to matches or napalm). My local rescue place let me foster Shadow for a month to see how things would turn out, and it went great! Shadow and Bear run around and tussle, and mostly leave Harley alone. Somebody in my local rescue group calls this "Triangulation", and it totally works, if #3 has the right personality. (Non-alpha personality probably works better for cat #3).
posted by bluesky78987 at 8:14 AM on June 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

We went from 2 to 3; I was very worried about it; it has worked out fine. We too have two that like to tussle and one who would usually rather not: so now the wrestlers get their needs met and the wallflower can sit and watch.

We try to provide a lot of hideyholes and high-up perches so that they all have spaces to retreat to for quiet time; Jake is particularly fond of being let into the linen closet at the moment.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:17 PM on June 30, 2017

Response by poster: Everyone's answer is best!

She's getting picked up Monday afternoon.
posted by jrobin276 at 10:17 PM on June 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Update: We're keeping her and named her Noelani.
She and the orange one play chases and hide & seek while the tortie sleeps in our lap. Yay!

Thanks everyone =)
posted by jrobin276 at 8:43 PM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

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