I've been thinking about getting another cat to keep my current one company. I live in a 2 bedroom 1254sqft apartment with a roommate (who is cool with getting a second cat) and adopted a cat 4 months ago who is around a year old now.
She's very friendly, runs to greet you at the door, not afraid of strangers at all, sits in your lap willingly, and love, love, LOVES to play. Which is the issue. My roommate and I both work around 7-9hrs a day, so my cat is by herself at home most of the time. I've spent a ridiculous amount of money on toys, but she still wants to play nonstop whenever I'm home. Her favorite toys are the interactive ones, I guess. But if I'm not playing with her, she'll sometimes attack my legs as I walk by or when I'm sitting at the dining table. She's ripped threads out of a number of my sweaters and pants this way. Luckily, she doesn't seem otherwise destructive (yet).
I was thinking that I could get a second cat/kitten and maybe that would help burn her energy and keep her company while we're gone.
Drawbacks are that I don't really have anywhere to put another litter box, and one of my cats in the past reacted very badly to being introduced to another cat (literally scared the shit out of that cat, and she became super paranoid even though the new cat was super chill and didn't react to her at all). I'd also feel terrible if either my current cat or new cat got bullied by the other one, or if I had to return the new cat. My current cat also has a tendency to bite when she doesn't want to be touched, and her canines are pretty long (they stick out of her mouth a bit).
Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice?
keep playing with her and spending positive time with her when you're home
get her used to having her paws handled and start trimming her nails so you don't have to worry about her accidentally pulling apart your clothes
do a little reading on cat enrichment. you may be able to find some toys that require your cat to do some thinking/problem solving that work well for her. the point of toys like this are to keep a critter occupied while you're not there. just be wary of anything that teaches her to rip open/dig for rewards as that may not be the kind of behavior you want to encourage.
as long as she's not exhibiting bad behaviors (destruction of your property, overgrooming, urinating on stuff, etc) she is probably in a pretty good state. i think you are right to be cautious about adopting a second cat.
Thanks for the advice! I've been trying to trim her claws, but she usually only lets me clip one before trying to bite me, even when I try to sneak it while she's sleeping, haha. I'll keep trying I suppose.
I have one toy with holes where she has to pull out the balls/mouse/etc out of it. She seems to like it, but I pretty sure she's done with it in about 30min max. Are there any toys you know of that might keep her occupied?
Dude, you're her friend. My wife kept on talking about getting a friend for our cat. We did it, and now we have two cats. It turns out cat #1 didn't want a friend. It further turns out cat#2 is very clever and has managed to take over the house. Now cat #1 only comes home to eat once a day. Photo cat #2.
If she's that active while you're home, she likely sleeps a lot during the day. Even a healthy young cat will typically sleep for at least 15 hours a day or so, so she's probably adjusted to your working hours and is getting in some sleep during the day so she can spend time with you in the evenings. She's young enough that she will probably adjust to another cat if you want one, but I wouldn't say it's necessary. If she's not destructive around the house, she likely isn't getting bored during the day and she's only going to calm down further with age anyway.
yup, it's all about consistency and patience. just keep it up. fiddling around with her paws will help desensitize her. you can also find a treat/game/toy she really likes and reward the shit outta her when you're done trimming her nails. make it something she loves and looks forward to because she knows that when it's done she gets THE JACKPOT
my cat isn't food driven but i'll link a couple of toys she really loves that i don't have to be around for.
corrugated cardboard products in general are great but turbo scratchers are the shit. all the cats in my house love these things and will play with them frequently when we're not around. bonus: add catnip
my cat loved the shit outta this thing but it chews through batteries. there are guides out there to modify it so you can plug it into a wall, and i imagine it'd be easy to put a timer on it at that point too.
the blanket term for this stuff is 'puzzle feeders,' which is one of the easiest ways to enrich animals. wild animals spend the majority of their time foraging/hunting, so when we take that out of the equation we leave them with a lot of free time. you can either buy something fancy or get ideas from here and modify tupperware containers, cardboard boxes, etc. to do the same thing.
i'd also just throw a handful of treats across my house when i left my work so my cat had to go forage for them. :>
My cat has been living mostly alone [there was a 2 month period where we moved and had to live with family that owned 2 puppies] for the past 6 years.
He is perfectly fine. He loves to greet guests, loves to play, and isn't destructive. Most of my friends and family love him, one of my neighbors said he wished he could clone my cat and get one with the same personality.
I'm not sure how much he'd appreciate a "friend" or if he even needs one. Strays sometimes live in colonies, but most felines wild and tame are solitary animals.
Now some cats that have never spent time away from a sibling or another cat might need another to live a healthy life. My cat was a kitten from a litter abandoned by his mother, which got allotted to different shelters. So he never had constant companionship in his young years, but he did have human interaction.
My spouse and I just give him as much love and attention as possible when we are there and it seems to work.
>OP's cat looks and sounds a lot like my cat, and we've considered the same thing
I'm her MOM, not her friend! Parents really need to set boundaries for thier cats, otherwise they get away with everything.
Thanks for the links! I have something similar to the turbo scratcher (minus the cardboard, because she chews the shit out of any carboard boxes she can find) that she enjoys, but I think the novelty is wearing off a bit, haha. She's not particularly food-driven either, but I like the flingy string thing.
And I'll continue to brave her razor sharp fangs for claw clipping!
I'm not sure what my cat's background is. She was picked up as a flea-ridden, tick-infested stray (with tapeworm... which I discovered after two months of wondering where the sesame seeds on my bed were coming from... ew...). She spent close to no time at the shelter, because I snatched her up even before they'd spayed her/gotten rid of all her ticks haha (I had to wait for them to spay her before taking her home though, of course).
There's a couple in my apartment building who let their cat roam the hallway. My cat had a brief phase where she kept trying to escape into the hallway, though I'm not sure if it's just because she was interested in finding out where we were going every day or if the cat smell enticed her. I don't know why she stopped trying to escape either, though.
No to getting another cat.
The thing is, we already had (still have) another cat before her (Like 3-4yrs). And they get along and occasionally play. Even with him, she's still insanely busy. All another cat was going to do is be another vet bill and mouth to feed. And knowing our luck, they'd both just run through the house and make things even worse, never calming down.