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A 3rd cat...Bad Idea?

buzzard0627buzzard0627 Registered User
edited July 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Currently my wife and I have 2 cats both about 5 years old. A male and a female that we got about 6 months apart (both spayed/neutered). Recently, a friend of mine found 5 kittens in his yard that are about 10 weeks old at this point. Both of us are animal lovers and want to take one of the kittens off his hands to make sure it goes to a good home, however we are concerned about upsetting the balance with out current cats. Our cats now tolerate each other, but don't really get along - mainly do to the female.

What is your opinion/advice about bringing in a 3rd? I have read everything from it is ok as long as you introduce them correctly to only bring in another female to don't do it, bad idea.

Thanks!

P.S.
M.A.D. Cats:

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Proposed New Kitten wearing belling armor:
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Posts

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    If you're in an apartment, check your lease - all of the apartments I've had limited you to 2 cats. Also, in my experience, litter boxes start to get very crowded once you get to 3 cats. As far as introducing a new cat, mileage varies a lot on that - the cats I've been around throughout my life have taken any where from a few hours to a few months to learn to get along.

  • DecomposeyDecomposey Registered User regular
    I was in a similar predicament when, while already having two cats, I found a little mewling kitten freezing in the snow.

    While the litterbox becomes much more a of a pain, introducing a third cat went well for me. For you it will depends on your cats. It's possible the female or the male or even both will take to a kitten as their own, but I think at worst they'd just ignore him or hiss some.

    And definately check the lease, I had to move after getting the 3rd and finding a place that would accept 3 cats was a pain.

    Before following any advice, opinions, or thoughts I may have expressed in the above post, I feel I should warn you: I found Keven Costners "Waterworld" to be a very entertaining film.
  • buzzard0627buzzard0627 Registered User
    I am not too concerned about my lease. We are buying a house when our lease is up.

  • lessthanpilessthanpi Registered User regular
    My wife and I had 2 older cats and due to a long series of events ended up with a kitten we had rescued.

    It was hellish. The litterbox situation was an unending nightmare and they decided to start competitively eating. Any pairing of two of the three would most always be running around fighting. Just Chaos.

    Once my older cat died and we were back to 2 cats everything went back to calm and happy and good.

    I'd conjecture it was in part due to my house being a bit too small for 3 cats to share.

    Based on this and other past experiences it seems like each cat you add doubles the amount of cat-related work/responsibilities.

  • DelphinidaesDelphinidaes FFXIV: Delphi Kisaragi Registered User regular
    As someone who recently did exactly this I found it wasn't too much of an issue.

    My first two cats are litter mates and I had them for about 2 years before I adopted a stray kitten. I took a few weeks of getting them used to eachother (At first my black cat would hiss if he even SAW the kitten across the room)

    I kept the kitten in a separate room with a door that I always kept closed that both the kitten and my other cats had access to. This lets them all get used to the smell of eachother and makes it so they don't feel as threatened.

    Eventually I had small sessions (heavily supervised by me) of the cats together. I think it was about 2 months before I felt they would be fine if left alone.

    Close to a year later and they all get along great (The kitten is now the queen bee of the household)

    I would advise just taking it a step at a time, switch out blankets or bedding with the new kitten and leave them around the house/apartment so the other cats get used to it. Keep them separate at first and just go slow until you feel comfortable with how they interact.

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  • Lizz the BlizzLizz the Blizz Registered User regular
    For us, introducing a third cat into our home brought peace between our existing two cats. One of them is quite an imposing Maine Coon, Massimo, who can be quite harsh when looking for playtime. The other is an older shelter cat, Kasha, who is simply terrified of him and attacks him viciously whenever he approaches. She can't really hurt him, but she sure can piss him off, so he'd just pursue her until she's hiding under a couch somewhere. It caused a lot of stress for both of them.

    We introduced a second Maine Coon to the mix to give Massimo a playmate, so his energy is diverted away from Kasha. The coonies are pretty much best friends at this point and are constantly playing together, while Kasha is simply happy she is being left alone now. :)

    So yeah, for us it's been an amazing improvement.

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Introducing a new cat is ALWAYS a gamble but when that new cat is a kitten you have a very positive advantage. I've never had a new kitten introduction go poorly and they have NEVER failed to acclimate just fine with the other cats whereas I've had a few complete failures when the introductee cat is adult. There will be a period of adjustment (days or even weeks) but it should go well and the younger the kitten the better. There may be some no claw smacks; those are fine but be prepared to break up any yowling fights ASAP. Also, get an extra litter box.

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Introducing a new cat is ALWAYS a gamble but when that new cat is a kitten you have a very positive advantage. I've never had a new kitten introduction go poorly and they have NEVER failed to acclimate just fine with the other cats whereas I've had a few complete failures when the introductee cat is adult. There will be a period of adjustment (days or even weeks) but it should go well and the younger the kitten the better. There may be some no claw smacks; those are fine but be prepared to break up any yowling fights ASAP. Also, get an extra litter box.

    You're bringing in a new cat... that last part is a must. I didn't see you mention a trip to the vet for deworming and such yet, so especially before that happens, new kitty gets its own box.

    As for the number, I wouldn't worry terribly much. We have four at home, one which is 2, the others are coming up on 8 and 9. When we introduced the new kitten, the other girls didn't like him too much at first, but now they tolerate him. Mostly because he's an alpha male in the most passive aggressive way (he doesn't swat or hiss, just stares until they move from "his" spot). But as long as you keep them separate but in the same house for a few days they'll likely be fine. Once you get over two, though, the second box is mandatory unless you get a large dog litter box (which we have and works great, but needs cleaning 1-2 times a day).

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