Should I bring in a third cat NOW?

hackwriterDecember 27, 2013

I have a 14-year-old female cat who is a bit of a diva. When our other cat (who had always hated her) died, we adopted a young male. We did the introductions right (keep the new one closed up, then introduce with door open a crack) and how they are very bonded together. The young male just LOVES my old girl, grooms her all the time and she just loves the grooming.

I have had a lot of losses this year -- my mother, our cat, and then my husband died in October.

I am emotionally not prepared to have another loss, but my 14-year-old is already taking transdermal methimazole for hyperthyroid and prednisolone for IBD, and now she is just getting over a feline herpes virus-caused upper respiratory infection and is impossible to medicate. She struggles mightily no matter how tightly I try to wrap her, and there is no one here to help me. She won't take an oral syringe. She eats the pill pocket and spits out the pill. She won't take anything dissolved in cream. The only thing she is OK with is the transdermal gel and not everything can be compounded into this formulation. With the herpes, these URIs are likely to come back; she has always had kind of a sensitive constitution.

My little guy kittie (Eli), who is 2, came into a home with a sick and anxious man, who then disappeared (as far as he's concerned). He is just starting to get over some anxiety about these changes. I fear that with my old girl so hard to medicate, I will not be able to treat her for URI if it comes back.

So would I be better off bringing in another cat now so Eli won't be completely bereft when it's time to say goodbye to his big sister? If so, I'm thinking a young female, but I hate having 2 so close in age, because then you lose them in rapid succession. Or would that stress out my old girl too much?

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I'm so sorry for all the loss you've experienced in such a short time. You have some situations that I've had including a cat with IBD and hyperT. And I'm often pondering a third cat including when I thought my IBD hyperT cat wasn't going to live much longer. He ended up living a couple more years. I currently have a 14 year old diva cat who is healthy and a five year old cat who was close buddies with the IBD cat who died earlier this year. I thought I wasn't going to get a third cat but I decided the boy needed a buddy since the diva doesn't snuggle up with him like the cat who died. I had some trouble with one adult male who was too aggressive so I ended up getting a seven month old female and they were buddies within a week. I too try not to have them too close in age so I don't have multiple medically challenged geriatric cats at the same time.

I can see why you'd want to get another cat now. If the new cat had the right demeanor it probably wouldn't be too stressful for the diva.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 9:08PM
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I would wait to get another cat. It sounds like your two have bonded nicely, and your old girl must take a lot of comfort in Eli's affection and grooming. It would be a shame if you brought in a younger cat and the new cat and Eli hit it off (as youngsters and play pals) and your old girl was left on her own again, or stressed by any ruckus as the newbie settles in.

It's always a tough time, but I find that I prefer to ride out a declining pet's final months without making any big changes, just giving him/her whatever he/she needs to make the passing as secure and comfortable as possible.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:07PM
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I agree with ilovepoco. Bringing in another cat to a "14 yo diva" could be very stressful - not good for any of her medical conditions.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 11:45PM
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