This is an example where a resident cat has responded really beautifully to a rescue kitten who was brought into the home. Andy was the resident cat at the home of Moonglade Rose. She came home with an orphaned rescue kitten who she named Opie.
Of course, she wasn’t sure how Andy would react. She need not have been concerned. As soon as he heard the squeaks of the little fella Andy came running and wrapped his arms around the new kitty and immediately started to groom him. It was a beautiful welcome to Opie in his new home.
“Andy welcomed him immediately and wouldn’t stop hugging him and kissing him.”
The photographs are great. Andy really did form an immediately strong friendship with Opie. It’s almost as if he was waiting for it to happen. I sense that he wanted a cat companion. You never know how it’s going work out but this could not have worked out better.
A bonus to all this is that Andy himself is a rescue cat so we have two rescue cats who are great buddies living a good life in a loving home. It doesn’t get much better.
I am sure that many cat owners thinking of adopting another cat to add to an existing resident cat might be concerned as to whether they will get along. Perhaps they want a ‘formula’ to ensure that they do get along. There isn’t one.
Keeping unrelated individuals is normal in many households. However, hostilities between cats are common when owners try to increase the size of their cat household by adopting a new cat. Hostilities can be reduced, as we know, through careful introduction of the new cat. The purpose is to allow the resident cat time to come to terms with the arrival of a new “scent profile”. It also allows the newcomer to establish himself in a new territory for face-to-face meetings with existing cats. Perhaps rescue centres should allow people to adopt a cat on a week trial with the option to return the cat if things go wrong. Is that a crazy idea?
Neutering and spraying of cats results in an absence of maternal and sexual behaviours. This helps in respect of social behaviour and therefore the success of multi-cat households.
The natural state of affairs is for siblings to remain in groups. Keeping siblings together in households seems to be in line with natural feline behaviour. Some re-homing centres advise the homing of kittens and sibling pairs.
When I adopted my current cat from a rescue centre near London, the manager of the rescue centre told me that in her experience cat siblings did not get along. I think she’s wrong. Sometimes they might not get along when they become adults but if you want to increase the possibility of cats getting along then adopt two spayed and neutered siblings.
In feral cat colonies the cats are usually resistant to the introduction of newcomers and the acceptance of a new cat into a feral cat colony is a slow process.
For unrelated adult cats you never quite know how it might pan out. You can try and adopt cats of similar character but that is difficult too because it is quite difficult to assess the character of a cat at a rescue centre and even then there is no certainty because it’s about chemistry.
It is very nice and perhaps unexpected to see an outcome as you see between Andy and Opie. You don’t want cats to eventually get along and put up with each other. You want them to be great friends because that is one of the positive aspects of being a cat guardian of two cats.
I welcome the experiences of visitors on this topic.