Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I need advice...

I've really already talked myself out of this...but I need support.
Those of you who read my blog in regards to the kitty aspect know I have a May-December thing going on with Bella Mae and Cordelia Joy. Cordie is going on 1 year in March, Bella Mae is likely 13 or so years of age. She also has 'IBD' (supposedly) but had issues with barfing, has had stool issues, and has muscle weakness, etc.
Cordelia is full of piss, vinegar, sugar, spice, and a whole lotta love and floof.
There is a listing on Petfinder-for HSNEI has a listing for a kitten that is 10-12 weeks old named Sassy...who sounds a LOT like Cordelia Joy.
I've gone back and forth...a kitten for Cordie to play with might help. I'm not enough for her most times. She can play and play and will at times, harass Bella Mae due to her energy.
Bella Mae is no longer interested in the 10lb behemoth. She'd rather be on the couch and left alone.
Cordie is very mommy-oriented. She seems possessive of me at times.

The apartment I'm in is half a house really...bedroom, spare room, living room, bathroom. I have two cat trees-living room and 'office'. I doubt this place is big enough for 3. I cannot nor will not adopt Cordie out. The idea of adding another kitty and having it work is high on my list...but if it didn't work, I would be utterly crushed and feel super guilty.

I want to do what is the VERY best for both kitties. I'm working on increased play time and incorporating flower essences.
I do not want to compromise a kitten's wellbeing, because I worry since Cordelia is so big, that she might hurt them. She's really around 10 lbs.

What do you with multiple cats think? How do you know? Any advice is appreciated! I've never been in a house with more than 2 cats, and they got along swimmingly. This is the first time that this hasn't gone swimmingly for me. I'm a kitty-hierarchy-virgin.


  1. I can't tell you whether or not to adopt a third cat. You know your cats best.

    I will share my own experience, though.

    First was Chumley, in April 2001. I adopted Annie in August 2001 for company for him because I'm gone so long every day for work. Chum was 2-3 at the time, estimated, and Annie less than a year. They got along well from the get-go until Annie got older, then there was competition for my attention and they weren't quite as chummy. No fights per se except when Chum would be out in the back space, spy another cat on the other side of the fence, and turn on Annie in redirected aggression. It got to the point where Annie wouldn't go out with him most of the time, and they'd switch off.

    When Chum unexpectedly died, I was encouraged to adopt again so Annie wouldn't get used to being an only cat. After one failed adoption (I'm ashamed to say it, but it was too soon and was the wrong cat, he ended up being adopted by a woman for her elderly mom), I adopted Nicki in April 2007.

    Not good. He did and does have a very strong, high-energy personality, likes to be top cat...and so does Annie. Hence a lot of fights, etc. Like oil and water, those two--they didn't and do mix well at all.

    So finally I adopted Derry in December 2007 as a playmate for Nicki.

    This has helped to some degree, because Nicki has someone close to his age to roughhouse with, but he and Annie still fight, usually daily.

    I just don't think there are any guarantees. Some are lucky and have cats that hit it off, and some of us aren't.

    Someone younger for Cordelia to play with probably would be good for *her*, but whether that's also good for Bella, only you can decide.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts Kea (hugs)

    I'm thinking that it would be best to wait. I mean, too, I rent. And I do not want to stretch the boundaries that would be stretched.
    I'm wondering if Bella Mae had been an only cat-I fostered once for a few weeks and thankfully found the mancat a good home. He was sweet, loving, and simply divine. Until he became comfortable and started going after Bella for attention or to assert dominance. He was 12 pounds or so...I wasn't going to allow that. He cornered her one night and that was it. I re-homed him the next day. (Bill was sad)
    I had hoped a kitten would be better-Bella wouldn't feel threatened. She never accepted the kitten per-say. They did eventually chase each other around in play...but then that's stopped.
    Now Cordie is 10 lbs of energy...she definitely sees herself as 'top cat' even tho I see Bella Mae as the 'queen' of the house.
    I'm going to follow the advice of a friend of mine (actually mother of a co-worker) I set myself up with the wishful thinking of if three would make a happy home-so I'm going to do my best to stop looking at petfinder for awhile.
    I think because I'm sometimes just unhappy with life in general, I like to think I could fix some aspect of it. I'll try to focus on making the best of this mis-matched pair. I guess sometime in life you have to learn to live with the more unsavory case scenario.

  3. Ok, I will add in my two cents. We have six (going on seven) at our house. I had three for a long time - we added the third and since the other two were young (and the oldest was a giant - you say 10 lbs like it is big - our smallest is about 10 lbs) they were ok adding a third, but it did take time. Now, the fourth came in a lot later - the oldest were 12, 11 and 9 at the time. He was a tiny kitten at first (4 weeks) but when he was a bit older he was a bundle of energy and boy, did he drive our ladycat crazy (the two oldest were males). I look at him (Virgil) as being Cordie and the older (Lola - I am not counting the older boys because they were not an issue in it really) as being Bella in this situation. I did decide to add another high energy kitten to play with Virgil thinking if he had a playmate closer to his age he would leave Lola alone and it did help - but only to a point, and of course then Lola had two little brothers bugging her. Luckily she is a big girl (topped out at 16 lbs) and what I like to call a crabby old ladycat - so she didn't take any guff from the boys. Would I say that means a 3rd cat would help - well, see the problem is that you just can't know because it really depends on the cats involved. Now with Bella being a bit more delicate, I would say that you really need to get a feel for what is going on - and try convincing Cordilia to calm down (yeah, I know that is like trying to teach french to a tree). Maybe if you set up a safe "Bella only" location and got Cordilia some interactive toys that don't require you there that could help the situation. If Cordilia is harassing Bella in front of you, try discipling her and then comfort Bella a bit - that did seem to help at our house. I have heard that just adding a cat as a companion is not a good way to go (but that is exactly how I ended up with two cats and it worked out great). Ok, this is rambling all over the place - I guess what I am saying is that it is a hard call, but at least for right now I would say work on the two you have. Have you ever tried rescue remedy - I have heard it helps to calm some cats down (we tried it to get Lola to chill out when we added our two newest and it did help but since she is an angry pee-er it didn't help with that) and it is a flower essence so it is natural and safe. Because Lola got freaked when the new kittens first arrived we set her up in her own room so she could be away from the craziness and that helped a lot too - but then again the crazies had other crazies to play with. Gah, I just wish I could give some firm advice but I am all over the map - I am sure that didn't help at all. I guess I just wanted to let you know that I know what you are going through and I sympathize - I just ramble a lot!