How do we keep our senior cat happy if we get a new kitten?

by Jessica

We have a senior cat, Kitty (18 years old). My kids have been asking for a new kitten for years, but I always say no because I think it would make Kitty very unhappy, and when she's unhappy, she urinates on our things.

Is there anything we can do to ensure her happiness and get a new kitten?

I feel like we're all waiting for our beloved Kitty to die so we can get a pet that will actually interact with the kids. Our kids missed out on the days when Kitty was playful and fun.

When Kitty was two years old, we got a kitten (Katie), and Kitty was very unhappy about that. She stopped being playful and ate all of Katie's food, so she gained weight.

Katie was very kind to Kitty, but Kitty wanted nothing to do with her. Katie passed away five years ago, and Kitty got noticeably happier. She likes being an only child, I guess.

Am I right that we need to wait until Kitty passes away, or should we go for it and get a new kitten? We all joke that Kitty is going to outlive all of us. :)

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Getting a new kitten
by: Anonymous

Honestly,.. first of all, it's very cruel to say that you're waiting for your 18 year old cat to die. It makes it sound like you're tired of it and couldn't care less about its life, let alone that you cherish the 18 year old cat's life! Geez!

I had a brood of three cats for the past 15 and a half years. After my first two passed away, my "middle child -kitty was so bored and lonely," yet I was advised NOT to get a new kitten since Elsie was 15 years old.

At that age, cats become territorial, and thus, if you bring in a new kitten, it could become aggressive and angry. Although you never know how a senior cat is going to behave or react to a kitten, for the most part the two together would have to be watched an monitored constantly!

Both kitties would need DELIBERATE individual time with you, as well as group time with you, so they both feel mutually loved and cared for.

If you're an active family, this is also something to take into consideration!
I returned back to school last year, as it was HELL on my cat emotionally! I was not able to give him the same time and attention that I had over the years.

Sadly, Elsie unexpectedly passed away this past December 20th. I am devastated, as Elsie was also my service/assisted cat.

Even though my home feels so sad and devoid of love and life with Elsie and my other two kitties gone, as much as I had wanted another kitten for Elsie to share company with,.. Now I have NO DESIRE to get another cat or kitten.

You can't just walk away and not go through the motions of grief upon the years you had with your 18 year old cat! That's not only an INSULT to its spirit, but you're also erasing the value and existence of the life you shared with your cat!

As my vet told me when Elsie died, she said, that "most cats don't live much longer than 12 years old. The fact that Elsie lived for 15 years, is nothing to sneeze at!"
Take this same advice for the life you gave your 18 year old cat, as you'll be teaching your children to honor the life of the cat as well, as it was part of the family.

There is nothing WORSE than treating a cat like it's "Disposable!" Yes, it's wonderful to have a houseful of cats, but it's also important to VALUE each cat for how they are in personality and in what they contribute uniquely to the brood/pack, as that too, creates and defines the love in your home.

DON'T EVER teach your children,.."Oh Well, the cat's gone! Let's go out and get another cat!" Children need to learn to honor the presence and memory of a family pet. - Once you see your children showing signs of independence come about after going through the sadness of your 18 year old cat passing (when his final day comes), THEN get a new kitten! I'd give it at least 6 months AFTER your senior cat and YOU have transitioned and adjusted with an open, happy mind and heart.
THEN You'll be able to freely welcome and enjoy a new kitten into your household, free from stress and anxiety.

Only cat
by: Sally F.

Some cats are absolutely miserable when they have to share space with another cat. They enjoy being the "only cat" and no matter how hard you try, how you do the introductions, and so on, it just doesn't work well for them.

If your cat is that kind of cat, I'm not sure there is anything you can do to change it.

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