Kitten(s) for Boy Cat?

Our beloved Girl Cat (brown kitty) passed away recently, and we miss her so much. We had originally got her as a companion for Boy Cat (cream kitty), who is a social guy and really needed a friend. And now he’s alone again. Even at 13, he’s very playful, though he’s slowed down a bit now.

They are both Siberians, which tend to be a low-allergy breed (the level of allergen is specific to the cat). Our cats were not tested and I did well with them, but my mom still has reactions. In any case, we’re looking specifically at Siberians because I don’t want to take any additional allergy risks. I e-mailed around to all the local breeders asking about retired adult cats, but only one has responded and she doesn’t have any. I always said that I didn’t want kittens because of their energy level and with adults, you already know their personality. But now we’re reconsidering because we want to get Boy Cat a friend, and we don’t think there are any local adults available.

We’re told that if we get one kitten, we should actually get two so that they’re take out their energy on each other. But that’s three total cats, which is a lot of cats :open_mouth:

We’re trying very hard to be patient and to figure things out, but patience has never been my strong point and I just want to know what direction we’re planning. We’re already thinking that when we take the cats to sit outside, we could each take a cat before but that’s impossible with three cats. And sometimes a cat would be hiding and missing-- with three there would be one more to track. Plus, Girl Cat had plenty of bathroom issues and someone online loves having three cats but said they’re pretty much a slave to the litter box. More cats means more potential bathroom issues.

I figure if I focus on information gathering it’ll keep me distracted from wanting to take action. I really hate unknowns!

For people who have had kittens, just how crazy is it? And is three cats too many??


Three cats is, for me, the edge of too many – because of litter box issues, as you mentioned, and also because at some point literally everything is covered in fur and I die. Four is my very edge; five cats would be way too many. One or two is perfect and the condition I always want to live in.

ETA: For what it’s worth we had four cats growing up and I loved them all and it worked, but the box and the fur was a lot of work, especially for my mom. I didn’t care because I wasn’t in charge of cleaning and CATS.

If you get young cats, you can always harness-and-leash train them. That way one person could hold Boy Cat and another could hold the kittens’ leashes.

I do think that getting one very young and energetic cat would not be super nice to Boy Cat – he may still be very playful, but he’s gonna get sick of kittens. If they can wear each other out, he would tolerate it better.


Litter box issues are a big concern. I’m honestly a bit traumatized from Girl Cat’s vomiting and bathroom issues. Sure we’re taking a risk getting a new pet, but two pets is like twice the risk. Maybe more than twice if someone decides that they don’t like sharing a box (and we have MANY).

Maybe the best course of action is to be extremely patient and just let all the breeders know that we’re interested in a retired adult cat…


Here are my current opinions, which may change many times over even the time it takes to write this post, haha.

The biggest reason people recommend multiple kittens to “get their energy out together” is because they are not providing proper stimulation for their kittens themselves.

If you were to get only one younger cat: You and Marmalade have almost an ideal situation for having one kitten - you’re home and can play with the kitten, can monitor the interactions with Boy Cat, can provide Boy Cat safe spaces if needed, and generally can be a consistent presence for kitten through the young cat developmental stages.

Also, having two kittens does not really mean that they will go nuts with each other and leave you and Boy Cat alone. It most often means you’ll have two tiny terrors attacking your feet and purring in your face and running amok at 2am :wink:

Having two kittens also can mean that they ONLY play with each other and now Boy Cat still doesn’t have a friend. It’s a lot easier when you’re 5 to play with another 5 year old kid at the playground, even if there’s a really cool 10 year old there too. However, if you only see the 10 year old, and you want to play with them, you’ll have to learn how they want to play or whether they do right now at all.

Most kittens will learn from the adult cat what the boundaries are. I’m guessing that anyone you’d get a cat from would have really solid return practices if for some reason Boy Cat was just not having it. From how you’ve described his personality, and how he accepted Girl Cat, I suspect he’d be fine with a young cat.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the crazy kitten stages are a relatively small part of their lives. Boy Cat will hopefully be with you another decade, and it would be a shame to have zero other cats because of worry about how he would tolerate the first year.


Kittens aren’t that much work :slight_smile: and the work they are is the very best kind. Lots of playing, figuring out needs, trial and error with food/scratching/litter, setting boundaries, all the usual stuff but plus KITTEN SNUGGLES. Also kitten plays, kitten tumbles, out of proportion kitten head to dumb little potato body, I mean…it’s so worth it.

I should say, I have only one cat and he’s not the type who would welcome another kitty so that’s why I don’t have more. I’d love to have like 3-4 if I had a house instead of an apartment, and if the kitties were social/happy with each other.


I am retired! Caring for a kitten could be my new job!

And Boy Cat grew up around kittens since he was a cat daddy and every time we’ve seen him with another cat, he goes over to make a new friend. With a kitten, I wouldn’t even worry about having a really strict introduction period, maybe just a couple of days.

:heart: :heart: :heart:


This is huge imo. It seems like Boy Cat likes other cats and that makes all of this SO much easier.


Yeah, if it wasn’t for that, we probably wouldn’t be looking into getting him a friend. He’s a really special guy :heart:

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Three cats: Not that bad in terms of money for food and supplies. Can be a pain if you don’t have room for enough litter boxes (general rule of thumb is n+1).

Can also be a pain if there’s not enough territory in the house. How many spaces does Boy Cat like to occupy throughout the day? Is there enough space for kittens to also occupy? Think windows, cat furniture, human furniture.

Sex of cats: Many folks will say to pair only with only same sex/only opposite sex. This is anecdotal at best especially if all kitties were fixed at the appropriate age and didn’t learn bad habits (such as spraying, which female cats are capable of).

One kitten: As long as you can keep an eye and ear out for signs and sounds of exasperation from Boy Cat, you should be fine. Intervene and redirect with toys and treats as needed, play with your kitten lots.

Final note: Cats are desert animals. Some cats have great genes and never have a problem, but most cats need a diet heavy in wet food as they get most of their water from their prey (they eat their water). By feeding a mostly wet food diet, you’ll be preventing all sorts of dehydration, urinary and kidney problems in the future.

Edit: just read about you having so many boxes, sounds like litter boxes shouldn’t be an issue!


Thanks for all the tips! We feed raw and then add water, so our cats are ridiculously hydrated. Girl Cat would pee lakes! And we live in a big house so there is plenty of room.

Thanks for the reassurance, I definitely have time to play now :slight_smile:


I would basically say to listen to your heart (although if what you really want is one cat that’s already past the kitten stage, I’d say wait for that rather than getting a kitten).

I had just one cat for about six years. The plan was to get two kittens when we got a house. But we found a litter of three kittens and fell in love, so now we have four cats. I will say that it’s kind of a lot of cats, but also we have plenty of room for them and when they’re all asleep things are very quiet.

Of course when you get more cats you multiply your chances of getting one that isn’t a good fit for you personality wise, or has other issues. But I’m so glad that we got siblings from the same litter—they love each other so much.


I was just about to tell you to hold out for one slightly older cat (3 cats is a LOT, and with an older one you’ll know personality and any potential bathroom issues ahead of time). And then I thought: but what happens when boy cat dies (:sob: I know but worth thinking about)? I know you can’t predict anything about lifespan, but if you’re just going to have this exact same problem with the new cat in a few years it might be worth it to get two kittens.
And after all, you are retired. New hobby!


Omg your kitty care is a dream! I genuinely wish I could afford to feed my girls raw (and that one of them wasn’t too picky).


I think my biggest fear about a kitten is having so many unknowns. I’ve never really been around kittens, and I keep hearing stories about the insanity! My heart says that we want a friend for Boy Cat and a kitty to fill this huge hole in our home. I think the loneliness is also more acute because we’re home all the time right now…

I knew you were my gal for commenting on having a lot of cats :wink:

I think we do the same thing we do now, if the new cat needs a friend, we would look into options, otherwise we might just have one cat.

Our friend (owner of Girl Cat’s littermate who is a huge silver cat) preps it for us and then we usually get to hang out for a meal when she brings the food over!


Everyone’s experience is different, but I am so glad I got the kittens together. I knew Lily wasn’t too long for the world (she lived about a year longer after I got them), they had each other’s company when I had to go to work (which I still worked full time at the office when they were little), and I’m so glad that once Lily died they still had each other. Having 3 was no more work than having 2 IMO (which I had previously), and although I know the recommendation, I have always gotten away with 2 litter boxes.


They match :heart_eyes:


We have a 15-year-old male, Teaser, and fostered-to-adopt 3 kittens. We fostered first because we wanted to see how Teaser would do with them. He does just fine. Mostly he tries to ignore them, but he will teach them manners (soft swipe with a paw, short hiss) if they get out of line. Our little male, Rogers, ADORES him. Teaser will groom Rogers for a bit and let him snuggle, but any rambunctiousness and Teaser gets up and walks away. Meanwhile, the kittens keep each other entertained, exploring the house, playing with their catnip toys and sparkle balls and snoozing. The kittens sleep together at night in our spare bedroom, renamed “The Cattery”. This gives Teaser our undivided attention at night, which I think he needs. We have 5 cat boxes for 4 cats, which is the general vet recommendation, and clean the 2 boxes in The Cattery morning and evening and the rest just in the evening. I don’t think their care takes a lot of time. We do clip their nails and apply flea stuff once a month.


I think you would find the litter for one or two kittens who don’t have toilet problems to be less or equal work to a kitty who did have toilet issues. Our boy (who we got as a companion for our older lady cat) poops on the floor if we don’t keep things clean enough, but the two of them is usually no more work than the older lady by herself would be.


I never found kittens to be hard. They are just fun! Two together is super fun because they are so playful and adorable together. Kittens are not like puppies. Puppies need to be housetrained and puppies chew and puppies don’t like to be told they can’t sleep with you and will cry if you try to make them stay places when they want to be somewhere else. You have to teach them how to walk on a leash, you have to clean up their poop when you take them out in the world, you have to worry about their behavior with other dogs and other dogs’ behavior with them, and their behavior with people. Ugh, it’s endless. Kittens are nothing in comparison. You show them the box, they know where to pee and poop. You keep them at home, you never put a leash on them, and you let them sleep wherever they want. You play with them and pet them and cuddle them and have fun with them. The only work is scooping their box and giving them food and water. After what you went through daily with Girl Kitty’s bathroom issues and vomiting issues, I don’t think you’d find normal kitten care hard at all.

I don’t think you need to get two kittens at once, one will be fine and it will be fun. But if you want to have quadruple the laughs, get two kittens. :slight_smile: I had three cats once. I didn’t find it hard or too much. I thought it was fun. There was always a cat around! I thought it was great. I wish I could go out and get two kittens right now, I really do.


Right now my heart wants two kittens! But I’m going to be patient. First at least give it until the weekend for the breeders to reply to me, and then go from there. The person with kittens available very soon hasn’t replied to me yet, but they are the only ones who also published a phone number, so it should be easy to reach them!