We have a 6 yr old female cat who is loving, lovable, and shy whom we named Lillie. A few days ago we had to put her brother to sleep because of carcinamatosis. We got them both from a rescue agency when they were 12 weeks old. We both work, and the cats would be home by themselves. When we went on trips, the cats stayed home in the care of a very good pet sitter. Lillie has spent her whole life with her brother around. Since her brother is no longer here, she has been very clingy to us. We are worried about her being lonely when we are at work, and especially when we go away on for week long trips. We were wondering if it is a good idea to get a male kitten to be a companion for her. Any thoughts from anyone?
Better a male than a female, since females can tend to be a little rivalrous toward each other and if Lillie is a very shy cat, this could be a problem. I'd try for a slightly older kitten, say, 6 months, and get the mellowest male you can find. (Getting the kitten a little older gives you better cues to his grown-up personality.) Lillie won't like it at first, but she'll likely come around.
Sorry for your loss, & for Lillie's too, she will grieve, our old Cat (now also deceased) did when we lost her companion, though as she was already a great age herself at 16, & I was home during the day, & she also liked to be alone, we didn't replace him as felt in that situation it was better for her, though we had already lost her sister when she was 2 years old, so we rescued a Tom cat as a Companion then, & after the initial settling in spats, they were great friends for many years
I've a lot of experience of keeping Cats, & yes I too would agree to get a male Cat, less competition, & they settle in together much quicker, & he will likely let Lillie rule the roost...lol........but as you say your Cat is timid, I wonder if she is also a quiet natured Cat, who wouldn't appreciate a boisterous Kitten hasseling her to play more often than Lillie might be comfortable with, even the most chilled Kitten may be more of a handful, depending on how playful Lillie still is??, having recently had talks with our Cat sanctuary about a companion for our new Cat, for the same reasons you mention, I personally would go for an older Cat, perhaps between 2 - 8 year old, if you rescue again, I'm sure the Sanctuary can help in choosing a suitable mate
Adopting a new pet would be a great idea. If you are going with adults, be sure to get a humble cat instead of a dominant one. This will help her get used to him faster and better. Depending on your cat's character, she may or may not accept a kitten. You'd have to assess that yourself or ask someone at the shelter for advice. For some cats it's better to get a kitten as their maternal instincts kick in and they get busy trying to care for the kitten. This was my case. I have two male cats. I got a kitten for my older as he was/is a very playful fella, so a kitten was definitely the right choice. For others, an adult is better, as adults are usually less active and will not get in her way like a kitten would.
Good luck. I hope you find the right match for her. I'm sorry about your loss. It must have been real tough on you guys.
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