Cat Question - Getting a Kitten when we have 3 Elderly Cats

by Carroll
(Jax, Fl)

My cat question is about getting a new kitten. We have 3 cats ---- 2 females and 1 male. The male is 17 yrs old and just sleeps all day. The females are 14 and 15 (all my cats were strays). At one point we had 7 cats, all of which had been strays. The oldest was 21 yrs old. Anyway, we want to get a kitten. The oldest cat just died at 21 years. We have not had a kitten in a longggggggg time.

The question is since the male is so dominant should we get a female or male. One of the females is very jealous and I am afraid she we mark her territory (she has been spayed but still sprays).

I think the kitten will be good for the male cat. What gender should I get?

Reply from Liz (editor): Thank you for your cat question - it's a good one and something a lot of people often wonder about. And hats off to you for taking in so many stray cats!

The problem with getting a kitten when you have very old cats (which yours are) is that the kitten can end up absolutely tormenting them. All they want to do is sleep, and all the kitten wants to do is tear around and try to get them to play. This can often be a bad combination - the old cats get really irritated with the kitten, and the kitten doesn't understand why the old cats won't play with him or her.

The old cats will be very unlikely to harm the kitten, but they may get very stressed by the kitten's behavior. However, I really do understand that you want a kitten again, and you don't want to wait years until all your existing cats have passed away.

There is a way round this, but I'm not sure it's necessarily what you want to hear (!) - if you got two kittens instead of one, they would play with each other and the older cats would be much less stressed by the experience.

As to gender, in most circumstances I don't believe gender matters very much, especially if it's kittens. As long as you get them spayed / neutered at the right time, either gender should be fine. My advice would be to go for the kitten(s) you like and you feel you gel with, regardless of their sex.

Best of luck!

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