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I need cat advice

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The Wrath
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We were at the pet store the other day, and my wife found this cat that she wanted really bad. She got to hold it for a minute, and then bugged me for the next hour to get it for her birthday (9/9).

Here's the problem: we already have 2 male cats. One of them is 3 (Socrates) and it constantly antagonizes the one that is 13 (Pepper). Pepper is pretty relaxed and just tries to avoid Socrates...it doesn't seem like he's interested in competing for dominance. The new cat that she wants is also a male and is only about 2 years old. There was another cat in its cage, and they were cuddling with each other and everything, so he seems fine with other cats.

I'm mainly worried about how Socrates would react. Would he hate the new cat and engage in a constant battle for dominance? Or would he be glad to finally have a friend who is young enough to respond to his playfulness?

One more important fact: we live in a 1 bedroom apartment.

Edited by Moose
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I would think that your cat that already displays a tendency toward dominance would continue to do so particularly if a new "interloper" is introduced into the home. It wouldn't matter so much how good the new cat is with other cats, it's the one with the need to dominate that will set the stage.

I think that would be the most probable scenario though it could work out differently.

I've had several cats myself over the last 20 some years.

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It is hard to predict cat dynamics. You should try it out for a couple weeks and see if it works. However, don't get the new cat unless you are sure you can return it or you have someone else lined up for it.

I have seen surprising cat combinations where cats get along unexpectedly well or not. It could be that three is the magic number, or that all hell breaks loose.

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In case you're going to keep the cat come hell or whatever once you get it, as you suspected living in a one-bedroom matters. When I lived with cats, even if they didn't get along they could 'escape' into other parts of the house or escape outside.

Like Galileo said, it's hard to predict. We had a very amicable, playful male cat who also regularly 'attacked' (playfully) the other two female cats, and they really didn't get along. On the other hand, one of the female cats didn't get along with anybody, human or cat.

Generally I have noticed that even if the cats really despise each other right off, once the kitten matures after about a year, they will all settle down and at least deal with each other.

Edited by JASKN
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I hope you're right...as it stands right now, I'm leaning towards getting it. It will have to be declawed, of course, to keep it on a level playing field with our other 2.

The way I see it, the 2 we have fight pretty regularly, and it hasn't caused us any major inconveniences...they just wake us up occasionally. I would rather wait until we move into a bigger place, but she seemed to have her heart set on this particular cat...and there's no way it will still be there in a year or so, when we might move somewhere bigger.

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WE rescue cats and have had at least 200 go through the house in the last 4 years. I woudl think it may be more the age difference than the dominance. Generally younger cats still have play left in them and older ones are annoyed by it. I would think that the two younger ones might get along or occupy each other more.

If the new one showed any signed of being timid, then maybe not, but I'd think it woudl be ok. Oh, and the number of cats is relatively reasonable. If you have a few towers with differnet levels that will help. Cats actually time-share their space andwhile they don't like to be near each other, they will trade spaces or be satisfied as long as they are on different levels.

I've got a reasonably large house, but our maximum record was 16 cats in the house at one time. While its a bit of a crazy time, they are able to actually share pretty well.

Edited by KendallJ
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It is so far. Socrates (orange one) hisses a lot, but he's reacting much better than he did when we brought Pepper to live here. I actually had to take sick leave at work the next day, because I didn't get any sleep that night.

So far, they just seem to be cautious of each other.

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