I am writing this letter to encourage persons who have lost a companion pet to adopt a younger animal for the remaining pet. So many of our friends have said they are hesitant to bring in a younger pet to accompany an older pet.
About eight years ago we adopted two shorthaired cats, who were litter mates and had been displaced as their owners were going to a senior residence. About a month ago Diz -- the less dominant one -- passed away. Taz, who has always been independent, began sleeping a lot and was not interested in going out on the lanai or participating in any play activities. He definitely missed his partner. So when the staff at our veterinarian's office suggested that the gorgeous, recently abandoned, all-black female cat (Pepper) was available, we began to consider adoption. Pepper's adoption has been great medicine for Taz. She is a lively 2-year-old, who's full of energy. Amazingly, she realizes that Taz is older and respects his age, though she playfully picks on him now and then. At first, she was tempted to hide behind the desk and hesitated going into the room with Taz. Now, only four weeks later, she sleeps near him on the bed for afternoon naps, encourages him to get up and chase her, and does not interfere with his eating patterns.
Taz may even live longer because he has this young gal to keep him lively!
B.L.F., Fort Myers, FL Nov 21, 2010
My advice is to take in the "replacement" cat only on the condition that he or she has a clean bill of health and after a trial basis to see if the two cats will get along. This process can be facilitated in many instances by using Feliway cat pheromone in a plug-in room diffuser and by letting the cats get used to each other through a cat-proof, see-through barrier.
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pet emergency, please contact your nearest veterinary hospital or clinic.