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Hi Ben,

Our cat, Bruno, is a Russian Blue and 14 months old. We got him when a kitten from the breeder and heís all that we could have hoped for in a cat. My daughter, Pilar, and I live in a 3-bedroom unit (of which Bruno has complete access) and we have a small decking outside with Colorbond fencing (metal) around it so that he canít get out. He has a cat door to give him access to the outside and he uses it frequently. He chases insects, inspects the small garden and the inside of the garage. He also climbs up on the high windowsill in my office and checks out the neighbourhood from there.

Bruno is a very intelligent cat (arenít they all?) and tires quickly of any toy that we give him. We rotate the toys from time to time so that he discovers them anew, but thereís not a great deal that entertains him for very long.

He has a lot of energy when he plays Ė Pilar chases him around the unit when she gets home from work and he loves that by understanding that they are playing chasey. Sometimes he goes nuts on his own and does a circuit of the unit at lightning speed and then calms down and sleeps for a while. Iíve had a total knee replacement and itís difficult for me to play with him other than tossing a few items for him to chase or wave something at him to grab, but heís done it all before.

I think Bruno is very bored. He tends to look for food more often (compulsive eating?) and sleeps a lot, which I know cats do. †I feel so sorry for him and yet I feel unable to do much about it. We both work (though I work part time and usually come home for lunch).

Iíve had conversations with Pilar about getting another cat/kitten for Bruno to play with and as a companion. I really didnít want another cat because a) the cost, b) Iíve always been a one-cat person, and c) Iím afraid two cats would trash the place. †Pilarís not keen on getting another cat because she worries about Bruno having his nose out of joint with another cat to share our adoration (!) and whether or not the two would get on. I think, if we were careful, Bruno would not suffer from lack of attention from us and that eventually he would become friendly with the other cat once they got used to each other.

My questions are: a) Should we get another cat, in your opinion, so that Bruno is not so bored and perhaps become depressed eventually?? b) If we got another cat, would a kitten be better so that Bruno still feels heís got superiority? c) Would it be better to get another Russian Blue or any other type of cat? d) Would it be better to get a female? e) Is Bruno really bored, or am I reading too much into his behaviour?

Any advice you can come up with weíd love to see. We're from Melbourne, Australia, by the way.

Many thanks,
Lyn & Pilar

Answer
Hi
Getting another cat could be the worse thing you could do. Cats are not pack animals like dogs and so do not require the company of other cats to be happy.

It is very likely that if you did get another cat all that would happen is that you will have a cat or two cats who fight all the time or they would just give each other a wider berth and could possible cause one of the cats to hide away all the time. it really is not a solution and can lead to all sorts of problems.

Cats who have been brought up with other cats from birth are usually the only ones which are happy t be around another cat. that is why the animal shelters here in the UK do tests before they rehome to see how they get along with other animals and they won' rehome cats who don't like other animals to people with other animals. Its a way to try and pair people and cats with each other.

As for your cat being bored. you did not mention if he is neutered or not. If he is not then this is the thing to do. Having him neutered will help to calm him down and make him a more contented cat. there area also health benefits too. See this page for more on this
/neutering.html

Having him neutered would be the first thing to do. then you will have to try and make your home as stimulating as possible for your cat. they need a lot of stimulus to allow them to carry out their instincts such as climbing, exploring, hunting etc. there are all sorts of toys on the market and climbing trees designed to provide all this stimulus. Please see my page about this here for more suggestions.

/indoor-cats.html

best wishes kate

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Kate Tilmouth

Expertise

I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.

Experience

I run my own cat website at http://www.our-happy-cat.com and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

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I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Education/Credentials
Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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