Does the potential for stress to your old cat mean that you should not get another pet? That depends. Many people like to get another animal before the inevitable end of the old one's life.
There is no question that having another pet at home can help when an old pet passes away, but it is important to balance your needs and desires against the needs and welfare of geriatric cat.
The best time to bring a new pet home is while the older one is still in reasonably good health. If your senior feline is relatively healthy, mobile, and emotionally well adjusted, she will probably adjust to a new pet without too many problems.
If, on the other hand, your older cat is ill or suffers from anxiety or other stress related problems, this may not be the best time to add a new pet to your family.
If you decide to bring home a new pet while your aging cat is still with you, you should be able to answer yes to all of these questions.
- Can I afford the cost of good geriatric veterinary care for my older cat as well as proper veterinary care for another pet? This will include routine and emergency care, and keep in mind that your aging cat could develop an age related disease that requires treatment.
- Can I afford all the other expenses of owning two pets? This will include food, equipment, training for a dos, and so on.
- Can I provide my older cat with a private refuge so that she can get away from the new pet?
- Can I manage the new pet well enough to protect my older cat from injury?
- Do I have the time to spend with each animal individually every day to fulfill their emotional needs?
- Is my older cat well enough physically and emotionally to handle the stress of a new pet in the house?
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