Tyler and I decided to expand our family and adopt a kitten! We were planning to adopt a cat (not a kitten), but the moment we saw Harvey, we couldn’t leave without him. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sold at first, but we needed a companion for Henry and Harvey was so stinking cute.
Why We Decided to Get a Second Cat
The idea of adopting another cat came to us after I joked about wanting another cat so I can have full ownership. If you didn’t know, Henry is actually Tyler’s cat. For a while, I had 25% ownership and negotiated for 49%. Of course, this is all a joke – it’s not formal on papers or anything. However, Tyler said if that was the only reason why I would want another cat (to have equal or more ownership), then he was willing to give up his last 1%.
The idea became more real when we took Henry to the vet for his annual visit. The vet said he had borderline high blood pressure and level 1 arthritis, but overall healthy. They suggested more playtime for him to be active. Henry’s not a very active cat – he’s too smart for cat toys so we thought it would be a good idea for his health to get another cat.
We adopted Harvey through Grateful Hearts Rescue on January 2nd, 2021.
Harvey’s original name was Harvard. The rescue found his mom and the kittens underneath a house. His foster mom named the mother Ivy, and his siblings Yale, Princeton and Columbia. His name was Harvard and he was the last cat in the family to get adopted. That was a shocker to us because he’s just so sweet and loving.
We decided to rename him because the name Harvard felt pretentious (especially since Tyler’s dad went to Harvard, haha). For a while, it was between Harvey and Archie. I wanted to name the new kitten Harvey because it was very close to his original name and Tyler wanted Archie. Later, Tyler realized that many of his friends have pets named Archie, so Harvey it is!
Harvey is 5 months old and we’re not sure what his breed is. He’s a white cat with a tabby tail – he’s definitely a tabby mixed with another breed. We also hope that he gets a bit bigger; he’s currently a third of Henry’s size. Tyler and I will sometimes laugh when Harvey gets aggressive with Henry because Henry’s a super big (yet loving) boy!
Introducing Cats to Each Other
Introducing cats to each other can be difficult. It’s easy to introduce a cat to a new home – you just give it some time and space, but introducing cats together, you really have to know both of their personality and sometimes, you don’t really know how your resident cat will react to a new cat, especially if they’ve been the only cat for several years. On top of that, introducing a kitten to a cat can be tricky since kittens are just overall energetic.
The process of introducing cats can be slow and painful. Harvey’s foster mom recommended us to watch Jackson Galaxy, which was greatly helpful. He also has a show called “My Cat from Hell” and it explains a lot about cat’s behavior and why they act a certain way.
If you have to introduce cats, I highly recommend watching Jackson Galaxy videos.
We started off with having Harvey in the upstairs bathroom since Henry’s cat litter was in the downstairs bathroom. We also got a bed and scratchpad in addition to his litter box. Henry was a bit scared at first and would consistently hiss at Harvey. Slowly I started moving Henry’s food bowl closer and closer to the bathroom door where Harvey was in.
Eventually, after about 5 days (and 10 meals), Henry and Harvey were eating on the opposite side of the door. After that, we would let Harvey out of the bathroom for about 10 minutes a day supervised. We also blocked off the stairs for a couple of days so Harvey and Tyler could sleep downstairs on the couch and I would sleep upstairs with Henry.
My heart broke every time we had to put Harvey back in the bathroom. I had to tell myself that it’s part of the process and Harvey can’t be outside for too long.
We’re now at 2 weeks of having Harvey and things have been going great! Henry and Harvey get along for the most part. It’s a bit tricky to distinguish the difference between playing or fighting. Once I see one of them hiding or hissing, that’s when I know I have to put Harvey back in his bathroom.
Harvey’s been sleeping outside with us on the bed for the most part. The only time we really have to put Harvey in the bathroom is when I’m feeding Henry. Harvey will constantly try to eat Henry’s food whenever he gets the chance. It’s something we’re working on but if you have any tips or tricks, please let me know!
I will be sharing more updates about Henry and Harvey as time goes on. I hope you love them as much as I do!