Auri’s “Gotcha Day”, the day she joined our family, is coming up soon and I was reminiscing the other day about the journey these two have had since. Most of you know that Xafi and Auri are sisters by blood, but born in different litters. But not many know why we decided to get a second cat and how it all happened. So I thought I would share that story today.
When we first got Xafi we were set on only having one cat. By nature cats are solitary animals. Their ancestor, the Near Eastern Wild Cat, only meets with others of its species for mating and otherwise roams her territory alone. While many cats do accept and even love a partner in crime we didn’t want to risk getting two cats that in the end only tolerate, or worse, not like each other. Because Russian Blue Cats have been bred to be indoor only that was too big a risk for us when they can’t escape each other to the outdoors.
However we quickly noticed that Xafi was missing something – or rather someone. She was and still is a very human-focused cat that needs a lot of attention. She wants to be played with and cuddled 24/7 and while that might sound very nice for us it was very stressful for her whenever we both were away at work for the day. She became frantic in her attentions and was clearly distressed whenever we both left the house.
We therefore decided to get her a little sibling. To increase the chances of her accepting another cat in the house we went back to her breeder who knew Xafi best and could select a partner in crime that would suit her character and needs.
We were incredibly lucky that last year over New Year’s we could “board” Xafi with our breeder for a week while we were on holiday and our sitter wasn’t available. Incredibly at the exact time a kitten, born in September from the same parents as Xafi, became suddenly available. This kitten was Auri.
And Xafi did NOT like. At all.
As most people who ever introduced a new kitten to their cat, the first few days seem like this would never turn into a harmonious relationship. Xafi was hissing and spitting and generally wondering what on earth this little demon creature was doing trying to play and cuddle with her.
Our breeder is very experienced and knew how best to introduce them while ensuring neither Xafi nor Auri were too stressed. It took Xafi about five days to come around. In that time Auri decided that Xafi was THE BEST CAT EVER and wouldn’t leave her alone. In the end Xafi just gave in and accepted that maybe, just maybe, that little demon creature wasn’t as bad as she thought.
When they came home to us after a week we were incredibly nervous. What if this doesn’t work out after all? But they were absolutely inseparable. They cuddled all day and Xafi was playing mother to the tiny, feisty, mischievous Auri. On Instagram I posted a few videos of them during that stage, see here and here.
Auri was and is quite the character and her easy, confident and mischievous way complimented Xafi’s calm, shy and loving nature perfectly. It was amazing how two such different cats in character could work so well together.
When Auri was starting to go into her “teenage” months their relationship cooled down a bit. Xafi was simply fed up with the overgrown, boisterous kitten Auri had become. However aside from some friendly play-fights they didn’t show any sign that they did not get on anymore. Xafi was not inclined to cuddle with Auri though and generally wasn’t keen on engaging much with her during those months.
But thankfully our worries that this might be the end of the love story were unfounded. When Auri turned a year old in September the tide turned again. Xafi started accepting Auri’s attentions once more and is now even seeking a grooming session once in a while. They are now cuddling in their favourite bed in the study every afternoon as you might have seen in our stories on Instagram. We are incredibly happy to see how well they are getting on now. They both clearly love each other but also like to spend time on their own doing their own things. It’s the perfect, balanced relationship we were so hoping for.
We still can’t believe that is has almost been a year since little whirlwind Auri joined us. The development of their relationship has been amazing and we are very happy with our decision of adopting a second cat. Xafi is still seeking a lot of attention from us and would love nothing more than to spend the day on our laps. But she isn’t frantic anymore when we leave the house and has started to prefer Auri’s company to ours during the afternoon hours.
However we were also very lucky that we got to “test” their suitability first and that we had someone experienced who was able to match Auri to Xafi in terms of their character.
If you are thinking of getting a second cat, please ensure you think about it very carefully and only do it if you believe your cat would absolutely need a companion. Try and choose a cat or kitten with a character that would suit your current pet, ideally a cat or kitten that is related to yours. There is nothing worse for a cat than having to spend their life with another cat they don’t get on with. They might not always show it, but they will be stressed all the time which affects their health and life expectancy.
As always, thank you for reading and please feel free to leave us a comment or send us your feedback.
DISCLAIMER: Please do not contact us to ask for our breeder’s details. We are not giving their details out to anyone to protect their privacy. If you are looking for a Russian Blue breeder near you please check online, visit a local cat show or talk to one of the cat fancy societies (TICA, GCCF or CFA). Please also consider that there are many cats and kittens in shelters that are looking for a loving new home. Thank you!