Cats often seem like aloof, solitary animals but they are actually very sociable creatures who thrive on building intimate ties with other animals. Below, our Dallas vets discuss getting a second cat as a companion for your first, and how to introduce them to each other.
Does my indoor cat need a friend?
Your cat may be lonely if their behavior changes, such as if they start eating or sleeping irregularly. These seven indicators indicate that your cat would benefit from having a feline companion if your veterinarian concurs that you should get a second cat.
If your cat meows a lot, follows you around, and won't leave you alone, they may be asking for more social interaction. This very demanding conduct could signal separation concerns.
Compulsive grooming—which cats frequently use as a coping mechanism—may also be a sign that your cat would be happier with company. Don't assume your cat is lonely if he grooms himself strangely; there may be a medical issue. Your cat may be lonely or depressed if you notice that he or she is disheveled and not grooming himself as much, but you should first speak with a veterinarian.
A Shift in Sleeping Habits
A shift in sleeping patterns may also be a sign of loneliness. It's possible that your cat is lonely and has become melancholy if she sleeps a lot and stops interacting with you. But as with any other habit change, it's important to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions.
Litter Box Issues
Unusual litter box behaviors could indicate stress or loneliness. If your previously litter box trained cat begins to urinate in other areas of the house, you should call your veterinarian immediately. Cats are creatures of habit, so when they change things up, it looks to us like a blinking neon sign.
Odd Eating Habits
Is your cat eating more than usual at this point? It could indicate boredom or a lack of interest in social situations. Cats and people both have a tendency to turn to food in times of need. Alternatively, the cat may cease eating out of sadness. On the other hand, if your pet's eating habits alter, you should speak with your veterinarian straight away as this might point to a medical problem.
Getting a Second Cat
If you've consulted your veterinarian and have determined that there are no medical issues, it could be that your cat is just longing for a friend.
Even so, determining when a cat is ready to live with another cat can be difficult, but a gradual introduction procedure will guarantee a happy beginning. Here are some ideas for things to do and things to think about:
- How is your cat getting along with the other cats in the neighborhood? If your cat dislikes other cats entering their territory and becomes agitated or angry when this occurs, it could be a hint that they would not accept sharing their home with another cat. Bengals, for example, are ideally suited to being sole cats.
- Cats who are related get along better than cats that are not related.
- Younger cats are more likely than older cats to accept new feline members of the household.
- Because of the lack of hormones, neutered cats get along considerably better than unneutered cats.
- Is your house large enough to give each cat their own space where they can get away from other cats if they want to?
What should I do if one cat dies?
After the death of a cat who shared a home with another cat, it is normal for owners to want another cat to keep their remaining cat company. We advise giving your surviving cat some time to get used to life without their mate before acquiring a new cat or kitten. Cats have distinct social needs, so even after years of contentment living next to another cat, they might no longer feel the need for a second friend.
How can I tell if my cats like each other?
Cats that form close bonds will often show overt signs that they see themselves as belonging to the same social group. These cues can be things like grooming, sleeping, or sharing a bed. They might routinely touch noses or give each other a little meow as they walk by.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.