While cats are known for being solitary animals, they are gregarious creatures who thrive on building intimate connections with other animals. In this post, our Riverbank vets discuss why you might consider getting another cat, how to introduce your cats to each other and what you should do first before bringing a new kitty home.
How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat
You may be able to tell whether your cat is feeling lonely if their behavior has changed. For example, if they've developed erratic eating or sleeping patterns, loneliness may be the culprit.
If this is the case, you may ask yourself, "Does my indoor cat need a friend?"
If you're thinking of getting a second cat and your vet agrees, we'll share seven signs that your cat would benefit from having a feline friend.
A Change in Sleeping Habits
Loneliness may be behind any change in sleeping habits. If your cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you, it may be because he's feeling lonely and has become melancholy. However, similar to other significant shifts in habits, it's critical to bring your cat in to our Riverbank vets for an exam to rule out any medical issues before looking for a new cat to help correct this issue.
While it may be a sign of self-soothing, obsessive grooming may also indicate your cat would do well with a companion. If your cat has been displaying peculiar grooming habits, don't assume he's lonely, as this may point to a potential medical condition.
If your cat is looking unkempt and not grooming herself as much, it could indicate that she's sad or lonely, but we recommend consulting a vet first.
Has your cat been meowing a lot and following you around? If your kitty won't leave you alone, he may need more social interaction. This very demanding demeanor may be a sign of separation concerns.
Litter Box Issues
Stress or loneliness may manifest in unusual litter box behaviors. If your kitty was previously trained to use the litter box but starts to pee in other areas of the house, we recommend letting your vet know right away. Because cats are creatures of habit, changes in routine are like an engine warning light on your car — head to the professionals to get to the bottom of the issue.
Odd Eating Habits
Is your cat eating more than usual? It could indicate boredom or a lack of social stimulation. The cat, like people, may turn to food when there is nothing else to do. Alternatively, the cat may stop eating because she or he is depressed. A change in eating patterns, on the other hand, may suggest a medical problem, so discuss it with your veterinarian first.
Getting a Cat When You Already Have One
If you've consulted your veterinarian and have determined that there are no medical issues, it could be that your cat is just lonely and needs a friend.
However, it can be tough to know if a cat is ready to live with another cat, but a cautious introduction process will help them get off on the right foot. Here are some steps you can follow and questions to ask yourself:
- 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 About if One of My Cats Dies?
When a cat who has shared a home with another cat dies, it is normal for owners to want another cat to keep their remaining cat company. We recommend giving your surviving cat some time to adjust to life without their mate before obtaining a new cat or kitten.
Cats have particular social needs, so even if they have lived contentedly beside another cat for many years, they may not feel the need for another partner.
How Do I Know My Cats Like Each Other?
Cats with a strong link will frequently show clear indicators that they regard themselves to be members of the same social group. Grooming each other, sleeping, or lying next to each other are examples of these indicators. They may regularly greet each other by touching noses or making a little meow as they pass.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.