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 Rock Springs 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?
If your cat's behavior changes, such as erratic sleeping or eating patterns, it could be a sign that they are lonely. If your vet agrees that you should get a second cat, here are seven signs that your cat would benefit from feline companionship.
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.
Obsessive grooming, which is often used to self-soothe, may also indicate that your cat would benefit from a companion. If your cat has unusual grooming habits, don't assume he's lonely; it could indicate a medical problem. If you notice your cat is unkempt and not grooming himself as much, it could be an indication that he or she is lonely or sad, but you should first consult a vet.
A Shift in Sleeping Habits
A change in sleeping habits can also indicate loneliness. If the cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you, it could be because she is lonely and has developed melancholy. However, as with any other habit modification, it is critical to rule out any medical issues first.
Litter Box Issues
Unusual litter box habits may be a sign of loneliness or stress. You should contact your veterinarian right away if your cat who was previously litter box trained starts to urinate in other parts of the house. Because cats are creatures of habit, when they alter their routine, it appears to humans as though a neon sign is blinking.
Odd Eating Habits
Is your cat consuming more food than normal? It might mean someone is uninterested in social situations or is bored. When faced with a lack of options, cats, like people, may turn to food. Alternately, the cat could stop eating because they are sad. Conversely, if your pet's eating habits change, consult your veterinarian right away as this could indicate a medical issue.
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.
Despite this, it can be challenging to gauge a cat's readiness for cohabitation with another feline, but a slow introduction process will ensure a positive start. Following are some suggestions for actions and inquiries to ponder:
- 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?
It is natural for owners to want another cat to keep their remaining cat company after the death of a cat who shared a home with another cat. Before getting a new cat or kitten, we recommend giving your surviving cat some time to adjust to life without their mate. Cats have unique social needs, so even if they have lived happily alongside another cat for many years, they may no longer feel the need for another companion.
How can I tell if my cats like each other?
Cats with a strong bond will frequently exhibit clear indicators that they consider themselves to be members of the same social group. These indicators include grooming, sleeping, or lying next to each other. They may regularly greet each other by touching noses or making a small meow as they pass.
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.