5 Reasons You Should Get A Second Cat (And 3 You Shouldn’t)

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Everybody knows that most dogs are happier in pairs or groups as they naturally live in packs. But what about cats?

Cats are known to be solitary animals, but some cats do enjoy another cat’s company. Let’s look at the reasons you should get a second cat, as well as some signs that your cat doesn’t want a friend!

Is Getting A Second Cat A Good Idea?

Getting a second cat isn’t always a good idea. Cats are naturally solitary animals that prefer to avoid one another and can become quite territorial. Lots of medical conditions are related to stress, which is much more common in multi-cat households.

If your cat is anxious, stressed, and prone to urinary disease, getting a second cat isn’t a good idea. Similarly, if your cat starts hissing when another cat walks past the window or always comes home from exploring outdoors with scratches or bites, it’s unlikely they’re going to take kindly to a new roommate!

Also Read: The Best Homemade Cat Food Recipes For Kidney Disease

On the other hand, if your adult cat makes friends with the neighboring cats or is lonely after the death of a friend, getting them a companion might be a good idea.

5 Reasons You Should Get A Second Cat

1. You Recently Lost A Cat, And Your Remaining Cat Is Lonely

While most cats prefer their own company, some do enjoy feline company, especially if they’ve grown up with it. Many owners are surprised how happy their cat is to suddenly find they have the house to themselves after a loss, but if your cat appears to be grieving, he might want a kitty friend.

Also Read: Is My Cat Depressed? Signs, Symptoms & How to Help

2. Your Cat Was Surrendered To A Rescue As A Pair

It goes without saying that if you are getting your cat from a shelter, and he is one of a pair, you should take the other cat home, too. Bonded pairs should always be rehomed together, as they can find separation extremely stressful. If for some reason your cat’s buddy isn’t available, consider adopting another cat who seems to like other cats.

Also Read: 5 Reasons To Adopt A Special Needs Cat

3. You Have Plenty Of Space

Many cats find cohabitation extremely stressful, and this is compounded by small spaces. Cats that aren’t bonded need their own territory, and this can be hard to achieve in a small house.

But if you have a large house and are happy to make changes to enable your cats to coexist then, by all means, provide a five-star home to another feline!

Also Read: Why Do Cats Sit On Your Chest? 10 Reasons Why!

4. Your Cat Picks Up Friends In The Neighborhood

If your cat is one of those rare cats that genuinely enjoys the company of other cats, you might see them rubbing up against friends in the neighborhood, sitting with other cats in the yard, or peacefully sharing sunbathing spots with other cats.

This cat might appreciate having another cat to share his life with! Don’t be fooled by cats that appear to be playing though, as they might be having a spat!

Also Read: The 9 Friendliest & Nicest Cat Breeds In the World

5. You Are Picking Up A New Kitten

The best time to get a second cat is when you first bring your new kitten home. Siblings brought up together are much more likely to get on in later life, so think now about whether you want that second cat!

Also Read: Sexing Kittens: How To Determine The Sex Of Your Kitten?

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Get A Second Cat

1. You Want To Rescue All The Animals, Or You Feel Sorry For Them

While I’m not against rescuing, it’s important to make sure you are actually rescuing an animal. Adopting a cat that doesn’t like other cats or putting them into a situation where they will be unhappy isn’t in the cat’s best interests, even if it seems like they’re better off indoors.

Don’t just get a second cat because you feel sorry for them unless you’re sure you have somewhere safe for them to go if things don’t work out at your place. This also goes for breeders making you feel guilty for only taking one pet!

Also Read: 15 Facts You Should Know About Feral Cats

2. Your Kitten Is Driving You Crazy

Don’t just get another cat because your kitten is driving you mad climbing the walls. While kittens will play together, they will eventually grow out of it. And, while you may be lucky and your cats will get on later in life, they also might not, causing stress and anxiety to both cats.

Getting a second kitten to keep a kitten company is a valid reason to get a second cat only if you have space for them both and a backup plan if they grow apart.

Also Read: The 8 Best Kitten Foods Of 2023

3. You Are Leaving Your Cat Alone During The Day

You shouldn’t get a new cat just because your resident cat is home for long periods on their own. While some cats will enjoy having a friend to play with, others are more than happy with their own company.

Instead of rushing to adopt a cat, try leaving your cat with toys and interactive food puzzles to provide mental stimulation. A video camera will allow you to keep an eye on your cat and determine if they’re truly bored home alone, or just happy to have the house to themselves!

Also Read: The 10 Best Cat Slow Feeders & Puzzle Feeders

Things To Think About Before Adopting A Second Cat

Before you bring home a second kitty, you also need to check that you can afford it. We all know pet ownership doesn’t come cheap. You should take into account the day-to-day costs like food and regular medications such as flea and worm treatment as well as financial planning for emergencies.

Also Read: How To Deworm A Cat

You should also only get a second cat if you have a backup plan in case things go wrong. That might involve rehoming one of the cats to a family member or returning them to the shelter or breeder. Although we don’t like to think about rehoming one of our much-loved family members, in situations where cats aren’t getting on it is the only option.

Having a vague plan for ‘rehoming’ isn’t good enough as it might be hard to find someone when you get to it – you should have several names of people you know would want to take your cat on. Don’t adopt a second kitty unless you have a plan for where they’re going to go if things don’t work out.

How Can I Make Sure My Cats Get On?

Ensuring your cats have the best chance to get on is important for everyone’s stress levels! Before you bring home a second cat, try to find a cat that is known to get on with other cats.

Finding a cat with a similar temperament to your current cat is also important. Often, this goes hand-in-hand with age – your older cat is unlikely to appreciate having a new kitten join the family unless they’re very playful themselves!

Design your home around both cats – ensure they have plenty of resources, from litter trays to food bowls, and make sure there are hiding spaces like high perches to help reduce stress. You’ll also need to set up a separate room for your new addition that’s not accessible to your existing cat, so your new cat can get used to his new home without interruption. You should then follow our advice for introducing  .

Also Read: How To Find A Lost Cat?

What Are the Pros and Cons of Getting a Second Cat?


  • Your kitten having a playmate
  • You can save two lives
  • Twice the fun and cuddles
  • Cats can keep each other busy and mentally stimulated


  • Your cats might not get on, you have an increased risk of spraying and destructive scratching
  • Higher financial cost


You should put a lot of thought in before you get a second cat, as you may upset your existing cat and cause them stress, anxiety, or even physical illnesses. You should never adopt a second cat just because you feel sorry for it or because you saw a cute kitten in an advert.

However, if you think your cat would like a pal and you’ve got the space and money to look after two cats then go ahead. Don’t forget to make sure you have a backup plan in case it all goes wrong, and you have to consult with a cat behaviorist to avoid rehoming your new addition.

Also Read: 10 Signs Your Cat Wants Another Cat

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cats happier with another cat?

Most cats are not happier with another cat and are stressed by feline company in cramped conditions. However, if you have a large house, you might be able to keep two or more cats happy by providing them with plenty of space and resources.

Are two cats harder than one?

If two cats don’t get on, they’re definitely harder than one. With two cats, you need to have three of everything – three litter boxes, three food bowls, three water bowls, three scratching posts, and so on. You also need to have plenty of space to allow both cats to coexist peacefully. They also cost twice as much!

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About Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS

Dr. Woodnutt is a small animal veterinarian and cat behavior and nutrition writer. She's passionate about helping owners to learn more about their pets in order to improve animal welfare. In her spare time, Dr. Woodnutt takes consultations on the small island of Guernsey.

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  1. Kelsey

    Hi! This article was very helpful. In the FAQ something that confused me was that you said with two cats, you need “three” of everything including water bowls and litter boxes. Can you please explain why 3 instead of 2 is recommended?