If you’re a cat person, you already know all the great things about sharing your life with a cat. After all, is there anything better than cozying up to watch television on an evening with a cat curled, contented on your lap? Cats can help reduce loneliness and stress when you share an affectionate moment of fusses and cuddles.
So, with all these benefits, surely one feline family member just isn’t enough? But what if you asked your cat whether they wanted a new companion? What do you think they would say?
Do Cats Do Better In Pairs?
Is getting a second cat a good idea? You might naturally assume that your cat would enjoy having a feline friend around for company. But actually, cats are naturally quite solitary creatures. They want their alone time and can find the presence of other cats a bit stressful.
Also Read: How To Help Cats Get Along?
Just like some people prefer their own company and to please themselves, cats are usually happier being the only cat in the household. Of course, bonded pairs of cats do exist, either as littermates who have always been together or other cats who have built a relationship over time.
These pairs of cats who are used to each other’s company should ideally not be separated. However, as a general rule, cats do better on their own than as part of a multi-cat household.
How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat
It’s not always a great idea to take on another cat when you already have one. However, if you are considering adding to your cat brood, you should consider the following points to decide whether it’s likely to work. Remember, though, that cats will take time to warm up to each other, so don’t be alarmed if, initially, your cat seems unimpressed with the new arrival!
1. They’re Used To Having A Feline Friend
If your cat was part of a bonded pair, but one has passed away, you might want to consider rehoming a new cat to keep them company. It’s important to realize, though, that your cat will need a period of adjustment after losing their friend, so the additional stress of a new cat around the house might be too much.
Therefore, it’s best to wait and see how they behave before deciding when the time is right to bring a new furry family member home.
Also Read: How To Introduce Cats To A New Home
2. They’re Young
Cats are creatures of habit, so older cats tend to be quite stuck in their ways! Therefore, if you are going to take on a new cat, it might be best to do it while your existing cat is young and more adaptable. This means that the new addition is less likely to cause your cat too much stress, and they may become close over time.
3. They Have Feline Friends In The Neighborhood
If your cat is friendly with other cats, they might be more likely to accept a new cat in the family. So, if your cat regularly sits or sunbathes near another cat in the garden and seems relaxed in their presence, this could be a positive sign. However, just because your cat enjoys the company of other cats doesn’t mean they’ll want to share their territory with them!
4. They Are Laid-Back
Every cat is different. Some are shy; some are outgoing. Some are on edge and easily stressed, while others are more laid-back. If your cat is the laid-back sort, it’s more likely they’ll be open to the idea of a new furry housemate. However, even the most laid-back cat might not welcome a new brother or sister, so be prepared to be patient.
5. They’re Left Alone A Lot
If your cat is left on their own a lot, especially if they’re kept indoors, they might appreciate some company. Don’t expect them to thank you immediately, though. They’ll probably take some time to come around to the idea!
6. You Have Plenty Of Indoor And Outdoor Space
Cats are pretty small, aren’t they? Since they don’t take up much space, you might assume you can fit several hundred more in your home! However, cats need plenty of room to allow them to remain stress-free when living with other cats. Ensuring they’ve got space to get away for some alone time when needed will help cement their friendship with their new fur-brother or sister.
Also Read: How Many Cats Are Too Many?
Too many cats in a small area could lead to bullying behavior and stress, so it’s important to check you’ve got the space before committing to another cat.
7. They’re Already Bonded With A Buddy
If your cat is part of a bonded pair, either with one of their siblings or another cat, you should not separate them. If you’ve rehomed a cat without their best buddy, you might find that they pine for them and develop signs of stress like peeing and pooping outside the litter box or pulling their fur out. If this is the case, you should consider whether you have the space and the means to take on another feline friend.
If it’s not feasible to have two cats, it might be kinder to return your cat and consider adopting a single cat who isn’t closely bonded to another cat.
8. They’re Used To Being In A Multi-Cat Household
If you already have more than one cat and you’re rehoming a cat that has lived with other cats before, the introduction is more likely to go smoothly. Although cats are naturally solitary and independent, they can develop a taste for being in a group if that’s what they’re used to.
9. They’ve Got No Medical Problems
Remember that most cats will initially find the presence of a new cat stressful, no matter how hard you try. So, if your cat is unwell, has a long-term health condition, or has chronic pain, you might want to consider whether the stress of a new cat is in their best interest.
Equally, you should make sure you are financially prepared for the burden of a new cat, especially if your current cat has become a bit of a regular at the vet and you’re feeling stretched.
10. They’re Vaccinated And Neutered!
Bringing home a new cat is a lovely, exciting time. If the situation is handled correctly, your cats can live in harmony. However, the last thing you want is to risk your current cat’s health and well-being.
Also Read: How Much Does It Cost Spay or Neuter A Cat?
Therefore, if you’re adopting a new cat, you should ensure both cats are vaccinated to protect them from serious diseases. Similarly, if you don’t want to hear the pitter-patter of several tiny feet, you should ensure they’re both spayed or neutered too!
Choosing A Second Cat
If you’ve decided to get a second cat, you should consider the following points to help you choose the perfect purry pal.
Although there is no hard-fast rule for what age of cat you should choose for your second cat, there are a few considerations. Firstly, if your existing cat is young, they may appreciate the playful nature of a kitten or another young cat companion.
On the other hand, an older cat who just wants some peace and quiet might not appreciate the mayhem that a kitten or boisterous young cat could bring! Your older cat might feel more comfortable with another older cat, although they may still not like the disruption to their routine.
It’s an age-old question, should you choose a second cat that’s the same gender as your existing cat, or should you choose the opposite? Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that your cat will get on with another cat, regardless of gender. However, it does seem to help if they are neutered.
It’s essential to consider the history of any cat you’re considering welcoming into your family. You should be aware of any health problems or significant injuries and know their vaccination and neuter status. This will ensure that you can provide them with the care they need, and you won’t get any nasty surprises.
Tips For Bringing A Second Cat Into The Home
When you bring home a new cat, there are a few things you can do to try to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.
Ensure you have enough litter trays, feeding bowls, and drinking stations to keep your cats content. Cats don’t like to compete, so as a rule of thumb, you should have one litter box per cat plus one extra. Separate food bowls for each of them and many water bowls or fountains around the home will also help prevent any bullying behavior and help your cats feel more at ease.
Before bringing your furry new addition home, it’s a good idea to get hold of some cat calming spray or diffusers, like Feliway or Pet Remedy. These products will reduce your cat’s stress levels and help both cats stay calm during the transition period.
Introducing A New Cat To Your Current Cat
You can prepare for your cat to meet a new cat by providing both cats with a towel, blanket, or another item that smells of the other cat. This will help the cats gradually get used to each other’s scent over a week or two.
When you introduce a new cat to your cat, start by allowing them to see each other from a distance but not touch each other. You can do this using a crate or baby gate. Keep both cats content by playing with them or giving them treats.
Also Read: Are My Cats Playing Or Fighting?
Treats can also provide positive reinforcement, so you can use them to reward positive behavior like showing interest in the other cat. Once both cats are comfortable seeing each other, you can allow them contact for short periods, but be sure to keep an eye in case they become stressed or overwhelmed.
What To Do If It’s Not Going To Plan
It’s pretty normal for cats to hiss, growl, or even swipe at each other during their first meetings, especially if they aren’t introduced gradually. It can often take three or four weeks, or even longer, for the dynamic between them to improve. However, if things aren’t going well after a month or two, it’s worth speaking to your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist for some advice.
Who wouldn’t want another cat? Two cats mean double the purrs, double the fun, and double the love! However, before you start the search for the perfect feline friend for your cat, you should consider how it will affect them. After all, cats are usually solitary creatures, so your cat might not be as grateful for their new companion as you’d hoped. If you decide to bring another cat home, plan it carefully and help both cats adjust to their new life together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my cat be happy if I get another cat?
Although you might worry that your cat gets lonely sometimes, they don’t usually crave the company of other cats. That being said, bonded pairs of cats do exist, and you might find that the new cat forms the perfect feline friendship with your cat.
Are 2 cats better than 1?
Cats are solitary creatures and often find being part of a group stressful. If you're considering adding another cat to your household, you should make sure you prepare thoroughly and introduce them gradually.
How do you know when your cats are getting along?
You can tell when cats are getting along if they relax near each other, groom each other, play together, or purr while in each other’s company. Play fighting, where there's no hissing or growling, is also common amongst feline friends.