While cats have a reputation for being solitary creatures, they are actually quite social animals who thrive on building intimate ties with other animals. Here, our Lebanon vets speak about getting another cat if you already have one and how to introduce them to one another if you do.
How to Tell if your Cat Wants Another Cat
Behavior changes like erratic sleeping or eating patterns may indicate that a cat feels lonely. If you are thinking of getting a second cat and your vet agrees, here are a few signs that your cat would benefit from the companionship of another feline friend.
If your cat meows a lot, follows you around and won't leave you alone, they may require more social interaction. This very demanding conduct may signal separation concern.
Obsessive grooming, which may be a way of self-soothing, could also indicate that your cat would benefit from a companion. If your cat exhibits peculiar grooming habits, don't assume he's lonely; it could potentially signify a medical ailment. If you find your cat looking unkempt and not grooming himself as much, it could be an indication that he or she is lonely or sad, but you should consult a vet first.
A Shift in Sleeping Habits
Loneliness may be indicated by a change in sleeping habits. If the cat sleeps for long periods of time and doesn't interact with you, this mya be because they are lonely and feeling melancholy. However, as with any changes in habit, it's important to screen out medical difficulties before jumping to any conclusions.
Litter Box Issues
Unusual litter box behaviors can indicate stress or loneliness. If your previously litter-box-trained kitty begins to pee in other areas of the house, you should notify your veterinarian immediately. Cats are creatures of habit, and when they change their routine, it's like a blinking neon message to humans.
Odd Eating Habits
Is your cat eating more and more often than usual? This may indicate boredom or a lack of social stimulation. Cats, like people, may turn to food when they feel there is nothing else to do. Alternatively, a cat may stop eating because they are depressed. A change in eating patterns, on the other hand, may also suggest medical issues, so speak 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.
It can be difficult to know for sure whether or not your cat is ready to live with another cat. Because of this, a cautious introduction process will be critical to getting them started on the right foot. The following are some questions you can ask yourself and steps you can follow to that end:
- 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 that has shared a home with another cat dies, it's normal for owners to want to get another cat to keep their remaining feline friend company. We advise that you give your remaining cat some time to adjust to life without their housemate before obtaining a new cat or kitten. Cats are particular social needs, so even if they have lived perfectly happily alongside a cat for many years they may not need another partner in crime.
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.