Cats, usually seen as solitary, also value companionship. In this post, our Anaheim vets explain the benefits of having two cats, how to introduce them, and how to prep for a new kitty.
How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat
Are you wondering if your cat is lonely? You can spot it by noticing changes in their behavior. For instance, loneliness might be the reason if they start eating or sleeping irregularly.
If this is the case, you may ask yourself, "Does my indoor cat need a friend?"
If you're considering getting another cat and your vet approves, we'll tell you seven signs that suggest your cat could enjoy having a feline companion.
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 feels lonely and melancholy. However, similar to other significant shifts in habits, bringing your cat to our Anaheim vets for an exam to rule out any medical issues before looking for a new cat to help correct this issue is critical.
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, he could be feeling down or in need of a friend, but before jumping to conclusions, it's best to check with a vet.
Is your cat meowing a lot and sticking close to you? If your kitty won't give you space, it could mean they want more attention and might be feeling a bit anxious when you're apart.
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 peeking in other areas of the house, we recommend letting your vet know immediately. 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 or less than usual? This change in their eating habits might signal 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. However, if your cat's eating patterns have significantly changed, it's best to consult your vet for guidance.
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 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 one cat in a household with another cat passes away, 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.
Keep in mind that cats have unique social needs, so even if they've lived happily with another cat for a long time, they might not necessarily want or need a new feline friend.
How Do I Know My Cats Like Each Other?
Cats who are close friends often do things that show they think of themselves as part of the same cat club. 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.