Although cats are often considered loners, they enjoy making friends with other animals. In this blog, our Gilbert vets discuss why you might consider getting another cat, how to introduce your cats to each other, and what you should do first before bringing a new kitty home.
How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat
Is your cat acting differently lately? For example, loneliness may be the reason if they've developed erratic eating or sleeping patterns.
In such a situation, you might wonder, "Does my indoor cat need a friend?"
If you're considering getting another cat and your vet agrees, we'll share seven signs that your cat would benefit from having a feline friend.
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, it's critical to bring your cat to our Gilbert vets for an exam to rule out any medical issues before looking for a new cat to help correct this issue.
If your cat seems messy and isn't grooming much, it 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, it could indicate that she's sad or lonely, but we recommend consulting a vet first.
Is your cat meowing a lot and sticking to you? If so, your kitty might need more attention and could be feeling a bit anxious when you're not around.
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 to pee in other areas of the house, we recommend letting your vet know right away. 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 than usual? This might mean they're bored or not getting enough social interaction. Just like people, cats may eat more when they're feeling idle. Conversely, if your cat stops eating, it could be a sign of depression. However, if you notice any changes in their eating habits, it's important to consult your vet as it could indicate a medical issue.
Getting a Cat When You Already Have One
If you've veterinarian says your cat is healthy, 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. These steps and questions can guide you:
- 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 loses its cat companion, it's common for owners to think about getting another cat for their surviving pet. However, it's important to remember that not all cats will want or need a new friend right away.
Cats have unique social preferences, and even if they've lived happily with another cat for a long time, they might be just fine without a new companion. It's a good idea to give your remaining cat some time to adjust to life without their mate before considering a new cat or kitten.
How Do I Know My Cats Like Each Other?
Cats with a strong link will frequently show clear indicators that they regard themselves as 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.
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.