Even though they're often seen as loners, cats enjoy making close friendships with other animals. In this article, our friendly veterinarians from Franklin will chat about why it could be a good idea to get a second cat, tips for introducing your cats to each other, and what you should do before welcoming a new kitty into your home.
How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat
You can figure out if your cat might be lonely by noticing changes in their behavior. For instance, loneliness might be the reason if they start eating and sleeping irregularly.
In this situation, you might wonder, "Does my indoor cat need a friend?"
If you're considering getting another cat and your vet thinks it's a good idea, we'll tell you about seven signs that suggest your cat could be happier with a feline friend.
A Change in Sleeping Habits
Loneliness could cause changes in your cat's sleeping habits. If your cat sleeps a lot and doesn't spend time with you anymore, it might be because he's feeling lonely and sad. But just like with other big changes in behavior, it's important to take your cat to our vets at Franklin for an exam to ensure there are no medical problems before considering getting a new cat to help your cat feel better.
While excessive cat grooming might seem like a way to comfort themselves, it could also suggest that your cat would benefit from having a buddy. If your cat has been engaging in unusual grooming behaviors, don't automatically think they're lonely, as it could be a sign of a possible health issue.
If you notice your cat looking disheveled and not grooming herself as often, it might be a sign that she feels down or needs companionship. However, consulting a veterinarian before jumping to conclusions is a good idea.
Is your cat meowing a lot and following you everywhere? If your kitty keeps sticking to you, it might be because they need more attention and playtime. This clingy behavior could indicate that your furry friend feels a bit lonely.
Litter Box Issues
Stress or loneliness might show up in strange litter box actions. If your cat knew how to use the litter box before but now pees in different spots in the house, it's a good idea to tell your vet as soon as possible. Cats usually stick to their habits, so when their routine changes, it's like a warning light in your car. It's best to consult with the experts to figure out what's going on.
Odd Eating Habits
Is your cat eating more than usual? This might mean your cat feels bored or lonely. Just like people, cats might eat more when they're not busy with other things. On the flip side, if your cat stops eating, it could be a sign of sadness. But if your cat's eating habits change a lot, it's a good idea to talk to your vet about it. They can help figure out if there's a medical issue.
Getting a Cat When You Already Have One
If you've consulted your veterinarian and determined that there are no medical issues, it could be that your cat is 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 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 one cat in a home with another cat passes away, it's common for the owners to think about getting a new cat to be a friend for their remaining cat. We suggest that you let your surviving cat have some time to get used to life without their buddy before bringing in a new cat or kitten.
Cats have their own social preferences, so even if they've lived happily alongside another cat for a long time, they might not necessarily want another companion.
How Do I Know My Cats Like Each Other?
Cats with a close bond often show that they consider themselves part of the same friend circle. They groom one another, nap together, or snuggle up side by side. They might even say a friendly "hello" by touching noses or giving a soft meow when they meet.
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.