Cats often seem like aloof, solitary animals but they are actually very sociable creatures who thrive on building intimate ties with other animals. Below, our San Gabriel vets discuss getting a second cat as a companion for your first, and how to introduce them to each other.
Does my cat indoor need a friend?
Changes in your cat's behavior, such as irregular sleeping or eating patterns, may indicate that they are lonely. If your veterinarian recommends getting a second cat, here are seven indications that your cat would benefit from feline company.
If your cat meows a lot, follows you around, and won't leave you alone, they may be asking for more social interaction. This very demanding conduct could signal separation concerns.
Self-soothing behaviors such as compulsive grooming may indicate that your cat would benefit from a companion. Do not assume your cat is lonely if he has unusual grooming habits; it could indicate a medical problem. If you observe that your cat is unkempt and not grooming himself as often, this could be a sign that he or she is lonely or depressed, but you should consult a veterinarian first.
A Shift in Sleeping Habits
Changes in sleeping patterns can also be an indication of loneliness. If the cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you, she may be lonely and suffering from depression. However, as with any other behavior modification, it is essential to first rule out any medical conditions.
Litter Box Issues
Infrequent use of the litter box may be a sign of loneliness or stress. Immediately contact your veterinarian if your previously litter-box-trained cat begins to urinate in other areas of the home. Because cats are creatures of habit, it appears to humans as though a neon sign is blinking whenever they change their routine.
Odd Eating Habits
Is your feline eating more than usual? It may indicate a lack of interest in social situations or boredom. Cats, like humans, may resort to food when faced with limited options. Alternatively, the cat could cease eating due to sadness. If, on the other hand, your pet's eating habits change, consult your veterinarian immediately, as this may indicate a health problem.
Getting a Second Cat
If you've consulted your veterinarian and have determined that there are no medical issues, it could be that your cat is just longing for a friend.
Despite this, it can be difficult to determine a cat's readiness for cohabitation with another feline; however, a slow introduction process will ensure a positive beginning. The following are some actions and questions to consider.
- 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 should I do if one cat dies?
After the death of a cat who shared a home with another cat, it is natural for owners to want another cat to keep their surviving cat company. Before acquiring a new cat or kitten, you should give your surviving cat time to adjust to life without their mate. Cats have unique social needs, so even if they have lived happily with another cat for many years, they may no longer require a companion.
How can I tell if my cats like each other?
Frequently, cats with a strong bond will demonstrate clear signs that they consider themselves to be members of the same social group. This includes grooming, sleeping, and lying next to one another. They may routinely greet one another by touching noses or meowing as they pass.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.