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 South Charlotte vets discuss getting a second cat as a companion for your first, and how to introduce them to each other.
Does my cat need a friend?
If your cat is showing behavior changes such as erratic sleeping or eating patterns it could be an indication that they are feeling lonely. If you're thinking of getting a second cat and your vet agrees, here are seven signs that your cat would benefit from feline companionship.
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.
Obsessive grooming, which can often 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 also indicated by a change in sleeping habits. If the cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you, it could be because she is lonely and has become melancholy. However, as with any other habit modification, it is critical to screen out any medical difficulties first.
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 than usual? It could indicate 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. A change in eating patterns, on the other hand, may suggest a medical problem, so discuss it with your veterinarian first.
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.
That said, 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 should I do if one cat dies?
When a cat who has shared a home with another cat dies, 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. Cats have particular social needs, so even if they have lived contentedly beside another cat for many years, they may not feel the need for another partner.
How can I tell if 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.
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.