While cats are known for being solitary creatures, they are also gregarious animals who crave intimate ties with other animals. Here, our McAllen vets discuss getting another cat if you've already got one and how you can introduce them to each other.
How to Tell if your Cat Wants Another Cat
Erratic sleeping or eating patterns or behavior changes may be signs that your cat feels lonely. If your considering getting a second cat and your vet agrees, here are seven signs that your cat would benefit from a feline friend.
Does your cat meow a lot? Perhaps you've been noticing they're following you around and won't leave you alone. Your kitty may need more social interaction - this very demanding conduct may point to separation concerns.
Obsessive grooming may be your cat's way of self-soothing, and this can also indicate that your feline companion may need a companion. If your cat displays peculiar grooming habits, don't assume he's lonely, as this may indicate a medical condition. If you find your cat is looking unkempt and not grooming himself as much, it may point to them feeling lonely or sad. However, we recommend consulting a vet first.
A Shift in Sleeping Habits
A change in sleeping habits may point to loneliness. If your cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you, this may be because she's lonely and has grown melancholy. However, just like with any other changes to habits, it's critical to have your cat seen by a vet so medical problems can be screened out or diagnosed and treated.
Litter Box Issues
Unusual litter box behaviors may also indicate loneliness or stress. If your furry friend was previously litter box-trained and starts to pee in other areas of the house, we recommend contacting your veterinarian right away. Since cats are creatures of habit, if they change their routine this should be a red flag to their 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 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 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 and kittens 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 its own space where it can get away from other cats if they want to?
What About if One of My Cats 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 its 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 Do I Know 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.