Although cats have a reputation for being solitary creatures, they are gregarious animals who thrive on building intimate ties with other animals. Today, our Harrisburg vets discuss getting another cat if you already have one, and how to introduce them to each other.
How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat
Changes in behavior, such as erratic sleeping or eating patterns, can indicate that a cat is lonely. If your vet agrees that you should get a second cat, 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, it may require more social interaction. This very demanding conduct could signal separation concerns.
Obsessive grooming, which could be a self-soothing mechanism, could also indicate that your cat would benefit from a companion. If your cat has unusual grooming habits, don't assume he's lonely; it could be a sign of a medical problem. If you notice your cat is unkempt and not grooming himself as much, this could be an indication that he or she is lonely or sad, but you should first consult a vet.
A Shift in Sleeping Habits
A change in sleeping habits may indicate loneliness. If your cat is sleeping a lot and no longer interacts with you, she may be lonely and depressed. However, as with any other habit change, it is critical to rule out any medical issues first.
Litter Box Issues
Stress or loneliness can be indicated by unusual litter box behaviors. If your previously litter-box-trained cat starts peeing in other areas of the house, you should contact your veterinarian right away. Cats are creatures of habit, and when their routine changes, it's like a flashing neon sign to humans.
Odd Eating Habits
Is your cat consuming more food than usual? It could be the result of boredom or a lack of social stimulation. When there is nothing else to do, the cat, like people, may turn to food. Alternatively, the cat may stop eating due to depression. A change in eating habits, on the other hand, may indicate a medical problem, so consult 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:
- What is your cat's relationship like with the other cats in the neighborhood? If your cat is agitated or angry when other cats enter their territory, it could be a sign that they would not accept sharing their home with another cat. Bengals, for example, are ideal as solitary 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 its own space where it can get away from other cats if they want to?
What About If One of My Cats Dies?
It is natural for owners to want another cat to keep their remaining cat company after the death of a cat who shared a home with another cat. Before getting a new cat or kitten, we recommend giving your surviving cat some time to adjust to life without its mate. Cats have unique social needs, so even if they have lived happily alongside another cat for many years, they may no longer feel the need for another companion.
How Do I Know My Cats Like Each Other?
Cats with strong bonds frequently exhibit clear signs that they consider themselves to be members of the same social group. These indicators include grooming, sleeping, and lying next to each other. They may greet each other on a regular basis by touching noses or making a small meow as they pass.