What could be better than owning a cat? Maybe owning two? Multiple feline households can be a lot of fun, but only if your cat will be welcoming of a new friend on the block. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is here to help you decide how to tell if your cat wants another cat.
The Feline Social Structure
In general cats are solitary animals throughout the Felidae family. With the exception of lions, they tend to prefer to be on their own.
Domestic cats do tend to be a little different than their wild ancestors, though. The pet cat Felis catus has shown the ability to adapt to living in a group so long as food sources are plentiful.
In fact, feral cats often form small colonies based around food sources. So long as the cats know each other and they don’t need to compete for resources, they get along quite well. These colonies tend to be a group of females with males that roam over a larger territory.
Does My Cat Want Another Cat?
Within a home, many cats do just fine as “only” children. There are definitely some cats who crave forming a bond with another kitty, though. So how do you tell if your cat wants another cat in their life?
Common signs that may confirm the answer to the question “does my cat want another cat?”:
- Your cat can’t leave you alone
- Your cat isn’t grooming themselves as normal
- Their eating habits change
- They are being destructive (knocking things over, destroying furniture, etc.)
- They change their litter box routine
- They seem depressed and/or sleep a lot
Many of these symptoms can also be signs that your cat is sick, though. Call us so we can check things out before assuming your feline friend is bored or lonely.
Indoor enrichment and increased socialization with humans can sometimes help if your cat is craving company as well. Keep this in mind if another cat just isn’t in the cards.
If you have decided that the answer to “should I get a kitten for my cat?” is yes, you have some preparation to do. Introducing a new cat or kitten into the home should be a slow and deliberate process.
Ensure success by:
- Bringing your original animal in for a checkup to be sure that no underlying health issues will interfere with a smooth introduction
- Amping up your resources by adding additional litter boxes, feeding stations, cat toys, resting areas, and sleeping spots
- Considering using a pheromone like Feliway to make everyone more comfortable
- Starting slow by keeping your new pet in a separated area; allow pets to get used to each others smell and presence before allowing them to see each other
- Supervising interactions until you are sure that your pets get along
- Keeping your older cat’s routine as consistent and predictable as possible
It is an exciting time to expand your family. With careful consideration, adding a new cat to your home can be a great decision for everyone in your house–with two legs or four.