Cats are typically considered solitary animals, but they are social creatures that benefit from forming close connections with other animals. Our Los Angeles County vets explore the reasons for acquiring an additional cat, guidelines for introducing your cats, and essential steps before bringing a new cat into your home.
How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat
You may be able to tell whether your cat feels lonely if their behavior has changed. For example, if they've developed erratic eating or sleeping patterns, loneliness may be the culprit.
If this is the case, you may ask yourself, "Does my indoor cat need a friend?"
If you are contemplating adding another cat and have your veterinarian's approval, we will provide you with seven indications that your cat may benefit from having a fellow feline.
A Change in Sleeping Habits
Loneliness may be behind any change in sleeping habits. If your cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you, it may be because he's feeling lonely and has become melancholy. However, similar to other significant shifts in habits, it's critical to bring your cat to our Los Angeles County vets for an exam to rule out any medical issues before looking for a new cat to help correct this issue.
Self-soothing behaviors like obsessive grooming can suggest that your cat might benefit from having a companion. If your cat exhibits unusual grooming habits, it's essential to consider the possibility of an underlying medical issue.
If your cat looks unkempt and not grooming herself as much, it could indicate that she's sad or lonely, but we recommend consulting a vet first.
Has your cat been meowing a lot and following you around? If your kitty won't leave you alone, he may need more social interaction. This very demanding demeanor may be a sign of separation concerns.
Litter Box Issues
Stress or loneliness can lead to atypical litter box behaviors. If your cat was previously trained to use the litter box but begins urinating in other areas of the house, it is advisable to inform your veterinarian promptly. Cats are creatures of habit, and alterations in their routine are akin to a warning indicator on your vehicle's dashboard. Seeking professional assistance is recommended to address the issue.
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 they are 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 confirmed the absence of medical issues, your cat may simply require companionship.
Assessing your cat's readiness for cohabiting with another feline can be challenging, but a careful introduction process is essential for a smooth transition. Here are recommended steps to follow and key 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 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 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 Do I Know My Cats Like Each Other?
Cats with strong bonds often exhibit distinct signs of considering themselves part of the same social group. Examples of these signs include mutual grooming, resting or reclining in close proximity, and common interactions such as nose touching or brief vocalizations when they encounter one another.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.