While cats have a reputation for being solitary creatures, they are sociable animals who thrive on building close ties with other animals. Today, our Toledo vets discuss how to tell if your cat wants another cat, and how to introduce them to each other.
How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat
Some pet owners come in for their regular veterinary checkups with their kitty and wonder, "Does my cat indoor cat need a friend?" Behavioral changes, such as erratic eating or sleeping patterns, may indicate that a cat feels 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 friendship.
Does your cat follow you around or meow a lot? Perhaps you've noticed they won't leave you alone. This clingy, very demanding conduct could signal separation anxiety or concerns.
Obsessive grooming, which may be a way of self-soothing, could also indicate that your cat will benefit from having a four-legged friend. If your cat is displaying peculiar grooming habits, don't assume he's lonely, as this could point to a potential medical ailment. If you notice your cat not grooming himself as much and becoming unkempt, this may indicate that he or she is sad or lonely. However, we recommend consulting a vet first and booking a physical exam for your pet.
A Shift in Sleeping Habits
Loneliness may show up as a change in sleeping habits. If your cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you as usual, it could be because she's feeling lonely and melancholy. However, just like with any other change in habits, ruling out any medical challenges will be a critical first step.
Litter Box Issues
Stress or loneliness may manifest with unusual litter box behaviors. If your kitty was previously trained to use the litter box and starts to pee in other areas of the house, contact your veterinarian immediately. Cats are creatures of habits, so when their routine changes, it's like a blinking neon message to their people.
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 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.