While cats are often seen as loners, they're social creatures that thrive on connections. In this post, our San Mateo vets discuss the benefits of getting another cat, share tips on introducing them, and advise on prepping for a new kitty at home.
How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat
You can gauge your cat's emotional state by observing changes in their behavior, which might indicate feelings of loneliness. Disruptions in their eating or sleeping routines, for instance, could be signals of such loneliness.
In response to this, you might find yourself pondering, "Does my indoor cat require companionship?"
If you're considering bringing in another cat and your veterinarian supports the idea, we'll present seven indicators that suggest your cat could thrive with a feline companion.
A Change in Sleeping Habits
Loneliness could be a factor contributing to alterations in one's sleep patterns. If your feline companion is exhibiting increased lethargy and reduced interaction with you, it might be indicative of loneliness and a resulting melancholic state. Nonetheless, as with any noteworthy changes in behavior, it is essential to schedule a veterinary examination at our San Mateo clinic to eliminate any potential underlying medical issues before considering the introduction of a new cat as a solution to address this concern.
While excessive grooming in cats may serve as a form of self-soothing, it could also suggest that your feline friend could benefit from a companion. Rather than immediately attributing peculiar grooming behaviors to loneliness, it's essential to consider the possibility of an underlying medical condition.
If you observe your cat appearing disheveled and neglecting grooming routines, it may be indicative of emotional distress or loneliness. However, we strongly advise consulting with a veterinarian before drawing conclusions, as there could be various reasons behind such behavior.
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 feelings of isolation can lead to atypical behaviors around the litter box. If your feline companion, who was once proficient in using the litter box, begins urinating in different areas of your home, it's advisable to promptly inform your veterinarian. Cats thrive on routine, and alterations in their daily habits can be likened to a warning light on your car's dashboard. Seeking the expertise of veterinary professionals is essential to uncover and address the underlying issues.
Odd Eating Habits
Is your feline companion consuming a greater amount of food than usual? This behavior might signal boredom or a deficiency in social stimulation. Much like humans, cats may resort to overeating when faced with a lack of other engaging activities. Conversely, a cat might exhibit reduced food intake as a response to feelings of depression. However, alterations in eating habits could also point to an underlying medical issue. Therefore, it's advisable to consult your veterinarian initially if you observe any changes in your cat's eating patterns.
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 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 that has cohabitated with another feline companion passes away, it's common for pet owners to consider introducing a new cat to provide companionship for the surviving cat. It's advisable to allow your remaining cat some time to acclimate to life without its mate before bringing in a new cat or kitten.
While cats have specific social needs, it's important to note that even if they have lived harmoniously alongside another cat for an extended period, they may not necessarily feel the immediate urge for a new feline companion.
How Do I Know My Cats Like Each Other?
Cats exhibiting a robust bond often display unmistakable signs of considering themselves part of the same social unit. Engaging in mutual grooming, sharing sleep spaces, or resting side by side are illustrative examples of these manifestations. Additionally, they may consistently exchange greetings through gentle nose touches or emit soft meows as they cross paths
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.