Are you thinking about getting a second cat for your existing cat? Adding a new fur baby to your home may sound fun and exciting, but it is a big decision to make. Many factors need to be considered before you find a definite answer.
Q: Is it a good idea to get a second cat for my single cat?
A: Cats are not often viewed as social animals. But they do get lonely, especially if left alone for too long and have no mental stimulation. Generally, our feline companions can be alone for only one day at a maximum. Any more than that, and they may start becoming restless, stressed, and develop destructive behaviours.
In some cases, they may even suffer from feline separation anxiety or depression. If you frequently take trips away from home, then getting a second cat might be a good idea. This way, they will keep each other company.
With that said, whenever you are spending time with them, each of your cats should be given equal attention. Neglecting one for the other can create animosity between the two.
Q: Is getting a second cat all right if I have an adult cat?
A: Bringing home a new feline and making her get along with your adult cat can be tricky. Many full-grown cats are territorial and aggressive towards felines that they did not grow up with.
However, felines with proper social interactions with other cats will likely welcome a new kitty companion.
Naturally-sociable cat breeds are quick to adjust to living in a multicat household too. These include Balinese, Burmese, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Tonkinese, and Havana Brown. If your cat is naturally sociable by breed, then getting a second cat is highly feasible.
Q: Is it a good idea to get a second cat if your current kitty is wary around other cats?
A: Yes, but she needs to be very slowly introduced to her new feline companion. This way, there is a higher probability that they will establish a good friendship.
Needless to say, if your cat is aggressive towards other cats, rethink your plan of getting a second cat. Remember, not all cats are fit to be in a multicat household. Some are content in living as an only cat at home.
Q: Is it a good idea to get a second cat from the same litter?
Is it a good idea to get a second cat for your existing cat? Adding a new fur baby to your home may sound fun and exciting, but it is a big decision to make. Many factors need to be considered before you find a definite answer.
Q: Is it a good idea to get a second cat from a different litter? How likely will they get along?
A: Don’t worry. They can live harmoniously so long as they are raised together at an early age. It is recommended that you bring them home and start the introduction process when they are at least 7 weeks old.
If the kittens are slightly older, building friendship and amiability between them is also possible. However, it will take a bit of time for them to get used to each other’s company.
Q: Will the age difference affect how my cats get along?
A: One important factor when getting a second cat is age. Studies show that adult cats are less likely to accept cats of the same age or older cats. They are more welcoming towards younger felines.
As mentioned earlier, kittens tend to be more flexible when it comes to establishing feline friendships. So if you are getting a second cat, it is recommended that you choose a kitten or young adult.
Q: Is it a good idea to get a second cat if you have a senior cat?
A: Experts advise on getting a second cat that’s close to her age, activity level, and temperament. Most of the time, elderly cats are not fond of the rowdiness and high energy of kittens. Because of their old age, they prefer to be sedentary than running around.
Q: Is it a good idea to get a second cat of the same gender as my first cat?
A: Getting a second cat, either male or female, may affect how likely your cats will get along. A study suggests that introducing a new cat of the opposite sex has high chances of success. In cases of same-sex pairs, 2 male cats are more likely to get along than 2 females.
With that said, more research needs to be done to arrive at a certain conclusion. As of now, most pieces of evidence are inconclusive on whether the gender of the cat can affect their ability to establish a friendship with other cats.
Q: Is it a good idea to get a second cat for my grieving cat to help her cope?
A: If your resident cat has recently lost her bonded pair, hold off your plans of getting a second cat. Introducing another feline companion will only add more stress to your cat.
The best thing you can do to help her cope is to allow her to grieve. She will show signs of depression, including excessive vocalisation, lack of appetite, pacing, overgrooming, and searching for her departed feline friend. Be there for her by giving her extra love and attention.
A cat’s grieving process can last for at least 6 months, so don’t be in a hurry. Let her get used to living a life without her deceased feline companion.
Is it a good idea to get a second cat once your grieving kitty recovers? Yes, you can attempt to introduce a new cat. However, mind that their bond may not be as strong. In some cases, surviving cats refuse to accept feline companionship.
Q: Is it a good idea to get a second cat if my existing cat is sick?
A: It is not a good idea to introduce a new cat whilst your current cat is ill. When felines are suffering from stress, disease, or injury, they are at their most vulnerable position. Their main priority is self-protection in this situation. Getting a second cat will only add stress to your sick furry friend.
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4 Tips to a Successful Feline Introduction
If you have already adopted a second cat, congratulations! The next step is to introduce her to your current cat gradually.
Here are a few pointers that you can follow to help you achieve a successful outcome:
Tip #1: Allow your new cat to get used to her new home first. Isolate her in a quiet room for at least 3 days to a week. Make sure to provide her with a bed, litter box, food, and water.
Tip #2: During feeding time, let both of your cats eat at the same time. However, they should be on different sides of a closed door. This will allow them to know each other’s presence without the risk of a catfight breaking out.
Tip #3: Rub a hand towel on the cheeks and base of the tail of your cat. These are where their scent glands are located, which they use to identify each other. Then, let your current cat smell the new cat’s scent and vice versa.
After that, rub the other’s towel on each of your cats so that they get used to each other’s smell.
Tip #4: Allow the cats to meet 3–7 days through a screened door or high pet gates. Ask help from a family member or a friend to supervise your cats.
If one of the cats froze or is about to show dominance, distract them by tossing a treat. Separate them if they hiss or show aggressiveness towards each other.
Pet owners should know that successful introduction does not always equate to both cats becoming the best of friends. Some cats simply tolerate each other’s company after getting completely introduced. That alone is already considered a great achievement.
Self-Testing Quiz: Are you ready to add a new cat to your family?
Getting a second cat can bring more excitement and fun to your home. However, having a multicat household also entails a lot of responsibility. Do you think that you are prepared? Take this quiz to find out!
- Do you have enough time in your hands to take care of all your cats’ daily needs? When getting a second cat, maintaining a scheduled routine can become a bit challenging. If you fail to keep up with it, your cats will feel stressed and anxious, and it can lead to health and behavioural problems.
- Does your home have ample amounts of space where each of your cats can have their privacy? Generally, felines are solitary creatures. They need their own space where they can relax by themselves.
- Can you spend equal amounts of time and affection with all of your cats? Cats are usually painted as unsociable animals, but they actually crave love and attention from their humans. Felines that lack bonding time with their owners can develop destructive habits to get their attention, such as incessant meowing.
- Can you provide a sufficient number of litter boxes for your cats? By rule of thumb, you need to have a ‘plus one’ litter box. This means if you have 5 cats, then you have to buy at least 6 litter boxes.
- Are you patient enough to get your cats acclimated to their new home and their feline siblings? It can take time for cats to be comfortable around new people and other animals. Moreover, constant supervision is a must when introducing your cat to prevent any accidents.
- Is your home an ideal setting for cats where they can exercise their natural behaviours? There should be enough vertical spaces, scratching posts, and interactive toys for all of your furry pals.
- Are you financially ready to care for multiple cats? Looking after one cat can cost you an average of £12,000 over her lifetime. That includes the costs for food, vet visits, vaccinations, and microchipping.
The Great Reveal
If you have answered ‘yes’ to all the questions, congratulations! You are prepared to add more furry pals to your family. However, if you have more nos than yeses, then it is best to reconsider.