Are you thinking about getting a second cat as a companion for the cat you already have? If so, you must be having a hard time deciding if that’s the smart thing to do. Owning multiple pets is not the same as owning a single pet.
You should do your research and figure out if this is the right thing to do. You don’t want to give up the second cat quickly or disrupt the current cat’s peace.
Should I get a second cat? What are the pros and cons of owning two cats? That’s what we’ll be answering here, keep reading.
Whether getting a second cat is a good idea varies from situation to situation and case to case. It depends on the personality of the cat and the age. Single senior cats do not welcome new kitties. Cats get along in pairs only with relatives. A friendly adult cat can welcome a new kitty, however.
A thorough answer with everything you need to know follows.
Are Cats Happier In Pairs
Cats are social animals, we were able to domesticate them because of that. So, it makes sense that cats are happier in pairs than being alone. However, that doesn’t mean that they get along with every other cat.
The thing is, cats are family-oriented. They get along with siblings. Cats are happiest when they grow up and live with a sibling or multiple siblings. In fact, pet owners that got sibling kitties do not have problems with the pets getting along.
So, yes, cats are happier in pairs. But they are also family-oriented. That means that cats will not necessarily be happier in a pair with another cat that is not related. If a cat has lived alone all its life in a household, and a new kitty comes in, the cat will not like that at all. It will feel threatened.
There is no universal answer here though. As I said, it depends on the personality of the cat as well. There are some cats that have lived alone, then go a companion, and the company was welcome.[Related Article: Will Cats Eat Chinchillas – The Answer May Surprise You]
How Do You Know If You Should Get A Second Cat
All of this begs the question: When to get a second cat? This is something you will have to decide on your own. I will list the situations where getting a second cat is okay and where it’s not. Again, it all depends on how your cat behaves though.
- Senior cats and young cats do not get along.
Let’s say you have a senior cat at home. All its life the cat was alone. It got used to a certain sense of solitude. The food is only for that cat and no one else. It’s the only cat that deserves your attention. More so, it thinks it’s the proud owner of this home. If you bring young kitty home, the environment of the senior cat gets ruined. All of a sudden, there’s a curious kitty with high energy levels. So, the current senior kitty will most likely be upset. [ Source ]
- Loner cats do not get along with pet companions.
Do you also have one of those cats that’s not really a fan of other people and other pets. These cats just mind their own business. Also, they don’t get along on playdates. Getting a second cat with the resident adult cats will not go well. They will not necessarily fight but they will not exactly be friends or companions.
- Bossy cats and shy cats will not be good companions.
It’s very likely that a shy cat does not have good social skills. If you have that type of cat, introducing a second cat may not be that easy. Especially if the second cat is kind of bossy. Animal behavior can be changed during periods of time. However, the bossy cat will cause stress to the shy cat at that time. So, if you have a shy cat, maybe a young kitty will work, no guarantee though. A bossy adult cat will not work for sure.
- Two friendly adult cats can get along.
Now, if you have a friendly cat that always does well on playdates, you should be fine. As long as you are introducing another friendly adult cat. You still have to do a proper introduction but two friendly cats can share a household and a pet owner.
- A friendly adult cat can get along with a kitten.
As long as a cat is not in its senior years, it will most likely accept fur babies. There are exceptions, of course, but most adult cats will think of kittens as their feline family. So, you shouldn’t have trouble with this. Keep in mind your cat’s personality though.
- A cat that lost a sibling or a companion will welcome a new friend.
Cat’s that lost siblings are used to social behavior and direct contact with other pets. More so, it may be longing for company. So, a second cat may make things better. You should do this carefully, and do proper introductions.
In conclusion, you should get a second cat only if you have a cat with a friendly personality that can adapt to multi-cat households. If you have a cat that is used to solitude, getting a second cat is a bad idea. Think about your cat’s age and its personality.[Related Article: What Do These Cat Sleeping Positions Say About Your Cat]
The Pros And Cons Of Getting A Second Cat
Even if the cats get along, your responsibilities start piling up. So, you should also think about whether you are capable of owning multiple pets. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.
- More love.
A second cat means one more furry to love. This is something that we can’t deny. The cute little one will bring you happiness. More so, seeing the two cats playing, cuddling, and sleeping together is everything you can hope for.
- Company for the resident cat.
With a second cat, you don’t have to worry about your resident cat being lonesome anymore. Two cats can keep each other company, play with each other, and keep each other safe.
- Chances of a feline family.
If you get two different genders, there’s a chance to build a feline family. If that’s something that makes you happy, that’s definitely an advantage.
- More money for food.
A second cat means a second mouth to feed. So, you will have to increase your cat food supply. With time, you will notice that these additional costs mount up.
- More money for equipment.
Same with the food, you will have to get two food bowls, another litter box, etc… If you are using a big litter box, you will have to train them to share.
- More animal hospitals visits.
Additional costs will come with the regular vet check-up. Not to mention if the kitties get sick. Vet bills are not cheap at all so think about that.
- Less free time.
The introduction process is not short. You will have to gradually introduce and train the cats to get along. This requires a lot of free time and effort.
How To Introduce A Second Cat To My Current One
- For the first two weeks, keep the cats in separate rooms.
Do not put them in the same room from the start. This will cause a lot of stress to both cats. More so, the new cat won’t be able to adapt to the environment easily.
- Gradually introduce the second cat.
This is something like supervised playtime. Start slowly with short playdates. Once you see that things are getting better, you can let them stay together longer. [ Source ]
- Until the cats get along, always supervise when they are together.
- Provide attention to the current cat.
Don’t allow your current cat to feel abandoned. You need to make sure that the cat knows it’s still loved and this is its home.
- Provide a private space for the current cat.
During the playdates, give the cat a private space that it can escape to. Just to make sure the playing is not forced. Also, you avoid fights like this.
- Get two litter trays.
- Get two food bowls.