Do I Need To Get My Cat A Friend?
It might depend on your cat — here's why 👯♀️
Ever wonder if your cat’s lonely?
Are you asking yourself whether your cat needs a friend?
Turns out, your cat might like having a pal around, but that all depends on her situation and personality.
Do cats like having other cats around?
“All cats are different, so there’s no good answer here,” Dr. Zay Satchu, cofounder and chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet in New York City, told The Dodo.
Generally speaking, if a cat grew up with another cat, she’s more likely to enjoy a friend’s company. But that doesn’t mean she needs one to be happy.
On the other hand, a cat who’s used to being alone might prefer to stay that way.
“It’s less likely that an adult cat [who] is used to being the [only] animal of the house would enjoy adding another furry family member,” Dr. Satchu said.
But that doesn’t mean adding a cat to a household with a cat who hasn’t had a friend before is impossible — it might just take a little extra work.
How to introduce cats to each other
If you adopt a second cat, you’ll want to make sure you introduce the cats to each other correctly, and give them plenty of personal space at first so they don’t feel crowded or territorial.
When introducing a cat to a new friend, these are some things to keep in mind:
Check with your vet first: This is to make sure all cats are healthy before introducing them.
Keep cats separated at first: It’s best to keep the cats physically separated when the new cat enters the home. Most cat parents like to keep the new cat in another room — like a bathroom — so the cats can sniff each other from under the door.
Watch for signs of stress: Always be on the lookout for a stressed-out cat. When meeting through the closed door, make sure neither cat is displaying any over-the-top aggression — like hissing or growling — or other signs of stress — like a lack of appetite or excessive hiding — before introducing them face to face.
Give cats plenty of space: When they actually meet, if you notice one cat is just unhappy, give them space to sort out their emotions (and keep them separated from the other cat).
Be patient: Always be patient. Cats are finicky and may need more time getting to know each other.
If your cat seems to be enjoying the company, great! But if she really isn’t taking to the visitor, you can reach out to a vet or trainer to get some tips.
Of course, if that doesn’t work out, remember that some cats really are at their best being the only cat — and sometimes the only animal in general — in a household. So don’t force a friendship.
Try fostering a cat
You don’t want to adopt a new cat only to realize your original cat just wants to be left alone. So before adding a new cat to the family, try fostering one first. It’s a great way to bring an animal into your home for a trial run without the commitment of adopting, so you can test out your cats’ dynamic.
And no matter what the outcome, always accept your cat for exactly who she is — and give her all the loving she needs.