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August 04, 2021
Let’s face it; cats have some strong personalities, and there’s a reason many are called “finicky felines.” But, this is an inherent part of their charm and how they work their way into your heart in a matter of seconds. Therefore, it can sometimes be challenging to read what your cat wants and needs, especially when it comes to getting your kitty a feline friend.
Not every cat needs a friend, but when you think about it, many people with cats have more than one. So, it stands to reason that having multiple cats makes sense, right? Still, there are a few kitties that want to be alone. (Except they also want your constant attention, of course). Therefore, carefully consider your current cat’s disposition, routines, and behavior to decide if a friend is a good idea.
If you think your cat is feeling bored, pay attention to your pet’s behavior and see if you notice any of these possible signs:
If your cat’s displaying some or all of these signs, then a cat companion could be the answer to your furry friend’s problem.
First and foremost, before you bring home another cat, ensure you have the time for another pet. Cats demand a lot of attention, and if you don’t have any more to give, then adding to your furry family probably isn’t the best idea.
Also, take an honest look at why you’re considering adding another cat in the first place. Is it, so your existing cat has a friend, or is it for you? It’s essential to recognize how your current kitty might feel about a new feline sharing the home and make your decision accordingly.
It’s vital to take your existing pet’s temperament and age into account when deciding on a new cat. For example, if you have a senior cat that loves nothing more than stretching out by the window, getting a playful, frisky kitten isn’t the best option. Likewise, if your cat is young and active, steer clear from bringing home a senior feline. Instead, find a cat that is similar in age to your current pet. Also, opt for the opposite sex. Although, if you have a female cat, two females tend to get along better than two males.
When it comes to disposition, a little bit of opposites attract could work well. For example, if you have a confident kitty, getting a new cat that is somewhat shy could create the perfect balance. Two confident cats could butt heads and get into fights. On the flip side, two overly shy cats might bond well but end up ignoring you, becoming co-dependent on each other.
If you got a new roommate, would you want to share everything? No, and neither does your cat. While things like a cat tree and toys in common areas are fine, each kitty needs a safe space. Your current pet likely has an existing setup, so scope out a place that can be your new cat’s personal haven. A good idea is to find a place in your home that your current pet tends to avoid. Set up your new cat’s bed, special toys, and other items in this space, and bring your new resident into it as soon as you come home. Your new cat should have a dedicated room, litter box, scoop, dishes (the Neater Slow Feeder is fantastic for cats who love to gobble down their food), toys, and so on.
If your cats eventually end up using a shared litter box as well, ensure you get a litter designed for multiple cats. You’ll also need things like a collar and ID tag and should seriously consider getting your new pet chipped (likewise for your existing pet if you haven’t already done so).
Introducing animals to each other is a delicate process. When you’re ready for your cats to meet, don’t rush it. When you first bring your new feline friend home, head straight to the special haven you created. Let your new friend hang out there for a couple of days, bond with you, and get to know the lay of the land. Plus, make sure you continue to give your other cat ample attention as well.
This can take time, so prepare for a few days or maybe even a week or two to go by before you start introducing your cats to each other. You can start by sharing something with each cat that has the other’s scent. If all goes well, you could let each cat explore the other’s safe space for a few minutes (but not each other yet).
Then you can introduce the new companions by feeding them on opposite sides of a closed door. Cats love food, and this can help them establish each other’s scent with a positive experience. You can take it to the next level afterward and feed them on opposite sides of a glass door or window so they can start to see each other. Throughout this whole experience, ensure you keep spending adequate time with each of your pets and provide them with lots of love and attention.
If all goes well, your next step would be to have supervised play sessions. Keep them short and sweet at first, then gradually increase the duration. Always monitor the interactions closely, and end them if things start to get a little tense or either cat seems to become visibly upset. After patient and persistent effort, your new furry friends will get to know each other and can be alone together.
If you’re ready to bring a new cat into the mix, then check out the rest of our blog for more helpful tips and pet-parenting advice. Whether you’ve had your pets for years, or are thinking about getting one for the very first time, there are always new things to learn!
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