Nothing brightens up a home more than a sweet cat. When you come home, your little furball is waiting for you, and you've got someone to snuggle with at night. With all the joy a cat brings, you may be wondering, "Should I get another cat? Would two cats be twice the fun?" If you're considering getting a second cat, here's a look at the pros and cons.
Consider Your Cat's Personality and Age
Your cat's personality and age are important factors to consider when deciding if you should bring home a new cat. Cats that start out as littermates may become practically inseparable. But things can be a little tougher to predict once your cat is older and used to being on his own.
Having a relaxed, chill cat is essential if you want to introduce a new fur baby to your household. If your cat is already a bit high-strung, then a second cat might not be the best choice. Cats tend to be territorial, and sometimes it can take a while for them to accept a new cat in their home.
Age can make a difference too. Kittens are more likely to adjust easily to each other fairly quickly. An adult cat might get along better with a kitten rather than another cat of the same age.1 This doesn't mean two older cats can't get along. You might want to match them based on personality and energy levels and be sure you introduce them slowly. Older cats simply take more time to become friends.
On top of all of this, some breeds are known to be happier in pairs than others. The Siamese cat, for example, is a social breed that craves attention and can get lonely. If you're gone for extended periods of time, then this cat might love to have a friend.2
Assess Your Living Situation
If you work from home and your cat has lots of company, then she might be just fine without a companion feline. But if you're gone a lot and your cat seems lonely, it might be a good idea to adopt a second cat. Just make sure there's plenty of space for your new cat to establish her own "territory," so the two cats aren't on top of each other all the time. You can help achieve this by setting up cat trees and condos, multiple window perches, and separate kitty beds.
If Your Cat's Grieving, Wait a Bit
Sometimes pet owners want to adopt a second cat if their cat's best buddy passed away. But this can be a sensitive time for your kitty. Cats need time to grieve, just like humans do. Signs of grieving might include a change in appetite, acting more aloof, or other personality changes.3 If you introduce a new cat too soon, it might backfire. Give your cat some time before you try to introduce a new friend and shower him with love in the meantime.
Set Up Your Cats for Success
If you decide to move forward with adopting a second cat, set up your two cats for success. First, both of your cats should be spayed or neutered. You could be inviting a whole host of problems if they aren't. Two male cats who aren't neutered might be aggressive toward each other, for example.
You can create a calming environment for their introduction by setting up Comfort Zone Calming Diffusers around the house. This drug-free solution mimics cats' natural pheromones, helping pets feel safe and relaxed.
Next, introduce them slowly. Don't just throw them into the same room together. Start out by keeping your new kitty in a separate room. Feed both cats at the same time, on different sides of a closed door. Swap blankets with their scents. Once they're comfortable with this setup, let them see each other occasionally through a screen or gate and observe how they interact. Then slowly allow them supervised visits together.
This process can take weeks or more. Make sure you don't rush your cats; the wait will be worthwhile. Most cats can at least learn to tolerate each other. But others may become so close that they snuggle together, clean each other, and chase each other around the house all day.
Getting a second cat can be a blessing to your home. Just try to match the cats' personalities and make sure you set up your home for success. Even the friendliest cats might feel a little stressed at first, so have a lot of patience and introduce them slowly. Over time, your two fur balls may become fast friends.
1. Animal Humane Society. "Adding a Second Cat to Your Household." AnimalHumaneSociety.org, https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/behavior/adding-second-cat-your-household.
2. Advantage Pet Care. "Breed Profile: Siamese Cat." AdvantagePetCare.com.au, https://www.advantagepetcare.com.au/au/new-owners/breed-profile-siamese-cat/.
3. Horwitz, Debra. "Considerations When Getting a Second Cat." VCA Hospitals, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/considerations-when-getting-a-second-cat.