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Does my cat need a friend?

Cats can live on their own, but they thrive on living with other mammals. In this post, our Stockton vets discuss getting a second cat and how to introduce them to one another.

How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Does my indoor cat need a friend?" Don't worry, you are not the first one to ask that question. In this article, our vets will give you an answer. Your cat may want a friend if they are home alone for long periods. Erratic sleeping or eating may indicate that a cat feels lonely. If you're thinking of getting a second cat or kitty and your vet agrees, here are a few signs that your cat would benefit from feline companionship.

Change of Grooming

When a cat is lonely, they tend to groom themselves more than usual. However, if your cat has unusual grooming habits, do not assume they are lonely. This could also be indicative of a medical condition. If you notice your cat looking unkempt and not grooming himself as much, contact your veterinarian, as this could indicate that they are sad or ill.

Shift in Sleeping Habits

Sleeping habits in cats may indicate loneliness. If your cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you, it could be because she is lonely and has become depressed. However, as with any other habit modification strategy, it is critical to first rule out any medical issues.

Clinginess

If your cat meows a lot, follows you around, and won't leave you alone, it may require more social interaction. This demanding and vocal behavior could signal separation concerns.

Litter Box Issues

Unusual litter box behaviors may indicate stress or loneliness. If your cat is litter box-trained but begins to pee in other areas of the house, contact your veterinarian right away. Cats are creatures of habit, and any change in their routine indicates that something is wrong.

Odd Eating Habits

Has your cat been eating more than usual? It may indicate boredom or a lack of social stimulation. Cats, like people, can turn to food when they have nothing else to do. Alternatively, your cat may stop eating because he or she is depressed. A change in eating patterns, on the other hand, may indicate a medical problem, so consult your veterinarian first.

Getting a Cat When You Already Have One

If your cat is healthy but showing any of the signs of loneliness mentioned above, it could be that your cat just needs a friend.

However, it can be tricky to tell if a cat is ready to live with another cat. This is why it is important to be cautious with the introduction process and help them get off on the right foot. Here are some steps you can follow and questions to ask yourself:

  • Younger cats are more likely than older cats to accept new feline members of the household.
  • Cats who are related get along better than cats that are not related.
  • Neutered cats get along better than unneutered cats.
  • How is your cat getting along with the other cats in the neighborhood? 
  • Is your house large enough to give each cat their own space?

What if one of my cats dies?

When one of their cats dies, owners often want another cat to keep them company. Our veterinarians recommend that you give your surviving cat some time to adjust to life without their mate before getting a new cat or kitten. Cats have unique social needs, so even if they have lived happily with another cat for many years, they may not feel the need for a new partner.

How do I know my cats like each other?

Cats will show clear signs that they like one another while socializing. Cats demonstrate affection for one another by grooming, sleeping, or lying next to each other. They may also greet each other by rubbing their noses or meowing as they pass.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

If you end up getting another cat, contact our Stockton animal hospital today to book their wellness exam.

New Patients Welcome

New Patients Welcome

Bear Creek Veterinary Hospital is welcoming new patients! Our compassionate vets are experienced in caring for Stockton companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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