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Does my cat need a friend?

Does my cat need a friend?

Are you worried that your cat may be lonely? Many assume cats prefer to be left alone but that is not always the case. Today, our Natick vets discuss getting another cat if you already have one, and how to introduce them to each other.

How to Tell if your Cat Wants Another Cat

Behavior changes, such as erratic sleeping or eating patterns, may indicate that a cat feels lonely. If you're thinking of getting a second cat and your vet agrees, here are seven signs that your cat would benefit from feline companionship.

Clinginess

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

Litter Box Issues

Unusual litter box behaviors can indicate stress or loneliness. If your previously litter-box-trained kitty begins to pee in other areas of the house, you should notify your veterinarian immediately. Cats are creatures of habit, and when they change their routine, it's like a blinking neon message to humans.

Odd Eating Habits

Is your cat eating more than usual? It could indicate boredom or a lack of social stimulation. The cat, like people, may turn to food when there is nothing else to do. Alternatively, the cat may stop eating because she or he is depressed. A change in eating patterns, on the other hand, may suggest a medical problem, so discuss it with your veterinarian first.

Excessive Grooming

Obsessive grooming, which may be a way of self-soothing, could also indicate that your cat would benefit from a companion. If your cat exhibits peculiar grooming habits, don't assume he's lonely; it could potentially signify a medical ailment. If you find your cat looking unkempt and not grooming himself as much, it could be an indication that he or she is lonely or sad, but you should consult a vet first.

A Shift in Sleeping Habits

Loneliness may be indicated by a change in sleeping habits. If the cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you, it could be because she is lonely and has become melancholy. However, as with any other habit modification, it is critical to screen out any medical difficulties first.

Getting a Cat When You Already Have One

If you've consulted your veterinarian and have determined that there are no medical issues, it could be that your cat is just lonely and needs a friend.

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

  • How is your cat getting along with the other cats in the neighborhood? If your cat dislikes other cats entering their territory and becomes agitated or angry when this occurs, it could be a hint that they would not accept sharing their home with another cat. Bengals, for example, are ideally suited to being sole cats.
  • Because of the lack of hormones, neutered cats get along considerably better than unneutered cats.
  • Cats who are related get along better than bringing in a completely new kitten.
  • Younger cats are more likely than older cats to accept new cats into the family.
  • Is your house large enough to give each cat their own space where they can get away from other cats if they want to?

What About if One of My Cats Dies?

When a cat who has shared a home with another cat dies, it is normal for owners to want another cat to keep their remaining cat company. We recommend giving your surviving cat some time to adjust to life without their mate before obtaining a new cat or kitten. Cats have "picky" social needs, so even if they have lived contentedly beside another cat for many years, they may not feel the need for another partner.

How Do I Know My Cats Like Each Other?

Cats with a strong link will frequently show clear indicators that they regard themselves to be members of the same social group. Grooming each other, sleeping, or lying next to each other are examples of these indicators. They may regularly greet each other by touching noses or making a little meow as they pass.

Is your cat displaying any of the conditions listed above? Before getting a new cat, bring them here to Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital for an exam first.

New Patients Welcome

Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Natick companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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