Does your cat really want a friend?
By nature, cats are solitary animals with most more than happy to spend their days and nights exploring their territory alone. However, there are some situations when cats will enjoy the company of friends, especially if they’ve grown up together and are used to each other.
If you’re considering getting a friend for your kitten or cat you’ll need to think carefully about what’s best for your existing feline resident. Most cats prefer sole ownership of the house so it’s important you make sure your new cat is going to get on well with your established occupant before you bring them home to stay.
Do cats need company?
Though your cat may well love snuggling up to you and your family, most don’t care too much for the company of other cats.
If you think your cat is bored or lonely, try playing with it more often and providing more opportunities for it to exercise and interact with the world before bringing home any feline company.
Can any cats live together?
Ideally, you should only have cats living in the same house if they were from the same litter or have gown up together. In general, cats that knew each other as kittens should get on well, though this is not always the case.
If cats don’t know each other before living together, they are not guaranteed to get along. Some cats can become very defensive, even spraying urine indoors to mark their territory, something that is unpleasant for both the cat and their owner.
Cats can also become stressed when living with other feline residents, especially if there are not enough litter trays, feeding bowls and sleeping areas for them throughout the home. Chronic stress can lead to feline cystitis and other damaging conditions.
How can you make it easier for cats to live together?
If you already have several cats in your house or are intending to bring more than one feline resident home to live there are steps that you can take to make living together as stress free as possible.
One of the most important things you can do is provide enough facilities for all the cats to use without having to come into contact with each other.
Having a littler tray, a water bowl, a food bowl and a sleeping area each will help to ensure each cat feels relaxed in your home and only has to interact with other cats when it wants to.
Though some cats will enjoy the company of siblings and other animals they’ve known all their lives, all most want is the undivided attention of their owners and sole occupancy of their house.
If you do have more than one cat in your home, providing adequate provisions for your feline residents will help to keep them happy and relaxed, giving them the space, security and facilities they need to feel truly at home.