Despite cats’ reputation for being solitary, aloof animals, many thrive with companions. If your cat spends much of its time alone, a new companion cat could be the perfect solution to their loneliness.
While some pairs of cats become fast friends, others can take time to warm up, and some cats prefer to be alone.
Before bringing a new cat home, you need to determine if your cat wants a companion and what type of personality your cat would prefer.
Read on to learn whether another cat is suitable for your household, how to tell if your cat is happy with its new companion, and tips to make the introduction as smooth as possible.
How to tell if your cat wants a companion
Not all cats do well with other new pets in the home, so you’ll need to look for these tell-tale signs to determine if your cat is willing and ready for a new companion.
Your cat is clingy
Does your cat follow you around the house constantly? A companion could be a great solution if your cat is attached to you while you’re gone and struggles when you leave the house.
Cats that are excessively clingy with their owners could have separation anxiety, which affects their mental and physical health.
Having a companion home to play and interact with can ease the symptoms.
Your cat has too much energy
If your cat seems to have endless energy and craves playtime daily, a new friend is a good outlet for their energy.
Cats need a certain amount of exercise daily to keep their bodies healthy, and their minds stimulated.
Some cats can still be bursting with energy, even after an hour-long play session.
Having another cat means a playmate to exercise with, so you can take a break from playing pretend-prey.
Your cat is destructive
If your cat is bored or lonely, they need an outlet to take out that pent-up energy. If you’re not providing enough playtime or a companion, your cat may take out that energy on your home.
If you’ve come home from work to scratched up furniture or knocked over vases, that’s a key sign that your cat isn’t getting enough stimulation.
Your cat is overgrooming
Cats that overgroom themselves, often leaving empty or irritated patches of fur, are usually stressed.
Again, they need an outlet for their frustration and energy, so they choose to groom to calm themselves down.
If your cat is too lonely by themselves all day, a companion can help ease their stress.
It isn’t just overgrooming that is a sign of stress. Any change in your cat’s grooming behavior could signify loneliness or anxiety, so pay close attention to their hygiene habits.
Your cat’s had a change in appetite
If your cat is suddenly not interested in eating, or they’re eating more than usual, this can also be a sign of depression and loneliness.
A lack of appetite can indicate many mental and physical health conditions, so always consult your vet first to ensure your cat is healthy.
Overeating is also a sign of boredom. Your cat has searched for something to occupy their time, but they haven’t found anything, so they eat more of their food.
Your cat’s had a change in sleeping habits
Cats love a good cat nap, and they’re known to sleep for long hours every day, but too much sleep can actually be a sign of depression.
If your cat is sleeping more than usual and no longer engaging with you, consider adding a new companion to your home.
A new friend can cure your cat’s loneliness and ease their depression symptoms.
6 signs your cat likes the new cat
If you’ve determined your cat is ready for a new companion, the next step is to bring home a new furry friend that matches your other cat’s personality.
If you’ve brought your new cat home, here are a few signs that both of your cats are becoming fast friends!
#1 Your cats groom each other
Grooming is a personal process for your cats. If they groom each other, that’s a sign that they’re comfortable with each other. In fact, this phenomenon has a name: allogrooming.
If your cats are grooming each other, it also means they want to keep the other one clean and healthy, which is a good sign that they care about each other.
#2 Your cats spend time together
It is a great sign if your cats spend time with each other, even if just laying on the couch.
Pay close attention to both cats’ interactions for the first few months as they discover their new friend.
They will tell you what they think about the other cat’s presence in the house using their behavior.
Cats can be very independent, solitary creatures. If they willingly share their time and space with another cat, it means they like the company.
#3 Your cats sleep together
Cats don’t sleep deeply for extended periods of time. Instead, they sleep in short bursts to protect themselves from potential predators.
Sleeping is a vulnerable position for cats because it’s the one moment they aren’t on alert for potential danger.
If your cats are sleeping together, it shows a high level of trust between both cats.
#4 Your cats know how to play together
A cat can sometimes get rough during playtime, but cats that like each other know how to play-fight without taking it too far.
If your kitties are wrestling with each other, but their claws are still in, that’s a good sign. A healthy cat playtime will have a lot of giving and taking.
Both cats will take turns being on top and in control while taking frequent breaks.
#5 Your cats have positive body language
You can learn much about a cat’s true feelings by monitoring its body language.
Cats stressed by another cat’s presence will have puffed fur and a defensive posture. They will bare their teeth and hiss at the other cat if they get too close.
If your cats seem calm and are generally calm around each other, that’s a great sign that they get along.
#6 Your cats touch their faces together
Cats have glands in their faces that release pheromones. When they rub their faces together, their pheromones mix, and that can strengthen the friendship between the cats.
Cats that are friendly with each other also say hello by rubbing their noses together. They do this with their humans as well!
Things to consider before bringing the new kitten home
Bringing a new pet home is a big commitment, and you want to ensure you set both cats up for a successful relationship.
Before bringing the new cat home, set up a private, designated space for them to be alone.
Include all their essentials in this room, like food, water, and a litter box, so they can go about their business in private.
You should also consider:
- Adding an additional litter box (or two) to your home. A great rule of thumb is to always have one litter box per cat plus an extra.
- Giving the new cat private time to explore the home without the other cat. Your cat needs to adjust, not just to another cat in the house, but to a new environment altogether.
- Adding more places to hide around the home. Your new cat may be skittish at first until they adjust, so having more places to hide from the other cat will help them feel safer.
Once your new cat is in your home, make the introductions between both cats as slow as possible.
Never force your cats to be in the same room or interact because this can lead to negative associations and aggressive behavior.
As long as you ease the two cats into interactions and give them space and time to adjust, both cats should be friends in no time.
Is it time for a new cat?
If your cat is lonely, depressed, or bored while they’re home alone, you should consider adding another cat to your home.
Monitor your cat’s behavior and if you notice any changes to their usual routine, contact your vet.
While the symptoms may be signs of underlying health conditions, many anxious behaviors develop from boredom and loneliness.
Another cat will make a great playmate for your current cat and bring double the love into your home.