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Does my cat need a feline friend?

Although our feline friends have a reputation for being aloof and unsociable, many cats love spending time with their people and other cats. So, how can you tell if your cat needs a friend? Our Flat Rock vets explain.

How to Tell if Your Cat Wants Another Cat

If your cat is showing behavior changes such as erratic sleeping or eating patterns it could be an indication that they are feeling 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, they may be asking for more social interaction. This very demanding conduct could signal separation concerns. Having another cat around may help to make your kitty more contented.

Excessive Grooming

Obsessive grooming, which can often be a way of self-soothing, can indicate that your cat would benefit from a companion. If your cat exhibits peculiar grooming habits, don't assume that they are lonely; it could signify a medical issue. If you find your cat looking unkempt and not grooming properly, it could be an indication that they are lonely or sad, but you should consult a vet first.

A Shift in Sleeping Habits

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

Litter Box Issues

Unusual litter box behaviors can be a sign of stress or loneliness in cats. If your previously litter-box-trained kitty begins to pee in other areas of the home, 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 that something isn't right.

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, your kitty may stop eating because they are depressed. But again, it's important to note that any change in behaviour, especially eating patterns, could be a sign of a medical problem, so discuss it with your veterinarian first.

Getting a Second Cat

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

That said, 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.
  • Cats who are related get along better than cats that are not related.
  • Younger cats are more likely than older cats to accept new feline members of the household.
  • Because of the lack of hormones, neutered cats get along considerably better than unneutered cats.
  • 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 to Do When One Cat Passes Away

If you have been a two-cat household for a number of years, and one of your cats dies, you may be wondering if you should get another cat. While that may seem like the logical thing to do, we recommend giving your surviving cat some time to adjust to life without their mate before obtaining a new cat or kitten. Cats have particular 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 to Tell if 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.

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.

Whether you have one cat, two cats or a dozen, our Flat Rock veterinarians are here to help your feline family members thrive. Contact us today to book an appointment for your cat.

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