Cats have a reputation for being solitary animals, and while this is true to some extent, many of them would benefit from having a little buddy with them.
Contrary to popular belief, cats are social creatures who love company, but they are also very territorial, so introducing them to a new cat should be done with caution.
There may be instances where your cat would greatly benefit from having a friend. You might notice some behavior from your cat that suggests a companion might be in order. If you’re open to getting another cat, you might want to consider it for the well-being of them both.
In this article, we’ll go over some signs from your cat that show they’d do well with a companion. This might help you decide if it’s the right time to add a second cat to your household.
How to Tell If Your Cat Is Lonely
1. They Have Become Clingy
You may notice that your cat has started to follow you around wherever you go. They may also have become more vocal, meowing whenever you’re not around, or aren’t giving them enough attention.
These could indicate that your cat is in need of more social interaction. If they are displaying very needy behaviors, then they may have separation issues from you. In this case, they may benefit from a feline companion.
This will ensure they’ve always got a friend with them when you’re not around, however you must ensure that you are giving both of your cats the same amount of attention in order to avoid behavioral issues.
2. Change In Eating Habits
If your cat has begun to eat more than usual, it could be a sign that they are bored and there’s nothing else for them to do.
On the other hand, if they have started eating less, they may be feeling depressed because they are lonely.
If you have noticed this behavior in your cat, it is best to make a trip to your veterinarian to see if a medical condition is causing this. If there is none, then they’d maybe benefit from a little friend.
3. Litter Box Chaos
If a cat is causing issues when it comes to the litter box, then this is a sign that they are feeling some sort of way.
They may begin to make more of a mess than usual, and some may start to leave their business in other areas of your home. Again, in order to discard any medical problems, you should visit your local veterinarian.
If there are no medical issues, then this behavior could indicate that they are feeling lonely, and may be experiencing some separation anxiety from you.
4. Change In Grooming
A distressed and lonely cat may begin to look scruffy and unkempt. They may also begin to over-groom themselves. While over-grooming can be seen as them soothing themselves, it could also indicate that your cat is lonely.
However, like the above points, this change in grooming could also indicate a medical condition, so you should always check for this first, before bringing a new cat into their life.
5. Strange Sleeping Habits
If you notice your cat has started sleeping a lot throughout the day, and won’t engage with you, they may have become depressed due to feeling lonely.
The same goes for if they are sleeping a lot less and becoming hyper throughout the night. This could be a cry for attention.
6. Change In Their Overall Energy
When humans start to feel depressed, they can become lethargic. The same goes for cats. If you notice that your cat has lost a lot of energy, they may benefit from having a buddy.
However, this may not be the only solution. Your little pet may just need a bit more attention and affection from you. Try purchasing some more enriching toys for them, and ensuring to take a few minutes each day to interact and play with them.
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Introducing A New Cat
As mentioned earlier, cats are very territorial and may not respond well to a new cat at first. This should be done gradually, and you should try to choose a cat that has a similar temperament and energy to the one you already have.
There are some great tips for introducing cats to each other in this article by cat behavioralist Dr. Wailani Sung, MS, PhD, DVM, DACVB. She suggests having some tools at hand before you attempt the introduction, like a gate, cat treats, blankets, and wand toys.
There are a few steps to follow for greater success:
- Set both cats up with their own things in their own room: water/food bowls, litter box, scratch pad, and toys.
- Gradually introduce your cat to this new friend. This can be a long process, but it’s necessary to keep them from fighting or rejecting each other. Let the cats get used to the others scent. You can do this by having it smell each other’s bedding and blankets.
- Swap places. Put the cats into the other’s space for a while to let them get familiar with the scent and used to the idea of another cat being around.
- If there’s no negative behavioral signs at this point, you can start to introduce them by encouraging contact through a gate between rooms. Then you can let them see and play together through the gate.
- Only after they’ve gotten acquainted through the gate is it time to introduce them in person. Do this slowly over a few days time, to give them time to adjust.
Eventually your cats will be best of friends. At least, that’s the hope!
Final Thoughts On Does My Cat Need A Friend?
In summary, while cats have a reputation for being aloof and solitary creatures, with the right socialization and circumstances, they would live happily with another cat in their home.
There may be instances where a cat would greatly benefit from having a companion. This will ensure they never get lonely when you’re away from home.
This article has discussed certain behaviors your cat may display which could signify that they would benefit from having a companion.
However, you should always visit your veterinarian first, and some of these signs could be due to an underlying health condition.
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