Thinking about getting another cat? Of course you are — they’re the best. Adding a second cat (or third … or fourth …) to your home can be exciting, but there’s a lot to consider before introducing another cat into the mix.
Should I Get Another Cat?
When it comes to cats, the more, the merrier, right? Well, sometimes. Some cats thrive with a playmate or two, while others are more content solo. Personality and age are two factors to consider before bringing home another cat.
Compatibility Is Key
It’s important to understand your cat’s temperament when thinking about adding another cat to the mix. It’s just like dating: Compatibility is crucial. Is your pet energetic and playful? Shy and gentle? A couch potato probably isn’t the best match for a marathon runner. Your best bet is to look for a cat with a similar energy level and personality. Not sure about your cat’s vibe? Read more about cat temperament here.
Age Is but a Number … Except ...
Similar to temperament compatibility, age is also an important factor. Your greatest chance for success is to introduce a new cat into your household when your current cat is still a youngster. If you have an older cat who’s been master of their domain for a long time (read as: cranky), they’re more likely to become territorial and hostile toward the new addition. That’s not to say it can’t be done; the introduction will just need to be handled more delicately than when introducing two younger cats or kittens.
Tips for Successfully Introducing Another Cat
So you’ve found a new cat you can’t wait to bring home to your growing fur family. While it may be tempting to simply put all cats in a room and let them work out the introductions, this can cause a lot of stress for new and resident cats alike. Here are a few ways to help the introduction go smoothly.
Stock Up on Supplies, Toys and Kitty Litter
Double the cats means double the supplies needed. Before you bring your new addition home, make sure you have plenty of toys, scratching posts and lounging spots so territorial standoffs are less likely. The rule of thumb is to have one more litter box than you do cats, so if you’re becoming a two-cat household, you’ll want to have three litter boxes. You’ll also need double the food, so consider buying in bulk so you can spend less time making trips to the store and more time snapping pics of your adorable new addition.
Slow and Steady
Give your new kitty a space of their own with a door that can be shut before doing a formal introduction with the existing cat. This will give both cats a chance to adjust to the other’s smell. Once you’re ready to have their official meeting, keep the initial interactions short and well supervised. If things start to feel tense, separate the cats and give them a chance to settle down before trying again. Don’t be discouraged; they’ll come around.
Adding another cat to your household is not without challenges, but it will ultimately bring immense joy to you and your family — and hopefully to your current cat. Or maybe we just shoot for indifference. Now what are you waiting for? Head to your local shelter today!