You want another cat.
You need another cat.
You are dying for another cat.
But should you get one? Adopting a second (or third, or fourth…) cat is as big a decision as adopting your first. It’s not one to make on a whim.
Before you scoop up that rescue you saw in a cardboard box outside the grocery store or put a “hold” on that Maine Coon at your local pet store, read Vetted PetCare’s “Should I Get Another Cat?” checklist.
- Do you have time to handle another cat?
Double the cats means double the work, if not more. It’s twice the litter boxes, twice the feedings, and twice the rousing playtime, even when you just want a nap. Are you ready?
- Is my feline a cat’s cat?
Has your cat been well socialized his whole life, and his he generally pretty tolerant and friendly with other cats now? Cats tend to be pretty teritorial unless they’re related to other cats, so if yours is aggressive with peers, reconsider.
- Does my cat want a feline companion?
Ask yourself: Is the new cat for me or is it for my cat? If you’re getting another cat just to relieve your own feelings of guilt about being at work all day, think twice. Cats can be perfectly contented as solitary animals.
- Do I have the space for two cats?
Sure, cats are small, but they need their own space. Particularly as they acclimate to one another, you’ll need plenty of room for each cat to be on his own, even while you’re away from home. Don’t forget that for cats, vertical areas (such as bookshelves) counts as “space!”
- Can I afford a second cat?
Sure, there are some economies of scale when you already own one cat, but adding another cat is sure to add expenses. Food, kitty litter, and vet visits are just a few of the additional expenses you’ll incur that don’t have anything to do with how many cats you have.
- Will I be able to devote energy to the integration process?
Throwing two new cats in a room together is a recipe for disaster. Acclimating cats to one another is a (very) gradual process and it’s helpful for you to be on hand to separate them when necessary as well as give each plenty of individual attention.
- Do I have a plan in case the match doesn’t work?
There’s no guarantee your cat will learn to love another. If it’s been a few weeks and your cat still hasn’t warmed up to the idea of an “intruder,” you need to have a backup plan for re-homing the new cat that doesn’t include abandonment.
Adding a second cat to your household can be an endlessly fulfilling experience. Cats – when bonded – can be some of the most playful, loving pet-friends on the planet. Two cats that adore each other is a heartwarming sight to watch.
Be sure you’re making an informed decision about getting a second cat, and talk to your vet about what you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible.