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Does my cat need a friend?

Does my cat need a friend?

Cats, while seemingly content with being on their own, actually thrive in social settings. In this post, our Bakersfield vets talk about the signs that your cat is lonely and what steps to take if you believe that your cat may need a friend.

Does My Indoor Cat Need a Friend?

You may be able to tell whether your cat is feeling lonely if their behavior has changed. For example, if they've developed erratic eating or sleeping patterns, loneliness may be the culprit. 

If this is the case, you may wonder how to tell if your cat wants another cat.

If you're thinking of getting a second cat and your vet agrees, we'll share seven signs that your cat would benefit from having a feline friend. 

Your Cat is Sleeping More Than Usual

Loneliness may be behind any change in sleeping habits. If your cat sleeps a lot and no longer interacts with you, it may be because he's feeling lonely and has become melancholy. However, similar to other significant shifts in habits, it's critical to bring your cat to our  Bakersfield vets for a wellness exam to rule out any medical issues before looking for a new cat to help correct this issue. 

You Notice Your Cat is Grooming Excessively

Grooming is one of the many ways that cats soothe themselves. Even so, there are also medical reasons why a cat may groom itself excessively. If your cat has been displaying peculiar grooming habits, don't assume he's lonely, as this may point to a potential medical condition. 

If your cat is looking unkempt and not grooming herself as much, it could indicate that she's sad or lonely, but we recommend consulting a vet first. 

Your Kitty Won't Leave Your Side

Is your cat following you around the house yelling for your attention? If your kitty won't leave you alone, he may need more social interaction. This very demanding demeanor may be a sign of separation concerns. 

Your Cat Won't Use the Litter Box

If your cat is experiencing emotional distress they may begin to relieve itself outside of the litter box. If your kitty was previously trained to use the litter box but starts to pee in other areas of the house, we recommend letting your vet know right away. Because cats are creatures of habit, changes in routine are like an engine warning light on your car – head to the professionals to get to the bottom of the issue. 

You Spot a Change in Eating Habits

If your cat is eating more than they normally do then you may wonder if they are bored. Cats, like people, may turn to food when there is nothing else to do. Alternatively, the cat may stop eating because she or he is depressed. A change in eating patterns, on the other hand, may suggest a medical problem, so discuss it with your vet first.

How to Introduce a New Cat to Your Home

If your cat has been showing strange behaviors but the vet deems there to be no physical concerns then you can go ahead and look into adding a new cat to your household.

However, 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 considerations when looking at adding a new cat to your home:

  • 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 Happens if One Cat Passes Away?

If you have two cats and one of them passes away then you will likely consider getting another cat to replace them and keep the remaining cat company. 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 Will I Know if My Cats Get Along?

If your cats get along then you won't be wondering how to tell. Cats make it pretty obvious if they are happy and enjoy the company of others. 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. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition. 

    Do have a new cat that is in need of routine vaccinations or a physical wellness exam? Contact our Bakersfield vets to schedule an appointment. 

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    Stine Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vet is passionate about improving the health of Bakersfield companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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    (661) 398-7121