Cats are enjoyable animals as pets, they can be playful, sociable and especially when as a kitten adorable. Often first time cat owners start with just a single cat and this may before a number of reasons, either to compromise with a partner, doubts over the time involved caring for a cat or simple because only one is available.
As owners become more confident caring for the animal and appreciate how enjoyable it is they often consider purchasing a second cat but is a second cat a good idea? Cats are naturally independent and can aggressively defend their territory, even if it is the house they are meant to be sharing. The first cat can act unpredictably and even jealous when there is a new arrival within the house hold.
Think of the introduction of a second cat like a stranger being brought into your house. You have no say who this new person is, and you’ll find them sleeping in your bed, raiding your fridge and worst of all leaving the bathroom in terrible state. It’s unlike you would tolerate this and this is how it feels for your beloved cat.
The cat, even if you do not fully realise, rules your house - they sleep where they want, come for affection when they want to and generally make you run around for them. Now all of the sudden a second cat will be in the house and, if a cute little kitten, will be getting all of the attention. This is obviously difficult for the cat if we consider them using human feelings and attributes but as a cat it’s even worse. Cats are naturally independent, they are protective of their area fiercely defending it from rivals. Cats can form groups especially in the wild but often these are family groups and not of mixed bloods. Cats want their space and are not very accepting when it comes to sharing.
One of the misconceptions of owners wanting to get a second cat is to provide company for the first. Cats generally do not want or even need company. If their instincts were similar to dogs they would want a fellow pack member but cats are solitary animals. Having a second cat as company for the first cat, is us applying human logic to the needs of our beloved animal.
Bringing a second cat into an established home can be a long process and even longer for them to accept each other. It can be done but it needs effort with patience from the owners and sometimes a lot of shouting! Once the two have finally bonded they may “playfully” fight but when they sleep close together and even lick each other clean and then the hard work is totally worth it.
Bringing a second cat into an established household is never going to be a good idea and will cause distress to the first cat. With time the two cats will get along but effort is required from the owners who must pay attention to both animals. Also if you are reading an article about “is a second cat a good idea” you are almost certainly going to purchase a second cute ball of fluff. So instead of us saying it is an unwise choice (which it can be) learn how to introduce the second in with the minimal distress to the first.
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