Many people think of cats as being reclusive and aloof, and it may seem that they are just fine without having another cat around. After all, being the household’s sole cat means not sharing with another cat. But does this mean cats are fine with being the only feline? For cat owners who own just one cat, you may wonder if cats get lonely without other cats. Despite their reclusiveness and standoffish nature, cats can indeed get lonely without other cats.
But how do you know your cat is lonely and could benefit from having a feline companion? In this article, we’ll discuss particular signs that may indicate your cat wants a feline friend so that you can consider adding another kitty.
Top 7 Signs Your Cat Wants a Companion
Cats can become depressed with no social interaction. They like to form bonds, whether with one person in the household or with another animal. Cats can certainly get lonely if left alone for long periods, such as when you’re away at work. However, if you notice signs that your cat is lonely and wants a companion, you may want to consider adding another cat to your tribe. Possible signs are as follows:
1. Your Cat is Clingy
A cat that lacks social interaction may become clingy, such as following you around the house, meowing incessantly, or just plain won’t leave you alone. This behavior is consistent with needing more interaction, especially if your cat has plenty of toys and other physical and mental stimulation objects at its disposal.
2. Inconsistent Eating Habits
A sign your cat may be lonely is if it eats too little or too much, much like if a human is lonely and depressed. We should note, however, that if your cat has suddenly developed a change in its eating habits, a trip to the vet for an exam is warranted to ensure the change is not from a medical issue.
3. A Change in Grooming Habits
Cats love to groom, and if your cat has stopped grooming as much as it used to, this could indicate being lonely. On the flip side, over-grooming can also be a sign of loneliness, boredom, and depression. Again, if you notice a sudden change in grooming habits, take your feline friend in for an examination to ensure no health concerns have come to light.
4. Litter Box Issues
Litter box issues are tricky because a few factors could be the reason for this behavior, including defecating outside the litter box, not liking the litter, or the size of the litter box may not be adequate enough for your cat to relieve itself comfortably. If you haven’t changed the type of litter you use, and you know the size is correct for your cat, this behavior could point to loneliness.
5. Destructive Behavior
Cats can become destructive with nothing to do, which makes having plenty of toys and a scratching post in your home important. If you have plenty of things for your cat to do, but they’re being destructive anyway, you may have a lonely cat on your hands.
6. Unusual Sleeping Habits
It’s not out of the ordinary for cats to sleep a lot; however, one way to tell if the increased sleeping is due to loneliness is if your cat doesn’t want to interact with you, the human. Some cats may want more human companionship rather than having another cat to share the home with, but if your cat doesn’t want to interact with you, it may indicate that another feline friend is more your cat’s speed.
7. An Energy Shift
If you notice your cat is listless, lethargic, and displays low energy, they could be depressed and lonely. Ensure you have plenty of toys and objects to keep them busy, and if they do have plenty of things to do to keep themselves entertained, wanting another feline companion could be the reason.
We want to stress that all these signs could indicate a medical problem and ruling that out first is of utmost importance. If all is good, you may want to consider getting your cat a feline friend.
How Do I Introduce a New Cat?
Now that we’ve explored the possible signs that your cat may be lonely and wants another cat around, there are some steps to take for success.
First, look for a cat with the same traits and temperament as your own cat. Getting a cat that is aloof and has no desire to interact with another cat defeats the purpose. Visit your local animal shelter and let the staff know what temperament you’re looking for. Taking a stray in will be up in the air, as you’ll have no idea of the stray’s temperament, but you can give it a try.
When you do find a suitable companion, start off slowly by keeping the new cat in a separate room for a few days or even weeks. Let both cats sniff around and become accustomed to the idea that another cat is in the house. You can even swap out the bedding so the cats can smell each other. Cats can be territorial, and your cat may not take kindly to a new cat coming into their world, so be on alert at all times.
When you feel both cats are ready, gradually introduce the new cat. You’ll want to observe the interaction to get an idea of how things will go and look for signs of distress, such as hissing, growling, or pinned ears. If you notice these signs, abort, and try again another time.
When you finally notice positivity between the two, you can give each one a treat for good behavior while around each other; this way, they will associate each other with positive things (like treats!).
Cats can indeed become lonely without other cats and adding another feline companion could greatly help your cat’s mood. No cat owner wants to see their kitty miserable and adding a new cat could be the answer to all your cat’s problems. Remember to take your cat for an examination if there are sudden changes in your cat’s behavior to rule out a possible medical issue. If your cat checks out healthy, consider adding a new cat for companionship.