If you have a single-cat household, bringing home a kitten to give your cat a friend may be tempting. It’s a common misconception that cats get lonely and should have other cats to keep them company. Cats evolved from a solitary species, the African wildcat, and are happy to be alone.
Learn more about bringing home a kitten with a resident cat, what to consider, and some tips to ease the transition.
Does My Cat Need a Kitten?
While cats can and do live in the same household, sleeping together, eating together, and grooming each other, it’s just as common for cats to be intolerant of another cat outside their family group.
Adult cats are usually more accepting of a new kitten, however. Another adult cat may be perceived as a threat to your cat’s territory and resources, but a kitten is less intimidating and more likely to be viewed as something to be nurtured.
That said, conflicts can arise between adult cats and kittens as the kitten ages. Sex is less important than age and temperament. Pay attention to the temperament of the kitten you’re looking to bring home. Kittens that are hissing, growling, or fighting with littermates are more likely to add conflict to your home.
Things to Consider When Getting a Second Cat
If you want to bring home a new kitten, it’s important to remember that even if your resident cat got along well with another cat in the past, that doesn’t mean they will appreciate just any new companion.
Is It Fair to Keep a Single Cat?
Cats can be solitary creatures. Most cats do well in single-cat homes as long as their needs are met. They need social interaction, physical exercise, mental stimulation, and playtime, all of which you and your family members can provide.
Keep in mind that getting a second cat means that you will still need to provide stimulation and enrichment. Your cats may bond and play together, but they will still want quality time with you and the family.
If you have an adult cat established in your home, think carefully before introducing another cat—even a kitten. Pay attention to your cat’s personality to determine if they would prefer to be an only cat. For cats that are fearful or aggressive toward other cats, such as feral neighborhood cats, bringing a new cat or kitten home may be a negative experience.