As a cat partner, you know what could be better than only one cat; adopting a second cat!
But with a creature as moody as your feline friend, you know it’s not as easy as going to the animal shelter and adopting a second cat or kitten to love and cherish.
You may have researched a lot when getting your first cat or may have gotten it on a whim. However your cat came into your life, you know by now that it’ll take some effort to incorporate another four-legged member into the family.
So, let’s find out what you need to be prepared for.
Pros and Cons of Adopting a Second Cat
There’s no doubt that with more cats to have, you’ll have more love to give. Not to mention that adopting a second cat could very well help you have a multi-cat household in the future.
Nevertheless, there’s a bit more to have a second cat than just that.
Pros of Adopting a Second Cat
· Your Cats Won’t Be Bored
Most cat partners adopt second cats to keep the first cat entertained.
Despite their aloof nature, cats like playing around and being with other cats. Having two cats—especially of the same age—will give them a partner to play off their energies against. They’ll be partners in crime when playing, socializing, and showing affection. And will be less clingy with you since they’ll have someone to hang out with.
That’s a crucial fact if you have a work schedule that keeps you out of home some days.
· Your Cats Won’t Feel Anxious
This is especially important if you’ve spent a long time with your cat and suddenly have to change your schedule.
Cats do not like change, and if you—as their carer—disappear for hours at a time, your cat will experience bad separation anxiety. Having a second cat will not only distract them from your absence, but it will also make them feel happier since they’ll have a second source of company and affection.
· There’s More to Love
Twice the hugs, twice the meows, and twice the laughs—with two cats, you get twice the love and less boredom. However, there is a caveat to this. Your cats rely on you to provide them with a loving, caring home. Treat them with patience and positivity, and your cats will return the love tenfold.
Cons of Adopting a Second Cat
· It Will Be More Expensive
Today the average annual cost of cat ownership falls around $430 to $870. And that’s excluding the grooming tools, cleaning agents, emergency room visits, specialty medicine, and additional care costs.
From litter to toys and food, your expenses will increase by two. And if heaven forbid, one or both of your cat falls ill, that would mean additional expenses. You could solve this issue by getting pet insurance. But, it will become even more difficult if you’re already limited on funds once the second cat comes into the picture.
· You’ll Have More Responsibility
Grooming, playtime, medical care, litter, food—you will be responsible for every little thing related to your cat’s care.
Remember, your cat won’t be able to get its food, scoop its litter, or refill its water bowl every morning. That’s on you, so your cat can live a healthy, happy, satisfying life. But, if you’re already having trouble maintaining care for one cat, you’ll need to think twice before introducing a second one.
· Your Cats May Not Get Along
It is not uncommon for cats to dislike each other, or at the very least, tolerate each other for your sake.
That’s why you must factor in your first cat’s personality before you get a second one. If your first cat is too pampered, loved, spoilt, and prone to attention, it will feel jealous once a new cat arrives home. Or, if your cat was a stray, it may be that its mistrust may cause both cats to clash. And that may create further stress for everyone involved.
And Yet, Two Could Still be better than one!
Despite the problems, having two cats would still bring you a lot of joy.
Finances, maintenance, and fighting cats are factors that you can change if you have a plan. Less expensive but better litter like wood pallets, homemade cat food, pet insurance, water fountains, automatic food dispensers—there are plenty of things you can invest in that would save you money in the long run.
To avoid conflict between your cats is concerned, the best option is to adopt two cats together. It’s even better if they’re siblings or bonded. If you’re adopting adult cats, though, you can adopt both from the same shelter, so they don’t feel wary about a strange cat’s presence.
How to Do it Right—Adopting a Second Cat
Several factors you should take into account when adopting a second cat include:
- The cat’s personality and age
- Your cat’s general comfort
- The cat’s gender
- Lifestyle for both cats
- Your living situation
- Your time
The Cat’s Personality, Age, Comfort, and Sex
If you have a senior cat, you will think it a good idea to get a kitten to energize your older cat. You would be wrong.
It will become difficult with different ages and personalities since your cat will find the kitten’s energy annoying. Consider this comparison as that of a grumpy old man with a 5-year old child. Neither will find it fun to spend time together.
You’ll also want to think hard about your cat’s gender. If you have a male or female cat, it’s better to bring one of the opposite genders in. Many people find that cats of the same gender tend to be more aggressive with one another. Having one of each will decrease their chances of getting into any catfights. You’ll only have to make sure that both cats are spayed and neutered before you bring one home.
As for the cat’s lifestyle, you’ll want to find a second cat with the same mood as your first cat. A total outdoorsy cat will not gel well with an indoor cat.
Your Living Situation
Cats are territorial. If you have a small home that’s already one cat’s territory, it will not take having another cat in its home lightly. You’ll want at least 18 square feet of space for one cat and the same number for the other.
This way, your cats won’t cross each other’s paths.
Having a second cat at home does not mean you forget to give it the love and attention it needs. And keep in mind, you now have two cats to love, not one. You’ll need to give each the right amount of attention (read: a lot!), and you’ll want to do so equally.
Abandonment and ignorance are pet abuse, and therefore, it is strictly forbidden if you have one, two, or five cats. You must provide each of them with the love they deserve, love that they obviously won’t get from one another, no matter how much time they spend together.
Adopting a Second Cat
Do not shop for a cat.
Instead, once you decided that you’re ready for a second cat, go to the nearest cat shelter and find yourself a second whiskery face to love. And before you adopt, talk to the vet about everything you should know when introducing both cats.
It takes time and patience for them to get used to each other. But once they become used to each other, you’ll see them run around the house, thick as thieves, and you’ll be happy, knowing you have made the right choice!