Thinking about getting another cat? Of course you are — they’re the best. Adding a second cat (or third … or fourth …) to your home can be exciting, but there’s a lot to consider before introducing another cat into the mix.
Should I Get Another Cat?
When it comes to cats, the more, the merrier, right? Well, sometimes. Some cats thrive with a playmate or two, while others are more content solo. Personality and age are two factors to consider before bringing home another cat.
Compatibility Is Key
It’s important to understand your cat’s temperament when thinking about adding another cat to the mix. It’s just like dating: Compatibility is crucial. Is your pet energetic and playful? Shy and gentle? A couch potato probably isn’t the best match for a marathon runner. Your best bet is to look for a cat with a similar energy level and personality. Not sure about your cat’s vibe? Read more about cat temperament here.
Age Is but a Number … Except ...
Similar to temperament compatibility, age is also an important factor. Your greatest chance for success is to introduce a new cat into your household when your current cat is still a youngster. If you have an older cat who’s been master of their domain for a long time (read as: cranky), they’re more likely to become territorial and hostile toward the new addition. That’s not to say it can’t be done; the introduction will just need to be handled more delicately than when introducing two younger cats or kittens.
Tips for Successfully Introducing Another Cat
So you’ve found a new cat you can’t wait to bring home to your growing fur family. While it may be tempting to simply put all cats in a room and let them work out the introductions, this can cause a lot of stress for new and resident cats alike. Here are a few ways to help the introduction go smoothly.
Stock Up on Supplies, Toys and Kitty Litter
Double the cats means double the supplies needed. Before you bring your new addition home, make sure you have plenty of toys, scratching posts and lounging spots so territorial standoffs are less likely. The rule of thumb is to have one more litter box than you do cats, so if you’re becoming a two-cat household, you’ll want to have three litter boxes. You’ll also need double the food, so consider buying in bulk, like IAMS™ PERFECT PORTIONS™ 12 packs, so you can spend less time making trips to the store and more time snapping pics of your adorable new addition.
Slow and Steady
Give your new kitty a space of their own with a door that can be shut before doing a formal introduction with the existing cat. This will give both cats a chance to adjust to the other’s smell. Once you’re ready to have their official meeting, keep the initial interactions short and well supervised. If things start to feel tense, separate the cats and give them a chance to settle down before trying again. Don’t be discouraged; they’ll come around.
Adding another cat to your household is not without challenges, but it will ultimately bring immense joy to you and your family — and hopefully to your current cat. Or maybe we just shoot for indifference. Now what are you waiting for? Head to your local shelter today!
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This article is part of a series on how to spot signs of a healthy cat. You can learn more about the key signs here.
Cats don’t lack personality; that’s for sure. They can be shy, outgoing, snuggly, independent, energetic, relaxed and everything in between. Yet some breeds tend to exhibit certain traits more strongly than others. Here are our picks for what we’re calling the Cat Personality Awards.
The friendliest cat breed:
This larger cat has a big heart to match. They’re often very social and happy to chat with you, whether they’re curled up on your lap or following you around the house. They make excellent family pets because more family members means more people to snuggle and play with.
Also outgoing: Ragdoll, Siamese, Burmese
The most laid-back cat breed:
Gentle and calm, this soft and silky-furred feline is friendly without being demanding. Ragdolls are usually totally cool sharing a house with other pets and kids. They don’t stress much about routine changes or even being carried around. Their motto? It’s all good.
Other cool kitties: Scottish fold, Birman, British shorthair
The most playful cat breed:
Making up around 90% of cats in the U.S., with more than 80 colors and patterns, domestic shorthairs are a melting pot of different breeds. They were originally working cats used to hunt mice and other critters on farms. They still love to stalk, hunt and pounce on toys and play games with their owners — so expect to spend lots of energetic playtime together.
Also ready to play: Siamese, Maine coon, Manx
The most independent cat breed:
This popular breed has been around humans since the 1600s, but is satisfied doing its own thing. Gentle, docile and quiet, Persian cats don’t insist on a lot of attention. They’re just as content sitting on your lap or observing what’s going on by themselves from a sunny perch across the room. They can be discerning in who they give their affection to, but you’ll be on their good side once you earn their trust.
Also fine on their own: Russian blue, American shorthair, Norwegian Forest cat
The most trainable cat breed:
The idea of training a cat may seem hilarious, but the curiosity and intelligence of Abyssinians make them highly trainable. Some can even be taught tricks or to walk on a leash and harness. Training and playing games are perfect ways to direct their affectionate energy.
Also eager to learn: Bengal, Siamese, American shorthair
The cleanest cat breed:
Owning this affectionate, hairless breed means you can spend more time cuddling and less time lint-rolling your clothes. They do require regular baths, but that just means more time to hang out together.
Other neat freaks: Siamese, Russian blue
The best cat for first-time owners:
it’s a toss-up!
Thinking of getting your first kitty? It’s hard to pick just one breed, so we’ve got three:
- Maine coons are super friendly and charming, and adapt well in a variety of living situations.
- Siamese are clean, love to talk and are very loyal.
- American shorthairs are smart, playful and independent.
Remember, most cats — especially those found in shelters — are a mix of breeds, which just means they often combine the best of all cat personality traits! Whatever personality you’re looking for in a cat, you’ll know it when you find your fuzzy soulmate.
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