Adopting a second cat: is it a good or bad idea?

Two cats running side by side

Are you enjoying being a cat parent? Are you considering adopting a second cat because your life has truly benefited from having a cat by your side? If having one cat is already wonderful, it must be two times more fun to have two cats! While this might seem true, it is not always the case. Before adopting a second cat, it is important to take the time to weigh the pros and cons.

What are the advantages of having a second cat?

Searching for the advantages of adopting a second cat is like trying to list all the benefits of a new relationship. There are advantages for everyone who is involved: your first cat, your second cat, and you.

Positive aspects for your cat

When adopting a second cat, it’s important to remember that your first cat will be directly impacted by the change. Keep in mind that, unlike dogs, cats do not necessarily enjoy staying in packs. Instead, they prefer to live alone on their own territory. Cats are known to spend time with other cats when mating and when kittens are nursing. With that being said, some cats do not mind spending time with other cats. Your cat might enjoy living with another cat so that they are not alone and bored when you are not at home.

Positive aspects for you

Do you find that you first cat is not affectionate enough? Have they become less playful and you would like to spend time playing with a cat again? Do you feel guilty when you leave your cat alone at your house and it would reassure you to know that you cat has another cat to spend some time with? If you adopt a second cat, you will have another lovely furball to spend time with.

Positive aspects for the people around you

Have the people around you been wanting a new companion to play with and pet for months now? Have your children noticed that your first cat spends most of their time with you? Do they want to be able to spend wonderful moments with a cat as well? Having a second cat will allow the people around you to enjoy more moments with cats. It can also help your children to become more responsible because they will need to take care of the cat.

What are some of the problems that can arise after adopting a second cat?

While there are surely benefits to adopting a second cat, it can also become the source of problems! With your first cat, you have been through hardships and have found ways to get through them. With a second cat, different kinds of problems can arise.

Problems between the cats

Cats are territorial animals. Your first cat might not appreciate the arrival of another cat on their territory. After living with you, they have made the house their property. They will probably not want a stranger coming and playing with their toys or cuddling with their humans. They might be thinking that the life that they were living was perfect the way it was.

The power struggle between the two cats

Your first cat will undoubtedly not allow themselves to feel less powerful than the other cat. They will do whatever it takes to make the other cat understand that they are not welcome. They will show the other cat who is boss. During this time, you might go through some difficult weeks. You will be obligated to be the arbitrator between them to avoid problems. Typically, the new cat will stay on the down low for some time. You might hear your cats growling at each other or chasing each other. Your cats might even hiss at each other. Only intervene if you think that it is going too far.

Incompatibility between the first and second cat

After several weeks of living together, you might notice that there is an incompatibility between the two cats. Unfortunately, this happens. Unfortunately, if this incompatibility lasts, this could lead to the unfortunate decision of having to separate them. You cannot force two cats to live together if they cannot handle it. The situation will become unlivable for everyone in the household. Tensions will appear in the family and you will find yourself in the opposite situation that you were hoping for. That’s why it is incredibly important to do research and make sure that you think long and hard before adopting a second cat.

The departure of one of the two cats

Sometimes one of the cats can decide to leave. If you are unable to find a solution for the incompatibility of your two felines, you might come home to discover that one of your cats has disappeared. Cats are sensitive creatures. During the first few hours, they can be hiding in one of their favorite hiding spaces to show you that they do not appreciate the arrival of their enemy.

Your second cat can adopt a similar attitude by hiding and fleeing from your first cat. After seeing them sulk for several hours or day, you can start to worry if your cats has not come back. They might prefer running away from the situation. Cats are clever, they will eventually find a new home that is willing to accept them and give them all of their attention.

Two cats sitting next to each other
You will be obligated to be the arbitrator between your two cats to avoid problems.

What can I do to help make the situation easier?

While we have mentioned all of the things that can go wrong, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you welcome your second cat in the best way possible.

Take the time to organize a peaceful cohabitation between the two cats

Like every cohabitation, it is important to not neglect the most important factor: time. Do not rush yourself when choosing a second cat. Do you have a friend with a female cat who is about to give birth to a litter of kittens? This is a great opportunity because you already know the character of their cat and you can visit them often to observe the behavior of the kittens. You can choose your favorite kitten from the litter and above all judge more easily if the kitten can get along with your first cat.

You can also decide to adopt a cat who older as an alternative if you worry that your cat will not be able to handle the dynamic of a new cat. If your cat is a specific breed, you can do some research to see which breeds get along well together.

Do not force the cats to live together right away. Instead let them spend a few minutes together for several days.

Prepare for the meeting between the two cats

With good preparation, the meeting between the two cats can happen without any major issues. Some specialists recommend getting the cats used to each other’s scent. To do this; use a tissue to rub on your cat’s fur and have the other cat smell the other cat’s tissue. Do the same with the other cat. When they will meet, they will already remember the smell of their future housemate.

Another solution is to use pheromone sprays or diffusers. These can help cats to relax when they find themselves in new situations or in a new place.

Plan on having bowls and a litter box for the new cat because you cannot count on the two cats to share. Keep your first cat’s food and litter in the same place to avoid any conflict.

Ask for help from others to improve your experience

Do not automatically reject the idea of having someone help you. For example, you can try to see if the two cats will get along well together before adopting a second cat. Some centers allow regular visits for cats that are going to be adopted.

You can also consider contacting a behaviorist to help you assess your cat and give you advice about adopting a second cat. The specialist can come at the beginning of the cohabitation to analyze the behavior of each of them. You can also recontact them if there are any issues.

You might also enjoy reading this article: The most common cat fears