Social Question

Facade's avatar

How necessary is it to have more than one cat?

Asked by Facade (22847 points ) March 20th, 2011

I’m always worried that our cat is lonely and in need of a friend. I’ve always heard that it’s best to have at least two cats so that they can keep each other company and do cat things. We’d love to get a second cat, but out apartment isn’t big enough and our landlord only allowed us one.

Are we damaging Duncan by only having one cat in the house?

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20 Answers

15barcam's avatar

if you have a lot of time to spend with the cat, they don’t need a friend, but if you don’t, they do

jerv's avatar

Cats are a bit more social than some people think. I know that my current cat is solitary, so when we aren’t in the house, she goes bat-shit and has all sorts of separation anxiety and boredom issues. Back in our little cottage in NH, we had similar problems when we only had one, but no problems with three and later five. Long story…

Cats need something to keep them entertained. They prefer something interactive; either prey or another cat—-though the other cat could be prey—to keep them from getting bored, lonely, and loud.

BTW, we had those five cats in a little cottage that was only 20’x20’ with a half-loft for a total of 600 square feet. That is actually a bit smaller than our current two-bedroom apartment. Granted, it helped that those cats were one old cat, two middle-aged sisters, and two young brothers, so in a way it was like having three cats (the siblings got along with each other) but the way I see it, if we could manage five cats in that place, you can mange two even in a place half the size.

Whether the landlord allows that… well, I think that depends on the landlord.

Blueroses's avatar

If Duncan (great name, btw!) has been an only child since kittenhood, he probably doesn’t spend a lot of time wishing there was another cat in the house. He’s adapted to having people as his tribe. If he seems happy and basically content and you take time to play with him, he isn’t being damaged at all.

However, if he has separation anxiety and destructive behaviors, a second cat could help distract him.

Jude's avatar

My boy started out by living with three other felines (when I was with one of my exes). He was a little shit and the other kittehs were somewhat annoyed by him. Now, 11 years later, I have myself a 6 month old kitten, along with Frankie (my first boy). Frank and Chevy get along wonderfully. Chev brings out the kitten in old Frankie. They sleep together and play quite a bit. The little one is often looking for the older boy. It’s pretty cute.

Not necessary, really, but, I think that Duncan would love it. :)

crisw's avatar

It really depends on the cat. Many prefer being alone. Do you know if your cat likes other cats?

anartist's avatar

It can greatly enhance the life of the cat[s], especially if they were raised together, and it increases your enjoyment as you watch them interact. It is a little harder for this to work when they are older as they may largely ignore each other, depending on their personalities.

If Duncan has grown used to living alone, perhaps it is better to leave it that way, unless he is very young.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have two,plus a dog.They do keep each other company and get along nicely.When I got my first cat,a female,the breeder recommended a male for the second one as she felt they would get along alot better and they do…as long as Bill does what Gremily wants.XD

gondwanalon's avatar

Be careful when selecting a companion cat for your current cat. I suggest that both cats are “fixed” before introducing them to each other. Also I think that the new cat should be smaller than the original cat so as to not pose a dominate and threatening posture.

I introduced two very small kittens into our household that had one older male cat and that turned out well. The older cat seemed to adore the baby kittens and continued to do so even when the kittens grew and matured.

Many years ago I had a bad experience with Mr. Spock (a very friendly older cat). I thought that he might enjoy having a cat friend. Mr. Spock was not fixed nor was the other male cat that I brought home. Mr. Spock took one look at the intruded and attacked with full intentions to kill. Spock went for the neck and pinned the new cat to the floor. I had to act quickly to avoid a slaughter.

Good luck!

>> ^.,.^<<
    (       )~~’

Facade's avatar

GA’s everyone!
@crisw I don’t know if he likes other cats or not. Should he have cat friends?
@anartist He’s ten months

crisw's avatar

@Facade

You might want to try it out before considering adopting another cat.

Cruiser's avatar

IMO, If you are going to take on the responsibility of a pet, you then have the obligation to be it’s companion and care taker.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Be careful and gauge how much you think your kitty enjoys have you all to himself. My mother has been a “cat lady” all her life and several times has found the cats don’t like to share a litter box (no matter how cleanly kept), will mark even if they’ve been fixed and don’t seem to care if they have a cat brother/sister or not.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I once adopted a cat that had lived with another cat. I only took one of the pair. About a month later, the owner guilted me into taking the second cat. I thought the first cat would be happy to have it’s friend back, but instead it flipped out. It was like, “WHAT!?! I thought I finally got rid of you!!!”

Lots of kitty toys, things to explore like paper bags, and you should be good. Cats like their 22 hours of shut-eye a day.

Facade's avatar

@Cruiser Ok… How does that relate to my question?

Aster's avatar

All I know is a friend of mine has 2 females and they hiss at each other a lot.

anartist's avatar

@Facade, he’s still just a kitten [or a teenager—which is how I thought of JackyJilly at that age].

Maybe you can “foster” a cat or two for a local cat adoption/shelter group and get a feel for how Duncan likes it. If the two really hit it off you have found your second cat.
I think @Cruiser was referring to the answer above his, about “trying it out,” as am I.
Good luck whatever you do.

My JackyJilly were so close it was almost like they had a secret language. Until he died at age 9. I have thought long and hard about companionship for Jilly. I am doing nothing right now, but am considering a kitten or two for her to “raise” as a new experience in her life.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I had to talk my hubby into our second cat (Yoda), and only because a friend of mine had a surprise litter from her cats. My huge male, Chewbacca, took to the little kitten immediately, and bathed her, let her eat all she wanted before he started eating, and seemed to be very careful to play gently with her. He’s kinda become a different cat since we adopted the second one last year. He’s more loving and bathes us and meows very loudly if he doesn’t know where Yoda is.

Before we got Yoda, he was super rambunctious and would tear through the house like his tail was on fire. He would also bite my daughters more frequently if they were playing with his tummy.

Since he’s got his little girlfriend now, though, he rarely bites, no matter what the kids do to him, he wants to love on us all the time, and he spends a good deal of time snuggling with Yoda or bathing her. I’m really enjoying having two cats.

@gondwanalon That little cat is so cute! How’d you do that?

crisw's avatar

@anartist

What I meant by “trying it out” was by inviting another cat over for a visit, which is what was suggested by the comment “Should he have cat friends?”

gondwanalon's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate ^..^ ~’   ^..^ ~’   ^..^ ~’   ^..^ ~’   ^..^ ~’ 
^..^ ~’   ^..^ ~’   ^..^ ~’   ^..^ ~’  Something like this:

,..Ω..,
\/)∞(\/
  (o)
  ruff!!!!!!

augustlan's avatar

I much prefer having two cats to having one. They do keep each other entertained, and don’t seem to get up to as much mischief as a single cat does. That said, I doubt that you’re actually harming Duncan by keeping him an ‘only child’. Think of a second as an enhancement, but not a necessity. Just make sure he’s got plenty of other things to keep him engaged and occupied.

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