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Will My Cat Be Mad At Me If I Get Another Cat?

If you are thinking about getting another cat, you may be wondering what impact this may have on your resident cat.

Will my cat be mad at me if I get another cat?

It’s possible that your cat will be upset. Not only are cats ‘sticklers’ for their daily schedule, but even changing the furniture in the house or going out too many times unexpectedly during the week can depress or severely stress your cat. Adding a new cat ranks higher than these and you need to be prepared.

Cats are very attached to their owners, especially if you live alone, so bringing a new cat into the house needs to be done with the utmost care. Extra attention to your older kitty is important and you should introduce them carefully and in a supervised manner.

Keep in mind, as well, that there is no guarantee that your cat will ever like the new cat that you bring home. That said, over time, they should at least learn to tolerate them.

How can you tell if your cat is jealous?

A brown cat lying on a brown textile.

A brown cat lying on a brown textile.

Usually, your cat will be very clear about this. They’ll push you for more attention, rubbing against you more than usual. This also marks you with their scent, another way of telling the new cat that ‘this person is mine’.

Likely, your cat is going to wrestle or even fight with the new cat if introductions aren’t carefully done.

During this time, your cat needs extra attention, treats, and you should make a space in the house that the new cat cannot get to so that your cat doesn’t feel like they are being pushed out or replaced. This is a stressful time for them, so the extra attention can go a long way.

Would my cat attack my new kitten?

Yes, it is possible that your cat would attack a new kitten, so all interactions must be supervised until you are sure that this is not going to happen.

While some cats will take an almost instant and even parental sort of liking to a new kitten, this is not always the case – it can take weeks or even months for them to adjust. You’ll want to invest in a plastic crate for your kitten just in case a face-to-face introduction is not safe.

Be prepared – this could take a while – but with a little patience and a lot of love, your cat will eventually adjust to the new kitten.

How can I introduce my cat to a new kitten?

Start by swapping out their bedding, so that each can smell the other’s scents from the blankets that you’ve switched out before they get a proper meeting. For the first meeting, your kitten should be in a crate, so that they can sniff each other but the older cat cannot harm the kitten.

Do this for a day or two, giving treats to both and playing with them, but give extra attention to the older cat. This will help to start building a pool of pleasant associations with the 3 of you playing so that your cat eventually relaxes a little around the small, furry newcomer to the household.

Do cats get stressed when you get another cat?

Yes, this is highly stressful to your cat, and while a  very small percentage of cats are laid-back enough that they will simply be amused with a sudden new playmate, most cats will be anywhere from visibly stressed to downright hostile.

This is why slow introductions are going to be very important. Cats are solitary by nature and territorial creatures and even changes in the house such as a new couch can stress out these furry creatures of habit. This means it will up to you to make the transition to a dual-cat household as easy as possible.

This will require lots of treats, love, and constant supervision. Your cat will adjust over time, though there is no guarantee that they’ll be buddies with the new cat. You’ll just have to be patient with the process and see how things unfold.

How long does it take for a cat to get used to a new cat?

For many cats, the process of becoming best friends can take as much as 8 to 9 months, so you’ll want to keep realistic expectations when you introduce them. Yes, some cats become buddies in days or even weeks, but this is not always the case.

Remember – cats are solitary creatures and they don’t like when anything changes in their environment. Furthermore, they are going to establish a hierarchy, especially if the cats are close to the same age.

You’ll need to slowly introduce them and supervise all visits, otherwise a lot of urine ‘marking’ behaviors are going to happen, as your older cat desperately begins establishing their territory. This is normal, unfortunately, but manageable if you go into this with the right attitude.

Expect the worst and be prepared to make slow introductions, with lots of treats and extra attention, and things will be fine – it just won’t happen overnight.

Is Will getting a second cat calm my cat down?

In this case, the most realistic answer is ‘maybe’. If your cat is a little codependent on you, then introducing a second cat into the house might be a recipe for chaos, although barring this scenario then in most cases if you introduce them carefully then having two cats is better than one.

With slow introductions, once they have learned to tolerate each other, most cats will indeed become friends after several months (most commonly 8 or 9). Once this happens, then each cat has a buddy that is always going to be home with them when you are not.

Mind you – this can lead to more trouble is you don’t cat-proof the place – but it can just as easily give both cats a nice outlet for that extra energy. Introductions are most easily done when they are young, but even cats of 2 years of age or older can adjust to a new cat – just take your time to do it right.

Is it better to have 2 cats?

An orange and brown cat on pavement near a body of water.

An orange and brown cat on the pavement near a body of water.

Once they have learned to cohabitate, then yes, this can be an enriching experience for both cats. While solitary by nature, domesticated cats can learn to live together, and having a constant playmate in the home is almost always a plus.

Just keep in mind that there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, older cats may become downright hostile to having a new cat in the house after having it to themselves for 7 years.

So, consider this carefully and if you decide to give it a go, introduce them slowly and give lots of deference and attention to the cat with ‘seniority’ and once they start getting along, everyone will likely be much happier.

How do I know if my cat needs a friend?

If you are seeing a lot of behavioral changes, such as sudden, excessive grooming sessions, sleeping more often than usual during the day, lots of new attention to the window, or just a lot of clinginess to you later then you might have a lonely kitty on your hands.

Cats can get lonely too, especially if you have to work a lot or simply if the two of you live alone in that big, old apartment or house.

If you think that this might be the case then a second cat is something to consider. Just don’t make this decision lightly – you will need to supervise introductions and cat-proof the house so that you separate them as needed, and the overall process may take months before they become buddies.

If you can make this commitment then a second cat might be just what the doctor ordered for your current kitty.

What are the pros and cons of getting a second cat?

There are some specific pros and cons to adding a second cat into your household. Let’s start with the pros:

  • Your cat has company and a playmate when you’re not home
  • Both can benefit from the additional socializing, becoming better behaved
  • With two cats, the chances of codependency on you are reduced
  • They can keep each other entertained if you have a long day or need a social outing

Now, let’s take a look at the cons:

  • There are no guarantees that the cats will become friends – they may just tolerate each other
  • The introduction process can take days, weeks, or months – you’ll need to commit to this.
  • Heavy supervision is required until the cats accept each other
  • Your older cat and the new cat might start ‘marking their territory’ during introductions
  • More maintenance will be required to keep both cats happy and your house clean

Take a look at the pros and cons and this should give you a basic idea of what is going to be involved. Adding a second cat to your home can be enriching for the whole family – furry and otherwise – but it’s also a big responsibility. If you are willing to put in the time, however, it’s well worth considering.

Lindsey Browlingdon