Cats are often said to be solitary animals that will be just fine on their own. But is this accurate? What is better: keeping a cat alone or with other cats? Here is the answer.
The character of the cat
Cats are known to be solitary animals. But the fact that they aren’t as affectionate as dogs, doesn’t necessarily mean they are loners either. Whether or not a cat is best kept alone or with another cat, is a difficult question. The answer depends on a number of factors such as the age and character of the animal as well as how much attention you are able to give it.
Kittens and socialisation
For kittens, having a buddy is very important. The socialisation phase of a kitten, i.e. the first weeks of its life, largely determines how it will respond to other cats later on. Properly socialised kittens will have a more positive response to other cats later in life. This is one reason why it is important for kittens to grow up with each other and with their mother. If you want more than one cat, it is best to opt for two kittens from the same nest.
Getting another cat later on
If you notice that your cat is getting a bit lonely and increasingly demanding, you may consider getting a second cat. It is important to have a backup plan in case your cat and its new buddy don’t match. Let the cats get used to each other carefully and give them time to get to know each other. If the cats don’t tolerate each other, make sure your can return the new cat to the shelter or find it another suitable home.
What can you do for a cat that is home alone?
If your cat is home alone a lot, make its life as pleasant as possible. For example, make sure it can go outside and have fun. Cats love entertainment. There is even such a thing as TV for cats, such as videos of birds at a feeding tray. These videos are also fun to make yourself. Another option is to turn on the radio at low volume when leaving the house but it is best to go for a combination of video and sound. Cats also love observing what is going on outside. Free up a spot on the windowsill where your cat can enjoy the view.
Keeping a cat alone or together?
In short, there is no single right answer to the question whether a cat is better kept alone or together. Keep a close eye on your cat’s behaviour and practice self-criticism. If you are away from home a lot and can’t give your pet a lot of attention, consider a buddy to prevent boredom. This may also help avoid undesirable behaviour. If your cat is displaying undesirable behaviour, consider whether loneliness may be a factor. Lonely cats may start to scratch your furniture or cause other damage to your home.