Is your male kitty lonely? He might enjoy a four-legged companion (don't take it personally -- you're almost enough). Kitties are social creatures and often enjoy a buddy to play and hang out with, but your cat's potential buddy depends largely on him and whether he'll accept a newcomer.
Male or Female?
When choosing a pal for your male cat, another neutered male or a spayed female might work out just fine. According to cat behaviorist and writer Marva Marrow, neutered males aren't the troublemakers; female cats are. Two female kitties can create a slug-fest. So, either sex, provided that they are spayed or neutered, might work for your boy.
Adult or Kitten?
Many behaviorists recommend a kitten, and with good reasons, as Dusty Rainbolt, cat writer and behaviorist, writes in her book, "Cat Wrangling Made Easy." Often kittens are not perceived as a threat, especially if they are younger than 5 months and do not have hormones racing through them. But rambunctious kittens can get on an adult cat's nerves, especially if the adult cat is aggressive or dominant. An adult cat who gets along with other cats might be a better solution than an in-your-face and energetic kitten.
The success of a long-term relationship depends on the personality of both cats. If your older guy is quiet, shy and retiring, get a companion who matches his personality, not one who is the life of the party. An outgoing, active cat needs a buddy who will keep up with him. Dominant cats are tricky; look for a pal with a similar personality so he doesn't use his buddy like a doormat. And it might seem obvious, but make sure the new cat gets along with other cats, too, and the transition will go much better.
Sometimes adding a new cat is a non-event; other times, it's all-out war. Be sure to have three litter boxes, several scratching posts, and separate food and water bowls in different rooms so neither cat feels like he has to guard the resources. But you'll want to start with your newcomer in a room of his own with a litter box, food, water and a scratcher. Your resident dude can get used to the idea of another cat being around without having the newbie in his face.
After a few days, crack the door and let both cats sniff each other. If there aren't any signs of aggression, you can let them out with each other. If there is aggression, wait a few more days and try it again.
- The Daily Cat: Are Two or More Cats Better than One?
- Animal Planet: Having More than One Cat
- The Daily Cat: Are Cats Loners?
- Cat Wrangling Made Easy, Dusty Rainbolt
- Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images