Would it be wise to get a new cat as a friend for my male cat? My boy is 4 and an indoor cat and as such I can't help feeling he seems lonely at times and might benefit from feline company. However, he's a bit of a timid lad and as he's never really known any other cats I'm worried he might react badly and both he and the potential new cat will suffer.
I've thought about getting a friend (well hopefully friend and not enemy!) for him before but now a relative is having to give her cat away for various reasons and I keep thinking, what if? This cat is roughly the same age and female, also stays indoors.
Am I being daft here or should I take the chance? I want to do the best for my wee lad. If only animals could talk!
It's lap of the gods, Charles. Some of them get on and some don't. (My own elderly boy detests other cats - he doesn't like to share, however nice and friendly/courteous the other cat might be.) As he's never known another cat, however (apart from his litter mates), I'd be pretty wary.
What signals are you getting that he might be lonely?
Cozie - well maybe lonely is too strong a word, bored maybe? Although he does play a lot and is quite active despite not going outside. I suppose I just worry that he may be missing out on having a playmate. Previous cats in the family have always had a friend or two around so this is the first time I have just had one.
I agree with Cozie - you just don't know. He could be thrilled to have a companion or he could hate it. I don't think it really matters if you get a male or female, it's the personality of the new cat that is crucial.
You could certainly try it as long as your relative could take her back after a few weeks if it really doesn't work out.
I think you can generally introduce a cat and have it settle to a degree. Most will never become buddies where they share a bed etc but you could achieve nose touching cats who tolerate each other and provide a play fighting pal. In my 3 cat household, the arrival of second cat was a positive. Third cat however is tolerated by one and despised by the other.
It can take months so be prepared. I'd say the first few weeks are at the 'what have I done' stage but after say 3 months things should have settled.
You also need a separate room for new cat, as depending on the integration, it may need to be very slow and managed. She might need to be in this room when you are not there or overnight for just a few days or weeks. It can vary.