Would a 2nd cat be good for a nervous but lonely cat?

Our question this week was:

I have a sweet, but very timid little cat who doesn't like to be without me for long periods of time. I am finishing school and will be starting full-time work in a few months and I'm concerned about her. Would it be beneficial or too stressful to find her a friend, and if it would be good, what age/sex would you recommend and how could I ease the transition?

Rachel Klein

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. From your information, I gather that your cat is about 1-year-old. Your question is a good one but does not have a simple answer. Some cats enjoy being the only cat in the home and other cats enjoy the company of another cat. It is difficult to tell which way some cats will be with other cats.

Cats that have been socialized properly as kittens, spent time with other cats and their littermates to learn the normal play and hierarchy of the cat world tend to do best with additional cats in their homes.

It is certainly reasonable to try another cat if you like. If you do this, I'd do it when you are still spending a lot of time at home and can supervise the transition. For an adult female cat, a young male cat may be my first recommendation. By young, I'd say 8 to 12 weeks. This way she will feel like she is "boss". There are very specific recommendations as to know you should introduce the cats. They are actually covered in the articles that I'm going to suggest to you. They include: Should you get another cat?, Bringing a New Cat Into the Home, and Introducing a new Cat into your home.

Let me know what happens with your kitty!

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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