My cat is bored, should I get her a friend?
By Dorothée Pâris Pasturel • 11 August 2020
“Should I adopt a second cat?” is a question we get often at the shelter.
Before making the decision, ask yourself these two questions:
1. Why do you think your cat seems bored?
“Because she sleeps all the time…”
Very often, we find that our cat sleeps a lot and we think that they need stimulation. Even though this statement is generally true, you should know that a cat sleeping a lot is perfectly normal. More precisely, a cat will spend a third of the day sleeping. Since their sleep is lighter than ours, they will need more time to recover properly.
“Because she jumps everywhere and is naughty!”
At the other extreme, a very active cat can also be perceived as needing a friend “to keep her busy” or “to channel her energy.” While it is true that a cat needs activity, that does not necessarily mean that she would play with the friend you choose for her, or even that she would appreciate his presence…
It is best to provide stimulation and games in order to meet her needs.
Here are some ideas for stimulating activities:
- Make her look for her food: either by hiding it in your house, or by using enrichment bowls.
- Play with her several times a day. Careful, you must use the right methods to burn off her excess energy.
- Teach him tricks: sit, shake paws, play dead, etc.
2. Are you ready to get involved if they have problems living together?
In nature, it is very rare to see cats living together, or even sharing a territory. Cats are first and foremost solitary and territorial animals.
An imposed cohabitation can be tricky. So you have to really think about it and be ready for certain things:
- Choose a cat that will have the same energy as yours.
- Enrich their environment: more bedding, dispersed resources, units they can climb on…
- Associate each other’s presence with something positive from the start (treats, group play sessions) and introduce them to each other gradually.
- Avoid intervening in fights, it only makes matters worse. Instead, contact a professional or ask the shelter for advice.
One last tip!
If you are thinking of adopting a second kitty, do it for yourself and not for your cat. She will adapt very well on her own and will most often prefer being the queen of the house. But if you can’t stop mulling over the idea and you really want it, be ready to invest in their relationship.
Article by Dorothée Pâris Pasturel, adoption worker and behavioural assessor.