My cat is bored, do you think it would be better if I found him a friend?

By Patricia Durocher • 11 August 2020

“Should I adopt a second cat?” is a question we often hear at the shelter.

Before moving in this direction, ask yourself these two questions:


Why do you think your cat seems bored?

Because he sleeps all the time…”

We often find that our cat sleeps a lot and we think he needs stimulation. While this last statement is generally true, it’s perfectly normal for a cat to sleep a lot. More precisely, a cat will spend a third of its day sleeping. Since his sleep is lighter than ours, he’ll need more time to recover properly.

Because he jumps around and gets into mischief!

On the contrary, it can also happen that a very active cat is perceived as needing a friend “to keep him busy” or “channel his energy”. While it’s true that a cat needs activity, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll play with the friend you choose, or even enjoy his presence…

The best thing to do is to provide stimulation and play yourself, so as to meet his needs.

Here are a few ideas for stimulating activities:

  • Make him look for his food: either by hiding it in your house, or by using enrichment bowls.
  • Play it several times a day. But you have to use the right method to burn off your excess energy.
  • Teach him tricks: sit, paw, play dead, etc.


Are you ready to get involved if cohabitation is difficult?

In their natural state, cats rarely live together or share the same territory. Cats are above all solitary, territorial animals.

Forced cohabitation can be tricky. So think twice and
prepare for certain things

  • Choose a cat with the same energy as yours.
  • Enrich their environment: more bedding, scattered resources, modules where they can climb…
  • Associate their presence with something positive right from the start (treats, group play sessions) and introduce them gradually.
  • Avoid intervening if arguments break out, as this only makes things worse. Instead, contact a professional or ask the refuge for advice.


A final word of advice!

If you’re thinking of adopting a second kitty, do it for yourself not for your cat. He’ll get along just fine on his own, and usually prefers to be king of the house. But if the idea is on your mind and you really want to, be ready to invest in their relationship.


Article by Dorothée Pâris Pasturel, adoption officer and behavioral evaluator.


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