WHICH NUMBER IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
For many things in life an argument can be made that more is better- more sugar in your coffee, more presents under the tree, more followers on twitter.
But, what about more cats? Is more better? Is more even okay?
The answer will likely depend on who you ask.
Sometimes, the answer is all about personal preference. The decision for you is clear – you don’t have enough time, space, or money for more- or- you really just prefer to have only one to love.
Fortunately, for lovers of singles, there are plenty of cats that sit in shelters ready and willing to be your one and only.
( if there is any question that down the line you might want another, please don’t adopt one of these “only” cats.)
Sometimes, if you already have a cat at home, they might make it crystal clear that bringing home any surprises for them will result in a few surprises for you:
(If you know what me mean)
Not all cats want housemates.
But – if you’re on the line and considering whether you should adopt a pair – or more- or to add another to your collection there are a few things to consider.
The first being the additional cost of adding another cat.
While your time investment won’t necessarily double, your vet, food and litter expenses will. There is also the initial investment of additional litter boxes, beds, scratchers, food & water bowls, perches, toys and trees for your new addition.
Once you’ve worked through whether you can accept the added investments, what is your next step?
If you don’t have any cats at home and want to adopt more than one, your best options are:
- Adopt litter mates who enjoy each others company.
This way the kittens will keep each other occupied and entertained playing and less likely to get into trouble. All the while learning important social skills and boundaries that will result in adults with fewer behavior issues.
- Adopt older cats that are already bonded.
Having a bonded buddy along makes the transition into the new home less stressful for both.
Already have a cat at home and looking to add another?
Cats are not solitary and unsocial as they are often portrayed to be. Adding a new cat can help to relieve their boredom and loneliness-especially if they are left alone for long periods of time.
And, having two cats will generally make them both more confident and outgoing.
BUT LISTEN- cause this is important- cats are territorial and don’t often like intruders that are suddenly dropped into their space.
They need time to adjust to the idea and to get acquainted with their new housemate.
So, it’s important to try to get this right- you need to know your cat and what their personality is.
Then, choose a cat that will match your cats personality as closely as possible- if your cat is shy, you don’t want to adopt a cat that will bully your cat and make him hide under the bed even more.
Also think about your cats age, size and activity level- a lazy couch potato won’t likely be overjoyed with a new rambunctious youngster in the house disrupting his naps.
If you are looking to adopt two new cats that are not bonded, sometimes it is best to adopt one cat and let that cat settle in to their surroundings-learn about his personality, temperament and activity level and then try to find a match for that cat. Alternatively if you don’t know much about either cat you can bring them home at the same time and they will then both be dividing new unclaimed territory.
In all cases with new cats, it is important to have plenty of resources available so the cats don’t have to share if they don’t wish to and don’t need to compete for anything that they feel is in short supply.
And always do gradual introductions to let cats adjust to their living changes and new siblings- some cats might hit it off right away while others may take months or longer.
Even though we might do our best to match personalities we can’t control that little bit of magic “chemistry” that is needed to make the relationship work- there are just never any guarantees.
One final thought -how many cats is too many?
This is an individual decision- as long as you spend time with them, keep them stimulated, look after them- AND they get along (no cat should have to live in a fearful or stress filled home).
then enjoy the many benefits of owning multiple cats!