The Hervey Foundation for Cats
Do Cats Get Lonely? Do Cats Need Other Cats?

Do Cats Get Lonely? Do Cats Need Other Cats?

There are a lot of misconceptions about whether cats like to live among their kind – one of the biggest being they prefer to live alone. This might be rooted in the fact that adult cats have a strong solitary survival instinct, but like a lot of things, it boils down to the individual. 

Consider that kittens love to play with other cats and kittens, feral cats form colonies, and there are countless examples of housecats co-existing happily. If this is the case, then we cannot rule out the idea that some cats enjoy being around other cats. 

The best predictor of whether two cats will get along is knowing their history. If you have this information, you can predict outcomes more easily. For example, a nervous, stressed-out cat is not likely to get along with a new cat, regardless of how relaxed that other cat might be. On the other side, a cat you adopted from a shelter that seemed to show calm around others might be more likely to accept another feline as a roommate. 

Do Cats Get Lonely?

Is loneliness an issue in the feline world? For some cats, yes! As mentioned earlier, kittens need other kittens/cats to interact with and develop, cats in the wild find each other and often share resources. Cats are social creatures by nature.  

The reason we say only some cats get lonely is because many have solitary survival instincts that kick in as an adult. Sadly, many cats live alone in the wild, but they are equipped to do so. Survival is something engrained in cats – even our domestic household breeds, and if they need to, they will survive and thrive on their own. After a long enough time, these cats will have a much harder time re-socializing, if ever at all. 

Do Cats Need Other Cats?

The answer is usually no, they don’t need them, but sometimes other cats can enrich their lives in ways they wouldn’t otherwise anticipate. Like we said above, they are equipped to live well without other cats, or even people, but in many cases, they are happier with them over time.

When a new cat is introduced to a home where other cats live, there is usually plenty of tension, but it fades over time. Some folks mistake this as evidence that cats don’t actually like being around each other. This is just how territorial animals react when other animals come into their zone. With time, they can learn to share the space and build a beautiful friendship. 

Bonded Pairs

Admittedly it can be hard to determine how your cat might react to a new cat living under the same roof. Some adoption centres may offer something referred to as bonded pairs. These are cats that have lived together all their lives or for long periods of time. For one reason or another, the two have ended up at the shelter together and should be adopted together. 

Bringing Them Together

Think about your cat. Do you remember when you first brought them home? Were they a shelter cat or from someone’s home? Were they curious or afraid? Are they defensive when they see wildlife outside? These are all potential indicators of whether your cat might accept living with another cat.  

Even the calmest cat can find themselves defensive and stressed out at the sight of another cat inside their home. As a result, it is important to take the proper steps to introduce a new cat to your home to avoid causing too much upset. There definitely is a right way and a wrong way of introducing a new cat to your home and we suggest reading our blog: How to Introduce a New Cat to Your Home

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