Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
I have had my cat for about three months. He is an 8-year-old Persian who I got from someone getting rid of him on Facebook. The woman giving him up felt that she did not have time for him. When I got him his fur was pretty patchy and he looked really skinny and had intestinal worms. The worms are gone, his fur is growing back, and he looks like he’s at a healthier weight. He also seems to have grown to trust and like me more. He never used to sit close to me or lay with me for more than a few minutes, but now cuddles and sits with me. I work 12-hour shifts but only three days a week. I worry about him when he’s home alone. When he lived with the other girl, she had another cat. He gets along okay with my parents’ cat when we visit, but I can’t tell if he misses having a companion. I’ve been debating getting a second cat, but don’t know if it’s right. He has some issues with change. He cried when I moved from one bedroom to the other and when I got a new bed. Should I think about getting another cat or not?
Thomas: First of all, Abby, thank you so much for adopting this cat. You almost certainly saved his life by doing so. And thank you to the human who realized she didn’t have time to take care of him properly and found him another home.
Bella: Now, as for your question about whether you should get another cat. There are a few things to consider before doing so.
Tara: First of all, you’ve only had this cat in your home for about three months, and he may still be getting used to his new home. So we think you should give him some more time to settle in before you consider adopting another cat.
Thomas: If you’re concerned that your cat is lonely or bored when you’re away, there are some things you can do to keep him stimulated.
Bella: First, if you don’t have a nice, tall cat tree, you should get one. Put it near a window so he can look out and watch “bird TV.”
Tara: Bird TV is my favorite! I sit on Mama’s desk and chatter at the birds in the trees behind our house!
Thomas: Another thing you can do is get him some puzzle toys. They come in a whole assortment of shapes and styles, and they can keep your kitty busy when they’re awake. This Catit Play Circuit Bundle is one example.
Bella: It’s got a ball track, grooming area, and puzzle feeder toy. Mama, this looks super-fun! Can we have one?
Tara: We’ve been good kitties, and we know Santa Paws will have lots of treats for us!
Thomas: Mama’s always said it’s nice to have two cats so they can keep each other company, but sometimes it’s just not practical to get another cat. That’s when puzzle toys come in.
Bella: But if you want to try having another cat in your home, consider fostering.
Tara: That’s right. Fostering is great because not only will it give you a chance to see if your guy will get along with other cats, but it saves lives, too!
Thomas: In order to foster, you will have to have a separate room for your foster kitty to live in while you introduce your cat and the foster cat using tools like scent swapping and playing together.
Bella: Check out this post for information on how to introduce another cat.
Tara: And make sure you spend time playing with your cat when you’re home, too. That’ll help him feel confident and more ready to make friends if you do decide to get another cat.
Thomas: So, Abby, long story short: We think you should wait a while and let your cat settle in a bit more before you get another cat.
Bella: And if you do bring another cat into your home, try fostering first. That will give you a good sense of whether or not your cat will do well with feline roommates.
Tara: What about you other readers? Do you have some tips for helping Abby’s cat settle in? Have you had a situation like this, and did you get another cat? How did it go? Please share your thoughts in the comments!