I’m all for rescue and adoption. There are too many cats (and dogs) who are in need of homes. However, you may want to rethink the reason for getting another cat.

Bonded Pair of Cats

© Beth Dayton

Many people who have two cats, after one of their cats passes away, get another cat because they feel the remaining cat is lonely. This may bring about more grief and disappointment. Not only can the age of the cats make a difference in how they respond to each other, but also how much exposure to other animals and cats the resident cat has had prior to introducing a new cat is important to take into account.

If two cats are incredibly bonded — they sleep together, groom each other, eat together and/or are frequently in the same room with each other, it is incorrect to assume that any cat will take the deceased cat’s place. Cats become bonded for a reason, because they feel safe with each other and like each other. It’s a preference and choice. The longer a cat has been with another cat and the older that cat is the less likely that cat will be accepting of a newcomer, especially if they were one of only two in a home.

Cats - Humane Society of Greene County

© Humane Society of Greene County

A common mistake people make is to get a kitten or very young cat when they have an older or elderly cat (15 or 16 years old). A kitten will have far too much exuberance and as that kitten ages, the kitten will become more playful and adversarial. An older cat is not going to want to play with a 2 year old male youngster, especially if s/he was not a ‘wrestler’ or ‘player’ to begin with.

There is no perfect mix for cats or guarantees. However, if you had two cats who are bonded, and one recently passed, especially if they are older or elderly, think twice about getting another ‘friend’ for your remaining cat. Many cats are quite happy on their own with the humans or animals they already know. Unless you know that both cats are nonaggressive or relaxed with each other, wait until the remaining older cat passes, then get two or more cats at the same time or add new cats to the family.

© 2019 Alana Stevenson. All Rights Reserved.