Congratulations! You're clearly here because you're either thinking about getting a second cat, or you're already preparing to pick up your new fur baby from the shelter or pet shop. Without question, adding a new kitty to your family is a purr-fectly wonderful thing. Not only will you have a new snuggle buddy, your first cat will finally have a playmate who isn't your sofa or nicest pillow.
That said, if you think getting a second cat is all fun and games, allow us to gently burst your balloon — before your first cat does, that is. As you're well aware, owning one precious pet is a big responsibility. Adding one more to the mix can increase your workload in ways you never expected or even imagined. (These are not pet goldfish we're talking about!) But while owning two cats can sometimes mean double trouble, it also means double the fun — and double the love. And that, to us, is worth any challenge that comes our way as pet owners.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
With your hard work and dedication, you can still be the best fur mama you've always been. Just keep these handy tips from experienced pet owners in your back pocket when you meet cat No. 2:
- You may need to recruit a third party to bring your second cat into your home for the first time. Your first cat might not take too kindly to seeing you with a furry stranger without warning.
- Even after your new kitty settles in, you'll learn very quickly that you need to keep a close eye on the first cat. Those furballs get jealous easily.
- You have to take your time to introduce the cats to one another. This means you can't have them in the same room right away. While some cats warm up to each other after a matter of days, others can take weeks — so say goodbye to keeping any doors open in your house for a while.
- You'll start to feel very protective of the younger cat, especially if he or she is on the smaller side.
- Your concerns are not unfounded: The bigger cat will definitely try to sit on the smaller cat when given the opportunity.
- After your cats finally get acquainted, you may spot some new kitty injuries, such as scratched ears, shortly thereafter. What can we say — the term "catfight" exists for a reason!
- The first cat might have a strange new urge to roam around at night. Go ahead and let him or her do this, but be sure to put the second cat in another room with the door closed.
- Meanwhile, if you choose to keep your new cat in the bedroom with you, be aware that you may not sleep. The time of about 3 a.m. seems to be the second cat's waking hour of choice.
- You can't assume that both cats will like the same type of food. They're notoriously picky creatures, and they all have very specific tastes; one kitty's gourmet meal is another feline's pile of mush.
- You also can't assume that they'll leave the same amount of "presents" in the litter box — or outside of the litter box in some cases.
- If there's a cat virus going around, both of your poor felines will inevitably get sick at the exact same time. (Now is a great time to double-check what animal hospitals are open 24/7 near you.)
- You'll eventually learn how to spend just as much time with your first cat as you do with the second one. Pro tip: Letting another human shower the other kitty with affection when you're occupied with the second can be a big help.
- It'll be a huge milestone when you finally get a picture of both cats together where they're actually looking at the camera and don't look like they want to attack each other — or the photographer.
- When your second cat gets restless, he or she may need you to hold him or her — for hours. (Just like your first one.) Hey, they're called your fur babies for a reason.
- If your kitties become friends, you might be so overwhelmed by the cuteness that you'll find it hard to leave your house. Don't worry — they'll still be adorable by the time you get back home!
Next, see some adorable sleepy cats that remind us of ourselves in the morning: