There are many benefits to having two cats if the two cats are well-matched and have enough physical space to live together comfortably. First, cats provide each other with exercise, social interaction, and mental stimulation. Cats housed together have more opportunities to “just be cats” by socializing and playing with each other. This also means that they are less likely to be destructive or engage in other problematic behaviors. Another benefit of having two cats is that they are sometimes cleaner than “single” cats. Cats will groom each other’s ears and coats, often getting to places a cat can’t reach on its own!
Individual cats differ in levels of activity and sociability, primarily based on age, previous experience, and exposure to other cats. Consider these differences when thinking about a match.
Should you decide to add a cat to a multiple-feline household, keep in mind that your cats are not likely to be best buddies immediately. Like people, cats need some space and proper introductions to develop healthy, long-lasting relationships. Please refer to our guidelines for introducing cats for further information.
Furthermore, if you are adopting a cat who is already living in a group, consider adopting one of his or her friends. Introducing two friends to a new home can ease the transition, and you’ll be much more likely to have a successful merger.
Kittens need interaction with other cats for healthy social development. A kitten learns a lot in the first several months of life from its mother and litter-mates. Separating a kitten from its mother is often necessary in order for it to be adopted (after it is weaned), but isolating it from all litter-mates or friends can delay the kitten’s emotional, social, and, possibly, physical development. Kittens who stay with a litter-mate or a similarly-aged companion tend to be healthier and happier and, in the long run, more socialized pets.
For all of these reasons, we adopt single kittens out to households that already include another kitten or young cat, or we ask that you adopt one of the kitten’s relatives or friends with it.