Are Two Indoor Cats Better Than One?

Although people tend to think that cats prefer to be solitary animals, many of them can benefit from living indoors in pairs. If two indoor cats get along well, they can enrich each other’s lives by providing constant companionship and entertainment. Happier cats behave better and are overall, they are just more enjoyable to be around.

As an owner, it will be more difficult to have an additional cat but we don’t think its twice as hard to have two indoor cats that one. You will already be doing tasks like feeding, playtime, and litter box cleaning. Cats can also share toys and you often get discounts for having two cats at the vets and for insurance. Getting two cats is not always the best decision. In some cases, introducing a new cat to your household may lead to both cats becoming upset leaving you with more problems to deal with.

What are the benefits of having two indoor cats?

Keeping cats indoors permanently means that you as an owner to take several steps to ensure your cat’s happiness. A major part of enriching your indoor cat’s life is keeping them entertained through new experiences and play. Pairs of indoor cats are generally happier as they can provide a source of interest and entertainment all day long even when you are not around. This leads to your indoor cats having less chance to develop behavioral problems. This is true assuming that the pair of cats are familiar and friendly with each other.

As an owner, you also have the benefit of having twice the number of cats to play with. If one isn’t feeling spending time with you, the other one may be. You also get to watch two cats playing and cuddling with each other which can be just as entertaining as playing with one of them yourself.

Is having one indoor cat cruel?

Having two indoor cats is so common now that some people consider having one indoor cat to be cruel. We don’t think this is necessarily true. If you take the necessary steps to keeping your single indoor cat entertained, they can live a happy life indoors by themselves. Some indoor cats can be extremely territorial and won’t appreciate the prospect of having a new feline housemate. In this case, the best option for them is to live as the only pet in the household.

Should I get one or two kittens?

Although you may have originally only planned to adopt a single kitten to live indoors, we strongly suggest that you consider adopting a pair. The effort and expense of adopting and owning two indoor kittens is not double that of adopting a single one. You save time and effort by doing actions such as feeding and play at the same time with both cats. You can make use of getting discounts for buying supplies and services in bulk and cats can share cat trees and toys together.

If you are adopting and indoor kitten for the first time, you may have found that many adoption and rescue centers will strongly prefer to give kittens from the same litter as pairs. The same is true for rescue cats that may have been fostered together and shown a strong bond for each other. This is for a good reason. Cats learn how to behave properly from other cats. Kittens living together will learn how to play, use the litter box, and groom themselves together. If you adopt two kittens who are in the same litter or grew up together, it is much more likely that they will grow up to be friendly with each other. This will mean that you will be avoiding the long process of introducing adult cats to each other in the same household.

Separating bonded cats and kittens can cause stress and anxiety in the cat leaving to depression and behavioral issues. Being separated from a best friend while moving into a new house may mean that a kitten struggle for the first weeks or months when you adopt them. Adoption agencies strongly suggest you adopt kittens in pairs and may offer discounts if you decide to do this.

Should I get a second indoor cat?

Based on their own experience, many cat owners recommend getting a second indoor cat to solve behavioral problems and entertain of the first one. While we believe that can be good advice in the right situation, we don’t think its always the problem.

We think that getting a second cat to enrich the life of another cat is generally a good idea. We think this especially true for indoor cats who struggle to find their own mental and social stimulation while living indoors permanently. Having a play mate to constantly go to, sleep with, and groom can give cats a lot of happiness. However, owners should know that introducing a new cat to the family is not always easy. It may be weeks or months before your cats warm up to each other if they are introduced correctly. Problems such as aggression between your new cat and your old may occur. Even after a good introduction, they may simply tolerate living together rather than being best friends.

If you are considering getting a cat to address behavioral issues of the first cat, we would strongly recommend attempting to address the negative behaviors off the original cat directly first. There is no guarantee that a second cat will solve bad behaviors of the first and may make some behaviors such as territoriality worse. Introductions between new cats in the house may also take months to do correctly. Cat behavior is complicated and there may be an underlying reason for why your cat is acting out that you aren’t aware of yet. Talking to a vet and cat behaviorist before committing to adopting another cat could save you a large headache.

Should I get a kitten if I already have an indoor cat?

Adopting a new kitten to keep an older indoor cat has its own unique problems. Kittens and younger cats have significantly more energy than senior cats. Differences in energy can mean that your first cat will become aggravated and aggressive if they are approached for play when they are tired. This can affect the health of your first cat, especially if they are senile. Dr Yuki Hattori recommends getting a kitten if your first cat is 7 years of age or younger. At this point, your indoor cat’s body should still be healthy enough to keep up with a kitten’s antics. Their temperament, however, may still mean that they will need a measured introduction period. You will need to consider the health, energy levels, and temperament of your first cat before deciding to adopt a new kitten into the household.

How can I tell if my indoor cats like each other?

Affection in cats is not always obvious. Indoor cats that have become friendly with each other may show their love simply by lounging around in the same area. If your indoor cats lounge about in the same area and look relaxed that’s already a good sign. More obvious signs include grooming each other by giving tongue baths or scent marking by rubbing up on each other. Cats that are particularly attached to each other may sleep on top of one another just to bee close together.

Although your indoor cats may fight, almost all of the time this is for play. Cats will play fight by chasing each other, biting, swiping, and grappling on the ground. Although this may look like aggressive behavior to us, play fighting is a normal behavior for cats and is a good way for them to exercise and keep entertained. If you are worried that your cats are becoming too aggressive, you can look out for signs that a fight is escalating from play to aggression. If you are worried about a fight becoming too vicious, you can break line of sight between your cats with a cardboard screen or distract them with a toy.

Can two cats share a litter box?

It isn’t unheard of two cats sharing a litter box, but is quite uncommon. Cats can be territorial and picky over where they eliminate. Sharing a litter box will mean that litter will carry mixed scents and become dirty more often, two things that cats generally don’t like. The general rule of thumb is to have one more litter box in the house than the number of cats you have. If your indoor cats become unhappy with their litter box, they will start eliminating in other places about your home. Having multiple litter boxes can also be useful for identifying medical problems. If your cats have preferred litter boxes, it can be easier to inspect their waste for problems such as blood or worms. We strongly recommend having at least one extra litter box around the house for a pair of cats to use. You may be able to get rid of this if they show absolutely no interest but we should stress that this is quite unlikely and has some downsides.