Is a second cat actually a good idea?

czuva

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I've been reading conflicting things about having two (or more cats)--some sources say a single cat gets lonely and a cat buddy helps provide companionship, but other sources say that cats are territorial and don't need or want another cat in its home fighting for food/space/attention.

For context, I recently got a Maine Coon kitten and am home all day with my partner, so she gets plenty of attention and playtime. However, we will eventually move to a 9-to-5 work schedule (not until kitten is at least over a year old), and I'm wondering if I need to think ahead to getting her a cat companion at that time. The other important thing is that my living situation will be relatively small apartments (e.g. 1-bedroom) for the near future, and I doubt I'll have room for "double cat things". Given these factors, is a second cat actually a good idea in the future? I imagine it'll also depend on how my cat handles being alone as an adult.

tl;dr with a 9-to-5 work schedule and small apartment, is it better to have one cat with more space or two to keep each other company?
 

susanm9006

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Two cats do take up more space, mostly you need room for a second litterbox. But a kitten pretty much always loves having another kitten to play and cuddle with. If you think you will get one, best to do it while the kitten is younger rather than closer to adulthood. The introduction/acceptance time is much shorter and when you have limited space to separate them that is important.
 

Elphaba09

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You do not exactly need "double cat things." You need enough extra litter boxes for two. Three would be ideal for three, but, honestly, one or two cleaned at least twice a day is fine. Or get a Litter Robot. Expensive but worth every penny in my opinion. How big is your apartment? Would you have enough room to take time with introductions? Do you have vertical spaces for your cat? Not just towers, but vertical spaces in your home that they would be permitted to be on, such as furniture. Getting a second cat sooner would be better because, typically, the younger the cats, the easier it is to acclimate them. More importantly, though, is getting cats whose dispositions match.

A small space and multiple cats can work! They just need their own spaces to go to if they need a break from each other.

Our home is 936 sq ft. We have 12 cats. At one time, we had 13. (We also had five adults and one baby here until last year!) They currently range in age from about 10 months to 17 years old. We have a Litter Robot downstairs and two regular boxes upstairs. (I do regular blacklight checks to make sure there are no elimination issues.) We are getting another robot for upstairs at some point because it just makes life easier for me! We have lots of vertical surfaces around the house to more than double the space they have to occupy. They are not allowed on the countertops or the table, but everywhere else is permissible. We have one tower; however, now that it is just my husband and me, we have room for another tower in my art studio. Surprisingly, despite a few bumps here and there, they get along exceptionally well.

Three of our 10-month-olds took a deep liking to our 8-year-old, 22 lbs, laid-back male name Fennimore. We call him their "mommadad" because you would think that he was their mother the way they act! Haha! Xanthippe, the only girl of the three, is his favorite, and they are always cuddled together with their arms around each other.
 

ArtNJ

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Two very young cats do come with some drawbacks that loom a bit larger in a one bedroom. 3 am play sessions that wake you up coming right to mind.

Very young cats almost always get along but there could be some minor tension because of the size difference, at least for a bit. Might stress you out more than the small one tbh. A sub one year old never actuall hurts a kitten but they play like an 8 year old with their 4 year old little brother. Head noogies and other nonsense. Which is totally fine but can take some getting used to for everyone.
 

Neko-chan's mama

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I think what you need to think about is so you really want another cat? I have a 2 year old singleton. I couldn't afford a second kitten when we got her. Now, I just don't want another cat. Many cats do well as only children, even when left alone for work days. Just provide enrichment activities while gone.
 

ccw321

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We got a siamese kitten in august, and were in the same boat - I and my partner were home all day and able to give the kitten tons of attention and cuddles (though we have a fairly big rental right now). Siamese are known to be very social and as a breed are known to get lonely without companionship, so for us it was always a question of not if but when. We just figured we would adopt another in a year or so when we had to return to in-person activities. Our kitten came with us for the holidays and almost instantly got along with two older family cats. Her behaviors changed and it seemed like a hole was filled for her (but then, Siamese are very social and all cats are different?).

I've heard it's especially nice for kittens to have playmates, and then it can be a bit of luck to see if they keep that friendship into cathood. Seeing just how differently our kitten acted around cats (and honestly how sad she seemed when we came home to the quiet only-cat house after the holidays) helped with the decision to bring another kitten in. At this point our kitten was 8 months, and a new kitten is so tiny in comparison, but they are finally getting along so well. Our first kitten's behaviors have changed for the better since bringing another in. She liked to chew on the blinds she could reach while she sat on the fridge and she would meow at us and just stare us down to play with her (while sitting in another room), and those were both signs to me she needed something more than she had.

And, I'm glad we brought another kitten into the home while our first cat was still a kitten .. So, my thought would be if you are thinking about getting another cat in the future when you have your first, the sooner the better in terms of helping them bond? re: double cat stuff, you almost need less toys because they have each other and at least mine would much rather play with each other than their toys!
 

Katy Perkins

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One benefit is that the two cats provide each other with exercise, social interaction, and other forms of mental stimulation. Cats housed together have more opportunity to “be cats” by socializing and playing with each other, and this means they are less likely to be destructive or engage in other problematic behavior.
Another benefit of two cats is that they are sometimes cleaner than a cat living by itself. Cats will groom each other’s ears and coats, often getting at places the cat can’t reach on its own!
They can play with each other when you are not around, cats love the company, and this way they will feel less lonely. This is very helpful if you are away for periods. esacarecom
 
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czuva

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Thank you for all the helpful responses! I should’ve clarified that I’m not in a position to get another kitten right now, so it will have to be when she’s closer to a year old. I’ve heard Maine Coons mature slower, so hopefully she’ll still take to another cat around then.

In the meantime we’re able to provide her a lot of attention since we’re home 24/7. She’s been wonderful so far (doesn’t even wake us up at night, which seems to be a rarity for kittens!). I’ll definitely account for another cat when my lifestyle changes and I’m in the position for it.

On another note, a family member lives nearby and has a slightly older kitten nearing a year old. Would it be a good idea to have him visit occasionally (I also might need to catsit him), or would that just stress my kitten out?
 
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