Do Cats Prefer To Be The Only Pet?

All cat owners have asked themselves this question at one time or another. From an owner’s perspective: what’s better than one cat? Two cats! But does your cat agree?

In this article, we will cover a few key topics, such as:

  • Whether cats prefer to be the only pet
  • The factors to consider
  • 7 signs your cat may need a feline companion
  • And, of course, the bottom line.

Okay, are you ready? Let’s get into it!

Prefer a Video?

Do Cats Prefer To Be The Only Pet? The Answer!

Whether cats prefer to be the only pet is a challenging question to answer. We know for a fact that at least twenty percent of cats would rather not live with a dog. No surprises there!

How cats feel about living with other cats is another question entirely. Many cats experience social stress. This stress comes from interactions with other cats either within their home or even their neighborhood. 

On the other hand, it seems to be the case that when there are sufficient resources available, cats can and will happily socialize with one another. However, these cat-to-cat relationships must be carefully maintained by the cats themselves and their humans. All in all, there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to cat socialization.

Girl hugging a cat

Factors to Consider

No two cats are identical, and neither are any two environments. Some cats may crave feline companionship, while others can resent it. 

Let’s have a look at a few of the factors you should consider before introducing a second cat into your home.


If you pay any attention to your cat, you know that they are brimming with personality. No two cats are the same, and it’s up to you to learn everything you can about your cat and its preferences. 

Before you get another cat, ask yourself: is this what my cat wants? Or is it just what I want?

The Environment

Regardless of your cat’s personality, there are environmental factors to consider before you get them a new feline pal. Competition for resources and territory are two of the biggest contributors to cat-on-cat violence. 

First off, you need a home that can offer sufficient space, mental stimulation, and comfort to two cats. 

You can’t have your cats fighting over a single patch of sun or eating from the same food bowl. Each cat needs to feel individually satisfied if they are going to socialize happily with one another.

General Health and Wellness 

Is your cat up to the demands of socialization? Are they a health risk to other cats? 

Be sure to keep your cat up to date on vaccinations and health check-ups before introducing another cat to its environment.

7 Signs Your Cat May Need a Companion

Is there any way to tell if your cat might be craving more feline company? 

In all honesty: no, there are no conclusive signs that your cat needs a pal. There are, however, some behaviors that may indicate a desire for more cat-to-cat time.

Two cats hugging


Is your cat extremely clingy? Well, lucky you! Most cat owners dream of owning a cat that treats them with anything other than general disdain. However, if it seems like your cat is neurotically clingy or lonesome, they might just need the company of another cat.

Unusual Sleeping Habits

Cats catch between 12-18 hours of sleep every day. Many even sleep more. A cat’s sleep is generally spread over many naps throughout the day and night. 

The feline sleep cycle is crepuscular. That means they are most active just before dawn and just after dusk. 

If your cat isn’t following this sleep cycle, it’s possible they need another cat to live and co-regulate with.

Fluctuations in Energy Levels

Does your cat have wildly fluctuating energy levels? This may be a result of boredom and frustration — they may need another cat to keep them entertained.

On the other hand, a mournful or morose cat could be yearning for a life enriched by a feline companion!

Shift in Grooming Routines

Grooming is a part of any healthy cat’s daily routine. A cat that isn’t keeping on top of its grooming is definitely not happy. This could be due to loneliness, sickness, or mental health issues.

Abnormal Eating Patterns

Abnormal eating is a warning sign in cats. If their routine is inconsistent, you should consult with a veterinary professional. It’s possible that your cat may be lonely, but it’s also possible that they are seriously unwell.

Destructive Actions

Bored cats are destructive cats. If your cat is constantly destroying things, it’s a sign they need more stimulation in their life. This can come in the form of toys, scratching posts, and playtime with you!

It might also mean that your cat needs a friend to help them stay entertained.

Problems with Litter Box Usage

If your cat is suddenly struggling with using their litter box, you need to pay attention. Changes in eating and defecation habits are key indicators of poor feline health. 

If you observe these behaviors, please contact a veterinary professional.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: if your cat likes other cats and you can provide an environment that supports two cats, you might consider getting a second cat. 

However, if your cat is happy on their own, there is no need to disrupt their peace with another pet.

Many of the signs that might indicate your cat needs another cat around are also signs of feline health issues. If your cat displays these signs, be sure to consult with a veterinary professional.

Photo of author

Richard Parker

I'm Richard, the lead writer for Senior Cat Wellness. I'm experienced in all cat health-related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, and general pet care. I'm a proud owner of 5 adult cats (all adopted strays), including a senior cat who is now 20.

3 thoughts on “Do Cats Prefer To Be The Only Pet?”

  1. i have 2cats both female one 6yrs one 14yrs they get on ok i took a rescue cat male 4yrs old about 6weeks ago he doesnt bother the older cat but the other one he stalks her out and attacks she is a timid cat and she is so scared of him she wont come in the house for food she just hides i dont know what to do i dont want to take him back to the resue center he is aloving cat but ialso dont want my other cat scared

    • It sounds ‘mean’, but its harmless. Try to catch your attacker in the act, and use a spray bottle with water in it, to give your attacker a good dousing. Some pet owners of cats & dogs say to use a bit of ammonia in the spray bottle, but I don’t like the thought of harsh chemicals on our pets. I just use water. It takes some time if your pet is stubborn as our cat is an alpha, thinking he can bully and terrorize our elderly blind dog. Even with stubborn, bullying alpha cats the spray bottle in their face & body gets old, since they usually hate getting wet and especially with your sneak attacking on them as they are doing to your other pet. It takes a few weeks (not long), if you keep up with your sneak attacks. It worked for us. Also just chasing away and scolding doesn’t work. After all they are Cats, not dogs. Cats are more stubborn, they will ignore your command or demand & keep up their attacks. You have to be one step ahead of their bad antics. Good Luck!

  2. I have to female cats, I rescued them both at the same time, they are 5 yrs. old now, they got along great for the 1st few years but now one of them always attacks the other. Chases her around the house and fights. So now she is real frightened of the other one and I have to keep them separated at all times. The one that causes all the problems is real friendly with us but hates the other cat now, I cannot have any paper like paper towels, toilet paper, tissues or napkins out because she destroys them, also she gets into all my fake plants and no real ones in the house, I love them both and I don’t know what to do!


Leave a Comment