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One or two cats? Good reasons against keeping cats alone
A cat or two?For indoor cats only, the answer to this question should always be (at least) “two”. Because Cats are not loners, they need contact with their own kind.
When kept alone in the apartment, cats suffer immensely, which can have serious consequences:
Aggressiveness, destructiveness, stress, a penetrating fixation on humans and also depression are typical problems with lonely cats.
Keeping at least two cats is not only more species-appropriate, it also has other advantages - more on that later.
In this article you will learn:
- why you should have at least two cats
- the negative consequences of keeping cats alone
- the advantages of keeping cats in pairs
- how a cat reunion works
- how to easily refute arguments against a second cat
Why keeping a cat alone is not recommended
By nature, cats are not loners. This is often confused: Cats may hunt alone - otherwise they appreciate and need social interaction with other dogs.
Cats need a playmate, a companion and a cuddle partner. Someone to clean each other, someone to watch birds or romp with together.
If this social contact is prevented by keeping cats alone as an apartment cat without being outside, this leads to the cat becoming lonely.
And that almost always has serious negative consequences.
Lonely cats - unwanted behavior is the result
You are doing yourself a disservice with a lonely cat. The wide range of consequences will put the coexistence with the cat to the test.
Imagine you are a cat. And you would live alone in an apartment. Your mistress is often out and about, after all, someone also has to earn the money for the cat food ...
So it's only natural that you don't always behave the way your human would like, right?
Are you wondering if one or two cats is better for you? Then take a look at the negative consequences of keeping cats alone:
- Destructiveness: Cats kept alone are often physically and mentally under-challenged. Because such a lone cat cannot exhaust itself while playing and romping with another velvet paw, it reacts in a different way: sofas and other furniture are scratched, carpets and other objects also suffer from it.
- Aggressiveness: Here, too, a missing conspecific is the trigger: If a cat cannot play with another cat, then it will treat its human being like another kitty. And that can end bloody - after all, cats like to fight each other with bites and claws. The aggressive cat can easily scratch your hands.
- Uncleanliness: An unhappy, lonely cat is much more likely to be unclean. Maybe it just happens out of boredom. Perhaps it is a kind of outcry to indicate the predicament the cat is in. In any case, it is very annoying when the cat pees everywhere.
- Depressions: This negative consequence of keeping cats alone is very difficult to diagnose. A cat who is depressed from loneliness just lies around all day, becoming very sluggish. People usually don't think anything, consider depressed cats to be reserved and "good". In reality she is sad and lonely and doesn't know what to do with herself. A state that you definitely don't want your pet as a cat lover.
- Social incompetence: The longer a cat is kept without conspecifics, the more difficult it will be to bring it together with another cat. Because over time, single cats unlearn how to interact socially with other fur noses. This is especially true for cats that have been separated from their mother too early and then end up in solitary confinement. Such cats are socially incompetent and just don't know how to treat other cats.
Humans cannot replace a second cat
A cat kept alone in the apartment would require a lot of time from its human.
Care around the clock would be necessary - and cats have a completely different daily rhythm than humans!
But what is even more important: humans are not cats!
We can cuddle and play with a cat (and only to a limited extent). But what about communication? For example, can you communicate with your cat using pheromones, i.e. smells?
We humans cannot offer the complete feline social behavior.
And the same applies to other pets, whether dogs, hamsters or rabbits.
Cats need other cats to be happy. Or would you like to be the only person living among bears?
Benefits of having two cats
You will be surprised:
Two cats mean half the trouble!
Because cats in a double pack can deal with each other a lot. You are more balanced and less bored.
That means less damage from scratching, less aggressiveness - and you will have to remove cat urine much less often ...
There are exceptions: some cats are loners
It is true that there are loners among cats too. In 99% of the cases, however, these were done by humans.
These are cats that were separated from their mother too early when they were kittens or who had not had contact with other cats for a long time.
These fur noses have either never learned to deal with other cats or have forgotten.
If you can only keep one cat for important reasons, then you should get such a lonely cat from the shelter.
The keepers there often know their animals very well and will find a suitable cat for you.
Single cats with free passage
Even better, if you can really only have one cat: give it freedom of movement!
Because outside she is guaranteed to have contact with other cats. In addition, the outdoors are more balanced simply through the hunt and the more exercise.
Prejudices - Reasons for keeping cats alone are easy to refute
If you ask someone why they keep their cats individually, you get all sorts of excuses.
They may sound plausible at first, but can then be easily refuted if you think about them for a moment.
Here are the most common reasons for keeping them alone:
„Cats are loners "
No, they are not. They hunt alone, but still need contact with other cats.
Often a characteristic of the house cat is misinterpreted: They are stubborn.
But that doesn't mean that they are socially incompetent!
Cats need to interact with other cats in order to be sane and therefore happy. It is a must for a reasonably species-appropriate keeping of cats in the apartment.
"Two cats do double the work"
Rather the opposite is the case! Cat couples keep each other busy, so the risk of loneliness and boredom is much lower. So it is less scratched and destroyed, and uncleanliness occurs less often.
Of course you have to clean another litter box and feed one more cat - but that's still better than an unhappy cat that breaks everything ...
"But my single cat feels fine"
Not every lonely indoor cat is immediately noticed by negative actions such as scratching furniture or peeing on the sofa.
Many unhappy velvet paws withdraw a lot, just lie lazily in their favorite place. Unfortunately, this is often interpreted as something positive: "My cat is so nice, it has never done anything!"
In truth, the poor animal is quietly suffering.
"Cats kept alone are cuddly"
If humans are the only purring partner, it is quite natural for lone cats to be affectionate and often come to cuddle.
But that can quickly become a burden. An over-fixation on mistress or master can be very exhausting!
Many cat owners fear that their cat will not pay any attention to them if they take in a second cat.
For one thing, it's pretty selfish, of course. On the other hand, it is simply wrong: Of course there will continue to be a bond between humans and cats - even with two cats ...
Merging with a second cat
Since keeping a cat alone is not a good idea, a suitable second cat should be found.
In order for the cats to get used to one another also has a good chance of success, the cats should above all be compatible with one another:
- gender - Same-sex cats often get along better with each other. This is mainly due to the different ways in which the animals play with each other: cats like to fight, while cats women prefer to play with objects.
- Age - Cats are best matched when they are around the same age. Old cats are often overwhelmed with young cats, they are simply too active for them.
- character - Another very crucial point. Is a cat shy or dominant? Cuddly or playful? It is best to choose a second cat that is very similar to the first. This works best in the animal shelter, where the staff can help you choose.
On the other hand, it doesn't really matter which cat breed. Some cat breeds are of course known for their typical character traits.
The actual reunification of two cats should be done slowly and gradually. This allows the animals to get used to each other.
First of all, they should be spatially separated from each other so that they can initially only get used to the other's smell. This can be followed by the first meeting.
Here I have detailed instructions for you on how a cat reunion should work in 5 steps.
Feliway Friends is a very effective tool in bringing the group together.
This automatic atomizer for the socket (see picture) sprays the synthetically reproduced Cat's mother pheromone.
This reminds cats of all ages of the security of their mother and creates a relaxed atmosphere.
Feliway works differently from cat to cat - from hardly to very strong positive effects. So it's worth trying!
Cats are very social animals and need to be around conspecifics in order to be happy.
So if you ask yourself “1 cat or 2?” Then keeping a cat alone is not a choice - at least if it cannot be allowed outside clearance.
Cats in a double pack are less nonsense because they can keep busy with each other.
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