Appropriate company for cats
Make sure your cat has appropriate company
Things you should do
- If your cat likes people, provide regular contact, even when you are away.
- Think very carefully before getting a second cat, and if you do, seek advice on the best way to introduce them. For more information, see our factsheet
Introducing cats (PDF 269 KB)
- If you have cats who are not friends, make sure that they can avoid each other at all times and that they can access everything they need (e.g. food, water, outside, litter, bed) without having to pass one another. Read our FAQ on keeping lots of cats.
- When you are away, make sure your cat is properly cared for by a responsible person.
- Never leave your cat unsupervised with another animal or person who may deliberately or accidentally harm or frighten him/her.
- Don’t force your cat to interact with people or animals that he/she doesn’t like, and make sure he/she can avoid them. If you want to introduce a dog to your existing cat, this should be done gradually. For more information, see our factsheet Introducing dogs and cats (PDF 307KB). Seek advice from a clinical animal behaviourist if your pets' behaviour becomes a problem.
- Many cats enjoy and benefit from human company but prefer to interact with people on their own terms.
- If cats are treated well as kittens they can learn to see people as friends and companions.
- Most adult cats will only be friendly to cats with whom they have grown up and may not accept new cats into the home.
- Cats who are friends will groom and rub against each other and may even choose to share the same bed.
- A cat may suffer if he/she cannot avoid other cats he/she doesn’t like.
- Obtaining a second cat is often not the best way to meet a cat’s needs; many cats are happier living without other cats.
- Cats who are not friendly to one another do not like to share resources (e.g. food, water, litter, bed) or to pass each other too closely.
- Introducing cats in a patient, careful way can increase their chances of living together happily.
- A cat may suffer if he/she is left without company and nothing to do for long periods of time.
- Unless introduced early in life, cats will usually be scared of other animals, such as dogs.