There is a popular perception that cats are solitary animals. This is understandable because most members of the family Felidae are solitary animals, with a notable exception being lions. However, it is important to note that calling cats solitary animals is an over-simplification of the case, seeing as how sometimes, there is no simple and straightforward answer for whether a species is one thing or the other.
For starters, it is useful to consider the example of feral cats. There are some feral cats that live on their own, meaning that each feral cat establishes their own territory that is marked out by their scent. As a result, it is understandable for people to see cats as being solitary animals based on the observations of these examples. However, it is important to note that feral cats have been known to establish feral cat colonies as well, which tend to start out as a single female feral cat plus some of her children that choose to stay at home instead of striking out on their own. With that said, the relationships that can be found in feral cat colonies won’t be the same as the relationships that can be found in other social animal formations, meaning that interested individuals will want to avoid having expectations based on their knowledge of other species.
Regardless, the fact is that cats are complicated, meaning that it is over-simplistic to call them either solitary animals or social animals. Moreover, it is important to mention that companionship tends to be much more important for kittens than for full-grown cats. This is because kittens do a great deal of their learning through their interactions with other kittens, meaning that a kitten that lives on its own is going to experience some serious developmental difficulties. As a result, while a full-grown cat might be fine if it is living on its own, a kitten is going to suffer. Something that cat owners must keep in mind.
How Can You Introduce a New Cat?
Due to this, cat owners might want to introduce their cats to other cats. However, it is important to note that interested individuals need to choose the right cats for their current cats to have the best chances of getting along with the new cats, meaning that a fair amount of thought needs to go into the process.
First and foremost, a cat’s history can have a fair amount of impact on whether they can get along with other cats in close proximity or not. For example, cats that got the chance to grow up with other cats during their kitten-hood tend to be somewhat better at getting along with other cats as full-grown adults. However, this isn’t an absolute rule, meaning that cat owners shouldn’t take this as a sign that such a cat will get along with others. On a related note, if a cat gets along with humans, it doesn’t mean that the cat will get along with other cats. As a result, cat owners should remember that while histories can be useful, they should be careful about drawing over-broad conclusions from what they know.
Proximity in Age
Second, cat owners should choose cats that are close to one another in age, which should help them get along better to some extent. For example, introducing a kitten to a full-grown cat tends to be a bad idea because the kitten will have a lot of energy that it will need to work through, which won’t meet with a positive response from the full-grown cat. Instead, if a cat owner wants to introduce a kitten to a full-grown cat, it might be better for them to introduce a pair of kittens at the same time. This way, the kittens will be able to engage with one another, thus leaving the full-grown adult in relative peace.
Manner of Introduction
Third, it is important to remember that the manner of introduction as well as the time of introduction are important as well. For example, putting two cats together by forcing them to eat together is a bad idea because cats prefer to eat, sleep, and engage in a number of such activities on their own rather than in company. Furthermore, some cat owners like to introduce new cats to replace old companions, but doing so too soon can be a bad idea because the introduction of a strange cat will put increased stress on the cats that are already in their homes. Instead, if they want to make sure that their cats will have some companionship after their feline companions have gone, they might want to wait some time before making the attempt.