One Cat or Two: Should I Get Another Cat?

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

one cat or two

Owning a cat has been shown to be very beneficial for owners in terms of reducing stress and improving mental health. However, should you get another feline companion for you and your little furry sidekick?

Getting a second cat has been shown to be more beneficial to pet owners as well as to their own primary pets, as felines tend to behave and live better as a pair.

However, adult cats are less receptive to new companions than kittens, and some felines are not sociable and may even be aggressive towards new cats.

Now, here are some pros and cons to help you decide on getting one cat or two.

Are Two Cats Better Than One?

Pros of Having Two Cats

1. Bonded pairs


Cats, like most animals, are very social creatures. It is in their instinct to bond with other animals, most likely their siblings or other cats they spent time with in a shelter.

These bonded pairs tend to live healthier as they experience less stress and enjoy more exercise playing together, which lowers the risk of having an overweight pet.

2. Entertainment


Your cat wants another cat to play, interact, and spend time with because they also get bored being by themselves, despite some cats acting independent.

And since we humans aren’t able to dote on and play with our pets 24/7, pairs of cats will keep themselves entertained and mentally stimulated, which leads to the next pro of having two cats.

3. Better behavior


An entertained cat or pair of cats will lead to fewer behavioral problems. A cat with nothing to do or no one to play with will find entertainment elsewhere, such as furniture scratching, tearing walls and curtains, and soiling parts of the house.

Having two cats might lead to less disruption to an owner’s life, as single cats may initiate play time more often than you can handle.

Getting a second cat is also important for pet owners who spend long periods of time away from their feline family members, as the cats will keep them entertained while you are away from them.

4. Cleaner cats!


Cats that are in pairs are able to clean each other’s coats and places where a solitary feline is unable to reach, such as behind the ears, necks, and parts of the face.

Younger cats may also learn how to use the litter and behave around the house by watching their friends, so you’ll save some effort in training them.

5. Saving two lives


The most important pro of having two cats is that you are able to give a better life to more than one cat. That is one less cat stuck in the shelter, one less cat out on the streets, and one less cat that is unloved.

Depending on the process of acquiring your feline friends, you might be able to adopt a bonded pair that has already been formed, preventing a lifelong heartache for the pair by not separating them.

Cons of Having Two Cats

1. Doubled (or even tripled) expenses


Inevitably, the cost of owning two cats is more than owning just one. You have to pay more for food, pet insurance, vaccinations, and checkups. Therefore, you’ll definitely have to take a look at your own budget in consideration.

2. Space


Cats need a lot of space, a minimum of 18 square feet. Not only that, you also have to take into account the vertical space of your home as cats love to climb around.

So, if you live in a home with limited living space, then adopting a second cat might need to be delayed until you are able to move to a bigger home or one with a safe outdoor area.

3. Bonded for life


Once cats bond with other cats, they form tight friendships and can be difficult to separate. Therefore, if you have already established a bonded pair with your two cats, you must maintain their relationship as is for the rest of their lives.

Bonded cats that are separated experience behavioral issues or even depression.

Things I Wish I Knew Before Having a Second Cat

Consider when adopting a second cat. They can growl at or even fight each other.

Before adopting a second cat (if you already have one) or getting two cats, take into consideration the following things:

  • Gender

Cats of the same gender (especially male) may demonstrate gender aggression when they reach two to four years of age.

  • Territorial Aggression

Cats are very territorial, and the introduction of a second cat to an established territory may lead to attacks on the new cat.

This can be avoided by slowly introducing the new cat to the territorial cat or matching the personality of the felines beforehand.

  • Adopting kittens or adult cats

Introducing a new kitten to an adult cat is not ideal, as the latter may not enjoy playing with its younger companion. In this case, it is better for you to adopt two kittens at the same time, so they can grow and become acquainted together.

If you’re thinking of having two adult cats, they may not appreciate sharing a home and may hiss, growl at, or even fight each other.

To avoid such problems, introduce them slowly, starting with their scents through location swaps, then escalate to letting them see each other before allowing physical interactions.


Deciding whether to get one cat or two is a big decision for first time pet-owners.

The pros of having two cats can greatly outweigh the cons. However, you must be informed and prepared to handle the responsibilities of being an owner of many felines.

See if you are ready for another furry addition to your home to make you and your cat’s life better, happier, and more fun together.

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