September 2008 Issue

Two's Company —Sometimes

Here's some help in deciding whether or not it's a good idea for you to adopt a second cat.

Cats are naturally solitary creatures; in addition, they are also naturally independent and self-sufficient — traits that we alter and/or suppress when we domesticate them. The idea of a second cat can be very alluring: "One cat is so entertaining and such a wonderful companion … two would be twice the fun!" Or, "I want to do my part to ease the burden on my local shelter and give one more cat a good home." These are common thoughts for cat owners and may, in fact, be true; however, the decision to add a second feline family member should not be taken lightly. A second cat can either add joy and companionship, or it can add strife and mayhem. Dr. Julia Albright, resident of animal behavior at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, states, "Cats may tolerate, but rarely enjoy the company of another cat. I see so many problems from people having too many cats, but shelters are so overcrowded with cats that I hate to deter people from providing good homes."

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