Thinking of getting another cat?

November 15, 2019Announcements
Author: Christina K White, DVM

I love kitties.  And I love being a cat doctor. I’ve worked in two veterinary practices that took care of cats only. I led our Riverbend team through the AAFP training to become a Certified Cat Friendly practice. I’ve got two cats of my own. So, this might sound strange, but my advice to cat owners who want to add another cat to their household — “Get a dog! “

 

I have put my advice to the test recently … I got a puppy. And it’s been fascinating to watch my cats with him. To be fair, my cats already liked dogs. One was a stray who walked right up to my old dog in our backyard, and the other was a kitten when he met my last two dogs. However, I was not expecting my cats to be quite so interested in this new little 8-week-old puppy, even to the point of training him!

 

The cats allow him to get close, and they lead him to me when he gets distracted outside. They even rub noses if he is quiet but jump up on the counter and hiss if he gets exuberant. They stay in the same room with him and watch closely.

 

Jackson Galaxy, a TV cat behaviorist, recommends that when people get kittens, they should get two.  This is so they learn to play gently and get enough playing when they are young.  Also, most cat behavior issues (from inappropriate urination to aggression) occur between cats who were not raised together.

 

Cats are individuals, and even if they got along with a previous cat, they usually don’t appreciate a random strange cat moving in.  So, adopting two kittens together is a great way for cats to have a buddy they enjoy. On the other hand, if you already have a cat or two, my advice is “Get a dog! “

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