You already have one cat, and you think he might be lonely. After all, you work or go to school all day, and all he can do is sleep and watch birds out the window. Maybe he needs a friend. Is your resident ready for another cat? Is your home ready for another cat?
Adding a second cat isn’t much more expensive than the first one—assuming they get along. If they don’t get along, there may be vet bills and baby gates. If they do get along, you’ll have double your normal costs on litter, food, and veterinarian, but not much else in “stuff.”
Is your resident elderly?
If your current cat is elderly, he may not be able to keep up with a boisterous kitten. He might feel put-out, and he probably won’t be able to find a space that a new cat can’t find him. But he might thrive with a new and younger friend. Having a younger cat with him will keep him thinking more and will mean he moves around more. On the flip side, a kitten raised with an older cat may have difficulty adjusting if his friend passes away, and you may end up with two again even if you mean to only have one.
Is your resident chill?
Is your current resident chill, or anxious? A chill resident is probably more able to settle into having a roommate—but an anxious one might be calmed down by a soothing presence. Has your cat lived with other cats? If they have, and did well, they will probably do well with a friend.
Adult or kitten?
If you are looking for an adult, finding a rescue could be a great option. Adult rescues have been “tested out” with other cats and can be evaluated with your resident. A kitten will grow up as a friend to your current cat, and will never know that they have the option of not getting along—though if the kitten grows up to be assertive, it’s important to teach them how to be gentle.
If you have small children, are they ready to have another cat? If you’re getting a small kitten, they are much more breakable than adult cats. They aren’t as capable of defending themselves, and don’t have the sense yet to just walk away. Even if your children are fine with a calm, adult cat that knows to get on a high shelf if they want to be left alone, they might have trouble with a kitten. Kittens don’t know how to avoid a child—so might get hurt, or might hurt a child if the child is rough or persistent. Adolescents can have the same problem—they are extremely active and are still learning rules. An older cat might be unable to handle the level of chaos that toddlers and preschoolers create. It’s important to find a cat that can handle the kind of family you have.
Do you want one?
Do you even want another cat? You might be thinking about it because “the kids want one” or “current cat seems lonely,” but if the bulk of the responsibility is going to fall on you, make the decision that’s right for you. If your kids are older and can handle some of the responsibility, that’s great and a good factor in the decision. But if you don’t want one, don’t get one. No pet deserves to feel unloved by its primary caregiver.