Jackson Galaxy says that two cats are better than one if you are adopting from a shelter. That’s a good reason but I’m not going to count it as one of the six on this page. However, he should know.

Two cats getting along nicely. Photo in public domain

It works

The first reason, and this is a good one, is that it generally works well. I can say that with some confidence because of a study that was carried out in 1999 by Barry and Cromwell-Davis. They checked out the behaviour of cats in 60 homes in which there were two cats. They observed male-male, male-female and female-female relationships. Each pair was observed for 10 hours and there was a total of 600 hours of observation. All the cats were neutered and they were all confined to the indoors. In general, the researchers found a higher degree of friendship and companionship than they had expected. They observed 68 instances of aggression. These depended upon the individual character of the cats rather than their gender, age or other factors.

The longer the relationship, the better they got along. In other words there was less aggression in long-standing relationships. The cats spent an average of 40% of the time within 3 m of each other despite the homes being large enough to keep their distance. Male-male pairs spent more time in close proximity than other pairs. By close proximity they mean under 1 m in distance. Clearly a lot of the time they spent in contact with each other.

There was a wide range of friendly behaviours noted including sniffing each other, grooming each other and rubbing against each other. In short, the cats behaved as if they were social animals rather than independent asocial animals which is the general impression that people have of domestic cats. Two-cat homes work well, generally, all things being equal.

Two cat companions. Photo: Reddit.

Play

The experts are always harping on about cat owners not playing enough with their cats. There are various reasons why people don’t play with their cats but I think we can say with confidence that there is not enough of it for the average domestic cat. When there are two cats in the household who get along they can play with each other which takes away some of the responsibilities of a concerned cat guardian.

Better behaved

It is said that bored cats can become mischievous cats and mischievous cats can cause problems or engage in what is euphemistically called “bad behaviour”. I think their behaviour is behaviour that people don’t like rather than bad behaviour per se but that’s just my thought about it. The argument is, however, that where there are two cats they are better behaved. This must depend upon the age of the cats because kittens like to race around in pairs.

Cat rescue

Where possible two cats should be adopted from an animal shelter at the same time. It is not uncommon that two rescued cats are very close to each other and therefore they should be rehomed together. This is advantageous from the simple perspective that a person is saving the lives of two cats rather than one.

Exercise

When two cats play with each other or interact with each other generally they will be expending energy and burning calories which must be a good thing because all of us in the cat world have heard about the epidemic of feline obesity which runs in parallel to a certain extent with human obesity. Two cats living together helps to reduce the risk of obesity.

Busy lives

In the modern world a lot of cat owners have busy lives. They’re are out of the home most of the day. Under these circumstances a single cat may suffer from separation anxiety and be lonely. It’s logical and commonsense that a second cat will help to remove this emotion and stress.

P.S. People should adopt new cats into a home where there are existing cats with care and caution. I think there is a difference between 2 cat homes and multicat homes where there are considerably more than 2 cats. The latter scenario can lead to stress in one or two cats.

Some pages on multicat homes

The Holy Grail of multi-cat homes

This is the reddit.com headline: We adopted a second cat from a hoarding situation. It turns out he was my ...
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Major cause of feline idiopathic cystitis is conflict with another cat in the home

Probably it should not be called feline idiopathic cystitis because a major cause of it is known. A cause which ...
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What can I do to make my cats get along?

Although there are a lot of households where cats get along famously there are others where there is a stressful ...
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Man has 15 cats, 22 litter boxes and no smell. Here’s how he did it.

This man is smart and he loves cats more than humans. He is a property developer. His name is Peter ...
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How do 25-30 pound Maine Coon cats get on with normally sized 10 pound domestic cats? Do they take advantage of their size?

The question must refer to a multi-cat household in which there are cats of various sizes. The question is: Do ...
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Reason Why Domestic Cats Dig And Scratch In The Litter Tray

The old man of the cat world looking positively ancient gives his thoughts on cat digging and scratching in the ...
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Do cats need their own litter box?

Do cats need their own litter box? I would say yes cats do (in general) but I am going to ...
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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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