What to look for when adopting a second cat

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Q: I have a 1-year-old female cat, just spayed 3 weeks ago. I'm thinking of adopting another cat. How long should I wait before adopting, and which gender would be better?

A: If she is currently your only cat, then I definitely encourage your consideration of adopting another one as a friend for her. I'm convinced that the largest percentage of cats enjoy having another cat in the household with which to interact.

Most likely she is healed from her spay surgery so that I see no advantage in waiting to adopt another one. Since she is relatively young herself, she would probably do well with a young adult so that they could play together. An older, more mature adult might not want to play as much. Of course, a kitten would be fine, too.

As to gender, I know that some vets will disagree with me but I think this is of less importance than the individual personality of the cat you are considering. I feel that if cats are going to get along (or not), then it doesn't really matter if there are two females or a male and female or two males who live together.

If she is a little on the anxious or intense side, then I would definitely look for a real mellow cat; she'd probably do better with a young adult rather than a kitten.

But some cats don't like to share and don't do well with another cat in the household. They want to run the show and won't adjust well to what they will view as an "interloper." This may be difficult to know ahead of time, though, if she hasn't been around other cats. It may be a learning experience for you both.

This link is a good resource which discusses things to consider prior to adopting and ways in which to integrate the new cat into the household if you do.

-- Answer from Dr. Deb, a veterinarian on JustAnswer.

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