About half of the households run by cat lovers have more than one cat. That's the conclusion of a study highlighted by Psychology Today, and while it's interesting, it makes me wonder just a little bit.
What's the deal with the other half of these cat households? Why do they have just one feline friend?
It's my solemn belief that cats do better, as a whole, when they live in pairs. And Eamon, my 14-year-old tabby, is the one that taught me that lesson.
Boisterous cats like Eamon enjoy having feline companions when they're young kittens. Where humans don't necessarily enjoy tumbling around on the floor in the middle of the night, a kitty friend might think this is an awesome exercise. And, humans typically don't enjoy games that involve biting and play kicking. Cats, on the other hand, recognize that these moves are all in play (and they have a protective layer of fur that can help them to deflect glancing blows). To Eamon, kitty playmates are a vital part of his daily exercise routine. Without that outlet, he'd probably face a lot of scolding from me. He needs to play, and I just don't like to play like that.
When it's time to snuggle, Eamon also enjoys having another kitty to lie down beside. Humans make for good snuggle buddies, of course, but humans also tend to break up a snuggle with pats and nuzzles. All of those moves can feel great, of course, but they can keep a cat from sleeping. Eamon seems to seek out buddies that will keep him warm and protected, without pestering him as he sleeps. His cat counterparts provide that attention in a way I never could.
And, cat friends also help keep Eamon's fur clean and shiny. As his arthritis progresses, it becomes difficult for Eamon to groom his belly and his back end. He can't quite contort his body in the way he once did. And he still needs to keep all of that stuff clean. His kitty friends can help with those tasks, and while he hates human baths and wipedowns, he seems to enjoy attention delivered by kitties. Having a friend is a vital part of his health as he ages.
Tomorrow, June 30th, is all about celebrating the joys of multi-pet ownership. And there are tons of entries in this blog hop you can check out for more information on why you should share your life with more than one animal at a time. I encourage you to check out those resources.
But if I can leave you with one point, it's this: The next time you find yourself cat-less and you head into the shelter to pick out a new friend, why not take two home? You'll nourish an entirely different kind of bond that might keep your entire household healthy and harmonious. Sounds great, right?