It is never certain when adding a new cat. Just like people, cats have preferences, and it is not always easy to know what they are. A rule of thumb from feline behaviorists is that 25% of the time cats will get along well and act like long lost pals, 50% of the time they will be tolerant and perhaps companionable and 25 % of the time they will dislike each other to the point of fighting and acting out. So the good news is there is a 75% chance that the kitties will get along. The bad news is, it doesn’t matter what the percentages are if you fall into the 25% that despise each other. That can make for some very unhappy moments for all.
The best way to maximize success is to look at your cat’s personality and try to determine what type of cat he or she might enjoy as company. Especially if your kitty is home alone all day, he or she might enjoy a companion. Consider some questions like: does he play really hard with a feather teaser or ball or whatever? Does he really like certain treats? How well does she deal with change – meeting new people, rearranging the furniture, moving, etc.?
Depending upon your cat’s personality, you might be able to introduce another cat for companionship. Sometimes it is best to look for a young cat, under a year. Male or female doesn’t matter so much. But the new kitty should be playful and cat friendly. Sometimes an older cat that has proven to be cat friendly may work out too. At a shelter you would look for the cat that goes around head butting the other cats and flopping over in front of them to invite a little wrestling.
During the introductory period use the guidelines on the Pat Brody website on introducing cats and really make your kitty’s curiosity get the better of him or her. If he really wants to meet this new cat then he is more likely to accept him, even though there may be an initial adjustment period.
The other key thing is patience, even if they do not immediately hit it off, there may be gradual acceptance and if you see progress you should keep at it until everyone is comfortable.