Separating bonded cats probably feels like one of the hardest things you ever had to do. The bare idea of it scares you, but for any of the reasons, it’s the only option you have.
Even though we don’t talk much about bonded cats, it’s still a thing that commonly happens. The easiest way for us to understand it is to compare it with having a best friend. But it’s even more intense than that as cats can be closely connected to each other.
It’s like you have a twin who’s your best friend and soulmate at the same time. In order to help you grasp this concept better, I prepared some fascinating facts for you.
Here, you’ll get the chance to learn what bonded cats are, how to tell if they are bonded, and what happens if you try separating them. Let’s get into your quick feline lesson!
What are bonded cats?
A bonded pair of cats is a pair of kitties who have a special connection. They’re not merely best friends, but more like a feline version of soulmates. In an animal shelter, you’ll often see young kitties placed together which makes it easier for them to bond.
If you’re planning on getting a kitten and you see two little heads peeking out of the kennel, don’t think about separating them and only getting one. It’s like you’re born with someone and you spend so much time together, then someone comes and takes away your soulmate forever.
That doesn’t sound really nice, does it?
How to tell if two cats are bonded
Now we know what bonded cats are, but there’s still something important you’re yet to learn. And that’s how to recognize whether two cats have a bond. Sometimes, it can be difficult to figure out whether two cats just get along well or if their connection is stronger.
So if you’re interested in finding out how to spot two bonded cats, the following signs will be really helpful. Bonded cats behave in their own special way and if you spot them doing any of the things mentioned below, the chances are they’ve forged a bond.
1) They always play together without any aggression
One of the best indicators that cats have bonded is that they play without any signs of aggression. Of course, at first glance, it probably looks like a fight between ancient saber-toothed tigers. But that’s not what’s really going on.
Because cats are very careful and sensitive, they would never accidentally hurt another person or cat. On the other hand, the wild tigers we mentioned a moment ago are direct descendants of today’s cats.
So, if your domestic kitty decides to hurt someone, she certainly can and will (of course, only if she has very good reason to do so!)
2) They often cuddle and always sleep together
Is there anything cuter in the world than two fluffy cats sleeping in each other’s arms? If your cats do this, be sure there is some special connection between them. It’s a clear sign that they trust each other completely and that this relationship will last for the rest of their lives.
Usually, each cat has its own special place for an afternoon nap, but when it comes to these kitties, the place doesn’t matter anymore. The only thing that matters is that they sleep next to each other. Separating bonded cats like these ones seems like a really cruel act, doesn’t it?
3) Bonded cats groom each other
Just as we express love to our dearest ones, so do cats to other kitties they love. It is widely known that cats are incredibly clean animals, spending hours a day cleaning themselves. However, if two cats clean, lick and groom each other, there is definitely a bond between them.
In this way, they show that they care about each other. You will hardly witness cats who have just met each other doing this. Just like people, they also need a certain amount of time to gain trust.
4) They rub their faces or bodies on each other
I’m sure this sounds familiar: You got up and made your morning coffee, and prepared your laptop for work. And at that moment, your furball wakes up and starts rubbing against your leg or rubbing her face against yours. This is a sign that your cat loves you and trusts you completely.
However, just as cats do this with people, they do this with other cats. But not with just any fluffy creature out there. They do it only with those they’re really close with.
5) They spend most of their time together
You probably know a lot of people in your life. With some of them, you don’t like to spend time at all while with some, you wish you could be together 24/7. It’s that person with whom it doesn’t matter what or where, as long as they’re involved – that’s the equivalent of a cat bond.
No matter how many cats are in one place, each cat has her best friend. They spend most of their time together as they play, sleep, eat, and make a mess. They simply make each other’s lives more cheerful. Of course, they can fight too, but at the end of the day, they are still two bonded cats.
Can any cats bond, or only siblings?
Unlike some other animals, cats are very social creatures. Although it is common knowledge that cats love to be with people, they also love to be with other cats. Just like people have a best friend, so do cats. It usually is usually one of their siblings.
However, cats who have the same mom are, in most cases, separated already after a few months. This can be very stressful for them and cause them to start withdrawing from other cats. But in most cases, cats will quickly bond with other cats and acquire a new best friend to terrorize your home with.
At the end of the day, when they’re tired from playing hard, they will lie down together and sleep until they smell their favorite food. And that’s why, if you have the opportunity, it’s always good to have two cats, because just like people, cats don’t like to be alone.
To answer the question, then: Any cats can bond; it’s just that bonding is more common in siblings because of the age at which they get to know each other. If you place two kitties together when they’re very young, they will most likely be connected for life.
So, separating bonded cats is definitely not something we should do if we don’t really have to.
What happens when you try separating bonded cats?
If you want to be the best cat owner or a feline expert, then you need to know what happens when you try to separate bonded cats. Keep in mind these are two animals who love each other more than anything else in the world, and you’ll quickly realize that taking them away from each other can be traumatizing.
If two bonded cats were to be separated, they would most likely end up suffering from depression, which would lead to other behavioral issues. Here are some of the things that may happen if they are forced to be apart from each other.
1) Excessive chewing or scratching
Can you imagine a situation where your best friend leaves and you’ll probably never see her/him again? Awful to even think of it, right? Well, cats don’t feel much better when you separate them from their bestie.
If you do this, your cat may start excessively chewing or scratching as a sign of protest. That, and because she is sad about losing her friend. So if there is even the slightest chance, don’t do this to your cat. Rather leave the special bond intact and find a way to keep them together.
2) Attention-seeking behavior
Another obvious sign that your kitto is missing the cat she’s bonded with is attention-seeking behavior. The reason they do this is quite clear. They simply have a lot more time now, because they are no longer playing with their best friend and now they have to find a replacement.
And you become that replacement. They will try (in every way) to get your attention and will not stop until they have it. But you have to understand why your cat is doing this.
You were the one who chose to separate bonded cats. And a lot has changed for her now. So you have to make it as easy as possible for her to get over the loss.
3) Loss of appetite
One of the serious indicators that your cat is having a hard time with the loss of her best friend is diminished appetite. We all know how much cats love to eat. If she eats less than usual or not at all, it is an obvious sign that your cat isn’t coping well with being separated from her bonded buddy.
Of course, at that moment you should handle it carefully because a loss of appetite can lead to a weakened immune system, and later to other more serious health problems. If it persists longer than a couple of days, you should definitely visit a vet.
4) Loss of confidence
The more self-confident a cat is, the more she feels like a predator. If your cat doesn’t behave as she did before, it’s another sign that she’s having a hard time bearing the loss. Here are eight ways to restore your cat’s self-confidence:
1) Keep her surroundings peaceful and calm.
2) Be present in the room where she’s hiding and try to soothe her.
3) Give her some treats and slowly get her out of the hiding spot.
4) Give her slow blinks AKA a kitty kiss.
5) Gently play with her.
6) Make sure she has enough vertical space to play and calm herself down.
7) Give her some time and don’t force her into anything.
And the last sign that your cat is missing her best friend is anxiety. If she has turned from that curious kitto that always enjoyed being the center of attention into a cat that hides from people and other cats, and prefers spending time alone, this is a serious alarm.
If this happens to your cat, you need to give her space to get used to the new situation, but also shower her with attention and love at the same time.
We’ve reached the end of our lesson about bonded cats, including recognizing and separating them. Always keep in mind that it’s best you keep bonded cats together because that’s when they are at their happiest.
If you don’t think you have enough resources to keep both of them, it’s better to pick another cat from a shelter. Choose one that doesn’t have that special bond with any other kitty. And that’s how everybody will be happy. Good luck!