I once had two cats at the same time. It did not go well. I, apparently, had no idea how to keep the peace in a multi-cat home. I, like all people that act and then think, just assumed that all cats are besties and love to have friends and new cat family in the house. This is just not true. Sometimes cats are territorial, hate other cats and need a little bit of time to adjust to having a friend in the house. And sometimes cats just don’t like each other, ever, for some reason or another. I don’t know why, but I do know that if you’re going to get more than one cat, add a cat to a household that already consists of a cat, or just adopt a few together, you might need some tips. These tips were learned by me first hand – the difficult way. Because, apparently, I need to do more research and educate myself before I make rash decisions (I’ve been struggling with this for almost 32 years).
Here’s how to keep the peace in a multi-cat household. May your attempts progress more smoothly than mine – because mine were not all that good.
Buy pheromone spray
This might sound a little strange, but apparently it works. When you have a new cat in the house, you have to do this to make him or her feel more at home. Here’s the deal; when a cat rubs his or her face up against you, it is releasing a pheromone that makes him or her feel safe with you and feel right at home. When you have this around naturally, your cat will feel a bit more at ease and will not have so many issues wondering whether or not you are safe or secure. He or she will instantly feel better, and that will make the entire household feel more comfortable.
Give cats a dedicated space
Sometimes a new cat will like to maintain a very close presence to a private area. This allows the cat to take all the time needed to acclimate and become more comfortable around the house. You might even find that having designated spots, such as numerous climbing towers and perches, in the house makes your cats feel more comfortable and less hostile on a regular basis. When they have somewhere to go, they are more likely to enjoy their time when they’re relaxing. It helps the cats get along a little better when they are not fighting over space or anything of that nature.
Imagine your kids bringing home another mother. You would then have to fight over things like who got to wash the dishes or do the laundry, who got to make the bed and who got to make lunches every single day since there are only so many of each thing to do.
Wait – this is a terrible example. If your kids bring home another mother, just let her have all this, download a new book and get a pool boy to bring you pina coladas by the pool all day long while you read. But if you have more than one cat, perhaps it’s a good idea to get a few of each resource in your home. You don’t want the cats fighting over things like the litter box, food dishes and water bowls. You also do not want them to feel that they have to compete for everything, so go ahead and multiply these things so that everyone has one of their own to use. This will eliminate a little of the competition and hostility, and make things much easier for you to handle when you are dealing with more than one cat.
Remember to love both animals
When you have more than one animal, it can make things a bit more difficult. You might be inclined to play more with the newest animal in your household to make him or her feel more comfortable making itself at home. This might not make your other cat feel so good, though, and that can be a huge problem. The best thing to do is to make sure that your cat does not feel left out at all. You have to make sure you play with both cats at the same time and individually. Do not focus more on one than the other, and encourage them to play together when they seem to be in the mood, but certainly do not force them to interact and play with one another. Let them do that on their own.
Take the lid off the litter box
Your cat needs to know that he or she can see things when using the restroom. Perhaps you assume that because you enjoy your privacy when using the restroom (don’t we all?) that cats do, too, but this is just not always the case. Some cats prefer to have a little bit of openness so that they feel more secure. When you have more than one animal, they like to make sure that they’re not being pounced on and that other cats are not sneaking up on them. Take the lid off and help your cats feel a bit more comfortable using the bathroom in plain view of the entire household. Weird, but effective.
Do not let one cat get away with more
It’s tempting to think that since one cat is newer than the other that it’s okay for it to make a few mistakes without addressing those. After all, you certainly do not want to make the cat feel at all like you don’t love it or that it’s not going to be happy here, right? Wrong; your cats need discipline and they need to see that one is not able to get away with things that the other is not allowed to get away with. Do not let this happen in your household. Make sure your cats know that there are rules and that they must be followed.
You can also read:
- Five Reasons You Should Take Your Indoor Cat to the Vet
- 10 Struggles Every Catless Cat Lover Will Understand
- 10 of the Funniest Grumpy Cat Memes
- 10 Lessons Your Kids Can Learn from Cats
- How Your Cat Might Encourage Bad Behavior