For many cat owners, one just isn’t enough, and with multi cats comes multi challenges, or there can be, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Therefore, in this article today we will be discussing multi cat households and some multi cat household tips for you.
A multi cat household should be as pleasant and fun as a single cat household, so let’s look at some problems that may occur with multi cats and how to correct any issues that may arise.
Multi cat household problems
1.Problems with Space – Cats Need Their Own Space:
This is true for the majority of cats, although there are exceptions, but for the most part individual cats need some alone time away from people and other cats. Therefore, even if you don’t have lots of space, you do need to provide some individual seclusion areas for each cat, even if it’s so they can have their afternoon nap. This doesn’t have to be done on a grand scale, just some areas of the house where each cat can be alone if they need to be, like a cat tree with resting shelves, or a box here and there.
I have also received the following photo from one of this blog post’s readers ( Lynne Clay) who has kindly shown us how she utilizes space in a 42-foot travel trailer to accommodate her 3 cats ( see details in her comments below )
2. Problems with Cat Litter Boxes – Cat Litter Is Important:
It’s surprising how many multi cat households don’t have the correct amount of cat litter boxes, and believe it or not, each cat should have his or her own cat litter box or tray. The reason for this is; for many multi cat households, there is usually more dominant cats, or ones that are higher ranked in the social order, and one or two lesser ranked cats. Moreover, a lower ranked cat will often not use a cat litter box that is used by the more dominant cat, and instead prefer to use the carpet.
With that being said, keeping all cat litter boxes clean is extremely important, and not just because of the smell if left for a few days. Dirty cat litter boxes will often lead to cats not using them at all, and turning to the carpet. The rule of thumb for cat litter boxes is to clean them, or scoop them twice a day, maybe once in the morning and last thing at night. In addition, you should not put cat litter boxes in high traffic areas as cats are fairly private when it comes to using the bathroom, and this could lead to them avoiding them altogether.
3. Problems with Food and Water Containers – More Food And Water Bowls Needed:
Food and water bowls are just as important as cat litter trays, and with multi cats feeding time can be a problem if you aren’t careful. Food is survival and many cats like to protect and guard their own food until it’s eaten, so it’s a good idea to have a food and water bowl for each cat that you own. Cats aren’t generally protective of water bowls as much as food bowls, so you may be able to get away with one or two water bowls. Always be mindful of changes in behavior around food and water bowls, especially if you are introducing a new comer to the family.
Multi Cat Household Tips:
1. Placement of litter boxes
Litter boxes should be placed in out of the way areas, because cats can feel stressed if using a litter box where everyone can see them. For indoors, it’s better to have an open litter box than a closed one, as this can make some cats feel trapped and insecure and they will use the carpet when they feel this way. Moreover, it’s better to use a cat litter that clumps together for easy removal of waste, and this is better for them and easier for you.
2. Placement of food and water bowls
Place water bowls away from feeding areas to avoid any problems, and the best water bowls are usually made of ceramic or metal. Plastic food and water bowls are not recommended as plastic can have toxic substances and can also hold unhealthy bacteria more than ceramic or metal ones. Don’t forget to make sure each cat has at least one hiding spot in the home to have some alone time, or just somewhere to go to take a nap.
3. Play toys and equipment
Cats love activity and playing and hunting is part of their natural activity, so be sure there are plenty of toys around for all cats to keep their minds active and healthy. When playing with your cats, always be sure to give equal attention to all that are in your multi cat household, and the best time for play activity is shortly before your own bedtime. If there is a cat that is more dominant, you should provide a couple of perches higher up for the timid ones to take refuge if things get too much.
4. Introducing A New Cat Into Your Multi Cat Household:
When introducing a new cat to the multi cat household, take it slowly and maybe start with a playtime to get the newcomer to interact with his new family. It doesn’t take too long for other cats to accept or reject a new playmate so pay close attention to any changes during the first week or so. Moreover, it is important that your existing cats do not feel like they are being replaced, so playtime with all the cats is generally a good way to introduce a newcomer.
5. Offensive Cats In A Multi Cat Household:
Occasionally there may be rivalry among multi cats and generally they all work out there social order in where they stand. If there is a really offensive cat then you may have to take some measures to ensure things don’t get too out of hand. Keeping their nails trimmed short will avoid them doing too much damage in the event of a fight. Separate living areas may be required if there is a particular cat that wants to constantly have conflict with other cats.
6. Spaying or neutering cats:
This can calm an aggressive cat and avoid confrontations, or you may need the help of a animal behaviorist that specializes in cats. Alternatively, there are some medications that a vet can prescribe that may be able to help with an overly aggressive cat. Spending some time with each cat is essential, and petting or rewarding them with treats for good behavior can also help have a positive effect on their overall group.
This article is designed to give you some pointers and things to try out if you’re having a less than desirable multi cat household, or if you’re just thinking of getting multi cats. The most important thing in a multi cat household is that everyone gets along and has fun, and this guide was designed for that purpose. It may just be one thing out of place that makes all the difference, so that you can easily enjoy your multi cat household.
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