How to Keep a Multi-Cat Household Peaceful

Alexandra Heep By Alexandra Heep, 1st Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/bijvcm3j/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Cats

I have lived with as many as seven cats at a time. It was not planned, they just "happened" to come into my life. They pretty much learned to get along (even grieved for the missing ones as their life spans ended). Here are some of the things I did to help them get along:

Give Them Space

I bought a big piece of cat furniture that had a lot of hiding areas, scratch space, etc. I kept three different litter boxes in three different areas of the house to allow for privacy for each cat when he or she needed it. I also kept three different feed zones in the house to decrease having to socialize at meal time and to eliminate fights over food.

Socializing

I made sure that each day I socialized with every cat on an individual basis. This included grooming sessions tailored to the specific pet (some had long hair, some short, some were in-between). Each pet of course came with its own personality and each one liked different games, so I incorporated those differences into the play-sessions.

Since all my cats knew their names, I would talk to them in sentences using each others names. This may sound weird, but I actually read that in a cat magazine that it's beneficial in a multi-cat household.

Individual Carriers

I kept an individual carrier for each pet for trips to the vet etc. Even though our vet offered a discount for three or more pets scheduled for the same visit, after trial-and-error I only took one pet at a time to the vet. Although I moved with four cats at one time, taking three more to the vet was not worth saving a few dollars.

Spay And Neuter

I had all cats spayed and neutered (if they weren't already), which tones down aggressive behavior and of course seems the better choice, as no kittens could result to add to the overpopulation of cats.

Introducing New Cats

On the occasions when I introduced a new addition, I would at first only allow all cats together while I was watching. I would not interfer really unless I thought serious harm would be done. When I left the house I would leave the new cat in a separate room. Then as the weeks went on, I would extend the together times, and slowly wean them off the alone-time.

Final Thoughts

I do want to add that I did not just take every cat home. Many times I declined (sadly - as there are so many cats without homes), because I did not think the cats would learn to get along. It's really a common sense issue, just like some human personalities clash, some cat personalities would probably never get along. I always kept that in mind when people wanted me to take in cats.

In one instance though, I ended up adopting a pair, because they could not be separated as they had been together all their lives; and it was the previous owner's wish they should remain together. When the male (King Tut) of the pair died, the female (Salome) sadly followed him three weeks later.

Tags

Cat, Cat Behavior, Cat Care, Cat Household, Cats, Kitten, Kittens, Multi Cat, Multiple Cats

Meet the author

author avatar Alexandra Heep
I am a freelancer and I can write about any subject. I have a professional background in administration, real estate, marketing, and mortgage post-closing. Other areas of expertise include health and beauty as well as spirituality and self help iss...(more)

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
1st Sep 2010 (#)

I must say Salome is absolutely beautiful. Sad about them dying so close together.

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author avatar Denise O
3rd Sep 2010 (#)

Wonderful article. I have found that using some of the same techniques also have helped me with my dogs.
Well done. Thanks.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Dec 2010 (#)

Good morning Alexandra,
I hope that your Christmas was a happy one.

I have seven cats and three dogs residing with us up here on Walch's Mountain. The seven cats--Simba, Precious, Sugar, Fluffy, Angel, Furball and Bobblehead--are all related except for Simba. Simba and Precious were rescue cats. Precious was pregnant when we got her and had Sugar and Fluffy as her first litter. Then she managed to get out and become pregnant again before we managed to have her spayed. The vet had been willing to abort both litters but we wouldn't have no part of that. My seven cats are all indoor cats. My three dogs, two Huskies and one Belgian Shepherd, live outside in their heated/air conditioned doggy triplex. Both of my Huskies, Sergeant Preston and Major Barbara, were adopted from animal shelters. My Belgian Shepherd, Big Ben, came to live with use a couple of weeks ago.

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