How to Keep Every Cat in Your Multi-Cat Household Happy
13 Oct 2023.
Bringing a new cat or kitten into your home can be great for the mental and physical health of your current feline. However, it’s important to know how to manage a multi-cat household so that all your cats are happy. Not sure if getting a second fur friend is the right choice? Or how keep your multi-cat household happy? Read on for Cat in a Flat’s excellent tips on how to create a harmonious multi-cat home where each kitty’s individual needs are met!
Should I get another cat?
Is getting another cat to keep your kitty company the right choice for you? The decision to bring a new furry friend into your home will depend on a variety of factors. Mr Whiskers’ age, breed, and personality will all influence whether they’ll get along with a new cat. Your lifestyle will also play a big role in the decision. After all, a good living situation is an important part of maintaining a happy multi-cat household.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before getting another kitty:
Is your cat social or shy?
Your feline’s personality will determine whether or not they will be able to peacefully co-exist in a multi-cat household. If your kitty tends to be outgoing, sociable, and friendly, then they might enjoy having another furry friend around. If they are shy, withdrawn, or become easily anxious, then a new cat in the home might prove stressful.
Likewise, your fur friend’s age can impact how easily they will adjust to and get along with another cat. Older kitties might struggle with a high-energy kitten or young feline. Or be so accustomed to the solo life that they won’t enjoy living with another fur friend.
Do you have enough space?
Your living situation will play an important role in the overall well-being of your multi-cat household. It’s important that each cat has access to its own induvial space, otherwise you risk territorial fights and spats breaking out between them. Is your home big enough to accommodate more than one cat? Will your kitties have access to an outdoor space such as a patio or garden? Will there be space for each cat to have their own individual litter box as well as scratching posts and beds? If the answer is no, then you may want to reconsider. Multiple cats living in a small area may prove very stressful for them, and you.
Do you have time to safely introduce your cats?
Introducing a new kitty to Mr Whiskers will take time and patience. You shouldn’t rush this process as it can make the difference between a happy multi-cat household or a strained one. Before bringing a new furry friend in to your home, make sure you can commit to spending at least few weeks introducing your two cats to each other. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- House the new kitty in their own separate bedroom, away from your other cat.
- Help your furry friends get used to each other’s scent by rubbing each cat with a towel and placing it in the other feline’s space.
- After several days, allow the kitties to see each other through a screen or latticed gate.
- Over time, increase their interactions together. Start feeding them on each side of the gate so they continue to bond.
- After a few weeks, you can allow the kitties to be in the same room together. Keep a close eye on their body language to make sure your cats are getting along.
- Make sure each feline has a safe place to retreat to if they’re stressed by an interaction.
How do I keep a multi-cat household happy?
Provide sufficient resources
Cats are very territorial creatures, and cat spats are most often the result of a lack of space or resources. Each kitty in your home should have their own individual resources. This includes individual:
- Litter boxes. A good guideline to follow is the ‘plus-one’ rule. This means one litter box per cat, plus one more. So, if you have two cats you should aim for three litter boxes in your home.
- Food and water. To avoid arguments in your multi-cat household, provide each feline with their own food and water bowls. Cats will often share, but you should always give them multiple options in case they don’t want to.
- Cat trees and beds. You should never expect your kitties to share a single bed or cat tree. Cats also sleep a lot, so sharing a bed is simply not practical. Keep your multi-cat household happy by providing plenty of both!
Give your cats individual attention
Make sure to give each of your furry friends enough induvial attention. This may include:
- Feeding your cats separately so that they don’t feel rushed or stressed about competing for food. This will also allow you to monitor their individual food intake so you can manage each feline’s particular dietary needs.
- Group playtime as well as individual playtime. Playing together is a great way for your felines to bond, but your kitties may also enjoy some individual daily playtime too. Each kitty will have their own preferences for certain toys or certain types of play, so make sure you encourage this with one-on-one as well as group playtime.
- Routine vet check-ups are important—whether you have one feline or a multi-cat household. A sick or injured cat can’t verbally tell you when something is wrong. Hence, felines will often act aggressively towards one another when they’re feeling unwell. Regular veterinary visits will ensure that your furry friends’ individual needs are being met so they can live happy, healthy lives!
Provide a cat-friendly home
One potentially fatal mistake cat owners can make is to not provide enough stimulation for their felines. Cats can become bored with their environment even if there’s another fur friend living with them. One of the best ways to create a happy multi-cat household is by providing an engaging, feline-friendly space:
- Create vertical space with shelves and scratching trees so your kitties can jump, climb, run, and play.
- Provide interactive toys your furry friends can play with on their own (just check first that these are safe for cats). Remember though, solo play and a furry companion cannot make up for playtime with you. Make sure you also spend time daily playing with your cats.
- Ensure each cat has escape routes and safe spaces they can retreat to whenever they feel threatened or aren’t getting along. The occasional spat is natural, and time apart to cool off can do wonders for your felines.
- One way to keep a multi-cat household happy and calm is with pheromone diffusers such as Feliway. A pheromone spray can help reduce stress, fighting, and scratching. However, NEVER spray your cats directly with a diffuser. Always spritz away from your kitties or use a plug-in.
Another way to ensure you kitties receive adequate individualised care is by hiring a cat sitter to look after them whenever you’re away. This can also be helpful if you spend long hours outside the home every day. A sitter can provide at-home cat day care that includes playing with your kitties, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and generally spending time with them. Leaving your beloved furry friends in the hands of a capable cat sitter will not only put your mind at ease, but will go a long way towards creating a happy multi-cat household too!
- #pet care
- Cat Care
- happy multi-cat household
- multi-cat household