Multi-cat households can work well under the right circumstances. A harmonious multi-cat household can also run into fair share of upsets at times. Cat siblings that have been brought up together can develop strong bonds and become best pals. Even so they still disagree sometimes aggressively. Then there are cat sibs that cannot be in the same room without hissing or instigating a fight.
In a multi-cat household, you need enough space to give each of your cats a place to call home. This means having plenty of snuggle spots, window perches, hideaways, and other in-demand cat locations so no one has to fight over who gets comfortable place to nap and view the outside world. Play the role of a mother cat in charge of this big, happy cat family. Set some ground rules and take time to properly introduce new cats to the house. Watch for bullying, and know when to intervene if cat play turns into foul play.
There are few important factors that influence success for maintaining a sane household.
- Cats are territorial creatures. Some are clearly more territorial than others, so the time required for the introduction process varies greatly depending on the cats involved. A two-week introduction process with gradual, supervised “meetings” between new cat and the in-house crew eases stress for everyone.
- Accommodate cats’ need for space, privacy, and resources (litter, food, water). Set two food bowls in the kitty eating area, and contain the dominant cat for a short time during mealtime if he scares away timid cats.
- Provide two (or more) litter boxes. A dominant cat may leave his waste uncovered to mark his territory. Some cats demand private litter boxes. Observe behavior and set up litter stations to accommodate everyone.
- Create territories with hideouts, cubbies. Cats need somewhere safe to rest, free from danger and interference, preferably off the ground.