Keeping the Peace in a Multi-Cat Home

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Cats are like potato chips – you can’t have just one!

So, how do you keep the peace with more than one curious, outspoken, opinionated, crazy cat all occupying the same space? It takes time, patience, training, understanding, and a bit of creative home décor to prevent feline turf wars.
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How Can I Keep the Peace?

Though some cats may never become the best of friends, most all of them can learn to peacefully co-exist. They will eventually establish a hierarchy among the group and will learn to accept their position within it. But until multiple cats learn to co-exist with their siblings, they may relentlessly stalk, block access to the litter box, or otherwise terrorise each other. 

You’ll need to make some unique adjustments to your home environment and your daily routine to accommodate multiple cats. 

Make sure you have enough resources and space for all the cats. You wouldn’t dare live with 7 cats in a studio apartment. They would be on top of each other (and I don’t even want to think about where you'd put enough litter for all of them!).

These are some adjustments you’ll need to make if you’ve got multiple cats in your space:

Litter Boxes:

The rule of thumb is to have a  litter box for each cat. Litter boxes should be spread out throughout the home, not all in the same area. If one cat is nervous about passing a more aggressive cat to get to the litter box, you may start finding that little angel urinating somewhere that he feels more comfortable. Like on your expensive living room rug.
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Create a Multi-Cat-Friendly Environment:

There might be one really comfy, warm chair in your living room that all the cats love, and they will probably bicker over who gets to sleep in it. Provide lots of other cozy spots to reduce squabbles. Padded  window percheswarm beds, and blankets everywhere will give your gang plenty of comfortable options. 

This is important. Give your cats multi-level spaces to sit and sleep.  Cat trees, bookshelves, and window perches – anything will work – as long as they are at varying heights. Not only does cat furniture increase the vertical space in your home giving the cats more space, it allows your fur kids to maintain their pecking order. 
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They’ve got plenty of space but they’re still growling! What now?

Help those cats blow off some steam with exercise! Help relieve tension and smooth relationships with intense play sessions. Your cats will focus on a toy instead of each other. Play with your cats all together but also make an effort to play with each of them one-on- one to build their confidence. 

Give them separate resources. You’re halfway there by providing plenty of litter boxes in various places, but try feeding them in their own separate spaces to make sure none of your cats are stressed or intimidated by others at feeding time. This will also help those of you who have cats that like to “scarf and barf”. 
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Try pheromones or homeopathic remedies to reduce stress in cats that don’t get along.  Feliway diffusers might be useful to calm your kitties. They emit synthetic facial pheromones into the air that can help some cats. Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic solution that is also known to help relieve stress in some cats. Both can be found online and are worth a shot. 

Wait it out. If growling is your only problem, try giving it time.  

If your problem is more severe, you may need to enlist the help of an animal behaviorist or your veterinarian. 

Check out these other guides by The Catington Post:
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