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Multi Cat Households

Multi Cat Households

 

Think carefully before acquiring a new cat.  Cats are fiercely
territorial creatures and the more cats you have, the less territory
there is to go around.  The more cats you have  the more potential
for upset there will be.

Don't think that a kitten will be easier to introduce than an adult
cat. A kitten is just as much a threat as an older cat.

The more cats in a house, the more important that each has it's own
'space' - food, water, litter tray, bed, scratching post and area. 
Make sure there are more of these than there are cats.  Don't line
up the litter trays, bowls etc., in a straight row.  Try to scatter
them around the house.

If you have recently lost a cat then let everyone get over this
before introducing a new cat.  A Feliway diffuser may help the
situation.  This creates a feeling of calm and well-being and helps
to lessen the stress in multi-cat households.

The occassional cat fight is to be expected, however, it should not
be the norm.  If this happens continually you should take steps to
stop it.

* Identify the aggressor and the victim.
* Separate the cats when they can't be supervised.
* Give the aggressor corrective training and reward the victim

Corrective training can include

* confinement in a less attractive place
* collar with bell
* squirt the aggressor with a water spray during aggressive acts

Victim rewards can include

* free roam of the house
* edible rewards
* more affection from you

Gradually increase the supervised interaction, rewarding the good
behaviour and using corrective measures against the aggression.

To lessen the aggression between cats, make them all smell like each
other.  Do not shout or scold as this will frighten the victim as
well.

* rub talcum powder on each cat
* spritz cologne on your hands and when it's dry stroke the cats
  (don't put the cologne directly onto the cat - their noses are very
  sensitive)
* use the same grooming tools (brush, combs, mitts) on all the cats
  to transfer their scents to each other.

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