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Keeping The Peace Between Cats

November 1, 2023

Do you have more than one cat? Have you recently adopted a second, third, or even fourth kitty? While our feline friends often get along just fine with roommates, this isn’t always the case. A local Sandstone, MN vet offers a few tips on helping your little buddies get along in this article.

Make Introductions Slowly

First impressions are very important to cats. It can take a long time to undo the damage done by a bad initial meeting. Introduce kitties slowly, and in stages. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.

Provide Ample Resources

If your pets have to compete for food, water, litterbox space, or other resources, then the odds of friction between them will rise drastically. Make sure that there is plenty of everything to go around.

Don’t Play Favorites

Cats can be quite possessive of their humans, and often get very jealous of one another. If you adopt a kitten, it can be very, very easy to lavish attention on your adorable new arrival, and leave your resident cat feeling ignored. Offer equal attention.

Form Positive Impressions

Cats sometimes take a long time to size each other up. You can actually make this work to your advantage. If you play with your kitties at the same time, and give them treats together, it can help them begin to form positive impressions about one another. They’ll eventually realize that good things happen when they’re together.

Offer Custom Care

Our feline pals are all unique individuals, and they all have their own tastes. One kitty may like catnip mice, while another may be immune to the effects of catnip. Offer a variety of toys. You may also find that your pets have different nutritional needs. Separate feeding can be tricky, but modern products do make this a bit easier. You can get feeders that only open for a specific microchip, which will help ensure that each furball gets the correct meal.

Avoid Overcrowded Facilities

It may seem logical to have your pets share a litterbox, but this isn’t always a great idea. Many cats prefer to have their own private facilities. We’d recommend getting one box per kitty, plus at least one extra. If you do only have one litterbox, get a large one and be diligent about keeping it clean.

Our Advice on Keeping The Peace Between Cats in 2024

Why is it important to give equal attention to all cats in a multi-cat household?

Equal attention is crucial in a multi-cat household to prevent jealousy and rivalry among the feline companions. Cats can become possessive of their owners, leading to tension if one cat receives more attention than others. Neglecting one cat may result in feelings of insecurity or resentment, disrupting the harmony within the group. Providing equal affection helps maintain positive relationships and fosters a sense of fairness among the cats, reducing the likelihood of conflicts and promoting a peaceful coexistence.

How can you foster positive associations between your cats?

To foster positive associations between your cats, engage them in simultaneous play sessions and provide treats together. This encourages bonding by associating each other’s presence with enjoyable experiences. Additionally, create a harmonious environment by offering ample resources such as food, water, and litter boxes to prevent competition. Gradual introductions, patience, and understanding their individual preferences are key. Implementing these strategies gradually and consistently can help build trust and camaraderie among your feline companions, promoting a peaceful coexistence in your multi-cat household.

What are signs that yor cats are NOT getting along?

Signs that your cats are not getting along include aggressive behaviors such as hissing, growling, or swatting, as well as avoidance behaviors like hiding or refusing to share space. Increased tension during mealtimes or at the litter box, excessive grooming leading to fur loss, and vocalizations such as yowling or crying can also indicate discord. Watch for changes in appetite, grooming habits, or elimination patterns. If you observe any of these signs, it’s essential to intervene promptly to address underlying issues and promote harmony in your multi-cat household.

How do you separate cats safely if they are fighting?

If your cats are fighting, it’s crucial to intervene safely to prevent injuries. Never attempt to break up a cat fight with your hands, as you could get scratched or bitten. Instead, use a loud noise like clapping or a whistle to startle them, or toss a blanket or towel over them to create a distraction. You can also try spraying them with water from a spray bottle. Once separated, give them space and time to calm down before reintroducing them gradually, using positive reinforcement to encourage peaceful interactions.

When should you seek professional help (veterinarian or behaviorist) for cat conflicts?

Seek professional help if your cats’ conflicts escalate or persist despite your efforts. Signs include injuries, fear or aggression towards each other, and marked changes in behavior. A veterinarian can rule out medical issues contributing to aggression. A behaviorist can assess the situation and provide strategies to manage conflicts, create a harmonious environment, and improve your cats’ relationship. Early intervention increases the likelihood of resolving issues and ensures the well-being of all cats involved.

Please reach out with questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care. As your local Sandstone, MN pet hospital, we are always here for you!