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Pet Bucket Blog

5 Ways to Reduce Tension in Multi-Cat Households

 by petbucket on 26 May 2015 |
3 Comment(s)
Do you have more than one cat in your home? Cats are social creatures and will co-exist peacefully, but if several cats are competing for food, space and attention, you run the risk of putting your pets -- and yourself -- under stress. These tips will guide you in creating a calm environment for you and your cats.
1. Multiply your supplies
Cats will often feel competitive if you only have one feeding station and litterbox in the home. The best thing to do is have one set of resources for each cat: two litterboxes if you have two cats, three feed and water bowls if you have three, and so on, but sometimes this is not practical. Set up one separate food and water source in another room, and this may help reduce stress in your cats.
2. Make hiding spaces
Your pets will feel more at ease if they feel they can 'escape' -- even if it is only behind the sofa! Clear the spaces underneath tables, between large appliances and behind doors so that your cats can take time out if they feel threatened. They will prefer spaces beside high-traffic areas, where they feel sheltered but have a good view of what is going on.
3. Purchase cat calming products
Feliway diffusers and sprays come highly recommended by veterinarians. You can purchase cheaper alternatives, but the originals do the job best. These products contain synthetic cat pheromones, sending peaceful and familiar signals into the cat's environment. Your cat uses his or her own pheromones when they rub their face against something they like, leaving behind a message that tells them: 'this is safe'. Use the sprays on blankets and new furniture, and plug in diffusers whenever you are redecorating or in high-tension rooms.
4. Check your room's scent
Cats in particular have a very developed sense of smell and will respond to scents in their home. Check your cleaning products and make sure they do not smell too strong and that you use them sparingly -- have you recently switched to a new brand? Scented candles and oils can also cause discomfort. Cats particularly dislike orange, lemon, wintergreen and cinnamon. If you still wish to burn home scents, opt for lavender and chamomile, and check the products are as natural as possible with few chemicals. Consider switching out your cleaning products for natural, chemical-free alternatives such as lemon juice and vinegar.
5. Check for other cats
If your cats appear nervous and skittish, they may be worried about other cats in their territory. Watch for telltale signs such as digging in flowerbeds, droppings and scratches on fences and furniture that might signal a new cat is visiting your garden. If your cats have never faced this kind of problem before they can become very alarmed. Unfortunately there is no way of repelling other cats from your garden without affecting your own pets' use of the space, but if you use male urine in a spray bottle -- as a last resort! -- and spray around garden boundaries and anywhere the felines may enter, it should dissuade unwanted cats from the area.
Cats should never be allowed to remain in a stressful environment for too long. Use these tips as a guide to make your home as pet-friendly and calm as possible.


Shirley - Comment
Shirley27 May 2015Reply
My 6 cats and I had to move across countryto live with my son's family. 2 of the cats who were in the garden a lot before became totally outside cats. they come in for a treat in the mornings. the other 4 share a room with me and go outside during the day. Randee, spayed female and not a litter mate---is getting bald spots and the vet says it is stress. She is younger maybe or 5 years old maybe I should be using a stress difuser?
Phil  - Comment
Phil 27 May 2015Reply
My 2 males and their sister live together and all 3 have a porta door so they can go into the backyard. They share the home with 4 dogs
The 3 cats are siblings and have been together since birth for almost one year. They do great with each other and have never become upset with each other or the dogs.
Anne Kristen  - Comment
Anne Kristen 02 Jul 2015Reply
Hi-we just added a 4 year old mail cat to our home which includes a 10 month old female. It was tense at first but lavender oil definitely helped. As did specific play times for each that each kitty can count on being "their" time.

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