How to… Live with Multiple Cats


December 31st, 2012

Do you have more than one cat in your home? Apparently, as of 2012 approximately 19% of households in the UK own at least one cat. That’s a lot of cats (about 8 million, to be precise). In fact, that’s an insane amount of cats, so we’re clearly a nation of moggy lovers (or there’s something in the water).

I think it’s a conspiracy by cats to get at least one cat into every British home. This probably being the case we’re already onto a losing battle, but we can outsmart them. With a little bit of observation and some crafty planning we can help our multiple moggies to live harmoniously. They can make us take them home, but they can’t take away our freedom!

Social Groups

Look carefully… do your cats share the same feed bowls, rub and groom each other, and sleep in the same place together while touching (how sweet!), or do they pass by like ships in the night? Cats live in “social groups”, which basically means they hang out with their moggy pals and tolerate cats who aren’t in their social group, even if they live in the same home, for something of value such as food or – you!

If your cats are passing by and largely ignoring each other it suggests they’re not in the same social group, but you can nurture the harmony in your home by providing them with separate feed bowls, litter trays, and places to sleep in different areas of the house.

For example, you might place a comfortable cat igloo in the lounge, and another one in the dining room so cats in different social groups can retreat to their own happy place. Placing these cosy beds in quiet areas will also help because cats love their peace and quiet!

Another tension relieving tip is to have two feeding areas, perhaps one at either end of your kitchen, with separate bowls and dishes. Food is a highly valued prize and one of the most important things that should be available to your cats without having to become territorial.

If you want to spread the peace and joy throughout the house, plugging in a Feliway adapter might bring an air of calm to your multiple moggies. Feliway mimics the natural pheromone cats leave as a scent mark when they rub their faces against furniture and other household objects, making them feel calm and relaxed.

The key to a stress free multiple-cat household is to reduce the need to compete for food and resources as much as possible. While there are no guarantees two or more cats will get along or even put up with each other, we can suss them out and help them along!