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How to live with more than one cat in 3 steps

How to live with more than one cat in 3 steps

Living with a cat can be a source of purring satisfaction as well as a way to chase away everyday worries and stress. When deciding on more than one cat, we must take into account what is crucial to ensure a happy intercourse. How to live with multiple cats so that everyone feels safe and happy?

Step 1: Provide proper care for each cat

When choosing more than one cat, be aware that this will increase the cost of keeping all pets. This applies to both one-off expenses, such as the purchase of an additional litter box, a set of bowls, or marking the cat (eg. chip), but also those regular maintenance costs related to veterinary care, cat food and litter. It is worth paying attention to how much money we are able to spend monthly on our pets, because especially in the case of cat disease, it may turn out that we are not able to provide them with decent care. When deciding on an animal, we are obliged to take care of its welfare, including good health and appropriate prophylaxis.

Step 2: Create a suitable space for people and animals

More cats means more bowls for food, more water, more litter boxes, and more scratching points. It is worth paying attention to whether one cat does not protect access to resources and prevents their use by another cat. Appropriate arrangement of space also means finding places to rest that will satisfy each of the cats. Cats live in three-dimensional space, so be sure to organize it upwards as well, not just on the floor. Your cats will be delighted with the passage under the ceiling on shelves and wardrobes, on which you can build "stairs " from shelves and a scratching post attached to the wall. Remember that cats do not form a hierarchy, so who and where lies will change over time and can be influenced by many factors (even whether the cat is not e.g. ill).

It is crucial to have several places with access to water to meet the needs of each cat, regardless of their preferences. You can read about the importance of water in a cat's life [here. For this, each cat will need access to key resources, appropriately located in the home. It is not easy, but it does not mean that each cat must have its own individual accessories. The most important thing is to make appropriate gradual changes and observe how animals accept our arrangements and changes in their environment.

Remember also that you need to protect cats against access to items that are dangerous to their health. From cleaning products and household chemicals, to toxic houseplants, to potentially dangerous vegetables and fruits (which may be on top in your kitchen). Things that are common in your kitchen may be dangerous to your cat's health, and cats may want to try them when they walk on kitchen countertops. See what foods you should hide from your cat so that it does not poison itself.

Step 3: Prevent and address problematic behaviors

More cats also means more people involved in caring for them. We should feed them separately and give them our time and attention. When introducing a new cat, we should gradually introduce the animals to each other, balancing the amount of time spent on playing and petting each of them. Not all cats can or want to play with the same toy, and we should not create situations where they can start attacking each other. That is why it is worth dividing the responsibilities between the household members and when one person plays with one cat more dynamically, the other can brush the other one. Remember that both playing together and brushing your cat is an important ritual that builds a bond between him and you, regardless of whether your cat has long or short hair (or not at all).

If you observe problematic behavior in your cats, or even in just one of them, ask yourself three questions:

  1. Is your cat really healthy and has up-to-date veterinary prophylaxis?
  2. Do all cats have access to key resources (incl.in. food, water, litter box, resting place)?
  3. Does your cat have regular contact with you according to his needs?

If you answer no to any of these questions, take the appropriate steps to change the state. First consult your veterinarian, check that the cat has access to the bowls, etc., and in the longer term, analyze the arrangement of the apartment and your time possibilities. If you have trouble finding the source of your cat's discomfort, seek help from a certified animal behavior specialist who will be recommended by your veterinarian.

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