Keeping Peace in the Multicat Home

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, offers advice on encouraging cats to happily coexist.

Posted: January 28, 2011, 3:00 a.m. EST

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Q: How can I keep the peace in a multicat household?

A: It is not easy but with some patience you can have peace (or at least a truce) in a multicat home. Confrontation is the last thing you want, believe me. I always suggest first that you try several different feeding areas if possible. In my home my large gray-and-white tabby, Roscoe, likes eating in the kitchen while one of his roommates, little gray-and-white Muriel, prefers having her meals in the living room by the window. My tuxedo cutey, Lester, likes to mix things up and eats in either area. Luckily there is never a line and no one is stealing food or bullying the other.

I also suggest two litterboxes in different places or rooms as well. I realize this depends on the space you have available, but it helps keep confrontation to a minimum. The rule of thumb with litterboxes is one per cat, plus one extra, if possible. Cat trees for climbing and scratching work wonders for bored kitties and keep them out of trouble. Again, try to place them in different rooms or different areas of a room.

We know cats are creatures of habit and love their creature comforts. Your lap is popular for cat naps but when it comes time for a good night’s snooze, cats will usually settle down in their favorite spot. Roscoe likes the recliner (fortunately I have two) while Muriel heads for the highest perch in the house, complete with a view of the neighborhood pigeons. Lester likes my bed, until I get in it — he doesn’t like to share. He then hops into his soft fleece bed right by the radiator for a warm and cozy rest.

Just remember to give each cat lots of extra TLC. I never pass by one of my wonderful kitties without giving them a gentle cuddle and a kiss on the forehead. As always, I welcome your comments and stories.

See more articles by Jeanne Adlon>>

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Reader Comments

Denisa    Dallas, TX

4/8/2011 4:53:29 AM

We have 7 cats. Four males and 3 females. I have multiple liter boxes, food in different locations and ALOT of cat trees!!
Our newest addition is only 6 months old and came with alot of energy. I purchased a calming collar and also on of the calming plug-ins. They both really seem to help.
I'm happy to say our multi-cat family is doing great!

Janet    Scotts Valley, CA

2/4/2011 1:58:59 PM

I live in a multiple cat home and I have done evrything I could think of to keep the peace and yet, we have stalking and ambushing going on at all hours of the day and night. I have more than one eating area, more than one litter box, more than one cat tree and yet....

Kenidee    Raleigh, NC

2/4/2011 1:30:19 PM

Great article. I have three cats (2m,1f) and do all of the things Jeanne recommends...so I know they work! I also offer water in multiple locations.

Holly    Stouffville, ON

2/1/2011 3:47:47 PM

Great tips! Thanks for the article!

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