Success in the Multi-Cat family
Many cat lovers are not satisfied with just one cat; They are so in love with their feline friend that they are consumed by the desire to have two or even more cats as family pets. However, if done incorrectly, this can cause major problems; including persistent fighting and / or urination and defecation outside the litter box. Having raised over 400 kittens and cats over the past decade, my husband and I have come across this many times, both in our own cat family and in the homes of people who have adopted our foster pets. . I have given the following advice for cat owners considering expanding their furry family.
The first question I recommend that prospective cat owners ask themselves is, “Should I have a second / other cat?” The most important thing to keep in mind in this context is that cats are not pack animals by nature. Unlike dogs, whose ancestors lived in highly structured and devoted family units, cats are solitary creatures. Exceptional cases arise, but in general the only affective scenario of multiple animals in the feline world in the mother-kitten relationship. Because cats are generally born in litters of at least 2 or 3 (and often more), there is generally a second-level relationship between littermates. However, the bond between mom and kitten is the strongest and invariably affectionate. In fact, there are those who suggest that your cat’s affectionate attachment to you is a transfer of this relationship; They essentially consider you their ‘mom’ and the younger they are when you adopt them, the stronger this relationship will likely be.
Personally, I think that the attachment cats develop to humans probably has more to do with individual personalities (both feline and human), but whatever the reasons and the mechanisms, it is definitely true that it is much easier to get than a cat love you that he. is to make them love another cat. So ask yourself frankly if you really need a second (or third or fourth) cat. And, if you’ve gotten away with two, don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll necessarily be hassle-free with more. Each cat has its own personality and complexes, just like people. Our own personal experience was that cat number two was a perfect fit in our family, until we introduced cat number three.
Assuming I haven’t dissuaded you from the idea by now, that you are determined to have a multi-cat household, here are my suggestions to increase your chances of hassle-free success. First, consider using multiple jacks from the start. Ideally, adopt a mother and her kitten. This can be especially successful if the mother is less than a year old, which has unfortunately been the case all too often with the mother cats we have helped rescue. You may also consider adopting littermates and the chances are almost as good that things will work out, but this is by no means guaranteed. Also note that the reintroduction of the mummy and kitten and / or littermates after a period of separation cannot be different than the introduction of strange felines. Our experience has been that cats have the ability to remember people and other cats for about three weeks, on average. Some forget about you, your mother, your kittens, or your siblings in as little as 2 weeks. If you are the owner of a cat that has used a kennel for your kitten and returns from vacation only to get coldness from your pet, consider that this is not so much a case of punishing him, as one of kitten having forgotten. who you are, at least a little.
If you already have a cat and this option is not available to you, then extreme care is essential. I cannot give you a definitive recipe for success, but I suggest the following. First, adopt from a humane society that raises cats in a home environment. If the cat you are adopting is known to be good to other cats, then the battle is half won. Consider raising yourself; see how your current cat reacts to other cats. Ideally, both cats should not be aggressive or shy around other cats. One of each, for example, is not a good combination; you are setting the stage for an offender-victim relationship. Sometimes this can lead to worse problems than two aggressive cats. You may not be lucky enough to meet two cats that really enjoy the company of other cats, but you should at least aim for two that are indifferent to each other. If you simply don’t have a chance to assess how your current and future cats are doing with other cats, then your most promising scenario would be to feature a kitten as your second cat. You should probably also plan to get a cat of the opposite sex from your current cat; We have found that this can be quite conducive to friendly relationships.
How you introduce your new cat into the home can also have a significant impact on the success of the ultimate relationship between these two. A gradual introduction can go a long way toward paving the way to friendship. Many people make the mistake of throwing the new cat out into the middle of the home environment, which has the distinctive potential to provoke an aggressive reaction from the titular cat. I suggest that you start by confining the new cat to a single room in the house and let the two of you get to know each other first by smell and sound. After a few days, if things are progressing well, you can present both for short periods, under close supervision. How quickly you increase the duration of these face-to-face sessions will really depend on how things are going between the two cats.
Whatever you do, don’t give up too quickly. Things can take weeks to calm down and even the roughest presentations rarely result in injury to either cat. And remember, no matter how long or short, and rough or soft the adaptation period, always make sure to provide one more litter box than the number of cats in your home. Even if cats get along, they rarely like to share the “facilities.”
Finally, be sure to spay or neuter all of your cats; Not only will it make them less likely to fight and spray urine, there is an endless supply of homeless orphans, many of whom end up abandoned and suffering, or euthanized, for lack of foster homes. It is irresponsible on our part to let our pets breed and contribute to their numbers. Best of luck!