Multiple Cat Households
More than one
A single cat is the ideal situation. However, for others, cats seem to be like potato chips. They can't stop with just one. This is partly because there are so many wonderful cat breeds and partly because most cats enjoy the companionship of other cats.
Is owning more than one cat right for the cat you already own? If your cat is home alone for long periods of time and seems to be lonely, he may enjoy having another cat around. In addition, an older cat will often develop a new lease on life when a new kitten joins the family. However, cats who enjoy their solitude or are very territorial towards their homes and families may not appreciate sharing their lives with another cat.
There are also a few things for the humans in the household to consider. A kitten means having to go through all of the frustrations of litter box training all over again. In addition, don't forget about the expense of vaccinating and neutering your kitten. Adding an older cat to the family can also be a challenge, as the cat will have to adjust to a new home and may develop behavioral or health problems.
Although some people feel that their cats will be more at home with a cat from the same breed, many cats are quite happy to hang out with other cat breeds. Of course, you may want to reconsider pairing a boisterous, clownish Rex cat with a standoffish Russian Blue. Cat breeds with similar traits do better together than cats that are completely different. Of course, the Himilayan Persian and the Maine Coon breeds are so laid back and friendly that they adapt well to life with the most demanding or rambunctious cats.
Before you bring your new cat or kitten home, you will need to set up an area for him to stay in while he adjusts. You may even want to put him in a crate, especially if you are unsure whether he is litter box trained. Allow him to settle in for a day or so before you worry about introducing him to the rest of the family.
Instead of placing the cats together immediately, allow your original cat to grow accustomed to the new arrival gradually. For a smooth transition, be sure he does not have to share his own litter box, food and water bowls, or toys with the newcomer. Besides the fact that your cat may not like to share, there are important health reasons for giving each cat his own supplies. You can reduce the chance of your cats spreading diseases to each other and you can more easily monitor the appetite of each cat if they have separate litter boxes and food bowls. Also, cats who are forced to share litter boxes may decide to create their own private litter boxes in other, less convenient places, such as the closet floor.
Of course, there is one major problem with having multiple cats. Once you have two or more cats, everyone with a stray or unwanted cat will assume they can convince you to add just one more to the family.
More info about Multiple Cat Households
In this companion to her successful introduction to cat behavior Think Like a Cat, Pam Johnson-Bennett, the award-winning author and feline behaviorist, shows how adding another cat to your home does not have to be the start of a kitty apocalypse.
Although cats are often misunderstood as natural loners, Johnson-Bennett shows how to plan, set up, and maintain a home environment that will help multiple cats—and their owners—live in peace. Cat vs.
Cat will help readers understand the importance of territory, the specialized communication cats use to establish relationships and hierarchies, and how to interpret the so-called "bad behavior" that leads so many owners to needless frustration.
Offering a wealth of information on how to diffuse tension, prevent squabbles and ambushes, blend two families, or help the elder kitty in your family, Cat vs. Cat is a welcome resource for both seasoned and prospective guardians of cat families large and small.