Keeping the peace in a multi-cat house

Keeping the peace amongst cats

“You make me so very happy

When you cuddle up and go to sleep beside me

And then you make me slightly mad

When you pee all over my Chippendale suite” Freddie Mercury

One of the biggest issues with a multi-cat household is spraying cats. Cats who mark their territory on your windowsill, your kitchen bench, your bed, your clothes and yes even your Chippendale suite as Freddie Mercury’s lyrics reveal in his song ‘Delilah’, dedicated to his favourite feline. Your stressed-out kitty doesn’t discriminate when it comes to spraying!

I’m not a pet behaviourist, but I will share with you some useful information (based on my own personal experience) to hopefully bring a little peace into your home when dealing with stressed, aggressive or spraying cats in a multi-cat house, when rehoming is not an option!

I’ll be honest, you may never completely eliminate the issue, as cats can be as complicated as they are adorable, but I will certainly share some ideas on how to manage the problems at hand so that everyone can relax again in your crazy cat household!

First things first, let’s assume your beloved cats issues is non-health related. Your cat (or cats) has been medically screened at your vet and the possibility of a medical issue (such as urinary tract infections, struvite stones & crystals and more) have been completely eliminated.

We need to understand why a cat will spray indoors when they are such fastidious and clean creatures.

To understand your feline, you need to tune into their wild instincts. Unlike dogs, cats haven’t veered too far away from their wild ancestors and still hold many of those traits. A spraying cat is a natural behaviour of a wild cat used for marking their territory and a way of cautioning other cats in the area. If your kitty is feeling stressed or threatened by another cat, inside or outside the home, most likely, you may begin to see spraying around your home (especially in cats that are exclusively indoors).

If you are reading this, then you probably know that it is one of the most frustrating things that could ever happen in your home. Cat pee from spraying is incredibly smelly and it is very hard to remove, especially in carpeted areas. So, if replacing your flooring to waterproof boards is not an option, you are going to need to purchase a good cleaner to break down that urine.

Now it’s time to work on a solution to decrease the spraying or better yet, completely eliminate it. It’s not going to be an easy journey and will require a little bit of your tough love!

If you have two cats in your household that used to get along and for some reason or another don’t anymore, you are going to need to separate them as soon as you can. Set up an individual basecamp within your home where the environment is safe, secure and stress free. This area will need to be comfortable and include items such as cat beds, favourite blankets, scratching posts and platforms, food, water and of course a couple of litter boxes. A radio or tv is a good idea so that your pet doesn’t feel isolated.

I’m a big fan of Jackson Galaxy and he has a great blog on how to achieve the separation and reintroduction period effectively. Click here to find out more:

Now you need to become a cat detective and work out what went wrong so that you are able to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Don’t leave your fighting cats together, as this will only escalate the issue.

During the separation period, you can get help from a trained pet behaviourist or work with a holistic vet to implement natural herbs and acupuncture as well as calming herbs for both cats. All are wonderful healing modalities, but they are never going to work effectively if you don’t address the root cause first.

Although there are many reasons as to why your cats no longer get along, I find that the most common reason is usually linked to a neighbourhood cat hanging around your home and marking their territory. This can create a lot of stress with your kitty (especially the dominant cat), causing redirected aggression with one of their siblings (usually the submissive cat).

As discussed, cats are very territorial by nature (some more than others) and if you have more than one cat, you may have some personality clashes. Don’t give up, with the right help and guidance, you can achieve a peaceful home again.

Use this quick check-box to get to the bottom of your cats spraying issues:

A medical issue – such as urinary tract infections, struvite stones & crystals, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer and more

You have enough litter boxes in your home – one per cat, plus one extra. For example, if you have 4 cats, you need 5 litter boxes placed around the home with easy access, not hidden in the laundry

Your cat or cats have all been de-sexed (both males & females) – females can also spray

There is a neighbourhood cat or a stray hanging around your home

You have a new baby – the human kind

You have a new puppy or kitten and haven’t introduced them properly – as per the re-introduction rules

You have moved home or are getting ready to move

A family member in the home has moved out

A family member in the home has passed away

You have rearranged your furniture or have new furniture

You have renovated your home

You have plenty of beds and perches around your home – your cats don’t have to compete for a comfortable bed

You nurse/pet your cats equally – you don’t favour one cat over the other

You play with your cats and keep them mentally stimulated – this definitely applies to indoor cats

Are you interested in getting your cat off their processed kibble and onto a natural fresh raw food diet? Check out my RAW Meal Packages.

Need any further information or have any questions you would like answered?

Click the link below & head to my website for my contact details.