Multiple cats in the household can cause stress in some individuals

Giving your cat a friend in the form of another cat may sound like a very good idea to many people. All cats need companionship and social interaction, but they are not pack animals in the same way as dogs. This means that cats need social contact from other cats, animals or people but it does not necessarily mean that they will get along with all cats. Sometimes having several cats in the household can actually be stressful for one or both cats. In fact, some cats simply feel better living alone, while others need a feline friend in the family to feel good.

Having several cats in the household can, as mentioned above, sometimes be stressful for one or both cats. The fact that cats don't get along with each other doesn't always have to show itself in obvious behaviours such as fighting or snarling at each other. Sometimes at first glance it looks like the cats are getting along well, but the stress issues may be there anyway.

Prolonged stress, as you may already know, is not good for cats as it can lead to the cat suffering from various illnesses or developing some form of problem behaviour. Cats can be very unwell in the long term from stress, both physically and mentally. It is therefore important that if you have more than one cat, you do what you can to prevent any of your cats from being stressed. Here are our top tips:

Separate food and water areas
If you have more than one cat in your household, make sure there is no competition for food. You can do this by first making sure your cats have more than one feeding area. You should also make sure that there are several places with water bowls. It is not enough to have two food bowls next to each other, the food bowls should be placed in different locations.

Multiple litter trays
There should always be at least one litter tray per cat and one extra. Therefore, if you have two cats in your household, you should have at least three litter trays in your home. Remember not to place the boxes next to each other. Make sure that all litter boxes are easily accessible and placed in quiet areas of the home. The reason you need more than one litter box is simply that cats in the wild don't pee and poop in the same place as another cat.

If you have a cat who is stressed by living with other cats, try Feliway. It's a type of pheromone preparation that secretes the same substance that is released when a kitten defecates on its mother. The preparation is supposed to be calming and may therefore help the cat feel better.

The stress that cats feel when living with other cats is very individual. Some cats are very happy to live with other cats, while others prefer to live alone. You know your cats best!

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