Are Multi-Cat Families Extra Traumatic?

Two black cats sit on a couch next to each other

Taylor Le /

People are naturally social and canine are recognized to thrive in packs. You might ponder whether your tom cat members of the family crave corporate from different cats too. Neatly, the social workings of cats can in reality make some multi-cat families a bit difficult.

Pressure between our pets is all the time distressing and can also be tough to regulate. Studying learn how to correctly introduce cats and acknowledge the caution indicators of warfare offers you the most productive probability for harmonious residing. On this article, we’ll speak about why multi-cat residing can also be anxious for cats and the way you’ll lend a hand.

Two’s a Crowd: The Social Lifetime of Cats

Do all cats like to are living on my own? Each cat is exclusive however they’re all territorial to some extent. Their house is essential to them and it will make staff residing tough. Territories are incessantly shaped in keeping with meals availability and designed to steer clear of warfare with different cats. When more than one cats are compelled into an enclosed house, akin to a house surroundings, this may end up in rigidity and warfare if area and sources aren’t flippantly allotted.

Felidae (the organic circle of relatives encompassing all cat species) are typically solitary animals, with the notable exception of lions. Alternatively, Felis catus (the home cat) has developed to be amenable to staff scenarios, most likely because of many generations of human domestication and their herbal adaptability.

Feral cats incessantly shape small colonies, which might be most commonly based totally round feminine teams participating to boost their younger. Relationships inside those teams are incessantly difficult. They continue to be solitary hunters and don’t shape a vintage pack. Male cats are in most cases impartial of those teams.

A 2022 learn about highlighted the advanced nature of cat-to-cat interactions and the way an enormous number of elements affect tom cat rigidity. It’s tough to discover a immediately resolution as to whether multi-cat families have a tendency to extend rigidity in cats, however cat-to-cat warfare can indisputably be problematic.

Secrets and techniques to Luck

Two cats walking along a wall while rubbing heads.

It’s imaginable for cats residing in combination to shape sturdy social bonds. MNStudio / Shutterstock

In step with Global Cat Care, multi-cat families don’t wish to be anxious if sure safeguards are adopted. Some essential elements to imagine when running with multiple cat come with introducing a brand new cat to an present one, organizing the home to make sure honest useful resource availability, and minimizing warfare.

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Multi-Cat Introductions

The best way you introduce your new cat could make or damage the good fortune of your multi-cat family. Introductions must be made step by step over the process a number of weeks. Determine a non-public territory in your new cat, clear of the primary spaces of your resident cat, in order that they every have a secure area in the house.

Get started with scent-swapping, then development to visible touch prior to the cats are allowed bodily get admission to to the similar spaces. Watch sparsely for caution indicators of aggression, akin to mounted staring, flattened ears, swishing tails, growling, or hissing. Those all imply the cat does no longer wish to combat, however they are going to to offer protection to themselves. Cats who’ve a a hit social bond will groom every different and sleep shut in combination.

Once I introduced house a 2d cat, I took introductions extraordinarily sparsely. I arrange a secure area for the brand new cat, Jazzy, a ways clear of my cat Pi’s favourite spots. I gave them separate feeding spaces, muddle containers, beds, hiding puts, and toys in order that they didn’t need to compete. That they had no touch in any respect till Jazzy had spent a couple of weeks settling in.

Subsequent I spent two weeks exchanging bedding and toys between them so that they had get admission to to one another’s fragrance. Then I allowed them transient visible touch with a child gate as a barrier to stop bodily touch. They appeared curious slightly than anxious, so after any other few weeks, I got rid of the child gate. I didn’t drive them to fulfill they usually every had get admission to to all they wanted with out infringing on every different’s territory. In my case, the 2 by no means shaped a detailed social bond however they are living thankfully in the similar surroundings with out warfare or rigidity.

Sharing Assets

The good fortune of cat colonies within the wild most commonly is determined by the supply of key sources, akin to meals and safe haven. So consider all of your cats’ wishes: meals and water, muddle field, snuggle spots, toys, and the great bird-watching home windows. If every cat or bonded staff of cats, has get admission to to sources in their very own territory, hostility must most commonly be have shyed away from.

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Place meals and water bowls so your cats can devour and drink with no need to show their again to their atmosphere and possible competition. In a similar fashion, cats wish to really feel secure whilst the usage of their muddle field. Some cats might block get admission to to muddle trays as a type of passive aggression. This may end up in well being issues akin to bladder and bowel illness in addition to nervousness. Clutter containers must be considerable, situated in quiet spaces, and wiped clean once or more an afternoon.

Cats additionally want quite a lot of sleep and get admission to to comfy drowsing spaces the place they are able to let their guard down. Many cats favor increased beds or perches the place they are able to relaxation and apply with out feeling threatened. Resting areas don’t wish to be dear—maximum cats love a comfy blanket or perhaps a cardboard field.

Tom cat Pheromones

Cats use fragrance as a significant type of verbal exchange and their intrinsic pheromones are a part of this secret messaging gadget. Territory marking is carried out the usage of pheromones in feces and urine. It’s additionally carried out throughout the paw pads whilst scratching and thru facial and flank glands once they rub themselves in opposition to gadgets or folks.

Offering scratching posts no longer best is helping cats satisfy their herbal want to sharpen and hone their claws, it additionally lets in for just right cat verbal exchange about their territory limitations. Build up the probabilities of unity between your cats by means of the usage of pheromone sprays or diffusers, akin to Feliway, to inspire delightful messages slightly than tetchy disputes.

Not unusual Issues

tabby cat hissing at an approaching ginger and white cat

Aggression between cats generally is a large supply of rigidity. Glue Promsiri /

Having multiple cat may end up in a loving, bonded social staff, however there also are some possible pitfalls. Let’s undergo some not unusual issues and learn how to take on them.

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Urine Spraying

Cats, each female and male, use urine spraying as a type of verbal exchange—in most cases about territorial borders and disputes.

In case your cat leaves urine round the home, it may be tough to inform whether or not it was once spraying or simply irrelevant toileting conduct. Spraying differs from customary urination in that it comes to a small quantity of strongly scented urine and is finished in opposition to a vertical floor. Until you catch them within the act, it may be tough to mention needless to say. A just right place to begin is to have your cat checked by means of a vet to make sure there is not any clinical motive for area soiling.

If the urination turns out behavioral, ensure that all cats have their very own secure area. Supply get admission to to all sources with out them having to move via any other cat’s territory. Position scratching posts in key spaces to inspire verbal exchange via scratching slightly than urine marking.

Cat Fights

As a veterinarian, I see cats within the health facility who’ve chunk and scratch wounds inflicted by means of different cats, in most cases because of territorial disputes. However generally, this isn’t not unusual. Cats are solitary predators who know they wish to keep secure to stay offering themselves with meals and safe haven. They generally tend to have sturdy self-preservation instincts and wish to steer clear of fights.

Bodily warfare is a final lodge, so when you apply indicators of aggression between cats, you wish to have to intrude. Separate the offending events and make sure they every have their very own sources. Then carry out a gradual reintroduction—simply as you could introduce new cats for the primary time. Artificial pheromones might lend a hand to foster pleasant emotions.


Even though cats don’t have a pack construction to their social teams, relationships between folks can turn out to be difficult. It isn’t unusual to have a bully throughout the staff. This cat has a tendency to make the most of the others and will limit get admission to to meals and water bowls, muddle containers, resting areas, and different shared spaces like catios.

Cautious statement can incessantly determine a tom cat bully. There will not be overt indicators of aggression, akin to combating or hissing. You might witness extra passive-aggressive stances, akin to mendacity in wait at feeding instances, ready to assault after the opposite cat makes use of the muddle field, or guarding a cat flap. Care must be taken so all folks have get admission to to their very own wishes with out affect from different cats.

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