Can you handle having several cats?

And then there were two. Or three. Or even more. You might have planned to have more than one cat but most of the time it just happens, so how do you make it work?

Think about it from your cat’s perspective: she was enjoying having the house and you all for herself and boom! there’s a stranger in the house stealing her food, using her litter tray and getting your affection. On the other hand, for the new cat this is also a daunting experience. Your pets will probably become friends eventually, but those first few weeks might prove to be tricky.

First of all, reassure both pets by giving them lots of attention and providing separate spaces for each of them if possible. Give them their own litter and food trays, and toys. It is a good idea to keep the new housemates separate for a couple of weeks and then gradually introduce them to each other. They will explore each other’s space as well, so watch them and at the first sign of agression separate them again.

Eventually, you should be able to get your cats to share a litter tray. It isn’t a good idea to have more than two cats sharing the same tray though. And when it comes to food, you will need to watch for any signs of bullying. If necessary, give food in separate rooms to prevent arguments.

Just like people, cats have different personalities. An older cat that has spent all her life alone in the house might actually welcome new company, contrary to the usual expectations. A kitten could turn out to be the one bullying an older cat. They might become best friends or they might never like each other, no matter what you do. So relax and just allow your pets to find their own way of sharing.

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