I have had at least one cat for my adult life and now we have three (3!) cats living in the same house. Here are my best ideas and products for how to make your house safe and happy when you have more than one cat!
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Our Cat Story
Am I just the crazy cat lady who wants loads of bossy felines around? Nope! They snuck up on us one single cat at a time!
Is the old Maine Coon cat who is grumpy and loves to sit on your lap, but gets mad if you pet her when you she is there, and then gets mad if you don't pet her while she is there!
Betty is a big girl, who was probably previously feral. We got her for our big girl Britty who moved out and left her with us. Betty is a VERY nervous girl and always thinks that we are trying to get her. But she is coming around (after 5 years or so… hahaha!)
Elsa is my mother-in-laws cat who came to live with us when Mom started to show signs of dementia and being unable to care for herself or her pets. She follows Mom around all day like a dog!
Okay, I am not some kind of cat whisperer or expert for sure, but having lived with cats I know one thing for sure… they are not like dogs!
Dogs want to follow you around and be with people all the time. They run in packs and love to be buddies in a multi-dog house.
Cats mostly hate everyone, including each other. Okay, hate is maybe too strong, but in general, they like to be alone A LOT more than dogs or people do.
And none of my cats are those kind of “cuddle kittens” where they curl up cute together in a bed. They all mostly tolerate each other and stay in their own spaces.
This is not going to be one of those cat posts with perfect pictures… I am going to be lifting my skirt and showing you all around my crazy cat house!
This is about how to care for indoor cats… all our girls stay inside all the time.
1. Give them their own territories
You want to think of your cats as little lions. They need to have their own spaces to be “lord of the jungle” over.
Our old cat lives in a hole tucked under our TV, Betty mostly lives in the bathroom and Elsa spends her time in Gram's room sitting by my mother in law who got her a bench and put up a bird feeder so she could watch the birds. (when I die and come back I want to be my Mom's cat!)
If you are having trouble with fighting, make separate spaces for each cat and close them off if needs be for a while to make sure they feel safe.
2. Special Feeding Times
We are a structured household. We adopted 3 kids from foster care and were told right off the bat that structure would be the best thing for them because of past trauma.
It seems like kittys like structure too! Every morning the “special food” (a little bit of wet food) shows up like clockwork around 7:30 after I do the dishes.
They all come running and have their special spots to sit in to wait for the cat food.
Betty is on the floor, we pick up Kitty to be on the counter (more about this later) and Elsa sits on the kitchen table.
If you can do something everyday to make it “fun” to all be in the same room at the same time, you can help get them used to being together.
3. Food Bowls
Cats need to eat dry food regularly during the day and night. With that in mind we have two “food stations” with food and water bowls, one in the bathroom that our two cats share and one on the kitchen counter that Mom's cat eats from.
It is super important to have a safe place to feed your cats!
Our old girl doesn't know she can jump up on counters so we have her food on our bathroom counter so she is safe and the dogs can't get her!
I know she can jump up there and you know she can jump up there but SHE doesn't know she can jump up there so we have to make it super handy for her!
4. Litter Boxes
You should have one litter box per cat (I KNOW…that sucks, but it really works!)
AND you should have “safe” litter boxes for cats even if you don't have stupid dogs around!
Can you imagine trying to go poop and having to worry the whole time that something is going to attack you?
We have found that covered litter boxes make the cats happier, keep the smell down and help reduce the amount of litter on the floor!
And as a self proclaimed litter box expert, I can say that having a slotted scoop for poops and a solid scoop for pees to keep each of the boxes clean is vital!
It was life changing for me when we got these scoops for each box, instead of having to figure out where they were each time! (and they are like $3 total… yay!)
5. Multiple Cat Trees
Okay, this one was super controversial around my house. We did NOT want to have cat trees all over the place, but now we have two. One for Kitty and one for Betty (Elsa doesn't like them).
It is amazing how much cat tree makers know about what kittys like… they have sitting parts, scritching parts and bappy parts that the cats love!
You need to know where to put the trees to make your kitty feel safe. Our old dear Pepper likes her tall cat tree in the middle of everything that she can sit on and watch without being scared of dogs.
Our scaredy cat Betty likes her tree in the corner of our bedroom where she can scratch and feel safe on two sides. She is WAY too big for this cat tree, but she loves it anyways!
Keeping Your Multi Cat Household Happy
Hopefully this helps! One of my internet friends was worried that her one cat functionally lived in her bathroom. She thought that meant that the kitty was hiding instead of knowing that was where she felt safe!
I love that she is so worried about being a good cat parent, treating her furry friends like a valued family member!
Additional Resource :: Essential Oil Diffusers Are NOT Good For Cats
Here is one last picture of my derpy girl Betty who is really starting to take over my heart! She is turning from a super scared, hidey girl to a friendly, chatty gal who loves us to bits.