An idea on reducing litter tray odour in multi-cat households and saving money

Catio with outdoor toilet

One of the big problems in multi-cat homes is keeping down litter tray odours. Ideally you need one litter tray per cat plus one (Jackson Galaxy). Depending on the number of cats it can be quite a lot of work keeping the odours down. It might even be impossible, which is why my neighbours …

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Can domestic cats try and deceive each other?

Can and do domestic cats deceive each other?

Before answering the question, we have to define the word ‘deceive’. Definition: to deliberately cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, especially for personal gain. I have never seen any cat behaviourists try to work out if domestic cats try to deceive each other. The activity of deception as carried out by …

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Does a multi-cat lifestyle lead to more negative human-cat interactions?

The question in the title asked whether cats living in multi-cat homes tend to have more negative interactions with their owner compared to single cats living in the home with their owner. I can rely on the results of a study for the answer but I can’t really add a lot of detail as …

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How do cats show dominance?

Feline dominance hierarchy

Both the behaviour of the dominant cat as well as that of the submissive cat are discussed here. There are two sides to this form of feline behaviour. Dominant cats will block the movement of subordinate cats. Sometimes they will replace or supersede the movements of the submissive cat. The dominant cat might bat …

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Should a new cat be the same or the opposite sex to the resident cat?

Young cat kneads older cat

Should a new cat be the same or the opposite sex to the resident cat? To put it another way, when adopting a second cat, is it better to get one of the same sex, or the opposite sex, of your current cat? You are not going to get a definitive, science-backed, clear answer …

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Some cats are ready for a feline friend

Adult cat immediately bonds with newcomer kitten

I believe that some cats who live alone with their owner are ready for a feline friend. They want a cat companion. The human is fine and very useful; indeed functional as the human brings in the bacon and all the things that a domestic cat needs but for some cats there is one thing missing: a feline friend. It is perhaps strange to say that because we think of the domestic cat as solitary. But it is no longer true to think this way. The domestic cat has become quite sociable.

Adult cat immediately bonds with newcomer kitten
Adult cat immediately bonds with newcomer kitten. Photo: Reddit.


And there is also this instinctive mothering drive in adult female cats. In colonies, female feral cats help each other raise their kittens. It looks like altruism but it is more like supporting the family which aids survival.

If you add a kitten to the home where there is a resident cat what might happen? If the resident adult is female there is a good chance that it will work out fine if the newcomer is a kitten, even a kitten who is unrelated. A related kitten is possibly the best combination. The Reddit photo is a good example. The user who uploaded the photo said that the calico kitten was adopted three days ago. They bonded really quickly. They are unrelated as far as I know.

Is this the best way to introduce a new cat into the home: female resident cat and new kitten? Is that combination more likely to work? I think so. There is certainly more of chance than bringing a new male adult into the home where there is a resident male adult. Perhaps a possible downside of the adult female and kitten newcomer pairing is that a senior cat might become stressed by a kitten but I think not to be honest.

Males are more territorial; more likely to be antagonistic towards newcomers. I am not discussing the varied methods of acclimatising a new cat to a new home. Or avoiding aggression from the resident cat. There must be a plan A and a plan B for introducing a new cat to the home where there is a resident cat.

And I believe a newcomer who is young and female is better, and better still if the resident is a female adult. I’d call that plan A.

Plan B would be two elderly adult females perhaps or two siblings but when siblings grow up they become independent and can fight. It goes without saying that if a shelter is caring for two cats who demonstrably get along in the shelter the solution is to adopt them both into a home where there are no cats. That should result in an instantly successful multi-cat home.

Plans C and D might be a neutered male with a female or two females.

Every cat ‘expert’ would say that two cats are usually better than one and better than three. But the proviso is that they must get along otherwise one cat is better than two.

And this is the big barrier: making sure the cats get along from the get go. If they don’t you are left with catch up: trying to get them to at least accept each other. This is second best. This is not enhancing the life of the resident cat but making it worse. And all adoptions of second cats should be for the benefit of the cat not the person, shouldn’t it? A lofty ideal but I think it is a fair comment.

The size of the home is a factor too. Is the home big enough to accommodate two cats? Cats need their own territory, called their home range. They accept home ranges that are far smaller than is natural in multi-cat homes. But they are adaptable. For indoor/outdoor cats the ability to go outside greatly extends the available space so each cat can find their home range. For full-time indoor cats they will have about half a house or apartment to call their own. That is a potential for stress. And stress can lead to antagonism. Space is important and a factor in achieve success and harmony in the multi-cat home.

They say that there is a 7 year rule. This means adopting a new cat when the resident is 7 years old. I guess this creates a neat overlap if you continue to adopt.

How do 25-30 pound Maine Coon cats get on with normally sized 10 pound domestic cats? Do they take advantage of their size?

Large Maine Coon with small random bred cat

The question must refer to a multi-cat household in which there are cats of various sizes. The question is: Do the bigger cats bully the smaller cats? That’s my interpretation of the question in round terms. The reference to the Maine Coon breed is not strictly relevant. In all the reading that I have …

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Reason Why Domestic Cats Dig And Scratch In The Litter Tray

Cat in litter box

The old man of the cat world looking positively ancient gives his thoughts on cat digging and scratching in the litter box. Domestic cats do create hierarchies. There are dominant and subordinate domestic cats when they live in groups such as in feral cat colonies. This is what guides me in answering the query …

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