Can Cats become Friends – challenges of multi cat households

Great report by Karen Becker on why we should not EXPECT cats to be friends, and how even one mis-step (like coming home smelling like a vet clinic) can create enmity.

It actually explains much of what I have observed in practice over the last 35 years but had never articulated. For instance one family demonstrated clearly the impact a second cat can have. Cat A was outgoing and friendly. After several years cat B joined the family. Cat A seemed ok with this. 9 years later Cat B died. Cat A became a different cat – outgoing, happy, playful – like a kitten. Hmmm.
Frequently I do see cats avoiding housemates returning from the hospital, so I usually recommend several days keeping the returning cat separate, and trying every possible way for home treatments.

Anitra Frazier in the Natural Cat gives many additional suggestions for fostering and introducing cats.
Several other flower essences companies (100% safe so you can try one after the other, giving each at least of month – see article and posts at my site – www.christinachambreau.com) are Green Hope Essences (Molly can often intuit what is needed) and Anaflora (Sharon is an animal communicator so that can help select needed essences). And remember that Spirit Essences is now owned by a great cat behavioralist – Jackson Galaxy.

the down side of this article is that it misses the fact that many cats do GREAT in multiple cat households and this may deter people from adoptions that are much needed. I will have a follow up article by Gail Pope in a few weeks. she is the founder of www.Brighthaven.org and had up to 90 senior cats at a time, giving them a permanent (and holistic) home.

One commenter was helped by this info as I was – ”

Cats are individuals, don’t forget.   I care for two ferals, male and female who hang out together – they do go off on their own but  end up cuddling on the same papa-san chair on cooler days — or  stretching on the lawn in the shade. Both are fixed now — but not before they reproduced (I have their babies — socialized, fixed, indoor cats.  I tried to adopt them out –maybe not hard enough :>))

Love watching their interaction — they all get along — some  like to chase and play; often they  cuddle. The article explained, however, the reaction of my two older residents. They are definitely unhappy, and their health has suffered, allergies  where they had none before. If I had any choice, I would not have inflicted this new brood on them, Now I will try to give them quality time. Sad to see the oldtimers suffer!

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The article also explained the  behavior of  a mother-daughter cat duo ( long ago and far away): the mother got out and stayed out overnight. When she returned the daughter became unfriendly to her, even hostile—- and so it remained the rest of their lives.”

two other commenters promoted multicat households said: “We used to joke about the fact that veterinarians thought that cats were just small dogs.  Then as vets became more knowledgeable, we said that they knew that cats were different.  But we often still think that vets don’t understand the different BREEDS or types of cats.  This is still true, often.  The subject of this article is bunching all types and breeds of cats together.  I have Oriental Shorthairs, originally from Siamese. Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins  says that they are like lions and need to be in a pride. Never should we have just one.  I have had up to 14, but now have only 4.  My oldest is 14 and youngest is 1. They can’t stand to be separate. Always in each others’ arms, sharing everything. Racing through the house, up and down the tall cat trees, leaping into our arms, dancing to music.  It is a jungle out here and constant expressions of love. How many other breeds act like this? The exact opposite of Persians and many other breeds. They all are very different. Learn about the different breeds!”

And: “I agree with Magnolia.  I have 8 rescued cats and at one time we had 14.  We have a large house so all of them are able to find their own space.  They each have their favorite hiding spot and sleeping spot.  We have multiple litter boxes and everyone has their own feeding dish.  There are many places to climb, scratch and sleep in the sun that comes through the windows.  Actually, the house belongs to these kitties–they are kind enough to let us live here. =^..^=  They get along quite well.  I have one female that doesn’t care for one of the males.  They don’t fight, he just stares at her and she doesn’t like it.  She hisses and he walks away.  Other than that, it’s all good.”

 

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