Keeping the Peace in a Multi-Cat Household
By Arna Cohen
Read the full article at Animal Sheltering
For 11 years, everything was copacetic in Marrakech and Samsara’s world. Together from kittenhood, the sisters loved cuddling, playing with mousie toys, and “singing” in typical Siamese style.
But two years ago, their lives changed dramatically when their owner committed a crime, at least in their eyes: She brought home another cat.
“When I adopted Colette, I would say I adopted a good year’s worth of hell,” says Carol Zytnik of the then 4-year-old ragdoll mix’s uneasy transition into her New York City apartment. The sisters blocked access to the litter box and relentlessly stalked the younger, larger feline. It’s not that Colette wasn’t a nice cat. But she’d intruded upon their territory—a violation of kitty law.
Turf battles in the feline universe are legendary. Internet videos showcase cats with the moxie to face down animals many times their size—dogs, bears, even alligators (we won’t talk about the wimpy kitty terrorized by a turtle).
In spite of this reputation, Zytnik was undeterred. After several months of patience, intensive play sessions, and cat calming sprays, she negotiated a peace treaty. A year after Colette’s arrival, the Siamese extended the ultimate olive branch—they allowed her into their kingdom, the bedroom.
Attaining that type of kitty contentment involves more than just plunking cats down into your domain and hoping for the best. Whether you’re thinking about adopting another feline or already have a kitty crowd, understanding how cats see the world will help you prevent mild skirmishes from escalating into all-out war. Read more here.
The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Sheltering works to create a world where people and animals thrive, living happy, healthy lives together by focusing on key areas of impact: Addressing solvable behavior, pet care issues and housing-related problems to Keep Pets in Homes. Striving to Protect Cats by promoting innovative tools for managing cats wherever they live. To Reach Underserved Communities by increasing access to pet care and wellness services and information. And working to Increase Adoptions for pets already in shelters and rescue groups.