Multiple Cat Households: How to Manage 2+ Cats

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For many people, a single cat is the ideal situation. However, for others, cats seem to be like potato chips. They can’t stop with just one. This is partly because cat owners easily become smitten and partly because most cats enjoy the companionship of other cats.

» You might like Can Cats Get Lice? and some interesting Cat Statistics for 2022.

2 cats laying on each other

There’s no rule against owning more than one cat. In fact, a multiple cat household can be full of life and excitement. They can feel like family even if you live alone. But there are some considerations to make before choosing if this is right for you.

Things to Consider About a Multiple Cat Household

Is owning more than one cat a good idea for the cat you already own? If your cat is home alone for long periods of time and seems to be lonely, they may enjoy having another cat around. 

In addition, an older cat will often develop a new lease on life when a new kitten joins the family. However, cats who enjoy their solitude or are very territorial towards their homes and families may not appreciate sharing their lives with another cat.

two cats

Getting a new kitten means having to go through all of the frustrations of litter box training all over again. In addition, don’t forget about the expense of vaccinating and neutering your kitten.

If you don’t go for a kitten, adding an older cat to the family can also be a challenge, as the cat will have to adjust to a new home and may come with or develop behavioral or health problems.

Although some people feel that their cats will be more at home with a cat from the same breed, many cats are quite happy to hang out with other cat breeds. Of course, you may want to reconsider pairing a boisterous, clownish Rex cat with a standoffish Russian Blue. They might compliment each other well.

Cat breeds with similar traits do better together than cats that are completely different. Of course, the Himilayan Persian and the Maine Coon breeds are so laid back and friendly that they adapt well to life with the most demanding or rambunctious cats.

Acclimating A New Addition

two cats

Before you bring your new cat home, you will need to set up an area for them to stay in while they adjust. You may even want to put them in a crate, especially if you are unsure whether they are litter box trained. Allow them to settle in for a day or so before you worry about introducing him to the rest of the family.

Instead of placing the cats together immediately, allow your original cat to grow accustomed to the new arrival gradually. For a smooth transition, be sure they don’t have to share their own litter box, food, water bowls, or toys with the newcomer.

two cats fighting

Besides the fact that your cat may not like to share, there are important health reasons for giving each cat their own supplies. You can reduce the chance of your cats spreading diseases to each other and you can more easily monitor the appetite of each cat if they have separate litter boxes and food bowls.

Also, cats who are forced to share litter boxes may decide to create their own private litter boxes in other, less convenient places, such as the closet floor. Read more on whether cats should share a litter box here.

You will also want to provide each cat with its own living space. Condos are a great way to give each cat a territory of their own. They might play well together, but cats don’t tend to sleep in close proximity to each other.

two cats lying on each other

When Problems Arise

We would all hope that everyone could just get along, but that might not always be the case in a multiple cat household. There are things that can cause rifts along the way.

  • Not having enough space for each cat
  • Making them share water or food bowls
  • Combining cats with different personalities that can’t get along

When this happens, you need to be ready to handle the situation. Cats are very subtle with their communication, but they will let you know when they aren’t happy with the situation.

You can tell something might be wrong if your cat withdraws or hides, if their personality differs from what it was previously, if they attack their housemates more, or appear to be more vigilant about marking their territory.

two cats on a wall

Stock up on Cat Supplies

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Of course, there is one major problem with having multiple cats. Once you have two or more cats, everyone with a stray or unwanted cat will assume they can convince you to add just one more to the family.

Make sure before adopting a new cat to consider what is best for the cat you already have. Do research to see what breeds would be most agreeable for your kitty. After all, you are splitting their royal domain in two by adopting again. Starting a multiple cat household can seem daunting, just remember to give your cats time to get used to each other.


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multiple cat household

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