If you have more than one cat living together, you need to adapt the environment accordingly. Cats are not herd animals as we humans or dogs are. Instead, they live in social groups where they can coexist as long as there are sufficient resources of dining places, water sources, sleeping places and places to pee and poop.
Out in the wild, cats hunt, eat, drink and mark their territory on their own. During the mating season or when the females have kittens, the cats live more herd-like, but it is never possible to compare with the dogs’ herd life. Thus, if there are sufficient resources, the cats can live together within the same territory even if they are not dependent on each other’s presence.
When you have several cats living together, it is important to think about the above facts. It is also important to keep in mind that cats are incredibly strong animals
Cats are meant to live outdoors but sometimes we do not have that opportunity. It is then extra important that you adapt the indoor environment to your cats if they live strictly indoors, but also the cats that live both outdoors and indoors need a safe indoor environment.
Cats do not live in any form of hierarchy but also this is more resource dependent. The one who is first to the best place one day may be last the next day. If there is only one dining area, litter box or sleeping area to share, it will be a constant stress for the cats. Cats do not feel stress like we humans but they can behave completely outwardly at first, but feel stressed inside for many different reasons, this can lead to both behavioral problems and physical problems.
In a household, there may be several social groups between the cats. It may also be the case that there is no social group. We humans and other animal species can also belong to the social group. By the cats stroking, grooming each other, sleeping together, talking to each other, rolling on the floor in front of each other, the social group is confirmed.
But even if these social groups exist, we must still keep in mind that each individual cat should always have the opportunity to live their own life. You therefore need to increase resources.
There should be several food bowls and dining areas. At least one or two places to eat per cat, but preferably more. No food bowl should be next to a water bowl or a litter box. Out in the wild, cats do not eat and drink in the same places. If you give dry food, feel free to place some balls in different places and heights so that the cat can use its sense of smell and hunting sense to find its food. Also, do not place the food bowls next to each other but spread out in different places.
Also have several different water bowls. Here too at least one per cat, but preferably more. Not near a dining area or litter box. Feel free to use different types of water sources such as water carafes, water glasses, shallow bowls, deep bowls and water fountains. Drinking becomes a form of activation for the cats.
There must be at least one sleeping place per cat. Several popular sleeping places high up, by the window, on top of the wardrobe, on a bookshelf, etc.
When there are several cats living in the same indoor environment, their territory is extra important and everyone must have the opportunity to mark their territory. They can often do it in the same place but there should be several places. Always have claw boards set up in the hall and at entrances where new scents come in every day. Also have more climbing frames that the cats can claw and climb in.
There should always be at least one litter box per cat and one in addition. If you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes at home. The litter boxes should not be placed next to each other but placed in different places. Cats out in the wild do not pee and poop in the same place as another cat. The litter boxes should be easily accessible but still in safe and quiet places. Another cat, dog or child should not be able to stand and lurk outside the cat box so that the cat using the box feels cramped. Therefore, it is almost always best to use open litter boxes. It is important that there is a lot of sand in the boxes and that the sand is soft, fine-grained and fragrance-free.
By adapting the environment to your cats when you have more, you make them feel safe in their territory even though they share it with other individuals.