This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Feliway. All opinions are 100% mine.
Rescuing cats and making them part of your family is a wonderful thing. However, having multiple cats doesn't mean they always get along. See our 5 tips for how to keep a peaceful multi-cat household to help keep everyone happy and friendly. #FearFree
Mr. Savvy and I love all animals, but especially cats. We started with the one cat I had when we moved in together. We then wanted to get her a friend to play with. Then, over the past several years we've gotten another couple cats that we just couldn't say no to rescuing. Luckily, they do get along well most of the time, but it has taken some work and trial and error. We've had all sorts of issues from super frustrating territorial urinating to the cats getting jealous and stalking each other. We're never ones to give up on our cats and send them to a shelter just because of an inconvenience, so we always try to work towards a solution before rehoming becomes an option,which we've thankfully not had to do. Here are 5 tips for how to keep a peaceful multi-cat household that we use regularly. Meet Becky, a cat who will always be kitten-sized. She's a very sweet cat once she knows you, but does have feral tendencies and gets spooked really easily. She takes a long time to warm up to anyone new, but once she does she'll even make biscuits and want to cuddle right on you. 1. Never let the cats "work it out" by themselves. Friends and acquaintances often ask how our cats get along. I'm always honest and say they get along for the most part, but now and then there will be small battles they get into. I always cringe when some then say they'd just put them in a room together and let them work it out. This is never a good idea because the cats can hurt each other, along with associating each other with negative experiences that just makes things worse in the long run.
2. Make sure each cat has their own space. Cats can be very territorial creatures, even with their fellow feline friends. I've definitely noticed that our cats each have their regular spots they like to hang out during the day. For some, it's a spot on one of the cat trees, others like stretching out on a blanket on the bed or couch, and then there are the covered cat beds and towers they can hide in. It's a good idea to have places they can go both vertically (like a tall cat tree) and horizontally, like a bed. If one of the cats needs to escape another that is chasing them, they usually like to climb up a cat tree. This is Marvin. As you can see he loves boxes and rolling around in catnip. However, he can be moody and a bit passive-aggressive. He gets jealous quite easily and will take it out on the other cats from time to time if not kept in check.
3. Have enough food bowls, water bowls, and litter boxes for each cat. Having one bowl of water and food for the cats may be convenient for us humans, but it can create territorial issues for your cats. Some cats may be fine with it, but at any point in time a cat may feel like their food and water supply is in danger because of the other cats. We have one food bowl for each cat we put down during feeding time and several water bowls throughout the house. The litter box is a place cats not only do their business but they also see it as a place they leave their scent behind. To help keep things peaceful it is generally suggested to have at least one litter box per cat + one extra.
4. Have plenty of one-on-one and playtime. One of the biggest things that create problems in our multi-cat household is jealousy. Some cats will immediately come up for attention and playtime while others are a bit passive-aggressive and will get jealous and run away if another cat comes up to play. As such, we have a room set aside that we can close the door to and give plenty of attention one-on-one and play with them without another cat interrupting. Plus, the more active your cat is, the more energy they burn off and will be less likely to act out. 5. Get assistance from Feliway. Did you know that pheromones, which is kind of like a scent, have a lot to do with how cats react to other cats? That's why Feliway®, a synthetic replica of the "Feline Facial Pheromone", really does work. This pheromone is produced naturally when cats are happy, confident, and comfortable in their current environment. This is why you may see your cats rubbing their cheeks against various objects in your house - and it's a good thing! Since Feliway mimics this pheromone, it helps all the cats in your household to feel confident and secure, which means a peaceful cat household with less fighting and territorial issues. The nice thing about Feliway is that it comes in several different forms for various situations that your cats may be in. There are wipes that are great to carry in your purse or laptop bag while traveling because they can be used to wipe down hard surfaces like a cat carrier because we all know how much cats (don't) love traveling, even if it's just to the local vet for a yearly checkup. We mostly use Feliway sprays and the diffuser. The spray is good for areas your cats only have sporadic issues, such as scratching a piece of furniture now and then or a place they may have peed outside of the litter box. It can also help relieve stress around someone your cat hasn't visited before. I really like the diffuser because it's more of a set it and forget it (at least for a month) solution. I was really excited to see that there is now also a multi-cat formula of Feliway. It's a bit different in that it mimics the pheromone that a mother cat produces during lactation. All you have to do is plug in the diffuser and replace the bottle every 30 days. As long as the diffuser isn't blocked by furniture and the like, it will cover up to about a 700 sq. ft. area. I've personally noticed a decrease in the issues our cats have with each other while using Feliway. In fact, when things seem like they're starting to heat up more than usual, I realize it's time to refill the diffuser again. Plus, our local vet office uses Feliway so I trust that it really works even more. I do find it important to note that with the diffusers you may have to wait up to a week to notice any differences. But, hang in there, because Feliway is very likely to work! It has certainly been a big help in our multi-cat family. Find out more about how Feliway works and check them out on Facebook.