Ensuring you have enough resources for multiple cats/pets
Cats are solitary by nature and many confident cats do not feel the need to share space or resources. Providing plenty of resources appropriately placed will give cats a variety of choice, helping to create harmony in the home.
Whether natural instinct or past experience a cat may or may not have a need for cat friends. Some cats do choose to form social groups. Cats in the same social group maintain a bond by keeping a common scent through frequent rubbing against each other, mutual grooming, sleeping together closely curled up, touching each other, greeting with tail up, touching noses and spending a lot of time in close proximity. Cats who live in the same household but don’t express these behaviours are all independent individuals even if they sleep close together but not touching, sleep in same places, don't hiss or spit, or are related they are not in the same social group or if they avoid each other.
Careful introductions and giving each cat the opportunity to access separate and sufficient resources, appropriately placed around the home will allow them to choose whether they want to become part of a social group or be an independent individual choosing not to come into close contact with other cats or other potentially stressful situations.
Food, water, litter, scratch posts, toys, play, places to rest, sleep/hide low or up high, are all valued resources. The more well placed resources you provide, the less need for competition or aggression amongst cats or other animals in the home. A choice of at least one of each type of resource per cat, plus one extra should always be provided as a minimum.
|Provide litter trays (including a hooded litter tray) in different locations around the home, in low traffic areas away from food. Follow the rule of 1 tray per cat + 1. If you have 2 cats in the house you will need 3 litter trays in various locations.
|Rotate a variety of toys to retain novelty value. A selection of both interactive toys you can engage in play and toys they can play with when you aren't around.
|Place food bowls in a low traffic area. Each cat should have their own bowl in a separate area to other cats or pets. This could be in the same room just a different location.
|Cats spend 16 hours a day intermittently sleeping. Owners beds, sofas, arm chairs, wardrobes, airing cupboards, sunny spots, near radiators, (radiator hammocks) all make favourable places for your cat to sleep. Several sleeping places should be available giving choice to sleep separately, in different locations high up, low down and enclosed.
All cats need full and free access to all their valued resources and safe places with more than one means of entry or access to them so that entrances can't be blocked or guarded by other pets. All resources should be easily accessible without threat of ambush or attack.
Remember to your existing cat you are also considered a highly valued resource, which they may not wish to share. By keeping their existing routine as close to what it was before the new cat arrived and ensuring they have plenty of one to one time with you will reduce feelings of jealousy, threat from the arrival or the need to compete. A few extra treats can also help them to adjust.