Challenges of having many cats in one household

There are a few challenges to consider when deciding whether or not to have more than one cat in your home. However, if dealt with properly, cat lovers will find the obstacles encountered through owning more than one, “fuzzy friend”, are far outweighed by the pleasures experienced.

The first point to address in having multiple cats, is finances. A new cat will mean additional veterinarian bills. Besides regular check-ups and immunizations, you will also need to spay or neuter your new pet. There will be an increase in cat food and litter expenses, as well.

And, you’ll be buying that extra litter, because of extra cat waste, of course! Which, brings up the point of cleanliness… Count on having to change the litter box more often, and spending more time vacuuming due to added cat hair. Some sort of air freshener is also recommended, as having multiple cats magnifies the pet odor in your home. While the smell may not be evident to you, your guests will appreciate the gesture.

Introduction to the surroundings is of key importance. You’ll want to remember, pets have a way of being very territorial, and a new cat will probably not sit well with any other cat that has already established themselves as a resident. It may be a good idea to separate the new cat from the rest of the house, at least for the first few days, and especially at night. Be sure your new pet has plenty of food and water, and a litter box, in the secured location.

During this time, when you are home and not sleeping, allow your cats to become familiar with each other while you supervise. Humor their sniffing, and encourage interaction, but be quick to intervene if a cat begins to hiss, or looks like it may pounce or scratch. Try teaching a, “cease” command, such as a loud clap, for inappropriate behavior – this has proven quite effective.

Speaking of behavior: there is a good possibility a new cat will mean, “old tricks”. In other words, when your new cat begins to do things such as scratch the furniture, or jump up on your counters or tables – even if you’ve taught older cats to refrain from doing so – they may begin to imitate the new cat. Just like children, cats recognize attention, and they do get jealous. One sure way of getting attention all around, is a good ol’ squirt bottle of water! A cat will soon learn to refrain from unwanted actions after a few, quick sprays, and it doesn’t hurt anything but their pride.

To reap benefits in life, we often have to make sacrifices, and having pets is no exception. But, if money is not a problem, the time spent cleaning, helping your pets bond, and the little bit of training required, should not be an issue if you love the idea of having an extra cat.

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