Challenges of having many cats in one household – Part 1

Cats that live in groups become specialists in the art of human training. Humans have complex brains, likely intelligent but exceedingly difficult to communicate with, which is why it takes so much effort and patience to train them. Training is much more likely to be successful when there are multiple cats, allowing for each one to specialize in one or more areas of behavior.

The first and most important area of specialization is food procurement. A cat who is responsible for this area monitors the accessible food supply, herding humans toward the storage facilities that are only accessible with opposable thumbs whenever necessary. Other cats will take up window or door opening as their job, or waking one or more humans so that they may perform any of the above tasks. Litter box monitors pace back and forth during the cleaning process, watching to make sure that this task is completed thoroughly, and testing the boxes for cleanliness when complete.

If the cat-to-human ratio is favorable, it’s possible for each cat to mentor a personal human, or (ideally) for a team of cats to coach the each human through the steps to appropriate behavior. Humans must be taught how to properly play, groom, and sleep; additionally, their sense balance needs to be tested by walking between their legs in various lighting conditions. The likelihood of a human being properly trained by a single cat is, sadly, quite low, which is why the multiple-cat technique is preferred. In cases where this is simply not possible, it is often necessary to train a human intergenerationally, passing the partially-trained biped on from one cat to the next. This technique is certainly not preferred, as the training cats may prefer different techniques, and humans have notoriously short attention spans.

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