Challenges of having many cats in one household – Part 2

Maintaining a multi-cat house can be difficult especially if you have kids. I have had plenty of experience with eight cats. Here are some tips for different problems that can occur.

First of all there is cleanliness of the house….

1. Vacuum a lot! Everyday if possible. You will need a good vacuum and I highly recommend the Dyson Animal version. It works really good, and costs only about $500, and is pretty lightweight as well! No matter what vacuum you buy though, get a warranty!

2. The litter box can be a mess, but there are great ways to cope. Scoop everyday! Also if possible try to build a little box that litter boxes can go in to. We have a wooden one that has 4 walls that come up about one and a half feet. It has a little doorway cutout, and is lined with contact paper (though painting and sealing it really good may work even better!), this helps with excess litter and urine from reaching the carpet, literally saving it! It also is easier to keep clean. Just vacuum and wipe!. Baking soda is great for neutralizing odor in the boxes, and a plug-in scented oil burner makes it actually smell good by the litter boxes!

3. Training the cats to stay off places you don’t want them is vital! Never hit your cats, because you want their trust and respect. A water bottle or squirt gun is perfect! Just remember be consistent! Consistency is the key! Aluminum foil is also a good trick for when you aren’t around. Just put it on the surface you don’t want them.

Lastly, know that the behavior and happiness of the cats themselves is also very important.

1. Get shots for cats at least once if they stay in the house, but annually if they go outdoors.

2. The cat’s disposition is very important in relation to their behavior. You want the cats to feel happy because they will behave better. Try to make sure you show each cat a little personal attention everyday, even if it is just for a few moments.

3. Please Don’t declaw your cat if possible. It can definitely affect the behavior of the cat in a negative way. Every reputable animal organization of any kind is against declawing, including the Humane Society. Training them is key, like I said before with a squirt bottle, and give them alternative places where they can scratch. They need to be able to do so for healthy joints and bones. They sell cat trees for $30 at WalMart and they work great!

4. Play with them as a group, picking each one out for their time.

5. Feeding them foods that agree with their system is important and can be hard to figure out sometimes. Each cat is different, but all-natural foods are good. Regardless of your choice, make sure to keep an eye on their stools for no worms or frequent diarrhea. Then work from that. Feeding them on a schedule is good for them and their trust in you, and feeding them treats as a group brings togetherness between them.

6. Stop cat fights. Playing is one thing and good for them but don’t let them go to far if possible. Yell at them or squirt the main antagonizer. Then try to show them you want them to get along by attempting to put them beside one another and petting them both at the same time.

7. Try not to outright favor certain cats and if you are petting one cat and another tries barge in the way, continue petting the first one and make the barger wait his turn!

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