Tips for Spotting Feline Anxiety in Multiple Cat Households
Do your fur babies engage in a little (or a lot of) sibling rivalry? Who doesn’t cringe at the clawing, hissing, etc., which inevitably comes with adorable but demanding kitties living in close proximity?
Studies have shown that about 20% of house cats experience long-term anxiety, with multiple-cat households a major reason. Why? The cause makes perfect sense: our solitary-loving BFF’s are easily stressed when they have to share a home and resources.
If you’re part of a multiple-cat household, here are a few tips for de-stressing everyone’s nine lives!
According to Dr. Sarah Heath, there are three significant changes you can make to harmonize your home. First off, maintain separate feeding, sleeping, and toilet areas. Cats are private creatures, and letting each feline have its own “reserved space” goes a long way toward reducing anxiety levels.
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Next, provide plenty of cat toys so that your moggies can vent their physicality appropriately. If your cat gets plenty of stimulating play and exercise, chances are that pouncing on his brother’s back or face for fun is greatly diminished!
Lastly, consider the use of natural pheromones (that only kitties can smell) to restore the peace. Have you ever used aromatherapy to relax? This is a similar concept, with stress-busting natural pheromones (emitted through a plug-in socket) taking the place of, for example, lavender-scented oils! According to Dr. Heath, the naturally occurring chemicals have the power to reduce stress, helping kitties to feel more safe and secure.
What’s the takeaway lesson here? There definitely are ways to try and alleviate the stresses and anxieties that come with feline sibling rivalries. But if you have a single cat, you might want to think twice before getting him or her a kitten to keep it company.
Cats are capable of getting along together like gangbusters, but it generally isn’t in their nature to herd together like dogs and puppies do. Maybe you should ask your cat beforehand if he really wants a little brother or sister?!