Unhappy household 


Kim Houston advises a reader worried about her aggressive cat.

My sister and I have three cats; two boys and a little girl. Mia plays happily with Billy who is the eldest, but has problems with Benny who chases her. When Benny comes in from the enclosed garden, Mia growls and then he chases and attacks her — then off he goes as if nothing has happened. Can you offer any advice?

Kim says: Due to the increasing popularity of these wonderful creatures, multi-cat households are on the rise. However, where several cats share the same household, social incompatibility can occur. The key to keeping peace and harmony in a multi-cat household is to make sure there are enough resources and space for everyone. 

To help your cats cope better in each other’s company, it will be necessary to modify their environment, in order to make it easier for each cat to fi nd enough personal space. In essence, we are aiming to provide each cat its own collection of resources, such as feeding and water stations, high up resting places, litter trays, all positioned in separate areas of the house. This should immediately reduce stress and tension as it will enable the three cats to associate with each other without the complication of competition for food or space. 

It is also important that you provide escape routes, such as high-up resting places and low-down bolt holes for Mia, so she can escape Benny’s unwanted advances should she wish to do so. 

I would also advise you try a new plug-in diffuser which was brought out in September 2020, called Feliway Optimum. This new product is clinically proven to reduce tension and confl icts between cats in multi-cat households, by providing the cats with a message of enhanced serenity. This holistic message aims to help all cats feel more secure and comfortable in their home by providing reassurance, as well as harmony between cohabitating cats. For further details see www.feliway.co.uk 

Kim Houston — BSc (Hons), Dip (AS) CABC, CCAB is a consultant in feline behaviour. She works with clients throughout the UK, helping to resolve cat behaviour problems. Find out more at www.cat-astrophes.com

Feliway Optimum   

This new pheromone complex from Feliway helps cats with more signs of stress, in more situations, and calms cats better than ever. Available as a plug-in diffuser, Feliway Optimum is a synthetic version of the pheromones that cats naturally produce and is proven to help reduce tension in multi-cat households.

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