Multi Cat Households

Even though cats generally find living with their own kind stressful, the 2021 PDSA Animal Wellbeing [PAW] Report found that 43% of cat owners report having more than one cat, despite 18% of cats consistently not getting along with the other cat[s] in the home.

If you would like to read the full report, you can do so here: 

Cats are extremely territorial; they also have a heightened sense towards smells and sounds. This can make it very stressful for them to share a home with another cat. They may see an additional cat as an invader, and this can lead to aggression and resource guarding.

Generally, cats are solitary creatures and therefore, unless they have lived with siblings as kittens, they often find sharing their home with other cats stressful. This can have a negative impact on both their mental wellbeing but also their physical health. Repeated cystitis cases which need veterinary intervention as they are painful and potentially life threatening are often associated with stressful living conditions.

Whilst it is not impossible for cats to live happily in multi cat households, our general advice is that it is better not to place cats in an environment with feline company, that they haven’t chosen.

If you have a single cat household, please think carefully before taking another cat into your family. You will have to manage the environment carefully and you may inadvertently make your current pet’s life stressful.

If a multi cat household is going to succeed, steps must be taken to provide them an environment that allows each cat the opportunity for space away from one another.

If you have a multi cat household, here are some steps you can take to ensure that you create as happy and healthy an environment as possible for them:

  • Provide numerous water bowls in different areas so that cats can drink away from others
  • Provide numerous litter trays so cats can use where they feel safe. Avoid positioning near to windows, mirrors or feeding and sleeping areas
  • Provide numerous high resting places where cats can go when they feel threatened. This may help avoid conflict
  • Provide private resting areas with bedding under beds, in cardboard boxes etc. Cats need places to go where they can have hide and have time away from other cats and humans
  • Provide enough beds so that cats do not feel they have to protect or defend a bed area
  • Scratching posts help cats relieve stress. Ensure you have plenty of them available for your cats to use
  • Entry/Exit points- Cats may guard these so it is important to provide at least two so that cats can access and enter freely. This may be especially important for cats that prefer to toilet outdoors
  • Play is important for cats but an insecure cat may not feel comfortable to play in front of a more confident cat. Think about allowing cats play time separately

Please see more information below;


2 Mill Road, West Mersea

Colchester, Essex



Opening Hours:

Mon-Fri:  8:30 - 19:00

Sat: 8:30 - 12:30

Tel: 01206 384999

 Sun & BH: closed

Out of Hours Tel : 01206 842224




Did you know? ..Blackwater Vets is one of only just a few veterinary practices in the Colchester region that hold cat friendly clinic status?