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St Anne's Veterinary Group Blog

» Do my cats actually like each other?

Cats are naturally solitary creatures that prefer to do things alone, despite this, 44% of cat households have more than one cat.  This can result in some very obvious stress behaviour and some less obvious stress behaviour. Most people would notice their cat peeing all over the house or the cats fighting each other in a non playful way. It’s the more subtle things that are difficult to spot which my own cats seem to have perfected. They are blood brothers from the same litter who appeared to love each other when they were younger. An accident that resulted in one needing surgery seemed to cause a rift between them that has never healed; one never comes in without the other now! One cat might be on the floor sleeping and the other cat will give him the widest berth. There is staring of the most dangerous type and swiping if given the opportunity. What has made me give my Archie cat a new found respect is his location to curl up. I kind of hadn’t noticed anything other than what I thought was Archie just trying to lay in the place I was most likely to trip over him! I have since noticed that when his brother Dylan was asleep on the bed, Archie slept in the hall, therefore blocking Dylan from getting to the food and water and the front and back doors. Same when Dylan is asleep on the sofa, Archie would lay in the doorway to block him! Cheeky thing!

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So when Feliway recently brought out their new product, Feliway Friends I became excited. Normal Feliway works really well for changing factors that can introduce stress into your cat’s world such as a new baby, workmen in the house or stressful experiences like travelling in the car to the vets or cattery. This Feliway is the synthetic copy of the cat’s facial pheromone which cats put on to objects and people when they feel safe and secure. The new Feliway Friends is a synthetic copy of the cat appeasing pheromone the queen gives off to her kittens after birth, this helps bond the mother and kitten and also helps to reduce conflict between cats. Where you’re getting both spraying and the signs that your cats secretly hate each other then you might need to have both Feliway and Feliway Friends. Cat’s cannot become resistant or immune to feliway after a long period of use. If it works for your cat then it will continue to work.

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In order to get the best effects of Feliway it is important to have made sure you have made your home as cat friendly as possible. Food and water shouldn’t be in the same place, this is most unnatural for cats. In the wild, water that was next to food would have been contaminated! Another weird and wonderful thing I’ve found that my cats do is never drink from their water bowl inside, always preferring to drink from dirty old puddles. This was until I got a cat water bowl with a filter in it which one of the cats now loves! Archie is still on puddle patrol! If your cats use litter trays then you need to have one per cat and an extra one.
There is lots you can do to try and resolve conflict between your cats, feel free to give us a call and chat to one of our nurses who can give you some advice on how to make your home feline friendly!

Menna Field
 

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