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There is always something going on in a multi-cat household. Erm 9... cats and counting...... Plus stories from the Sheffield Cats Shelter

Monday, 1 July 2013

Wee wars

If you've read my previous posts you'll probably know that Bertie has struggled to settle in.

Bertie in his room

He gets on with the humans in the house and he tolerates most of the cats, but he really doesn't seem to like Billy. 
Billy posing
I guess, from his point of view, Billy is the only male likely to challenge him.  George and Harry are over ten now and are quite happy, eating, sleeping and having the odd stroll outside.  Bertie does all of that in addition to his 'patrols'.  He can often be heard (all those extra claws on laminate floors) wandering through from the 'cat room', past the kitchen and over to the cat flap.  I'm not sure if he's defending the house from outsiders or he's just taking an innocent look out.  Billy, who is actually a timid cat, no longer comes in through the cat flap and won't come in the front door either, if Bertie is in view.

In reality it's the girls who rule in this house, but maybe Bertie isn't tough enough to take them on...

Princess Bella rules

Joking aside the situation is bringing out behaviour I'd rather not have and it shows me that two of my cats aren't happy.  Bertie has really gone after Billy on a few occasions and we've had to separate them. When this happens it's a while before Billy comes out of hiding.

We've also got a wee problem, literally. Bertie seems to leave me little patches and puddles and Billy has responded by spraying :(.

We have found wee in, on, or against a variety of places/items; my sons new PC tower, the front door, the back door, the living room door, the garage door, the cat tree, my laundry basket, my daughters laundry basket, the living room fire, the dining room cupboard, corners of various rooms, the bath mat, the downstairs toilet floor, my husbands sock drawer, the tumble dryer, my daughters art work....oh and my handbag.

Not only is it smelly, its damaging. 

I did a bit of online research and many sites suggest a trip to the vets, the idea being that your cat could have an illness which makes them urinate outside the litter tray.  I don't think this is the case for us, I know Bertie uses the trays.  To me this is all about marking to feel comfortable in the house.

During my 'travels' I came across a fab site in the US A house full of Cats  They basically run a sanctuary in their home and have multiple cats.

They give some great advice on multiple cat households and I was particularly interested in the Bach Flower remedies they go through. I'm currently giving Beech and Larch a try in the water bowls.  I'm also trying a plug in Feliway  in the living room.

I've also been trialing a number of cat litters to see if there are any preferences for owners or cats.  I'll be posting my findings shortly.


  1. it might not have started out as medical, but if they are stressed (and they must be to be marking) it can lead to medical issues. if they are holding urine because they don't feel comfortable getting to the box it might lead to smaller crystals joining together and they become large enough to be painful when they urinate.

    putting more boxes around the house should help a lot. If they are resource guarding and preventing easy access to boxes, putting more boxes in different spots in the house will make it harder for them to guard and keep the others out.

    I strongly recommend the book Cat vs Cat. It helped me a lot when I had some issues in my multi cat household and the transition of alpha status after my eldest cat (who was originally an only cat) died.

    1. Thank you so much for the book suggestion, I'll check it out. I have added more trays to the house and they are in different rooms, upstairs and downstairs. We can go days now without a problem and then it starts again. I'm trying a few new idea's too!!