It can be stressful when your cats don't get along. Here's our advice on how to encourage two cats to get on...
Q) Is there any way I can help my cats to get on? I have three cats. One gets on with the other two. But Thor and Marvel (both males) do not! They will avoid each other, with Marvel staying out the way upstairs. They haven’t had a fight but they do growl at each other and Thor did swipe at Marvel once. I don’t know if it is Thor who is bullying Marvel, but I really just want them to get on! Your Cat reader.
A) I’m so sorry to hear that Thor and Marvel aren’t getting on. Tensions between cats are not only a concern for their emotional and possibly physical health, but it can also take its toll on owners. Sadly, there are so many variables that combine to make each relationship between cats unique that it can be hard to give general advice.
What I can say is that as humans we make informed decisions about who we want to live with, but unfortunately cats have no such choice. We decide which cats will live together in our house and if we’re lucky, some cats will bond, some will tolerate each other, while others will simply not want to be around the other. This is because, like us, each cat has its own different personality and idiosyncrasies. Not only that, but we also put our cats in an environment that is essentially designed for humans. Under such circumstances, it’s not surprising that problems can arise between co-habiting cats like Thor and Marvel.
In order to really understand what’s going on between them I would absolutely advise you get in touch with a feline behaviourist who can make a first-hand assessment. In the meantime, to help ease tensions you could try the following:
- Feed all the cats in separate areas.
- If your cats are indoor-only, consider allowing them outside and provide two points of entry and exit on separate sides of the house.
- Ensure all cat resources follow the formula of one per cat, plus one extra in different locations.
- Play with all your cats every day, and with Thor and Marvel separately.
- Consider creating an indoor sanctuary with a microchip cat flap specifically for a cat that you suspect is being bullied.
While cats are certainly capable of being sociable with others under certain circumstances and I’ve seen plenty of examples of this, many are lacking the emotional framework to have long-term intense relationships with other cats. Sadly, this means that we can never guarantee that cats living under the same roof will be able to adjust to each other, but a feline behaviourist will help you determine the lie of the land and what you can do to help them.