Too few perches and litter boxes can lead to conflict between cats. “Competition for shared resources is one of the most common reasons for tension between cats in multi-cat homes and can escalate fast into severe aggression,” says cat behaviourist Mieshelle Nagelschneider.
1. Place multiple litter boxes throughout your home.
The rule of thumb is one litter box per cat, plus one extra. And location, as they say, is everything. If you have litter box issues, it could be because you’ve hidden away the litter box in a dark, unused guest bedroom. Instead, litter boxes should be spread throughout your home inaccessible, popular areas. Kitangle litter boxes were designed to be in plain view within your home and fit into small spaces, corners, and along walls. ($160, kitangle.com)
2. Provide vertical space.
Cats have an instinctual desire to perch in high places that date back to their wild cat origins. Reduce conflict between cats—and prevent your books from being knocked off your bookshelf—by providing multiple vertical perches. Building a cat wall playground is a great option! Installing shelves, bridges, and other perches will create an elevated playground that will not only delight your cat but look cool too! We love the Cat Mod Systems from Catastrophic Creations (from $170, catastrophicreations.com)
3. A breath of fresh air.
We know one thing: your indoor cat definitely wants a Cat Solarium. This beautiful, ingenious, easy to install solarium transforms your window into a sturdy outdoor cat perch, vastly enriching your cat’s environment. It safely provides outdoor access so your cat can bird watch, get some fresh air, and bask in the sun. (from $270, catsolarium.com)
4. Offer designated scratch areas.
Scratching is a natural cat behaviour, and unless you provide an appropriate outlet, your cat is going to choose something like your new sofa. Let your cat get his scratch on with the Classic Scratch Lounge cat scratcher. Cat’s LOVE scratching and lounging on it’s super-satisfying, durable honeycomb construction! ($37, scratchlounge.com)
5. Give your cat a cozy haven to hideaway.
Cats love curling up in safe, small spaces; it helps them feel secure. Dharma Dog Karma Cat’s egg-shaped ombre cat caves are perfectly sized for sleeping, hiding, and playing. Crafted by women’s collectives, socially conscious artisans, and family-run businesses in Nepal, the caves are made of Himalayan wool—the only materials are pure wool, natural soap, and water. Bonus: the lanolin naturally present in the wool reminds cats of the scent of their mother while conditioning paws and fur. ($70, dharmadogkarmacat.com)
Make time to play with your cat daily, ideally in a series of short play sessions a few times a day. And be sure to swap the toys out to keep things interesting. Three to try:
RompiCatz’s wildly enticing wand toys—cats go crazy for these feathered, gliding wand toys. ($9, rompicatz.com)
Dezi and Roo’s highly rated, durable Hide and Sneak cat tunnel ($11, deziroo.com), combines everything cats love: paper, crinkly noise, adventure, and a hiding spot.
Yeowww’s Yeowww!-ola catnip infused crayon-shaped toys, perfect for batting around and rubbing upon. ($10, duckyworld.com)
7. Fresh drinking water.
Cats are notoriously reluctant water-drinkers, which dates back to their desert origins. Tempt your cat with fresh running water, which is vastly preferred by pretty much all cats. Bonus: adequate water intake decreases the risk of your cat developing bladder stones (uroliths). Pioneer Pet’s water fountains naturally appeal to cats, they’re easy to clean, and the replaceable charcoal filter means the water is pure. (From $80, pioneerpet.com)
8. Say no to whisker stress.
Though many, but not all, vets agree whisker fatigue—a condition caused by a cat’s whiskers brushing against the side of a dish while eating—is a thing, it makes sense to us. A cat’s whiskers are tremendously sensitive. Your cat’s behaviour at his food and water dishes should tip you off: if your cat seems reluctant or bothered while eating or drinking, or bats his food out of his dish before eating it, try a wide, shallow-sided dish such as the Ceramic Q Bowl from ViviPet to rule out whisker stress. ($25, vivipet.com)