Do you have a harmonious multiple cat household?

Black and white cats appear to be kissing.

Current statistics on U.S. cat-owning households (there are about 90 million today) show that nearly one half (49%) of these households own more than one cat. (source:  Armandhammer.com)  Those multiple cat households must have somehow figured out how to achieve feline harmony in their homes.

Basically, the way to a peaceful feline home is to make sure that there are enough resources and space for your cats.   If your cats know they have options on where they can eat, sleep, play, and use the litter box, all the better.    If all of your cats have only one option, that’s an ideal setting for territorial disputes and added stress among them.  We have a few pointers on how to create and maintain harmony in your cat household.

The initial introduction of cats to each other should be gradual and stress free.  If possible, keep the new cat in a separate living quarters in your home, with their food, litter box and toys.  Your “incumbent cats” will know about the new cat, but not have the stress of direct contact.  After a couple of days, gradually allow your “incumbent” cats to approach the new cat, keeping their contacts short and sweet.  After a few more days, you will have achieved a successful introduction.

Our strongest recommendation:  invest in vertical play spaces.   Cat trees, shelves and window perches are ideal solutions for giving your cats privacy in an off-the-ground location.  Cats like height, so it’s an ideal solution.

Your cats needs outlets for exercising and scratching.  Leave plenty of scratching devices around your home.  Whether they are horizontal, vertical or slanted pads, they will protect your furniture as well as your sanity!

Allow each of your cats a separate food bowl .  If you have common water bowls, have several in different areas.  A water fountain designed for multiple cats is a great way of managing this, just make sure to keep the fountain and the water it holds clean and fresh.

Keep as many litter boxes in your home as the number of cats.  One of the worst problems can arise when cats have the use the same box.    Territorial issues may arise, causing them to “spray” the litter box, which signals to the other cats to stay away.    No one needs to have cats depositing in undesignated areas of the house.  Once that “out of box” behavior starts, it’s hard to stop it.

Finally, monitor your cats’ interactions.  It’s better to observe body language and catch an early warning signal so that you can diffuse any tension and avoid an out-an-out battle.   One great technique for diffusing attention is to pull out a wand toy that immediately draws their attention away from one another and on the moving object (the toy on the wand).

Congratulations on your multiple cat household.  May you and they live harmoniously over all of their nine lives!

Cats are amazing. Did you know…

 

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  • A cat’s heart beats twice as fast as a human heart, at 110-140 beats per minute.
  • A cat’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees.  This is slightly warmer than a humans.
  • Cats have 290 bones in their body, and 517 muscles.
  • A cat has five more vertebrae in her spinal column than her human does.
  • A cat will almost never “meow” at another cat.  This sound is reserved for humans.
  • During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. (Spay and/or neuter your cat!)
  • Kittens begin dreaming at just one week old.
  • If your cat is 3, your cat is 21 in human years.  If your cat is 8, your cat is 40 in human years.  If your cat is 14, your cat is 70 in human years.
  • The more cats are spoken to, the more they will speak to you.
  • Cats are partially color blind.   They have the equivalency of human red/green color blindness.  (Reds appear green and greens appear red;  or shades thereof.)
  • Cats need 1/6th the amount of light that humans do to see.  Their night vision is amazing!
  • Cats can see up to 120 feet away.   Their peripheral vision is about 285 degrees.
  • A cat’s ear pivots 180 degrees.   They have 30 muscles in each ear, and use twelve or more muscles to control their ear movement.

 

 

5 Tips for Keeping Your Cat-Occupied Home Smelling Fresh

5 ways for keeping your cat-occupied home smelling fresh
 

Sharing your home with cats has many benefits but one of the downsides is that owning cats also means owning the odors that come along with them.

The irony of course is that cats themselves don’t smell! In fact, they are fastidious about cleanliness. The “smell” people associate with cats is usually because the humans aren’t doing their part to keep things clean.

Bacteria are usually the source of smells, so focus on areas where these bacteria breed and grow and you can catch odor early before it gets bad.

Here are 5 ways to keep your home fresh, whether you have one cat or a whole gang of them.

1. Start With The Litter Box

Not surprisingly, litter box smell can be overpowering and permeate your entire home if left unattended. Make sure you are scooping litter boxes at least once a day and more often if you can. Then, get that waste out of the house quickly!

Consider sprinkling a bit of baking soda in the bags you use to collect the litter box contents. This might help keep the odors in check in your outdoor garbage until garbage day. Another great use for baking soda is to sprinkle some at the bottom of the litter box to help absorb odors.

Even if you’re scooping regularly, make sure to change the litter completely a couple of times a month because bacteria remain in the box even after you scoop.

Wash out the box with unscented soap and water each time you change the litter and remember to replace the entire box once or twice a year. Also, be sure to check out the litter boxes and accessories at MyThreeCats.com!

2. Investigate the Entire House For Smells

If you can’t easily determine the source of an odor in your home, do some detective work to find out if your cat’s doing his business outside the box. Check corners, behind furniture and in closets to find out if your cat’s been peeing or pooping where he shouldn’t.

Also check along walls and the walls themselves to determine if you have a spraying cat. If your cat has been using a spot in your home as his alternative potty spot, use an enzymatic cleaner to clean the area or items or, ideally, throw them away.

Also, it’s important to remember that if your cat is peeing or pooping in strange places, please schedule a vet visit. Sometimes this type of behavior is a symptom of a medical issue.

3. Get the Vacuum Out

If you have cats or any type of pet, be diligent about vacuuming. And don’t stop with the carpet. Make sure you regularly vacuum rugs, couches, chairs and even draperies to capture fur, dander and, yes, odors. Again, sprinkling baking soda on carpets or furniture and then vacuuming it up can help keep things fresh.

4. Wash Cat Beds and Blankets

Don’t forget to wash your cat’s favorite blankets or cat bed on a regular basis. Remember, your cat’s paws dig in the litter box several times a day. There’s bound to be some transfer of germs and odor-causing bacteria. Keep those snuggle spots clean!

5. Keep Food and Water Area Clean

Your cat’s food and water areas are another prime breeding ground for bacteria. Sitting water, like the water in your cat’s bowl, can quickly grow bacteria, eventually leading to an unpleasant smell. And, you certainly don’t want your cat drinking out of it! Wash the water bowls and replace with clean water at least once a day.

Food that sits out can also lead to a smelly mess. Make sure to clean up spilled kibble and especially chunks of uneaten canned food that your cat may have missed.

Just because you have cats in your home doesn’t mean it has to smell like you have cats in your home! Keep on top of regular cleaning and be aware of stinky trouble zones, and you’ll have a fresh clean house for everyone in your family to enjoy!

Do you have a tip to share us with us? How do you keep your cat-occupied home smelling fresh? Let’s chat about it in comments below!

Bottoms Up! 9 Ways to Get Your Cat To Drink More Water

Get Your Cat to Drink More Water!
 

We can all benefit from drinking more water and your cat is no exception.

A cat’s good urinary health is associated with drinking plenty of water. Making sure your cat gets enough fluids can help avoid urinary tract issues like infections, urinary stones or, with some male cats, a blocked urethra. In addition, good hydration contributes to good digestive health, healthy skin and coat and more.

The challenge is most cats don’t drink enough water. They’re just not that thirsty.

We all know you can’t make a cat do anything he doesn’t want to do, but here are some strategies to keep your favorite feline hydrated and healthy:

  1. Ice it down! Place a couple of ice cubes to your cat’s food to add some moisture. Some cats think it’s a little treat. The ice ends up tasting like the food and while your cat licks the yummy tasting cube, he’s getting some additional water.
  2. Speaking of ice cubes… throw some in your cat’s water to make it more interesting. Some cats prefer icy cold water, too.
  3. Make sure you have fresh water in bowls and cups on every floor in the house, or in the rooms where your cat hangs out the most. Take note of what kind of container your cat seems to prefer and use plenty of those.
  4. Change the water and wash out the bowls and cups often. Have you ever had a drink out of a glass of water that’s been sitting around for a few days? Yuck. It doesn’t taste good to your cat, either.
  5. A little flavor might spice up the drinking experience. Add a bit of chicken broth or tuna juice to the water and see if your cat likes it.
  6. Try a cat fountain! Fountains provide fresh, constantly moving water, which may capture your cat’s interest. And, while it might take a couple of days for cats to get comfortable with the fountains, most of them take to it and plenty of them prefer it. Visit MyThreeCats.com to choose from many different fountains for your cat!
  7. Feed your cat a mostly canned food diet. There’s a reason canned food is also called “wet” food; has more moisture in it! This is the easiest way to get more moisture in your cat’s diet and most cats love it.
  8. If an all-canned food isn’t in your budget or your cat doesn’t like it, try adding a bit of water or low sodium chicken broth to his dry food to see if he likes that. I’ll bet he does!
  9. If you can, feed your cat more frequent, but smaller, meals. Eating usually encourages thirst so this may get him to drink a little more and more often.

Water intake is one of the most important elements to good feline health. Make sure to keep an eye on your kitty to make sure he has plenty of opportunities to chug-a-lug!

Have you had success with other strategies to get your cat to drink more water? Share them with us in a comment below!

Will You Be Prepared For a Pet-Related Emergency?

National pet first aid awareness Month
 

April is National Pet First-Aid Awareness Month. A few weeks ago, we chatted about how to create a first-aid kit for your pet, but that’s not the only step you can take to be prepared for a pet-related emergency. For instance,

  • Do you know how to recognize the signs that your pet may have been poisoned?
  • Would you be able to tell if your pet was dehydrated?
  • Do you know the symptoms of heat stroke?

And the question isn’t just do you recognize these scenarios, but would you know what to do in the event of one?

Being prepared for a crisis could mean the difference between life and death for your pet, and The American Red Cross is an invaluable resource for information. Visit their site to lear more about the conditions I listed above, as well as other emergency situations you could potentially face with your pet. Also, be sure to check out their free Pet First Aid app, available for iPhone and Android. The app provides step-by-step instructions, videos, and images for more than 25 common first aid emergencies.

Will you be prepared for a pet-related emergency?