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8 Tips for Easing Tension Between Cats

The Feeding Station

Don’t assume your cats are getting along because they all come into the kitchen at mealtime. Your cats may not feel comfortable eating out of the same bowl or even eating right next to each other. Create a more peaceful mealtime environment through some separation. If there’s more than one social group in your home, then set up feeding stations so a cat from one group isn’t forced to come into the other group’s territory to eat. Even if you have just two cats, it may be stressful to be side-by-side during dinner. Depending upon the number of cats you have and the level of tension (if any) between them, you may have to set up multiple feeding stations in various locations. For some cats, eating in the same room but just not right next to each other may be enough, but for other cats, they may need to be in separate rooms that are within their own personal territory.

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Pay attention to the particular spots you locate the feeding station as well. Even if you place food and water bowls in multiple locations, be sure to put them where they provide maximum security. Give the cats good visual ability when they eat. A cat may want to be able to see if anyone is approaching while he munches on his meal. You may find a timid cat may prefer being totally hidden while eating or wants to be in an elevated location so he has maximum visual ability and less chance of being ambushed from behind. There’s no rule that states all food bowls must be on the floor in the kitchen. Place them where they work best for your cats.

The Litter Box

As for the litter box, I find some cat parents miss the mark in terms of number and also placement. You should have more litter boxes than you have cats. Usually one extra box is adequate. Boxes should be placed around the home so cats don’t have to cross another cat’s area when the need to eliminate arises. Don’t make the mistake of having the right number of litter boxes but then placing them all in one room. I see this often when I do in-home consultations and the human family members don’t realize that arrangement may be the very reason one or more of the cats eliminate outside of the box. Pay attention to how the social groups are divided up and where each cat tends to spend the most time. It may not be convenient for you to have litter boxes in different areas of the home but it’ll make a huge difference in your cats’ lives and could very well prevent you from having to clean urine from carpets.