With Cats & Territory, Sharing Space Is A Delicate Dance

Greetings, my pawsome human minions.

Forrest Wisewhiskers here, back again to bring you more feline insights. And today, I come to you with my worries.

Woe is me, dear reader, for I caught my parents discussing adopting a cat. Don’t get me wrong; I like other cats. For fur’s sake, I grew up in a colony where you couldn’t spit without hitting another feline. And living at the shelter and with a foster family, I’ve shared space with every kind of cat imaginable. Lucky for me, I’m easygoing as felines go, proving my ability to share resources time and time again.

I’ll Have to Share MY Territory…

But now, I’ve become accustomed to life as an only purr child. And hearing another cat may soon enter the home causes me concern. Realistically, I know all will be fine, and I’ll probably love my new friend. Yet, I can’t help fretting over my food bowls and litter pans. Ugh, what if this other cat wants to sleep in my chair on the porch?

I know what you’re thinking—why can’t I just be excited and willing to share? Well, if only cats worked that way, I’d be fine. But we are hard-wired predators that have to hunt our food in the wild. Let’s pretend for a moment; say I was an untamed cat living in the woods. If another cat invaded my wild territory, it’s not because he wants to be my friend. He’s there to take my hunting ground, the food it supplies, and my hiding places. As a predator, I’m not willing to share these things with strangers, as living in the wild is all about survival, not finding a buddy.

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Because I grew up in a feral colony, I got used to sharing resources with other felines. But it was still a delicate dance to be sure nobody stepped on anyone’s toe beans. And of course, there were regular missteps in this dance, and catfights ensued. It’s tough being solitary creatures who aren’t really all that solitary. We felines are a strange mix of wild and needy. Of course, I’ll never admit to being needy out loud and will deny it if pressed.

You Expect Us To Share? These Tips Might Help

To keep harmony in your little clowder, make sure everyone has their own space with these thoughts straight from the cat’s mouth:

  • Be sure each cat has their own food and water setup. Most kitty family members usually wind up sharing, but knowing there is enough for everybody does wonders for morale.
  • When it comes to the litter boxes, the golden rule is a pan for every cat, plus one more for good measure. Territory problems can arise if every cat doesn’t have a safe, secure place to do their private business.
  •  If you notice one cat has a particular spot they prefer and don’t want to share, help your other cats find a space of their own to lounge. Some locations are for sharing, and two or more kitties can cuddle together happily in these communal spaces, but be sure everybody has a perch or place they can call their territory.
  • Be sure to lavish love, praise, and treats on everyone. Some kitties aren’t as cuddly as others, so your acknowledgment of them may look different, sporting more of a “love from afar” vibe. But no matter how your cat craves attention, be sure everyone in the house knows they’re important.
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These tips for success can help your cats learn to share their territory more easily. But do keep in mind some cats only share enough to maintain harmony while others will share everything with everyone. And one surefire way to keep all the felines happy… don’t forget to feed the cat.

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