Entertainment · June 23, 2022

Surveys show that cats are more likely to have behavioral problems when they live with other cats

Fight like cats and…cats! Moggies are more likely to have behavioral problems when living with other cats, a survey shows

  • “Fight like cat and dog” describes those who are constantly at each other’s throats
  • A survey of veterinarians found that a cat-on-cat fight might be more appropriate
  • Surgeons across the country say cats are more likely to be stressed and have behavioral problems when they are with other cats than they are with dogs or other pets

We’ve long used the phrase “fighting like a dog and cat” to describe those who are constantly at each other’s throats.

But a survey of veterinarians found that fight like cat and cat might be a more appropriate saying.

Surgeons across the country say cats are more likely to be stressed and have behavioral problems when they are with other cats than they are with dogs or other pets.

We’ve long used the phrase “fight like cats and dogs” to describe those who are constantly at each other’s throats (file image)

Conducted by the British Veterinary Association (BVA), the survey asked 520 veterinarians to identify the most pressing health and welfare issues facing cats visiting their practices. The results showed that 41 percent reported behavioral problems or stress related to living in a multi-cat household.

Meanwhile, problems related to housing with other animals – such as dogs – were cited by just 7 percent.

dr Justine Shotton, President of the BVA, said there are three main factors that affect the success of a multi-cat household.

Surgeons across the country say cats are more likely to experience stress and behavior problems when living with other cats than with dogs or other pets (file image)

Surgeons across the country say cats are more likely to experience stress and behavior problems when living with other cats than with dogs or other pets (file image)

“The first is the compatibility of the cats in the group,” she said. “And the most compatible cats that we see seem to be littermates, so siblings. The second is the availability and accessibility of resources such as food, water, litter boxes, and cat flaps. And the third is population density. If you have a small apartment with ten cats, chances are those cats are quite stressed.

“But if you have a couple of cats and they can go outside, they might have less stress.” Signs that a cat may be stressed include frequent meowing, excessive grooming, scratching, inappropriate urination, and aggressiveness.

But having a dog in the house could make cats less stressed because they have different resources and may not have to share things like food and water bowls. The survey results will be presented today at the BVA Live event in Birmingham at a session sponsored by Mars Petcare.

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