Multi-Cat Households: How Cats Communicate

In the past we’ve looked at understanding our cats’ body language, and we’ve even discovered that cats don’t differentiate between humans and other cats—they most probably think of us as big, clumsy cats as well. But as anyone living in a multi-cat household can tell you, cats often also have their own unique ways of communicating with each other. 


Natusan cat

Multi-Cat Households

Multi-cat households come with their own considerations and special requirements, ensuring each cat has their own personal space, as well as providing sufficient beds, litter trays, and food and water bowls. Generally the plus one rule is recommended: one for every cat, plus one extra!

Cats tend to get on best with their relatives, but that doesn’t mean that unrelated cats can’t share a home as well. Animal charity Wood Green has some great information and advice on multi-cat households on their website, and Cats’ Protection also has some useful information about getting another cat when you already have cats at home.

If you already have multiple cats at home, you’ve probably spotted a few of the ways that they choose to communicate with one another. Cats communicate with one another via several different types of cues: vocal, visual, physical and chemical. We’re taking a closer look at the audible and body language cues that cats use amongst themselves.


Natusan cat

Cat Chats

As we are (unfortunately) not cats, some of our cats’ modes of communication will pass us by completely. Experts believe that adult cats communicate using sound spectrums that we’re unable to hear. Adult cats communicate with each other in these ultrasonic spectrums, but this communication will seem silent to us. So if you’ve got a few cats at home and you think they’re having a nice quiet time, they might actually be chatting amongst themselves. 

This doesn’t mean that their communication is always silent, though. Adult cats don’t actually meow to each other, or other animals, for that matter!. Cats tend to only meow to humans, rather than other cats. It’s like a language they’ve learnt specifically to communicate with us (and to get what they want!). While cats don’t generally meow amongst themselves, the exception to this are kittens, who use meowing to communicate with their mother. 

There are however plenty of other noises that cats make among themselves to communicate, like hissing and purring—opposite ends of the emotional scale!


Natusan cat

Cat Behaviour

It’s not just vocal cues, either. Body language and behaviour is a huge part of how cats communicate. If cats are happy in each other’s company, it should be pretty easy to spot: curling up to sleep together, grooming each other, and just generally wanting to spend time together.

But just as it’s easy to spot when they’re content with each other, it will also be pretty clear if the opposite is the case. If cats are hissing at each other, then they’re definitely not happy. They might even express this dissatisfaction with swiping or fighting, or perhaps they just avoid each other. These are signs that each cat needs its own separate space and resources.

Natusan cat

07/09/2022 by NatuTeam

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