It depends on what source you consult. The Oxford English dictionary online says a group of cats is called a clowder or a clutter. Another source says a group of cats is called a glaring (isn’t that what the spouse, partner or housemate of a crazy cat lady gives her when she brings home yet another feline?) Whatever a group of cats is called, lots of us seem to have one. More U.S. households have a dog than have a cat, but cat lovers are more likely to have more than one cat at a time than dog lovers are to have multiple dogs.
A clowder of cats can mean a clutter of love and enjoyment, but what if they don’t all get along? I currently have four cats in my household (I topped out at four several years ago, and as they died, I swore I’d never have so many again, but you know how that goes….) and, over the past several months, my calico has started to show signs of stress, including fur loss and “going” outside the litter box. After I checked to be sure she didn’t have a medical problem, a friend recommended I talk to the veterinarian about putting my cat on an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medicine. Callie has been on buspar now for several months and it has been working like a charm. She has started sleeping on my lap again, which she hadn’t done for more than a year; her fur is more luxurious than it’s ever been; she uses her litter box again; and it seems as though the stress among ALL of my cats has decreased – the cat that used to chase my calico doesn’t bother any more. Maybe Callie’s stress was triggering bullying from my black cat, instead of being the result of being chased? I don’t know but I am grateful and enjoying my glaring of cats again.
What have you done to reduce stress and keep the peace in your multi-cat household? For more information on cat behaviors, check out our Cat Tips. And if you want to form a clowder of your own, Sasha and Lucas are a bonded pair of sweet cats who would love to serve as your starter kit!