Pam Johnson-Bennett, Certified Animal Behavior Consultant and the award-winning author of Think Like a Cat, shows how adding another cat to your home does not have to be the start of a kitty apocalypse. Although cats are often misunderstood as natural loners, Johnson-Bennett shows how to plan, set up, and maintain a home environment that will help multiple cats -- and their owners -- live in peace. Cat vs. Cat explains the importance of territory, the specialized communication cats use to establish relationships and how to interpret the so-called "bad behavior" that leads so many owners to needless frustration. Offering a wealth of information on how to diffuse tension, prevent squabbles and ambushes, blend two feline families, or help the elderkitty in your clan, Cat vs. Cat is a welcome resource for both seasoned and prospective guardians of cat colonies large and small.
Pam gives an overview of the book:
In a free-roaming environment, a cat's area is divided up into different sections. These divisions are clearly defined from a cat's point of view. The outermost area where the cat roams and patrols for food is referred to as the home range, and may overlap other cats' areas as well. Adult males tend to have a larger home range than females, and during mating season, an intact male's home range will increase temporarily as he seeks to mate. In the home range, a cat is more likely to flee than engage in conflict.
Inward from the home range is the cat's actual territory. This is the area a cat will defend against intruders. If an intruder enters, the cat who owns the territory has the psychological "home field" advantage. A cat's home range and territory are two separate areas. For indoor cats, the home range and territory are obviously smaller, and they overlap or are combined into one due to the physical limitations of the four walls. A cat may permit another familiar social companion cat to enter his territory up to a certain point.
The innermost part of the territory is the cat's personal space. He may allow a social companion into this space or the cat may be driven back to a more acceptable distance. As with people, every cat is an individual, some need very small personal spaces, and others need a more extensive zone around them.
Indoor cats divide up territories within the home just as free-roaming cats do outdoors. Because there's a plentiful food source, though, they don't have to compete for food, so most of the time there is less stress on territory definitions.
Pam Johnson-Bennett, CABC, PCBC is a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant and author of seven best-selling books on cat behavior. She is the former Vice President of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and currently heads up that organization...