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Cats and Dogs, Quick Tips, Safety

How to Manage a Multiple Pet Household

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

black cat with green eyes and red spaniel dog laying together on grey couch cushion How to Manage a Multiple Pet Household

It all started so innocently with one little puppy… until you rescued that stray kitten, and then another one. Before you know it, you’re outnumbered by your furry friends and keeping up with their needs can feel like a full-time job (the best job in the world, no doubt!). Managing a multiple pet pack can get a little hairy– pun intended– but with a little bit of organization, it can be done.

How to Manage a Home With Cats and Dogs

Organize food and medications

Flea and tick topical, heartworm preventives, supplements… there are many items in your home that might be dog- and cat-specific, and could cause serious harm if mixed up. Just a quick glance and grab could result in a terrible mix-up. Try separating foods and medications by pet and storing it all in separate totes that have a tight seal (to safeguard any investigating snouts). You can take it a step further and color code the totes.


Nothing gets the fur flying quite like the lucrative sound of kibble hitting an empty dinner bowl! If chaos ensues every time you ring the dinner bell, it might be wise to reconsider your mealtime routine. The (metaphorical) dinner table is a prime setting for some serious sibling rivalry, especially if you’re trying to feed everyone at the same time and in the same place. Your big dog might bully your cat into sharing its meal or, not uncommonly, vice versa. Pets can become very territorial when food is involved, so it should come as no surprise that sometimes your peaceful family meal can become a little dramatic.

Consider feeding each pet in a different location, if space allows. If you prefer to keep all of your pet dishes in one room, try feeding your pets in shifts so they aren’t all eating at once. Bringing your cat’s dishes off of the floor is another way to solve the problem unless you have a curious dog that is prone to jumping or climbing- in which case, it could cause other issues.

Litter box Logistics

It’s a fact of life: dogs love litter boxes. Like it or not, if you don’t take measures to keep the litter box out of your pup’s reach, they’re likely to go on a scavenger hunt. Where do you put the litter box so it’s accessible to the cat, but not the dog? Some options are a room that you can close off with a baby gate, placing the litter box in the bathtub, or adding a cat door to a closet. We don’t recommend a covered litter box, as there have been cases of curious canines getting their heads stuck in them when they inevitably decide to investigate.

For multiple cat households, it’s important to make sure you have enough litter boxes to meet your felines’ needs. One litter box is often not enough for multiple cats- in fact, it’s recommended that you have one litter box per cat. Failure to provide your cats with enough clean litter to do their business often results in owners cleaning up said business in undesirable places.

Invest in quality cleaning equipment

Opening your home to even one pet usually spurs a change in cleaning habits, but when you’ve got more than one furry friend it can mean overhauling your housecleaning regimen. Each pet means more fur to clean off of sofas and rugs, four more paw prints to clean off of floors, and possibly a noticeable pet odor. You’ll want a quality vacuum to handle the potential tumbleweeds of pet fur (which can peak seasonally). When selecting pet beds and furniture, be sure to go with a style that allows for a removable cover which can be laundered regularly. You can read more about this on our blog Pet-Friendly Home Decor Tips.

Keep Medical Information Separate

It can get difficult to juggle the needs of multiple pets on top of everything else. It’s a good idea to get a folder for each pet’s paperwork including immunization records and registration. It’s important for each of your pets to have an annual check-up with your vet, and keeping their records separate can help you track when it’s time to schedule an appointment again.

Managing more than one pet can be overwhelming, but it’s possible. There’s nothing more paws-itively rewarding than the love of a good pet, or two… or three.

Do you have a multiple pet household? We would love to hear your tips for keeping organized! Share them with us on our pet-lovin’ facebook page.

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