Building Plans for Cat Houses
Often people approach me with questions about how to help their cats get along better. I have even had people ask me to help draw up building plans for cat houses. The thing many people fail to realize is that cats are really very solitary animals. It is true that there are some breeds that are more sociable but this is generally the exception. What normally takes place within cat society is each cat holds a distinct territory with sexually active males having the largest territories (neutered cats usually end up having the smallest territories) then there are "neutral" areas where cats can observe and greet one another without territorial conflict or aggression. Outside of these neutral areas, territory holders usually vigorously chase away any intruders, the offender is warned first with staring, hissing, and growling, and if that doesn't work by short but noisy and violent attacks. Now when living in human households, even though a naturally solitary animal, the domestic cat is often social enough to form colonies/families, and can do well with other cats in close proximity.
My biggest concern with chowders of cats living in peoples yards is that if their cats don't have enough "territory" then there will probably arise problems. There are some ways to help alleviate the situation. Usually cats prefer to have their own sleeping area and most don't appreciate sharing their living/sleeping area with other cats. One option is plan on having one communal play area but building separate cat houses for each of your felines. This usually is good idea and more often than not the cats seem happy with this arrangement. If you are going to have cats sharing amake sure that they are getting along and not have problems.