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How many cats is too many?

post #1 of 103
Thread Starter 
(Not about me.)

What would you, in general, think of someone who has 15 cats? (And kids as well.) Assume the cats are decently taken care of and this is not a case of pathological pet hoarding.
post #2 of 103
Well, 15 cats would be too many for ME to house, lol! For someone who is taking care of them well, and there isn't a hygiene problem in the home, I suppose it could be fine. I'm not sure I would visit often, though, or for long.

If the cats were spraying and leaving feces in the house, not just in a litter box, and the children were exposed to it, I would have real concerns about diseases like toxoplasmosis.

I'd hope the cats were all neutered/spayed and not outdoor cats. That many outdoor cats would wreak havoc on the wildlife in the neighbourhood. In some countries, there's a species extinction problem partly because of domestic cats preying on wildlife.
post #3 of 103
Is it a very large home? Is it in the country, where they can go out and roam? Is the person fostering, or are they all hers?
It would be pretty unusual to have 15 cats in a regular city home.
post #4 of 103
Personally, I think that any more than two is a sign something's a little off. I've had five at one time...

If the person can take care of all of them, if the house doesn't reek and isn't coated in hair, and if it doesn't negatively affect her family, I'd just figure she loves cats.
post #5 of 103
Two. Any beyond that, for me personally, would be difficult to clean up after on a regularly basis with everything else I have going on. Plus, they would be pretty costly in terms of food and litter and vet check-ups and flea control if they're outdoor cats. 15 cats are going to create A LOT of waste and need several litter boxes that I would imagine would need to be cleaned at least once a day. If they're outdoor cats they're going to need routine vet care in order to keep them healthy and I can imagine that 15 cats could get very expensive.
post #6 of 103
If 2 CATS are sign that something off what does it say that I have 4 DOGS??

Growing up we had 17 cats and 2 dogs at one time. 3 of our females gave birth within weeks of each other. Boy did that freak the dogs out! These were outdoor cats and still the litter box was nightmare!
post #7 of 103
For me, no more than two indoor cats. Any more and I find the amount of hair, tracked litter, and litter/food smell really gross, even if the person is on top of cleaning on a regular basis. I've never been to a house with 3+ cats that has been a really pleasant place to visit for me.
post #8 of 103
Two cats. Three if the human's a fastidious housekeeper.

Speaking as someone who's reno-ing my late cat-hoarding aunt's house, after evicting her 12 cats...
post #9 of 103
I guess if the home is clean and the pets are well taken care of and not interfering with the needs of the human members of the family, then it's okay, but 15 sounds like a lot to me.

I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable with more than 2 cats in my home. (We can't actually have cats at all since DH is allergic, but if we could, 2 would be my limit.)
post #10 of 103
I have 4 cats. One cat goes outside a lot during the day. We do have fur on things, and it's annoying, but I vacuum every day or every other day all over our (small) house. I scoop the litter box twice a day (or more if needed) and we change out the litter once a week, and when I vacuum that includes the bathroom floor. I also wipe down the bathroom counter with a disinfecting wipe every morning because they come out of the litter box and jump up there, and I think it's gross that my DD lays her toothbrush in their litter box foot prints!

I would not have more than 4 cats. Four is a lot to take care of honestly. They are all rescue cats and we never intended to have so many.

I think it's different if you have foster kittens or something like that, because most people who foster keep those cats in one room or one area of the house. They don't just have 20 cats roaming their house.

We had a lady down the street who caught the kittens of the feral cats in our area and took them in her house, tamed them, got them fixed, and intended to find them new homes. She ended up with so many cats. They were constantly surrounding her house outside and kittens were lining the windows inside. The smell was unbelievable! Her heart was in the right place but...it was just nasty. In the heat of the summer you could smell the stench halfway up the street. It even made my 2 year old dry heave once when we walked by!

City officials and animal control came once and then they returned with those white space suits and went inside! I'm not sure what happened, but the lady still had a billion cats for an entire year after that until she moved. Now her house is vacant and they still come by to feed the feral cats outside! We have an entire colony of them in our neighborhood now...

One of my cats came from their colony. She was a tiny fluffy kitten and so sick she couldn't walk. She's a happy, loving indoor kitty now!
post #11 of 103
I would say two is still normal, and three or four could happen if you are involved with rescue or something. With 5 plus I think there are some issues going on unless you are actively trying to create a shelter type situation in the country or somewhere with land.
post #12 of 103
2-3 sounds like plenty to me - so I would say 15 is a ton of cats.
post #13 of 103
It's so easy to get a lot of cats because you see one who is going to be put to sleep or that needs a home, and no one wants it, then you think "well what's one more..."

Slippery slope.

We had six cats in our house for two weeks once when pet sitting and it was too many. Three cats was not bad. Four takes diligent cleaning. Six pushes it over to nasty.
post #14 of 103
I always said three was my limit (and two was ideal)...then I worked at a vet's office and got suckered into taking in a stray kitten that was living at the hospital and no one else wanted, so we had 4. I never felt like they were "too many" even in a smallish apartment, but at the same time, we decided we had a "no replacement" policy. One of our oldies passed away last Thanksgiving, and his brother was declining and had to be euthanized a couple months ago, so now we're actually down to two. My mom lives upstairs and has 4 still and is a much better housekeeper than I am, so it's a lot, but doesn't feel like "too many."

So, to me, 4 seems like the high end of normal...more than 4 would kind of weird me out, unless it was a case of barn cats or temporary fostering or something. Having dealt with the litterboxes of four cats, I don't know how anyone could possibly have time to keep up with enough for 15 cats (along with the hair issue if they're all indoors??
post #15 of 103
Thread Starter 
OP here to say:

These are indoor/outdoor cats in a normally sized home in city limits with neighbors close by. The yard is apparently cat-fenced.

I have not been inside the house so I don't know what it's like in there.

I welcome continued opinions. I need to have a tricky conversation with this person (not related to the cats) and want to know if the general feeling is that a person with 15 cats is probably not very stable, or a little off. I think so, but I was wondering if I was being unfair. I also am not sure how common or uncommon it is to have this many cats.

I like cats, but have never had more than one cat at a time myself. To me, two would be okay, 3 is pushing it. I do have a good friend with 5, but she thinks it's way too many herself.
post #16 of 103
I have had more than 2 in the past, and things tend to get away from me when I do... so I stick with two. As long as the home is clean and the cats are well cared for, I would think that as long as the family is within the limits of the law (some cities set limits I think), I wouldn't care I guess.

Sometimes a lot of outdoor cats though can really mess with neighbors. Yet indoor cats need space to roam.. are they indoor or outdoor?
post #17 of 103
The title of this thread made me

The thought of 15 cats in a home makes me :Puke SO GROSS!!! I have one, and that's plenty - I'll never have more than 1 cat at a time because I HATE litterboxes.
post #18 of 103
I would assume that persons house stinks, unless of course they make the cats do thier thing outside.
post #19 of 103
I have a friend whose parents have something like 20 cats. I think only maybe 5 or so are indoor cats (plus two dogs). It's more of a situation where there was already a large ferrell cat population in the neighborhood, and she has been trapping them and getting them spayed/neutered. But then once she does that I think she feels obligated to continue to feed them. But at least they're getting spayed/neutered. And honestly, it would be sort of difficult to me to let them starve.

I've always been allergic to their house, even when they only had 2 cats. But I'm relatively allergic to cats anyhow. I think in their case it was more that they'd lived in that house longer than I'd been alive, and the dust/etc had collected. Plus they burned candles which made me allergic, too.

But to the OP- these people are eccentric, but not unstable. Very nice, generally. Actually, a lot MDC people would probably just find them to be normal, but the mainstream would find them a bit odd.
post #20 of 103
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
The yard is apparently cat-fenced.

I welcome continued opinions. I need to have a tricky conversation with this person (not related to the cats) and want to know if the general feeling is that a person with 15 cats is probably not very stable, or a little off. I think so, but I was wondering if I was being unfair. I also am not sure how common or uncommon it is to have this many cats.
I think we all have at least one thing where we could be considered "a little off"

I wouldn't be afraid of someone with 15 cats and a cat-fenced yard To tell you the truth, I kinda think the dog owners that take their babies to the doggie circus-type things are nutty

I think the "crazy cat lady" is a stereotype. Right now, we have 5 (3 unexpected kittens ). I'm not seeing it as too many to handle. I always had barn cats growing up, at least 15 at a time, only a few would come inside.

Cats multiply quickly... I know, duh, right? But through freak circumstances, our little stray got knocked up twice before we could get her spayed. It happens... and we were actively trying to get her spayed both times! Anyway, if we hadn't found homes for the first litter, we would now have 8. If mama cat had 2 large litters, and we didn't find homes, we could have 15 at this moment in time. But you bet your bippy, I'd be trying to find homes, it's too much for me and 2 littles.

I'd love to get some cat-proof fencing, so I could keep the kittens we have now
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