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How many cats is too many?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Oy. We have three cats. All altered. We have a male tux, a female dilute calico, and our crazy middle child-cat who is white with a black tail. I fee "catted out."

Well, I recycled again this morning there were two abandoned kittens.

So FIVE cats? (All indoors of course!!)

We now live in an area that isn't that kind to cats. You're allowed to shoot them if they stray onto your property, the animal shelter does not take them, and the local Humane Society is full.

And the moment DH sees them, he's going to be all over them. The kiddos are delighted.

I guess I better go get a couple more litterboxes.
post #2 of 51
Awww those kittens are so lucky for you to have found them mama!
post #3 of 51
5 is a lot!

we have 2 now. we tried 3, but the older two wouldn't let the younger one use the litter boxes.

i also suggest at LEAST 1 box per cat, and to keep them all cleaned out (ie, scoop out the ickies every day or two).

good luck. i love our cats. ours were adopted as adults from the shelter.
post #4 of 51
When it starts to smell or you can't afford adequate care for them. I am a vet and in my practice I have seem many families with numerous cats who are thriving and living happily in coexistence with the family. I have also seen many situations where there are simply too many and the pets suffer as a result of inadequate resources.

And you definately don't want one of those stinky cat-lady houses

post #5 of 51
My in laws typically have between 10-15 cats on their property at any given time. They have two indoor cats and the rest are outdoor cats. They have a few acres with lots of room for the cats to run. They're all fixed but it seems like a new cat wonders up pregnant and the cat population grows every once in awhile!! The kittens are really cute but I'm not a cat person so their offers for me to take a kitten or two fall on deaf ears!! Although DS wants one!! I don't think our beagle would appreciate that!!
post #6 of 51
awww, i can't say no to kittens either. they're too fluffy and cute
post #7 of 51
Kittens are definitely irresistable.

But for me, 1 cat is too many. Just can't take pet ownership with the hair and the occasional messes and such. I get enough of that from my kids.

When I visit other people with cats, I notice a difference between 2 cats and 3 cats. 3 seems to tip the scale a bit on the smell/hair. But to diehard animal lovers, it probably takes more pets in the house before it makes a difference to them.
post #8 of 51
my parents have seven cats. They clean all the time, so when you walk in the place does NOT smell, nor do you see hair lying about. So for them, seven is not too many.
post #9 of 51
If you can afford to get them neutered and vaxed (if you do pet vaxes), and the vet emergencies that occasionally come up, and their food and litter, AND you (and your family) have enought time and energy to give the cats the attention they want, then I'd say have as many cats as you want. Any one else's definition of "too many" would be just that - someone ELSE's definition.

Do what you feel is right.

And congratulations on the kittens.

We are fostering a kitten right now, and she is a barrel of fun, especially for one of our more active grown cats. He usually can't get the other cats to play with him as much as he would like. The new kitten LOVES to play with him, so he is now very happy. I just found the two of them (the grown, active cat, and the kitten) washing each other's face in preparation for yet another wrestling session. So cute. I may have to keep her just because he seems to love her so much.
post #10 of 51
For us - two was too many. Because our older cat was totally stressed out by the presence of another cat in the home - they lived together for 4 years or so, until the little one died very suddenly.

The personality change in the older cat within days was amazing - she went from being a sullen, skittish, withdrawn kitty back to her friendly, semi-social self.

So, I would say that on top of financial and cleanliness obligations, you also have to take into account how the cat(s) you currently have are towards newcomers.
post #11 of 51
post #12 of 51
Dw and I once rented a room from a woman with 11 indoor cats (we were broke, desperate grad students), an 8 year old daughter who she yelled at constantly and a druggie 19 year-old couple renting her other spare room. In that house, where there were only TWO litter boxes, including an OPEN one in the kitchen and the cats were allowed to reproduce at will, 11 was too many.

Did I mention we lived virtually rent free for 6 months? This was a few years ago...I don't know how we survived (or how I managed to get my MA).

ETA: We currently have two cats! I like two, two are lovely. I'm sure 5 can be okay too if you can handle the litter!
post #13 of 51
A gazillion cats is not too many. Of course I say this having grown up in a home with at least 3 cats in it at all times, but then marrying a man who hates cats and only lets me have 1 cat. 1 cat is NOT enough.

Oh yeah, and two words for ya about the litterboxes...Litter Maid. Get one. Get two. Get several. They rock.
post #14 of 51
Those kittens are lucky that you found them!

We have 7 indoor cats, that's a good number for us. Like you, several were rescues - a tom cat dumped off in our neighborhood, 3 week old kitten someone dumped on the freeway. ( : to the person who dumped her off, to DH for stopping and rescuing her!)

I would definitely recommend adding some litter boxes, though! One thing that I like for ours is a cat hole. That lets us keep the boxes in the laundry room & bathroom downstairs but keep the door shut so DS can't get in there.

For us 7 is definitely enough, though. With 7 cats, a toddler and a newborn (and a deployed hubby) I don't need anything else that can't poop in the toilet, wipe it's own bottom and flush when it is done!
post #15 of 51
We found a home for a stray kitten that we found a couple of weeks before DS was born.. And the day that DS came home from the hospital we found a home for our guinea pigs. We have one cat, and with DS, that's enough..

I think that with kids, pets are more overwhelming. At least cats are pretty self sufficient.. But if need be, you could always find a home for them somewhere. It might take a while, but man oh man, it's often worth it.
post #16 of 51
Originally Posted by LadyBug & BabyBug
I don't need anything else that can't poop in the toilet, wipe it's own bottom and flush when it is done!
Here's a cat that flushes:
post #17 of 51
I had 7 once. 4 indoors and 3 out. One of my outside ones fell down a sewer and died and the other two got moved in. I then adopted a kitten out and one cat disappeared by an ex boyfriends hands (I still wonder what happened to him, the cat not the boyfriend.) So know I'm down to 4. 2 boys and 2 girls. All fixed
post #18 of 51
One cat is too many. (I'm allergic)
post #19 of 51
I think its should be a ratio....one cat per person per house. That being said I have 1 cat and am thinking about aquiring another one when ds is old enough to leave food and litter alone.
post #20 of 51
I had three and fostered a fourth cat on and off...once for almost a full year when the owner deployed to Iraq.

Three cats was managable, four cats...waaaay too many for me. It seemed like I was in a perpetual little scooping battle. I'd clean the box, they'd poop in it, and then the dominant cats would go in and poop, but leave theres uncovered, and the female would go from box to box covering the poop.

It was horrible. I had five boxes (one per cat and one for luck) and just finding places to put them was super hard, let alone my litter expenses...I didn't go cheap on litter and prided myself on the fact that my house never smelled like cat urine...well...as long as I had litter duty that is.

Three cats was just much more managable.

ETA - have you thought about just fostering or would that be too hard on the kids? You can also toilet train your cats but don't bother if your cats are fat...we tried and old fatty fell through the seat thing and the bathroom looked like some post apocalyptic cat poo disaster happened in the morning.
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