How many cats is too many? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#2 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 12:15 PM
 
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Awww those kittens are so lucky for you to have found them mama!
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#3 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:00 PM
 
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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.
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#4 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:04 PM
 
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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


ND

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#5 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:06 PM
 
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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!!

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#6 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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awww, i can't say no to kittens either. they're too fluffy and cute
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#7 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:29 PM
 
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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.

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#8 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:37 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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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.

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#10 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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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.

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Jesse (July '09)
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#11 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:53 PM
 
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30.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#12 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 01:57 PM
 
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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!
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#13 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 02:00 PM
 
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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.
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#14 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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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!

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#15 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 02:06 PM
 
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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.
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#16 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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Quote:
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:
http://www.glumbert.com/media/cattoilet.html

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#17 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 02:33 PM
 
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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
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#18 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 02:56 PM
 
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One cat is too many. (I'm allergic)
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#19 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 03:16 PM
 
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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.

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#20 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 03:21 PM
 
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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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#21 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milk_maker

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.
:
This mental picture made me spit coffe all over my keyboard

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#22 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 03:36 PM
 
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I have 5 cats. They're outdoor cats because they're still somewhat feral. I've had as many as 8 outdoor cats. I don't know what the magic number is but when it becomes difficult to provide adequate care and love to each animal that's when you have too many cats.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#23 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 04:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milk_maker
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.
:Yeah, it's bad enough when one of the kids falls in!
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#24 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 04:22 PM
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My MIL has 8 (yes, eight) cats and a large, hairy dog in a very small (two bedroom--no basement) house. Whew. I spend as little time there as possible.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#25 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 04:31 PM
 
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Where I work (wildlife center) my boss has around 15-20 cats. They are all strays she adopted, including a large number from her idiot next door neighbors who let their cats breed indiscriminately. Just this year she took in their female cat and 3 kittens, got everyone fixed and shots, and is now housing and feeding them. She had 5 elderly ones in her house and all of them died over the winter (they were all in their late 20's!). Most of the other cats live outside or in our office building, the garage, or horse barn. Some come indoors for the night if they want to.

I've got two, both outdoor cats (live in the barn for rodent control) and that is plenty for me.
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#26 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 05:10 PM
 
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A lot depends on your living situation and the layout of your house. I grew up with three cats in a three bedroom (owned) house with a basement and it was not too much. We had two cats when we had to move from a rental on two weeks notice and came within a hair's breadth of becoming homeless because my dc refused to give up the cats and my parents, who were helping me out financially with first last and deposit, refused to accept reality. if my veterinarian hadn't had a house for rent and hadn't been a sucker for sad little kiddie eyes I don't know what we would have done.

Even though one of them ran away, one active Abysinnian in a two bedroom house with no basement, somebody permanently sleeping on the couch, and a homeschooled high schooler and a college student trying to study is too many cats.
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#27 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 05:18 PM
 
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We have 4 cats and right now the kitten is driving dp crazy because she's in heat and doing that all-day, all-night mowling. He says he wishes we stopped at 3 but I love all 4 of them so much. I did have to draw the line somewhere and for me it's with 4 (I can only take so much poop-scooping KWIM?) I could easily transition into the crazy cat lady if I wasn't careful.

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#28 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone!

thew newcatlets are acclimating fine. The elder three come into the kittens' room and pay regular homage.

The new catlets are a torti and another black and white.

We have two really neat litterboxes that used to be custom made by a guy right here in Michigan. They were costly as heck but they work GREAT! I've been online trying to find him again and it seems the company is gone.

We tried the Littermaid but my eldest HATED the rake.

Sunday is "spa day" for the animals at our house. The dog and cats get their teeth brushed, claws clipped, and baths. DH is allergic to cats but LOVES them. We've found that weekly or bimonthly baths cures the dander issue plus there are no hairballs or loose fur here. I hate houses that smell/look like barns.

My Sundays just got a lot busier but boy, are they cute!!

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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#29 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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As long as you have the time, space and money to care for them all, I dont think there really is a limit. We used to have three cats, but we had to re home them before moving 2200 miles There are tons of strays here and some eat our garbage, but I just dont have time or money to take one in.
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#30 of 51 Old 09-03-2006, 08:47 PM
 
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We have 3 and we would love to have more but we can't afford to. We had just 2, which worked out well. Stumpy went missing and after 6 weeks, we replaced her with Oliver.... then she returned. We don't replace them when they go on vaca anymore! I just love their personalities. They are all so different.

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