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So just how many cats is too many? You might think that’s a trick question, after all, surely you can never have too many cats?
In an ideal world, we could all live in a happy house full of cats to keep us company and entertain us, but in reality there are a lot of factors to take into account when deciding whether it’s possible to have too many cats.
You need to think about both the cats’ welfare and your own when you start adding more cats to your household. So, where do you draw the line?
How to Decide How Many Cats is Too Many
However many cats you have, it’s important that each cat has enough space to feel safe, and to be able to have alone time if they’re feeling stressed. It’s not only floor space they need; have you got enough vertical space for them all to retreat to if they want some peace and quiet?
Do you have enough time to spend quality time with each and every cat, both to give them the interaction they need and also just in case there’s something wrong? If you have a number of cats and one of them develops health issues, would you be able to spend enough time with them individually to notice there was something wrong? If you’re out for long hours every day, it’s good that your cats can keep each other company – but what if there’s a serious fight or an accident? There are other time considerations to do with the practicalities of looking after a number of cats – you don’t want to spend all day changing litter trays, food and water bowls!
You need to make sure that you can look after the health and hygiene of every one of your cats, and that includes having the right number of litter trays (the rule of thumb is one per cat, plus one) and making sure they’re well socialised, with each other and with their human family.
Can you financially afford to have a number of cats? Think about vet bills, good quality food and all of the other accessories your cats need? Would you and your family have to go without in order to be able to afford to look after your cats
5. Feline behaviour
Multi-cat households are more at risk of behavioural issues like aggression and fighting, toileting problems and territorial spraying. Many multi-cat households don’t experience these issues at all, but it’s important to remember that the more cats you have, the more chance you have of encountering problems within your furry family.
So how many cats is too many? In reality it all depends on you, and the cats. If you have the space, the love, the time and the finances to be a pet parent to a number of cats, and it won’t affect your health and happiness or the cats’ health and happiness, go for it (within reason!).
How many cats do you have? Do you think you can have too many cats, and how many is too many?
Images: Paul Bass / Helena Jacoba via Flickr
Traveling Cats says
I think it all depends on the cat(s). I had a cat once who wanted exclusivity, so I respected that. But if I could, I’d have a house full of poor pets that no one would want to adopt because they are too old etc.
Great post! As you say, multicat households definitely have potential drawbacks like aggression and urine spraying if not done right (and even sometimes if you do everything right!). Love your advice 🙂
Great article! I would own all of the cats in the world if I could. However, the realities you list above exist. It is so hard to watch when an animal hoarder is discovered and they have to remove dozens (sometimes hundreds) of cats that have not been well cared for. There are no hard rules, but people really do have to know their limits. Thank you for helping others to understand what cats need from their living space and caretakers.
Fantastic. Those are all such great questions to ask before adopting a cat or cats. It really does depend upon each person’s situation.
Mary @ Stale Cheerios says
Good post and great points!
I lived for several summers with a woman who had about 7 cats. There were definitely times when I think it was stressful on several of the kitties in particular.
Kitty Cat Chronicles says
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY CATS!!! 😉 All joking aside, these are all really great points. We have drawn the line at the 5 that we have. I am ALWAYS tempted to get another (and another) when I see a face I fall in love with or hear a story of a cat in need. But I know that realistically we are at our max, financially as well as with space and whether the cats would be comfortable with adding another.
The Swiss Cats says
Great post ! It’s interesting to notice that you feature some similar points as us in our last post “Why cats are not good Christmas presents” ! Purrs
Brian Frum says
While you really can’t have too many cats, you really can only handle the number that’s just right for you. Ours appears to be seven.
I love Your pictures! One cat is fine by me 🙂
Rose the Kitten says
My humans think three is perfect… OK Nari the meanie Maine Coon, hates all other cats and lives on the other side of the house, and is allowed to hunts outside during the day, because the land around the house is well fenced. Mia and I have the other side of the house. We are inside kittens, rare time we go out we are in Harness and only when Nari isn’t out. Our humans loves us all… even meanie Nari!
My human has always thought that the perfect number of cats – for her, not for anyone else – is two. She can handle the attention, emotional and medical, that two cats need. The only reason there are three here right now is because Boodie was supposed to be temporary – and that was 12 years ago! If the rescue had kept up their end of the deal, she would have wound up in her own home. Three is a stretch for her. She does not know how humans with a dozen cats do it! ‘Cause some can, and do very well.
Great article, PawesomeCats. You’re right, in an ideal world we’d have all the cats on the planet! But having our purr-fect friends be safe, happy and healthy is always the number one concern. That’s definitely one of our strongest values here at PetHomeStay!