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Multi-Cat Families

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have a small cat family, just me and my two kittens. I'm very curious particularly about those of you who have large cat families (and those of you who have small ones, too!).

I feel that in my current situation two cats is my absolute maximum. I live in a one bedroom apartment and really only have so much time and energy (and financial resources!) to devote to my kits. How do you deal with having a large number of cats (and perhaps other animals) sharing your space? Do you feel you're able to devote enough time to each individual member of your family. I don't mean this in a critical way at all... in fact one day in the future I do hope to have more little ones, it's just not possible at the moment. Do you find it overwhelming sometimes to have so many cats depending on you? How did you come to acquire your various cats? Is there tension between the various animal members of your household? Do you have a favourite cat, one that you're closer to than the others?

I guess I'm mostly curious about the dynamics of your household. Please, tell me the story about your cat-families. And for those of you with small families: is one (or two!) enough? Tell me your story, too!
post #2 of 25
I currently have 6 cats, well 7 considering I also feed a calico that likes to come eat. I would say I am at my limit...and DH would agree as well.
post #3 of 25
I have 5 cats, and am now at my limit with the amouont of cats I can take in.
I have two boys and three girls and I love them all to pieces. We play with them all whenever we can and they want to, so it's not like they can't ever get enough time one on one, because we always make sure each one gets time with us each day. Yes it's a time consuming task but well worth it to us and we love the rewards of seeing 3 of the 5 become well adjusted cats from living bad lives before they came to us. Isis and Luna are former feral cats and Neffie came to us 2 weeks ago from living in a basement, scared of everything and everyone, now she's well adjusted, loves Dh and I and plays with Rocket like he's been her friend forever. I get great pleasure out of watching those three especially becoming more confident in their surroundings each day. And With Isis and Luna it's been 6years since they've come inside but each day they still surprise us with little things they do, and Neffie is doing the same thing. Neffie has done a complete 180 turn from a scared cat to a loving one.
Geez, I've babbled. I hope somewhere in there I've answered your question.
post #4 of 25
6 cats, all rescues.
Shadow was Jeremy's cat before I moved in, Spaz was mine, the others we've gotten together.
We (me) also have a large dog and a parrot all in a 2 bedromm townhome.
Some get along better than others, but they all live in harmony.
I'm home 24/7 so time is no issue.
Each cat comes to me for their personal time, or sometimes two will share time on me while I'm on the couch.
I've never felt overwhelmed, in fact, I'd be lost without my 'kids' to care for.

Spaz is of course my favorite and we are very closely bonded, not surprising as we've been together for 13 years.

We are definitely at our limit simply because of space, I do hope one day though to have an actual house with land, that I might build a large cat room/enclosure and be able to give 4-5 more kitties a safe and loving home.
post #5 of 25
We have four, technically three are his and one is ours, but they are all more 'my' cats.

I would love another and while we have enough love, money etc for another one, we are probably moving (relatively) soon and wouldn't want to have a new kitty have to be uprooted that soon and could do with the extra space before getting another.

As far as favourites, we both do have our favourites, Magnum was my BF's first cat and they are really close, Bumper jumped into my arms the first time I seen him and it was love at first sight, he is a lovebug when it comes to me. However, we do love the others just as much.

Scully is the only one we got not as a kitten (or at least young cat) and so the cats took some adjusting to him but otherwise they are fine with each other and live in relative harmony. Right now all four of them are sleeping on my bed.

Like Arlyn said, I would be lost without them
post #6 of 25
We have 4 cats and one large breed dog in a 2 bedroom apartment and we are over the limit on some days. We're working on having a peaceful house, since the two littlest ones came.
We got Sammy because a friend's cat had kittens. Before she could be spayed, she escaped and got pregnant again. We took one of those kittens and named her Lola. Both of them are nearly 3.
A year ago, I did a dangerous thing and looked at the SPCA website where I saw a beautiful hound dog, Max. We took him home to the apartment and he adjusted perfectly. Someday we hope to have a yard for him, but for now he enjoys his many walks a day.
Last August, a neighbour's cat had had kittens. At 5 weeks, she had her mind made up that they were ready to live on their own. I took in Addie and George intending to rehome them, but they're so hard to part with. We've been trying hard to get everyone to live together in peace. With some major improvements in the last few days, it looks like they'll both be staying.

Money wise, I won't lie, it's tight. The dog tends to be the most frequent visiter of the vet. The kittens' shots and spay/neuter surgeries took a lot out of a few paycheques lol. But everyone is healthy and happy, so it works for us. Both me and bf have agreed: Absolutely no more animals! We have reached our limit.
post #7 of 25
We have 4 cats. Three persians and one stray. So we don't have a typical family...lol Three girls and one boy. Tedi is technically mine, but he hardly comes to me. He loves my mom. You could say he is a Mamma's boy.
Luna (we call her Loony sometimes) belongs to all of us and Maya belongs to my dad, but they both run after her also. So most of the time you will find all three with her! And they try their hardest to get as close to her as they possibly can. Lexi is the stray that I took in because I felt like I had a special connection with her. I spoil her rotten. She is still trying to adjust to the others and vice versa. My room is basically her sanctuary. If she's gone for too long I go looking for her because that usually means someone has cornered her somewhere.
They all get plenty of attention even though Maya acts like she is soooooo neglected! lol We've always had 4 cats, at least for the last 10 years or so. I think that is our limit considering the tension there already is at times.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your replies. I find this very interesting. I guess I personally fear that if I ever get more cats (again, not for a very VERY long time) I wouldn't be as close to them as I am to my two now, because there would be more competing for attention. Although that certainly doesn't need to be the case, now does it?

It just seems like a wonderful thing to be able to give more cats a good home where they're loved and cared for. It breaks my heart to think of the poor ones out there who don't have a nice home where people love and treasure them. God knows they deserve it.
post #9 of 25
Originally Posted by Pekoe & Nigel View Post
It just seems like a wonderful thing to be able to give more cats a good home where they're loved and cared for. It breaks my heart to think of the poor ones out there who don't have a nice home where people love and treasure them. God knows they deserve it.
I agree!
post #10 of 25
I have 3 cats, and that's truly enough for us. We have two large dogs (soon to be 3), and that will complete our animal family. I'm very lucky that the 3 kitties all get along quite well, and seem to love and need each other like they love and need me...so there's a lot of lovin' goin' on in this house!
post #11 of 25
We have four furkids and four human kids so we're at our limit right now.
As for the furkids, we have three girls and one boy.

We got Gracie and Lizzie ( they're sisters ) almost 7 years ago now.
We had just had to have our sweet Maggie put to sleep...she was almost 19.
My very best friend had a pregnant cat show up at her house several months before this.
I called her two days after Maggie went to the Rainbow Bridge and asked if the stray had her kittens.
She had and there were two girls and a boy.
She brought both the girls to our house, Lizzie was first out of the carrier and I was in love, but then out came my sweet little Gracie...I knew I had to have Gracie but I couldn't send Lizzie back so we took them both...in case you couldn't tell, Gracie is my baby I love them all but she's very special to me.

A few years later I found Annabelle playing in traffic down the street from my house so she joined the family..the Vet says she's between 6 and 8 years old.

We bought a new house this spring and we lived here two days and I saw this little white cat...Maggie as also a pure white cat...so I was instantly drawn to Elliott...I was plotting from the day I saw him trying to talk my Husband into letting me bring him in...he joined the family in November...he'll be 2 in April.

Gracie and Lizzie adore each other, Annabelle gets along with everyone but Gracie and Lizzie will seek out each other before they'll play with Annabelle.
Elliott well that little guy is another story.
At first he thought it was great fun to attack his new sisters...that is until they fought back now he knows how far he can go before he gets a swat.

Sorry, I didn't mean to write a novel!!!
post #12 of 25
We are ccurrently at 5 cats. Went down from 7 as two foster kitties have made their way back to the rescue.
I always thought our limit was 2. This was almost 3 years ago. Nacho and Orion were kittens, and they were so bad and got into everything. That was the last year we put up our Christmas tree.
But after bringing in SIXTEEN foster kittens, I knew 2 wasn't going to be the end of it. We ended up keeping 2 of the bottle fed kittens.
then this past year I had my last bottle fed litter, all the kittens made it to 8 weeks old and I was on my way to take them to the vets for their 1st vaccination and then drop them off at the rescue, when mum told me that we were going to be keeping Cappy.
But I think the limit is at 5. We just don't have the money for any more. Can't really afford 5 either. Waiting for my tax return to come in so I can finally get Cappy neutered, his pee is starting to stink!

But I think 5 is a good number for the permanent kitties. I can guarentee I'll have more forster kitten this upcoming kitten season. Rescue will be on overload.

We also rent TWO 2 bedroom apartments that have been put together as one. So it's about the size of a meduim sized house. 3 bedrooms on the second floor, and one on the main. 2 kitchens, 2 bathrooms. There's plenty of room for everyone, and lots of places for kitties to hide to get away from each other.
But they all get along. Everyone loves each other..... except Cappy. He's the bully of the bunch. I think it's because he didn't have a mom to show him.
so the big boys don't really care for him... but when he is in his cuddly moods, they will groom him all over. He just has to be in the roght mood otherwise he'll bite their heads.
post #13 of 25
I currently have two cats and I am definately at my limits.

Ceci we got back in October, I was looking for a rescue kitty and that day there was an ad in the paper 'Cats and Kittens for adoption, spayed/neutered, to good homes only' So I called the woman and after speaking to her for a while we set up a home interview and Ceci has been with us ever since!

Then after a while i felt I wanted a companion for Ceci, so I again contacted Cecis foster mom and almost immediatly she found a little Snowshoe mix girl. Ive had Samantha for about a month, and she is hard work!

I am definately at my limit because of the work it takes to have two cats. They both are set on using only one litterbox so its a huge mess everyday. Right now im at my yucky stage in pregnancy and my little sister gets a dollar a day for cleaning the box...lol

By Puerto Rico standards I live in a pretty large house. 3 bedrooms, kitchen living room, bathroom and a porch, but houses here are only one floor so compared to what I am used to my house is tiny and I dont have the room or time for another cat. Right now I have the spare room for their box and food, but when the baby comes we'll have to a big switch around.
post #14 of 25
We're at 4 cats and yup - that's the limit. Even B says so (and he was the one that initiated the 4th cat).

His 2 cats are Patches and Beauty. I got Luna before we moved in together and then we weren't going to get another cat until we heard about Whitey, how no one wanted him and that he had 1 week at an old ladies house before he went to the humane society.

B already pegged him as dead, so we took him in. We do need a little more space now that we have a 4th cat, but are perfectly happy we have him.

I'm also secretly wanting a dog, but will wait until we're down to 2 cats.
post #15 of 25
When I had three (all rescues as kittens) I said that was my limit, but then someone dumped two sick white male kittens on my doorstep and they never left. Sadly, I lost one of my boys in October, but at Christmas I found Biscotte in my barn and she has just come inside. So I have one boy and four girls, maybe a bit unbalanced as Wellington needs someone to roughhouse with and the girls are FAR above that sort of thing! I play with them all - they all have different tastes and favourite games and toys, and Dushka really just prefers a long cuddle. Now I am retired it is easier to find the time. But if money is likely to be a problem when the unexpected happens, I advise people to put away some each month just for vet bills. The only certainty is that you will need it sometime.
post #16 of 25
11 cats here. I started with 2 and I was pretty sure they were going to be the only ones. When I joined TCS, they were 3 and see how in a few years the numbers have grown.
It is exhausting physically and financially. But when I see them healthy and happy, it's worth it. I have a fairly large garden, so they have lots of space!
post #17 of 25
We have 4 cats. I consider anything more than 2 a large cat family. We always just had two. I find it's a lot more work and it's a lot more expensive too. But I would not change anything if "I could go back". We lovem' all. I enjoy the mischief and horseplay they provide. But dealing with medical issues can be testing. The cats we're always the Mrs. responsibility, But now I've turned "enthusiest" I take the loins share of work to take care of the cats. Now she has more time to feed the birds.
post #18 of 25
I care for 13 cats here. When I lived deep in the country, I had a fairly large feral colony that I cared for - cats that were dumped in the country "to live a better life". As kittens were born, I would capture as many as I could, get them fixed and try to adopt them all out. The ones that remain with me were either unadoptable (still a bit too wild for the average person), or I just fell in love with them and couldn't part with them. I think my maximum number was up around 25 at one time - not all of them lived in the house.

Financially I can afford them so that isn't an issue, although my new vet charges about 3x more than my old one. You get a bit more selective about when to take a cat to the vet. I've had to learn over time when things are actually treatable and when you can use home remedies. I couldn't afford them if I took them to the vet for every sniffle or vomit, but I do recognize when it is more serious.

We just bought a larger home (3400 square feet) and they are a lot more relaxed here with the extra space than the old farmhouse (2200 square feet). We also have tall cat trees throughout the house to give them vertical space. Every cat has their territory in the house and I never have fights and rarely spats.

Since the cats came from the same geographic area, there is a high likelihood that most of them are genetically related. Many of them I know are related - the feral cat that would drop off kittens and disappear year after year. I tried to trap and spay them all but I didn't get good at it until I did it for a few years. Cats in the wild bond with other cats in their family. I think that saves me from having a lot of fights in the house.

Of course I have some that are my favorites. But all of my cats get as much attention as they ask for. Eightball gets the most lap time of any cat and he isn't my favorite. He just asks for more attention therefore he gets it. Muddy probably gets very little lap time yet he is a favorite. Muddy doesn't want the lap.

It's a lot of work. Constant scooping, cleaning hair (and hairballs), keeping a vigilant eye on their health, loving, and even with 2 humans in the house, a lot of laundry (bedding, rugs, etc). But its worth it. These guys would be dead if I hadn't intervened in their lives.
post #19 of 25
I have 6 cats in the house currently. It's a 4 bedroom 2 story, big house. Molly is in the office & downstairs bathroom. She gets attention whenever I'm on TCS....I mean, "doing homework". Twitch & Lily are upstairs, they get atttention from everyone in the house. Ophelia & Dorian are downstairs. They sleep with me & get let into the office now for supervised visits with Molly. Damita is downstairs with me at night, so she can sleep with me. She spends most of her days upstairs....she's my "in-between-y" cat.

Financially, I can afford them. I mean, big vet bills are gonna kill me, but hey, they'd do that to the best of us!
post #20 of 25
We have 8 cats. With just 2 humans, 2200 square feet feels just right for the fur family. They have lots of room to roam, and they all respect each other's 'personal space'. Even with all the space, they still all gather together on our bed for their afternoon nap.

When I'm vacuuming, scooping, feeding, cleaning, washing dishes, giving meds, and feeding again - I wonder what I would do all day if I didn't have these guys. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Vet bills could easily get out of hand. Our vet is verrrry kind in that regard, I feel very fortunate to have her.

Leopold was adopted from a friend when he was a baby, I took Momma in as a pregnant feral, Beandip is Momma's nephew, I found Junior in a mudpuddle when he was a day old, and I found the fearless foursome (Pumpkin, Pixel, Paisley, and Precious) in my backyard under attack by a stray dog when they were 4 weeks old. These are just the ones that were either unadoptable or ones that I got my heart wrapped up into too much. There have been many other guests, but these guys are here to stay.
post #21 of 25
We currently have three cats and two medium-sized dogs living in a mobile home. However, in April we are moving to a three bedroom split-level home with an enclosed back porch and attached garage (I'm soooooo excited!!).

My dog Honey has been with me since she was 7 weeks old. She'll be 11 this Halloween, and she's still as strong and spry as ever! My parents got her for me for Christmas one year from the local pet store ( I know, not very knowledgable parents...)

We got Cody this past august from a lady who needed to find a home for him because she moved to an apartment complex (which did allow dogs) but he had such bad separation anxiety that he howled himself hoarse all day and the neighbors complained too much. He's become a much-loved goofball in our home.

Julius has been my cat since he too was about 8 weeks old. A friend had two cats get pregnant at the same time, and my family took three of the kittens. Julius was my kitten, and boy did I pick a good one! He's the coolest cat in the world, loves to play, does tricks (a few), gets along with other pets, isn't destructive in any way, and looooooves to cuddle.

We got Spike this past September from, of all places, a dog shelter. Some caring people had trapped him from a vacant lot because he had an infected tail wound. They patched him up, amputated part of his tail, and were trying to adopt him out. However, they weren't having much luck until we called. Spike's a cool cat, him and Julius get along fabulously.

And last but not least is our newest addition, Daphne. I don't have any pictures of Daphne, we just got her last week. She's a cute little five month old ball of orange and yellow stripes, with quite the "royalty complex." She absolutely looooooooooves the dogs, rubs up on them all the time and plays with them. She also has complete and total control of Julius and Spike, I don't think they'd do anything that would upset her, keeping her happy seems to be a priority to them, lol.

We just adopted out a wonderful cat who just wasn't fitting in with our lifestyle (he was terrified of other pets, not a good thing to be scared of in our house, lol) to a perfect family who loves him to pieces. I'm really happy about that.

Sorry for the novel, I love my furbabies and love talking about them!
post #22 of 25
I have three cats(belong to me and my bf) and two medium dog(Mugzy belongs to my father, who I live with, and Bubbles belongs to my mother who lives out of state.)

Stormy I got the day we adopted a second dog Bubbles. I found this cute cat that seems as shy as I was. She was just so adoreable. I started trying to make deals with my parents if I could get her. They didn't hav ethe money to adopt her, which only made me think of other ways to get money. The lady who was adopting her overheard me talking to my parents. She said that she would give me the cat for free if my parents would allow me to have her. My father tossed up his hands and gave up.

Cuddles was adopted because my kitten Quizno passed away 3 months after being born due to a heart mummer and heart defect and my father and bf felt bad for that and i was going through a tough time. (I was getting over my mother walking out on us and my parents seperation.) So, they went on a quest to help me find a new cat. Cuddles came from a house that was over ran by fleas so believe me she had tons of baths and combings. She was the same age that Quizno was when she passed away.

Sushi I adopted at 3 weeks old. She was found by a Petco person who could'nt keep her. The lady said that it was either some adopted her or she would end up going to the pound. I called my dad up and did the whole she's urgonna die and she's so small and lonely and she's a great kitty. He said yes.

Stormy is the still the shy cat she always been. Expect since my brother and his gf moved out she comes up stairs more. She is my first favorite and my big baby. If she knows I am upset she comes up and put a paw on my arm and looks me in the eyes, as if saying "Tell me all your problem". I can curl up to her like a stuff animal at night and she just lays there in my arms, till I fall a sleep.

Cuddles is my bf's cat and his favorite. She will cuddle with me and be held if he's not around. Once he's around its time for me to move aside so she can be in his arms. She will push her way inbetween sometimes. She will only play catch for him too.

Sushi is my second favorite. She'll take affection from who ever when ever but only comes when I call her. She's also our couch potato she has her favorite shows and if you change the channel she will either leave or give you a nasty look, or both. She is the baby of the cat family, and god she lives for it.

All the cats get their time, but it's when they choose for it. When they want play time they bring a toy to use, and they pick who they want to have play with them. Cuddles and Sushi get along great and play with each other. Stormy is more of a loner and likes to sit and just watch the other cats.

I don't have troubles with money for the cats. But that's because my bf helps me with everything. Sorry for the long story
post #23 of 25
25 cats here. Got a few from my old neighbor(they would let thier 4 ish month olds out due to it was to old get a new one and due same thing. Took a pregnant stray to far along to spay and kept her 5 babies.

A few strays...Started in 96. and at a good number right now. They all get along to a point of knowing to respect the others(there are a few who have thier issues with one or two but they just avoid being in the same room and they have some sort of I stay here and let them pass system worked out.

I am very close to-Benji I hand raised and almost lost him at a few days old, Jd-hes loyal and doglike-follows sits, shakes paw. Rosie-Was pregnant cats firstborn and she is very loving. and Ducky-got him at 6 weeks and all black(fav) male. the minute I lay down they are covering me.

Food wise I buy in bulk-same for litter. Buy a decent brand to keep odor down. Vet wise all get fixed and then only go back to vet for sick visits. Hardwood floors make puke cleanup simple and I sweep often!!

Usually its pretty easy but at times it gets nuts here(like if one is sick and needs alot of attention or whenever I have some in at the clinic getting spayed I get nervy) honestly the hardest thing is putting one to sleep-you really just want to crash out and cudle but you must keep going. Last year I had bad case of flu and litter of 4 week olds getting into their litter all day I was at wits end trying to keep them clean and the rest of my cats in good shape...Ended up taking their litter box and putting paper towel shreds in it lol. In general cause I accuired them over time its not that bad. I have figured out alot of things over years(like if a cat coughs it is not dying its probably JUST a hairball(hey i never had cats till 96 and I took him in...face is so damn red now).

You learn:
Never switch foods cold turkey
a cat with runny stool needs to be segragated ASAP if you use clumping litter unless you want concrete foot
NEVER EVER rip tin foil or turn on the vacuum if holding a cat.
Neutered cats are not told they are neutered..Same for spays.
If one cat is smelling a spot its ok if two or more do go get a cleanser.
When triming a cats nails or giving medicine and they stop struggling DON"T loosen your grip THEY ARE NOT ACCEPTING TREATMENT!!!!!!
And if cats are ina one on one fight don't pick "Sweet lil 5 lber" up-she will tear you apart
OK guys anyone else> lol I told you I learned fast!
post #24 of 25
Until this time last week we had 4 - our old man Melchett who we have had for 6 years - he had been a rescue cat twice - once as an unwanted kitten, and then again aged 7, whe the couple who took him in had a baby, who sadly was terribly allergic to him.

We then got the 3 'babies' 18 months ago - my friends' 2 cats both became pregnant at the same time and produced 2 litters. We homed Max and paddy (RIP) from one litter, ad their little cousing Ben from the other litter.

Having lost dear Paddy we are down to 3 cats. We also have 3 teenagers, in out little 3 bed house - I guess we have enough now
post #25 of 25
3 cats here 2 adults and the occasional bunny in a 3 bed, 2 storey detached house. I think I could squeeze 2 more in, but DH thinks we are at our limit he thought we were at our limit with 2, then Miss Moofs came along, and guess who fell hook line & sinker for the little monkey........ ummm DH !

Vet care, is very cheap compared to the UK & US, Miss Moofs 6 weeks vet care cost me 22 euros a week, which is about 15 pounds sterling, that was for 3 visits a week, tabs and an eye specialist vet seeing her TWICE - I really had a major panic when she came, thought that was gonna cost me a fortune, but they didnt charge, the eye vet said it was good for her to see different cases, and anyway I was paying my vet ?? Fair enough !
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