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How many cats is too many cats?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey folks! Got a question here for you.. now, I strictly follow the rule that there should only be one cat per decent sized room in your house.. but here's my dilemma!

My boyfriend and I are going to be moving into a loft apartment which is nice and roomy. I currently have two cats(as evidenced below), and he wants to get a kitten when we move.

How many cats do you guys have?
I'm worried I won't be able to give them all that much attention if we get a third.

Not to mention, Toby probably won't forgive me for a year.. x.x;

Thanks!
post #2 of 22
It depends on your kitties, & you do not need to look at floor space, but also cat tree space.

I've got 3 cats in 1800 sq. ft., then there's 4 in probably 1000 sq ft. I have 4 cat trees in the 1000 sq ft & 2 cat trees in the 1800 sq ft.

They all seem content. If you add some cat trees in there, I would think they would be OK. But, it is up to you to determine how much space is needed. If you get a super playful outgoing kitten, it may not work because they may be better off with tons more room to run(and destroy).
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
I don't think cat tree space will be an issue--Trina's the only one who uses them because Toby is too lazy to jump that high. =D She's also an affection-monger, and because she had kittens way too early in life, I think she'll probably always be super playful.

I'm more concerned with the affection factor over space, because the place we'll be getting is huge. Think I have enough love to go around? Haha..
post #4 of 22
IMO, too many cats is more than you can AFFORD TO PROPERLY CARE FOR.

I don't think it's a matter of space and/or time, I think it is a matter of being able to properly feed and provide proper veterinary care for the animals that you choose to live with.

Once you can't afford to pay for vet care, IMO, then you have too many animals.
post #5 of 22
We live in a basement that is 52? by 28 feet. We have four dogs and 13 cats (12 are indoor, 1 is indoor/outdoor). Our bedroom is 28x15-ish, and this is where they stay 99% of the time. It may not seem like a big space, but it really is enough for our group. They have lots of places to climb and play and are content. I'm home with them all day so they get plenty of attention, and then John spends time with them too when he gets home in the evenings.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
IMO, too many cats is more than you can AFFORD TO PROPERLY CARE FOR.

I don't think it's a matter of space and/or time, I think it is a matter of being able to properly feed and provide proper veterinary care for the animals that you choose to live with.

Once you can't afford to pay for vet care, IMO, then you have too many animals.
I completely agree with this - well put!

I have a couple friends who had 3 cats in a moderate sized apartment and they were all happy, healthy kitties. It sounds like you love the ones you have enough and I'm sure you'll give them all the attention and affection they need if you get a third.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
IMO, too many cats is more than you can AFFORD TO PROPERLY CARE FOR.

I don't think it's a matter of space and/or time, I think it is a matter of being able to properly feed and provide proper veterinary care for the animals that you choose to live with.

Once you can't afford to pay for vet care, IMO, then you have too many animals.
I'm sure you can find time for all , but if you can't properly take care of them, all the love in the world won't matter.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, we'll have more than enough money to properly care for them. I can easily afford my two kitties on just my income alone; one more cat plus my boyfriends income provides ample ability to get shots/spay/etc.

Hmm.. I'll consider it. I don't know if Toby will ever forgive me. Last time we got a new cat(Trina) she came with five more kittens inside her(much to our surprise), and Toby didn't forgive me for a year. x.x;;

Maybe what I'll do is foster some kittens since I have plenty of time to do so, and see how that all works out. That way, if it doesn't, they're only there for a few weeks.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
IMO, too many cats is more than you can AFFORD TO PROPERLY CARE FOR.

I don't think it's a matter of space and/or time, I think it is a matter of being able to properly feed and provide proper veterinary care for the animals that you choose to live with.

Once you can't afford to pay for vet care, IMO, then you have too many animals.
i live in a 2-bed/1bath house, w/927 square feet... i have five cats at the present. now, i really only want four, but things happen...
post #10 of 22
I have to reiterate what everyone else has said. As long as you can care for them properly, afford vet bills, quality food etc. then three isn't too many!! I personally agree with and like the idea of 1 cat/room. My kitties do like having their own space from time to time, especially as they are getting older. I don't think my siamese would tolerate another cat in the house, but I could live with three. I am also only home evenings, so my attention is spread thin even between the two......
post #11 of 22
Coming back to this thread I have to laugh about the 1 cat per room rule, because when I am home, I usually have at least three cats in the same room as me, and if I move to another room, they all follow me. So if I could afford it...maybe 3 cats per room would be the rule?
post #12 of 22
Time, money, and space. If each cat has a space of its own, and can live happily with the others, you have enough space. A third cat probably wouldn't be a problem for you unless it was a cat that had problems living with other cats.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
IMO, too many cats is more than you can AFFORD TO PROPERLY CARE FOR.

I don't think it's a matter of space and/or time, I think it is a matter of being able to properly feed and provide proper veterinary care for the animals that you choose to live with.

Once you can't afford to pay for vet care, IMO, then you have too many animals.
I second the ...I don't think it's specifically a square footage formula. Also, even if only one cat uses the cat trees, they are still territory. Cats don't just view their territory as the horizontal footage, it's also a vertical thing.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Coming back to this thread I have to laugh about the 1 cat per room rule, because when I am home, I usually have at least three cats in the same room as me, and if I move to another room, they all follow me. So if I could afford it...maybe 3 cats per room would be the rule?
last night, i had 3 on my lap, one on the sofa next to where i was sitting, & one in the computer chair [same room, about 2 feet away].
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
IMO, too many cats is more than you can AFFORD TO PROPERLY CARE FOR.

I don't think it's a matter of space and/or time, I think it is a matter of being able to properly feed and provide proper veterinary care for the animals that you choose to live with.

Once you can't afford to pay for vet care, IMO, then you have too many animals.
That pretty much sums it up for me as well.
I live in a large loft and I have 3 cats. As far as the issue of attention goes everybody get plenty of it. My cats all get individual attention at some point during the day. Sassy lays down with me at bedtime for belly rubs. Pixie is my morning girl who hangs out with me when I am getting ready for work and Linus likes to play fetch with me a thousand times a day whenever he drops his ball on my foot.
Also I find my cats amuse each other a lot as well which I like because I know they can play together when I am at work during the day.
post #16 of 22
I think it depends, if space is the only issue then you can maximise territory by using vertical platforms, either using cat trees or high shelves, vertical space is if anything more important to a cat than floor area. Obviously the main concern is can you feed and provide adequate vet care and attention for all of them. And then it comes down to the individual cats, it's simply the case that a more dominant personality requires a bigger 'core' territory. Mature females tend to be more reluctant to share core areas than males, this reflects the behaviour of their wild cat ancestors where female territories seldom overlap, whereas a calm neutered male will probably be more content to share space. Shyer more submissive cats will welcome hidey-holes and quiet places where they can be alone and not bothered by other cats in the household. Make sure to provide adequate litterboxes and feeding stations - 1 per cat plus 1 is the formula that tends to work best.
post #17 of 22
My rule is how many hands are in the house for petting. I live alone, thus there are 2 hands available for petting at the same time (as they always seem to want to be petted at the same time). So, you and your boyfriend (I assume you both have 2 hands) would mean 4 kitties max.
post #18 of 22
For us, 3 is our max. There's no way in the world Raven would tolerate a 4th cat even if he was healthy. We were lucky Stimpy got along when we adopted him.

I think it depends on the personality of your cats, money for care, and how much space you have (20 cats in 600 sq ft really would be asking for trouble).

In reality 3 or 4 cats can happily live in as little as 600 sq ft. Our last apartment was 648 sq ft. The one before that even smaller. But I will tell you, all 3 are happier in our 1200 sq ft townhouse we are renting right now. I do have cat trees and forts and perches, but they still like to get away from each other sometimes. The place we have now is 2 stories with 2 bedrooms upstairs. It's nice that they can get a break from each other if they want. In our old place they couldn't really do that.
post #19 of 22
My therory is to have an even amount of pets. We have 2 cats and 1 dog - so we really NEED another Ocicat brother for Charlie

Too many is when you don't have the time to give them the attention they deserve or (grooming if longhair). You have to set a limit in your mind on how many is enough.

When breeding my rexes - I set a limit to maximum of 6 adult cats (no more then 2 breeding females and 1 breeding male) - the rest would be spayed/neutered and shown. So if there was a cat I wanted to keep and I had my 6, then I would consider placing an older adult in a loving home in order to keep another show and/or breeding cat.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
IMO, too many cats is more than you can AFFORD TO PROPERLY CARE FOR.

I don't think it's a matter of space and/or time, I think it is a matter of being able to properly feed and provide proper veterinary care for the animals that you choose to live with.

Once you can't afford to pay for vet care, IMO, then you have too many animals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Coming back to this thread I have to laugh about the 1 cat per room rule, because when I am home, I usually have at least three cats in the same room as me, and if I move to another room, they all follow me. So if I could afford it...maybe 3 cats per room would be the rule?
I absolutely agree that it's dependent upon your financial ability (and time you have) to care for them.

But I have to laugh - Gary and I lived in an RV full time when we started rescuing. The RV was 8' wide and 37' long. Two was our limit.

Well - we ended up with five and a foster at one point.

When you have limited floor space, it is important to provide vertical space.

...and one of our kitties started chasing the other one almost relentlessly. We moved into a two bedroom house - the kitchen alone was larger than the floor space of the RV! That didn't change their behavior towards each other one iota. We added a sixth kitty.

We've moved again - and now we're in a three bedroom house with a HUGE living room/dining room and a kitchen at least as large as the last one - and Tuxedo is STILL chasing Spooky. Now they just have more room in which to do it.

Just make sure you consider carefully the size of bed you want. We have a queen size bed, and it gets pretty crowded with five kitties and the two of us. (Tuxie won't sleep on the bed if there's more than two other cats on it - he sleeps on the bookshelf next to the bed).

One thought - read up on making kitty intros. Keeping kitten separated at first is pretty important (though moving means no one has established territories yet, but it'll still make things go more smoothly). http://www.thecatsite.com/Behavior/4...cing-Cats.html

Good luck!

Laurie
post #21 of 22
The biggest problem with multiple cats seems to be more with litter box issues and food issues. As in, making sure their basic needs are met. Affection is easy, for the most part, as is territory after the first week or two of introductions. The hard part is making sure you can keep up on the litter cleaning and making sure everyone is well fed, without one cat being a food bully.
post #22 of 22
IMO, too many cats is more than you can AFFORD TO PROPERLY CARE FOR.

I don't think it's a matter of space and/or time, I think it is a matter of being able to properly feed and provide proper veterinary care for the animals that you choose to live with.

Once you can't afford to pay for vet care, IMO, then you have too many animals

-\tGingersmom


While I agree with all of the above and think that is a great post, it also is a personal choice with many other factors. For instance, is your significant other or you allergic? If so, too many kitties could make it harder on your allergies even if you are taking many steps to help the allergies. Are you gone a lot, for instance, both working a full time job, you might want to have at least 2 kitties so they can keep each other company during the long work week.

Are you aware that 2 cats need at least 2 litter boxes and those need to be changed everyday, cats produce a lot of daily waste so the more cats you have the more times you need to clean the box daily and the more boxes you need to place all over your home. Some cats NEED more attention than others or will get destructive; some need interactive play at least once a day for an hour. Sometimes another cat can help these active kitties so you might want to look into getting them a friend depending on many factors, but they will still need extra attention and daily play time.

Some cats demand to be a part of everything you do at all times and want to be the center of attention. Some cats won’t accept other cats. Some households work best with only a certain number of animals that work for everyone living in the household, bringing in pets is a joint decision.

While I have many dogs I only have one cat. That is what this household personally feels comfortable with, and this one cat has such a huge personality that one is enough! I wouldn’t want another kitty, even though I have lots of space for more kitties and can properly feed all my animals and provide proper vet care. There are other factors.
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