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Anyone with more than 3 cats?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Last month unexpectedly, our oldest cat (7), Max, passed away and it has been tearing me up inside, especially since we don't know how he died. All we can think of is that it had something to do with his heart and/or lungs since he was very obese and we could never get him to lose weight no matter what we tried over his entire life. Even the vet ran out of ideas. He was also inbred, so he may have had some sort of congenital defect that was never discovered by our vet. We found him dead in our living room on the morning of November 17th. He had been acting totally normal the night before. I cried for a week straight after he died. He was very special to us and it has been so hard to go on without him. He would have turned 7 on X-mas day and we had him since he was a tiny kitten. He was a very large cat and he always slept right next to me, as close as he could get. Our other 2 cats loved him to death as well and greatly miss him. We have had 3 cats for the longest time. Right after Max passed away, we rescued a beautiful Maine Coon girl named Abby from the shelter and we love her so much, but she will never ever replace Max. No cat ever will. He was one of a kind and had such a Garfield personality. Today, while perusing the paper, I found someone giving away an 8-week-old kitten who looks almost EXACTLY like Max. He is even a Persian mix just like Max was. He is gray and even has the same exact white tip of his tail like Max did. We called it his "Q-tip." I have already been in contact with the person who has him, and she said that he is ours if we want him. My question is, would 4 cats be too many in one house? The most I have ever had, even as a kid, is 3. I work from home, so I am here with our animals almost 24/7. We also have a 4-month-old Golden Retriever puppy. I just feel like we are meant to have this kitten because he looks so much like Max. Am I crazy to take on a fourth cat? I just can't stop thinking about this kitten! I guess I'm just looking for opinions to help me decide what the right thing to do is!
post #2 of 8
I'm so sorry to hear about your Max.

I believe very strongly that the kitties pick us, not the other way around. This kitty is calling to you. I don't know if it's just because he looks like Max - or perhaps Max somehow led you to him. You'll know when you meet him.

We've found it's easiest to integrate males rather than females. Many older cats are pretty accepting of kittens, though they can find all that energy annoying, so your being around 24/7 to help keep kitty busy will help a lot!

There have been a lot of discussions on this site about how many cats is too many. The best answer is: can you afford to care for all of them? If/when there is an emergency - or several at once - can you afford their care? Do you have the time for all of them? (That already looks like a yes).

We have 7 cats. We live in an RV. (Took out the dining room to put in cat trees, and have adapted a lot of stuff to make sure they have LOTS of space, especially vertical space). I wouldn't recommend it to someone not totally dedicated to cats, and there are skirmishes from time-to-time. Whenever there are more than 3 cats, it's to be expected, because cats are territorial. There's no way to know in advance whether the personalities are going to work out. But if you're committed to making it work, and you believe that pets are for life, then "space" itself is never the issue.

Just make sure that you have a lot of vertical space. Ideas: cat trees, cat condos, open-ended bookshelves that are for kitties not books.... if you REALLY get into it, you can consider stuff like this: Things like this are easy to make on your own:

Read up on introducing cats to ease the transition for everyone - and when you're ready and the right kitty comes into your life, whether it's this little guy or not, you'll do just fine.

post #3 of 8
Sorry your cat died.
He could have had heart problems.
I just got my new kitten yesterday.
Is there any way you can wait until the kitten is 12 weeks?
He is to young.
There are problems that persians get and they will be fine then dead.
My friend lost a few that way.
I have 5 cats.
I picked my now 8.5 year old Meeko when she was a kitten because she looked so much like stripe.
Stripe was pts from crf when Meeko was 3 months old and Meeko is so much like Stripe was.
I say go for it but have him checked at the vet.
post #4 of 8
Yes, technically it is best if kittens are with their mums until they're about 12 weeks old. But when rescuing, 8 - 10 weeks is often when they're adopted out.

If they're willing to let kitty stay with mum for a few more weeks, there are less likely to be behavior or litter box problems down the road. But if they want to get rid of them and won't wait, sometimes you just don't have that choice.

post #5 of 8
My Coco was 6 weeks when we got her and now she is 16.9
I have also saved cats way younger when there was no choice.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I have had cats my entire life, so I am very experienced, but I have never had more than 3 at a time. For some reason, I feel like I was meant to find this kitten. He looks sooooooooooo similar to Max. I just don't want to upset our other 3 cats, especially our 2 males since we just brought Abby home a few weeks ago, but I know that, in the long run, they will all get along. I was told that the mother is a calico and the father is purebred Persian. I am going to sleep on it tonight and decide for sure in the morning! I also don't want to NOT get him and then totally regret it later. They have had lots of inquiries about him, or so they say. The person who has him lives only about 5 minutes from us in the next town over.
post #7 of 8
I am so sorry to hear about Max.

I have 10 cats here. The more you take care of, the more challenging it becomes to give them all the attention they need (assuming that financially you can handle 4 cats).

Look into your heart and find the motivation for wanting this kitten. My first cat, Hippocrates, was a grey/white cat that died at age 13 from cancer. A month after he crossed, I was in a pet store picking up bones for my dogs. A grey/white cat, the same markings as Hippocrates, came running across the store and leaped into my lap (I was stooped down picking out bones from the bottom shelf). His name was also Max, he was up for adoption, and we took him home the next day. My vet gave me a long lecture about trying to replace one cat with another. I reassured him that I didn't pick Max, he picked me. Max was nothing like Hippocrates, and that was OK.

Max was the first of 7 cats that we adopted in about a 6 month period. I find myself wanting to adopt multiple cats every time that I lose one of them. If you have a big heart like I have, its sometimes very difficult to fill the void when you lose one. That is why I ask you to look into your heart.

But your story tugged at my heart for another reason. Max was also a huge cat and he died suddenly one day at age 8. My vet assumed it was heart failure due to his size. Overweight males between about 7 and 10 are the highest risk for heart failure.

Go visit with the kitten and make sure that the kitten wants you and not the other way around. He will tell you if it were meant to be. If you don't meet him, you will always wonder if it was meant to be.
post #8 of 8
I would suspect your mind and heart are going in circles 24/7 about this, aren't they. There's certainly no right/wrong yes/no when it comes to our internal motivations with our pets. Every situation is a little bit different, it seems.

I had the perfect family when I had my two boys, Rossi and Bayliss. I loved them dearly, but no more cats, two is enough! One day I was approached by a co-worker, whose friend's mother couldn't keep her cat anymore, as she was going to a nursing home. Decisions, decisions. Guilt. Fear for a homeless kitty. Fear of acclimating another kitty. Sigh. Welcome to your new home, Prissers...

So, now, three cats. I'm done! Until a friend's outdoor cat had kittens, and, with two remaining, a boy and a girl, the little guy dies a terrible (though very accidental) death at the hands of the family dog. There was no way in hell I was letting the lone kitten suffer the same fate; no way that mama cat's legacy with that litter can go for naught. But oh, more vet bills. A kitten with 3 adult cats. Mama cat's unknown history. Sigh. Come on in, Sasha...

Epilogue. Prissi is the biggest lover of the four, she longs for her dad, waiting for me at the door like a puppy. Very comfortable, happy, and spoiled! Sasha is the playmate Bayliss (and dad!) needed, they're great buds, and watching Bayliss take her in as 'baby sis' was the sort of thing to bring tears to your eyes, it was so sweet. Neither of these two were the sort of perfect 'love at first sight' situations, and some may have questioned my motivation - Hell, I questioned my own!!! - but I couldn't love my two girls more; they're such an integral part of my family, I can't imagine my life without them.

Follow your heart. "The right thing" has many avenues.
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