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How do you decide how many?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think Im going crazy over here I cant stop searching PetFinder for cats in my area. I cant believe I went so long without any. I just love my kitties and am thrilled to have them. They are sleeping with me at night now too.

Anyway, how do you decide how many is too many? I know some of you have 10/15+ and Im amazed! I want more, I know that.. but Im waiting a bit just to acclimate these new cats first. I want to do my best at saving some wonderful animals who needs homes. A home Im able to provide.

When do you have to say no? If you dont mind answering... those of you with a lot of cats, are you fairly well off money wise? I know I can afford cat care for at least 2 more cats, assuming the regular vet checks, food, litter, etc. But if something went majorly wrong with more than 2 I might have a harder time with vet bills. Is that normal for most of you?
post #2 of 14

We had three and were adopting #4, I said, "That's it, this is the last one." We found out a few weeks later that #4, Lilith, was pregnant. We couldn't find good, responsible homes for the kittens and kept all 6 of them, which brought us to ten cats (The 10 in my Mom of 10 Cats name ). The other 5 managed to find us over a 2 yr period since then.

But we are at capacity now. Any more and we will be buying litter two containers at a time. Pan and Tillie have has some minor sparring over Queenship of the Attic. There is no territorial peeing, thank goodness, but we know this is the maximum before cats start getting stressed. We live in a three level home (finished basement and attic) and they have run of the place.

No, we're not particularly well off. I have a good job, but my partner is out of work right now. Some weeks we scrape by, we eat soup and macaroni and cheese while the cats dine on Nutro premium cat food LOL. We save money by giving the kitties their shots (basic shots, not rabies, vet has to give that). They're all fixed, so no more kittens in this house. We are very, very lucky in that the cats all get along pretty well.
post #3 of 14
You have to be practical, and although you have a soft heart, you also have to develop a hard edge or you will soon be smothered in cats! The need is great, there is no denying that. But you have to ask yourself what would happen if one of your cats fell deathly ill (which can happen quite quickly sometimes) Could you provide for the care of the one cat without sacrificing the care of the others? If they are inside only cats, you have to allow each cat its own personal space or then you are rushing to the vet to get a cat fixed up after it got ripped up for intruding on another.

Do you have enough money to feed all of them? Do you have enough time to spend with each one so they don't start feeling you neglect them?

Right now, I am back up to 20 cats. 7 just recently "dumped" on me all males and all intact and all causing major problems with my normally laid-back Tag Team. Even after I get these new ones trapped and neutered, there is no way I can keep them, so their fate is in the balance right now.

Recently in my town a spinster died, and it was well known she had cats, but she was reclusive and ran people off her property. Well she died, and no one missed her for quite awhile, and then someone decided to find out is she was okay. She was shut inside of her home with over 125 cats! Most of them starving, they ended up ----well never mind how they ended up surviving. All of them were euthanized, they had to be, for once they taste blood they go beyond the feral state. Don't get like this old woman, don't open your home and your heart over and over because you feel bad for all the cats who have a need. As I said, the need is GREAT! But you need to learn to say NO!
post #4 of 14
MaryAnne, I've seen photos taken inside a collector's home. :shudder: I know I don't have the obsessive personality of a collector, but that was a good idea of what happens when things go very, very wrong, and remembering those images helps me say NO MORE. I want to help them all, but I know that's impossible. If I try to help too many, then none of them really are helped in the long run..
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thats really sad about the spinster But Im not talking dozens of cats here Im thinking 4-6 maybe. I dunno.. its like kids I guess. You may change your mind once you have 1 or 2! I might change my mind at 3 or 4 with cats Im just curious how some people know when theyve hit their limit. What makes you decide no more.
With Mom of 10 cats I see her reasoning was the stress on the cats. That makes sense. I was just curious what other reasons besides money there could be.
post #6 of 14
Right now I can only afford Max. With being single and having a mortgage, car payment and house repairs to tax my income, Max will have to be my only fur baby for now. Financially, I know I could take care of him if he got sick, but I think another cat would put me in the poor house. Since he is my first fur baby, he is my priority. I thought long and hard about adopting Max and being able to afford him. I know how much a sick kitty cost - my sister's cat Alexander was a diabetic. She spent into the thousands on him, until he had to be put down because of lung cancer. She still can't talk about it.
post #7 of 14
What i found myself doing a few years ago when we had a mobile home park destroyed and tons of cats in need- was I was saying to myself "what's one more, I already have____ " It is easy to do to keep saying yes...
post #8 of 14
I'm full right now. I really think that four would have been the perfect number. But I love all of them and wouldn't trade them for anything.
post #9 of 14
Originally posted by hissy
What i found myself doing a few years ago when we had a mobile home park destroyed and tons of cats in need- was I was saying to myself "what's one more, I already have____ " It is easy to do to keep saying yes...
I did that...and I finally found out that that just one more gave everyone runny eyes and sneezing! what a mess! No more for me. the kitty welcome sign is out.
post #10 of 14
I would love to take in another cat right now, but for the time being two is my limit. I can afford to feed another cat, but it's the vet bills that I know I couldn't afford for a third cat. Plus my apartment is tiny and I think one more would just be way to crazy in this little place. But hopefully once I'm out of college and am making more money and live in a bigger place I'd love to have more kitties.
post #11 of 14
Personally I've always done best with 2, living in a small apartment. I ended up with 4 when a stray had kittens under my porch & I couldn't find good homes for all of the kittens. Honestly, 4 was too many for the small apartment - there was quite a bit of territorial squabbling. It's heartbreaking to see your younger cats terrorize your beloved older cat, and trying to solve this problem can be a real headache.

We have 5 now in a 3-bedroom house - 3 indoor, 1 indoor/outdoor, and 1 outdoor-only feral, plus 2 dogs. I consider that a full house for us, especially because we're allergic to cats, and all that bathing can really be a chore! We also plan to have children, and I don't want so many pets that they would suffer neglect after the birth of a child.

The number that's best for you may depend on your available space, the personality of the cats involved (how territorial are they?), and your financial resources, as well as how much time you have to spend with your pets. Keep in mind that when a cat gets older its veterinary costs can skyrocket, and caring for a convalescing pet can take up a lot of time and energy. If one of your cats has a bladder infection or diarrhea, you'll need a way to tell who's affected. There's also the cost of boarding or a qualified petsitter if you want to go on a trip...Also, consider your living situation carefully - if you will need to move, will you be able to find housing if you have a lot of cats? Taking on a new pet is a lifetime commitment, not to be taken lightly.

It's wonderful that you want to help more cats, but think carefully before adding a new cat to your household. After adding a new cat, take time to observe the cats' interactions carefully to see if there is any overcrowding stress before considering adding another. Cats vary widely in personality and individual need for space.
post #12 of 14
I do have for sure 20 cats ( 15 indoors ) and 3 dogs .I am feeding beside the next door cat and I think sometime's more stray cats . I do feed Nutro and that is not cheap . I spent about $ 120 dollars a month only for food and then come the catlitter bill maybe an extra $ 50-60 dollars . Now I have a great Vet , he give me a discount for my multy animals householt and I also can make payments .If my husband would not have a good job , oh boy I would be in trouble but I think I manage in cutting down other things . I need to confess I also look at this time into Pets Finder since it is really bad finding homes for cats . So I am thinking about adapting maybe one more cat from a kill shelter , I was thinking of an older one since kitten are more easy to adapt . I don't know if that helps you or not . I also need to say that when a cat is geting a cold or something I usually have more then one cat to treat with medication . One time I had 8 cats at the same time sick , it was not a easy job since some got healthy and then a different one came down with it . It was a long progress .
post #13 of 14
I've figured two is my limit. Between living in a 2 bedroom apartment, so I don't think any more then that will be happy there. I also know, sadly from experience that we can take care of two even if one gets very, very sick, but any more might very well hamper my ability to take care of them both.
post #14 of 14
I just had my little beauty queen, Peaches until 8 days ago! I said I would just get one more but everyone here knew I would come home with at least 2! And I did. Right now I'm ok with 3 and don't have any plans for more. BUT, who knows what can happen in the future?! I'm probably at my limit for now.
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