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how many animals is too many?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
It was on the news tonight that a lady owned 20 cats,12 dogs,
3 birds,5 lizards and 7 fish

YIKES that's way too many for me,i'll stop at 2 cats
and they ALL live inside the house

we once knew a guy that had at least 15 cats if not more
post #2 of 31
Two animals is where I stop also. With only 1 or 2 pets, I am sure I will be able to give them the time and attention they need and deserve,(?) plus I can be sure of being able to afford their veterinary bills.
post #3 of 31
I think it varies from person to person. We have 12 cats and Two dogs (also some fish) We are FULL. Everyone gets the attention and love they deserve, vet visits yearly and when needed, and they are all feed well (maybe alittle to well) I think before anyone can see if a person as too many or not they need to see how the animals are kept. If they are happy in healthy then not they do not have too many.
post #4 of 31
I think it varies from person to person. We've got a dog, a cat and we're impatiently waiting for another kitty we have picked out to be old enough to come home. I can't imagine having more animals than that to deal with considering my children and the amount of room we have. There are people who can handle numerous pets without any problem. IMO as long as everyone gets loved enough and has all their needs met it's not too many no matter how many you have.
post #5 of 31
I also believe it varies greatly by person. We have 5 dogs and 8 cats, all in the house (the dogs have a fenced yard for play and exercise.) Our "little" dog is 45 lbs. I also have fish tanks (salt water and fresh water) and rescue the occasional critter (mostly turtles.) All get annual vet checkups, premium food, and lots of attention. And that's just what's at our house. I also work with a number of local animal rescue groups, with the local government on animal issues, and am a board member, supporter, sponsor and volunteer with a local sanctuary that houses carnivores (all rescues.)

On the other hand, I've seen plenty of people with one animal that either would not or could not take care of that animal properly.

As a middle aged "professional" couple with no children my wife and I have reached the point in our lives where we have the resources to take care of this many animals. Twenty years ago I had one dog and one cat and that was the very limit of my resources.

post #6 of 31
I also think that it is different with each person . The time you have , the money and if you own a house or are able to have many animals in a rented place .I have 18 inside cats , 5 outdoor cats and 3 dogs and only one of them is a inside dog . I am mostly at home and have the time to take care of them . All my animals has premium food and and will go to the vet if needet right away . I think if we would not have the cat enclosure it would be hard on us . We also buy the house , if rented I don't think I would have that many animals . Personmal IMO , if a person can only take care of 2 then the limit is by 2 and if you can take care of 10 animals then the limit is 10 . Each person is different
post #7 of 31
I think you have to judge based on your own resources, both physical, monetary and emotional. Right now 5 is our limit. (plus 1 fish). I would love another cat, but Sugarly would not accept any new additions.
post #8 of 31
I agree, it's a very personal decision. It's also important people know and respect their limits. I've also seen a number of good intentioned "rescuers" who can't seem to say no to an animal in need, and end up overloaded and unable to feed or care for any of the animals in their care.

I've seen one person with over 30 cats who took excellent care of every one of them. Then again, we've had animal control bust up "rescues" with fewer of animals but they were held in filthy conditions, under fed, and with no medical attention.

post #9 of 31
I agree that it is a personal decision, and if you have the time and money to care for that many animals then I see nothing wrong with it.

Personally, I also stop at 2 cats.. I agree with Lorie D in that sense
post #10 of 31
I woke up in the middle of the night last week with two dogs and four cats sleeping on the bed (including our big dog, Jake, at 110 lbs), and the other three dogs and another cat sleeping at various nearby spots in the bedroom. Between my wife and all these critters I felt so loved at that moment it was rather overwhelming. I work at home and there's usually a cat either in my lap or next to me on the floor or the desk (Sheba, Charm and Angel are the lap sitters, Kaybe likes to sleep at my feet.) They sure do bring a lot of joy to our lives.

post #11 of 31
I agree that it's not the number, it's the condition of the animals. I have 16 cats (may be getting #17 today) and they are all spoiled rotten with love and attention, and they are: 1) up to date on vaccines, 2) See a vet annually, more if needed.

I am not joking when I say my cats live better than some humans. They eat premium food, drink filtered spring water, have several cat trees to choose from (although they usually choose the bed, of course!)...

Most nights, we sleep with 2-6 cats. However, the other night when it dipped to 35 degrees, we suddenly became VERY popular, and had 11 out of 16 cats on the bed. (You've heard of a three dog night, trust me, an 11 cat night is even worse! )

Our house has three levels: main level, full semi-finished basement, and full walk-up attic. The kitties have run of all three levels. We also walk those cats who like going outside, on harness and leash, at least 3 times a week in the yard. Would love to build an outdoor cat enclosure/run so they can have more freedom outside but still be safe. The township still has to get back to me as far as whether I will need a building permit to put one back there, they have no provision for people building cat enclosures!
post #12 of 31
I woke up in the middle of the night last week with two dogs and four cats sleeping on the bed (including our big dog, Jake, at 110 lbs), and the other three dogs and another cat sleeping at various nearby spots in the bedroom.
LOL George, was there room for your wife in there, too?

My dogs don't get to be on the bed anymore, but when they did one of my dogs (both are 80 pounds) liked to get in between my husband & I, put his back against my husband and his feet against me, and start shoving. His goal was to get me to give up and go sleep in the other room. Then one would stay with my husband and one would sleep with me in the other room. It worked often enough that we had to start banishing them from the bed, because I wan't getting any decent sleep!

I agree, the number of pets is a function of many different variables - how much room do you have? How much can you afford in vet, food, and care costs? Does your city have ordinances regarding the number of pets allowed? Do you like to travel? With or without your pets? Having very many may make either one difficult. It's hard enough for us to get out of town for more than a weekend with 2 big dogs, 1 cat, and a fish tank.
post #13 of 31
Sue I don't know how it is where you live at . But here in Ga. you don't have to have a permit if you want to build a shet or small building , as long it is not attached to the house . That is the reason we made the walk way to our enclosure . I would check in to that if I were you
post #14 of 31
I forgot to answer that too . Here where I live there is no Ordinances on how many animals you can have . But that is a good point to look in to . I did get scared a while back with the one TCS member here having to give up half of her cats becours of that problem .
post #15 of 31
There is no limit on the number of cats you may have in my township. I do believe there is a 4 dog limit. When Lil had her kittens and we suddenly went from 4 to 10 cats, I checked into that.
post #16 of 31
We can only have 2 dogs where I live unless you get a special kennel permit. I almost adopted another dog that needed a home, but I didn't want to give him a home and then maybe have to give him up. Luckily, we were able to find another home for him.
post #17 of 31
Right now I just have 2 kittens and 1 dog and everyone is happy. We would love to get another kitty and have our eyes open for the purrrrrfect one.

I have absolutely no idea about how many pets we're allowed to own up here. Thanks for the reminder Sue & Hedi, I really do have to check that out!
post #18 of 31
I know I can only have 2 cats in my apartment, but if I ever bought a house around here I have no idea if there's a limit or not. How does one find that out?

I still will stay at 2 cats lol I swear...
post #19 of 31
When we bought our house, we first checked with the county, then township, then "subdivision" bylaws. I found that one can override the other, for example, our county had no limit on animals, but our township had a 4 pet limit if you were in the town proper, but unlimited in the country surrounding the town.

As far how many is too many: Some people shouldn't have any, and some people are responsible enough to take care of a bunch of them. Before taking in any new animal, I challenge myself with an assessment on my ability to take care of that animal. If the answer is no, I won't do it. I don't branch out beyond cats and dogs because of my personal limitations.
post #20 of 31
Yes, It all depends on inviduals.

But Yikes 12 dogs? We have two dogs and our country has a four dog limit but has no limits for cats and I fully own nine.

We can afford Vet Care,Food,Water and love for all our animals
post #21 of 31
We have two indoor cats. This summer some moron dumped three mixed lab puppies in the woods by our house. I wasn't really ready to raise THREE dogs and hoped someone else would pick them up. Well, 3 days later they were still there, getting skinnier and skinnier so we picked them up. What else could we do? They were starving, dehydrated, and full of ticks, fleas and worms. We cleaned them up and took them to the vet, cared for them all summer and then found homes for two of them. (I sadly realized that I wasn't up to caring for 3 big dogs.) I had never had an all outside dog before but the dog we kept was well suited to outside TN weather so we got him a house and got him all set up. He was happy, thriving and finally healthy. Being a good pet owner we took him to the vet's for his neuter surgery. We boarded him there for a few days so he could heal as he was always in our creek and digging in the dirt and I worried about it. Anyway........the vet's office was broken into while he was being boarded. The thieves let him out, probably because he was barking and he got out on the highway and was killed by a car!! This happened Sept. 20 and I'm still in shock. I loved that pup.

Anyway, I will never have an outside pet again smaller than a horse. This has changed me forever.

Like you say, everyone's situation is different. For some people, one animal is too many, for others with the money and time to spend, two dozen might be fine. Wisdom comes in knowing your limits. I pray that more people realize theirs.
post #22 of 31
OMG TNCatFancier how awfull to lose a loved one like that .I am sure you were heart brocken ((((HUGS)))) I am so sorry of your loss
post #23 of 31
That is such a sad story I'm sorry.

I would never let my cats outside, unless they had an enclosure.
post #24 of 31
Sicy - Yes, YOU would never let your cat out, but I advise everyone to ask their vet and boarding kennels about security for your pet whenever you leave them there. In fact, I may start a new thread about it. My dog was released by theives and run over in the road in front of the vet's office. There was no alarm in the vet's office and my dog was in a kennel in the back with no lock, just a lift latch. I never thought to ask if they'd lock my dog in when they weren't there. I just trusted they would. Thanks for the sympathetic hugs.
post #25 of 31
OMG! That's terrible!
post #26 of 31
LOL George, was there room for your wife in there, too?
She does get annoyed and will get up and go sleep in the spare bedroom. Some of the cats will follow her there, but the dogs aren't allowed in that part of the house. She also has been known to claim I care for the dogs more than I care for her.

TNCatFancier, I'm so sorry about your loss. You have my deepest sympathies.

post #27 of 31
Thread Starter 
If i had a hobby farm i would have all kinds of animals
running around but i just can't see having like 10 cats
or dogs living in the house
post #28 of 31
I agree that the number depends on your personal circumstances, time, money, etc.. We have just one cat at present, but that is only because he won't tolerate any other pets in his home. I grew up with multiple pets, including anywhere from 2 to 5 large, indoor dogs, and never thought we had too many animals.
Last month I read an article written by an animal behaviorist for a German cat magazine, and she gave a general guideline, based on her experience with feline patients: You shouldn't have more cats than you have rooms in your house, and no cat should be kept in a studio apartment smaller than 45 sq. meters. I thought that was a bit extreme, particularly as many people adopt cats from overcrowded shelters where 20 cats might be perched together in one large room. To them, 45 sq. meters shared with another cat or two must seem like heaven.
post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 
There was a program about this lady they called her "the cat lady"
because she had 18 cats in her home and her house was
NASTY! poop all over the place,even in they're food dishes.
I love cats but i sure woulden't have that many in my home
post #30 of 31
If you're wondering what your city's limits are, check your city's website and look up animal codes. Our city limit is 5 dogs & 3 cats (or 10 if confined w/in a structure).

My ideal # for an apartment was 2 cats - I ended up w/4 b/c a stray had a litter under my porch, and I couldn't find homes for all of the kittens, so I ended up keeping 2. Right now, living in a house, we have 3 indoor-only cats, 1 indoor-outdoor cat, 1 outdoor-only feral cat, 2 dogs, and 1 stray puppy who needs a home. I think we're at our limit, especially since we're planning to start a human family soon.

I would be afraid to have more, because with an increased number of pets sometimes there is an increase in behavior problems associated with crowding. Also, if an animal (or multiple animals) become(s) ill, I'd need to have the time, energy, and money for extra care. Think about ordinary chores like tooth-brushing, bathing, brushing, ear-cleaning, feeding, walking, litterbox cleaning, poop-scooping, socializing, training, etc. and multiply!

When I took on my pets, I made a commitment to care for them to the best of my ability - I feel that taking on another pet would take away from the ones I've already commited to caring for. But that's just me. If you can provide space, attention, and veterinary care to a larger number, that's wonderful.

Also, with a limited number of permanent pets, we do have space to save & foster the occasional stray that comes along until we can find him/her a home.
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