Cats…How Many is too Many?
Now that’s a loaded question, isn’t it?
When does “cat lover” cross the line to “cat hoarder”? We’ve all heard and read about “crazy cat ladies”…how much truth is there to that? Aside from being offensive to females, is there such a thing as having too many cats…or let’s be honest, it happens with dogs too, so is there such a thing as having too many pets?
The answer is of course there can be “too many”, but the real question is what is that number? I did a lot of reading and research on this topic, but unfortunately, there’s not going to be any hard and fast rule – “5 is good, 6 is too many”, because for some people, 2 cats is too many and for others 6 or 8 cats is just fine.
The real answer can be found in the care of the animals and whether you have the resources, both mentally, physically and financially, to properly care for each individual animal. The more cats you have, the easier it becomes to lose track of one of them. If one develops a urinary tract infection, or diarrhea, how do you figure out which one without constant monitoring. If you have only 2-3 cats, it’s certainly much easier to monitor for health problems than if you have 10, or 15 or 30.
Keeping the peace in a multi-cat household can also a challenge. Some research shows that male cats tend to be more independent, are loners and prefer to live by themselves while females live in a matriarchal groupings, typically numbering no more than ten. Cats are naturally territorial and if you live in an apartment, having 10 cats is going to make it difficult for them to get along without constant squabbles which creates tension among all of the cats.
The main concern should be the welfare of the animals. If all of your pets are well taken care of, well fed and healthy, then whatever number you have is probably okay. But if you don’t KNOW if all your pets are healthy at a proper weight, up to date on their vaccines, etc., then there’s a problem. Animal hoarders are notorious in their ability to deny issues and they don’t see the poor care or squalor that can results from being overrun and overwhelmed by pets.
If you are at all uncertain, ask a friend for an independent assessment and be prepared for whatever they tell you.