How Many Pets is too Many Pets?

29 11 2006

cute kitty 

I’ve been noticing alot lately about people who have a TON of pets. . .  .perhaps I am more sensitive to it as I have recently added to my own moggie crew.  I now have three cats.

I work with a lady who now has 3 dogs, 1 cat and a parrot.  Is that too many?  She can sustain her household adequetly, and wouldn’t deny any of them medical treatment.

What about ‘S’ from a previous (rant) entry?  She now has 2 dogs and 2 cats, and barely enough money to support her household, and if you read the rant (here:  http://joeymoggie.wordpress.com/2006/11/26/how-much-moola-would-you-spend-on-your-moggies/) you know that she has, and might deny vet services.

cute kitten

So the question is, how many pets is too many pets? 

I personally believe that it is a case-by-case situation, obviously things like

  • Kids
  • Type of House
  • Amount of Time Home
  • Total Household Income
  • Experience etc etc etc. . . . .       should all be taken into consideration. . . . . 
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38 responses

29 11 2006
penseroso

A local woman recently got busted for having 150 cats in her house. I believe that should be considered excessive.

Meanwhile, I technically have only two cats, but one of them (otto, whose picture I have for an avatar) has enough weight for two ordinary sized adult cats. We don’t feed him any more than his brother, but he’s nearly 1.5 times Sigmund’s weight.

When I’m trying to sleep and Otto is taking up room and his oppressive weight and body heat keep me up, I think it’s quite possible that I might have too many pets.

30 11 2006
Joey

When people get an overly excessive amount of animals its actually atributed to some sort of mental or social disorder. I don’t know what the medical term is but the un-pc term is ‘hoarder’ . . . . .

I can’t imagine having that many pets. . . how do you get to know your pets? I know very specific things about each of my moggies, personality traits, ticks, how they like their food, where they like their ears scratched. . . .How would you possibly know that for each of those cats, let alone remember all their names (provided they even have names)

My Minou is heavier than my boys. . . she weights 12lb, Marty 9 and Manny is a MASSIVE 3lb. I have Minou on a diet right now, the vet says her optimum weight is 10lb. All three of my cats sleep between my legs at the end of the bed every night. . . .

with Otto and Sigmund, do you ‘free feed’ them? By simply giving them scheduled feedings you will notice a difference right away. My vet says that if I continue with the light/indoor formula with Minou, make sure she is getting alot of exercise (Manny is her personal trainer) and continued scheduled feedings Minou should be able to lose the 2lbs by summer.

30 11 2006
terminallycute

I agree, definately a case by case situation.

We have 4 cats, 1 bloodhound, and an african grey. We have a large house, and we are financially stable. We are in our thirties, and have no desire for kids.

We are comfortable where we are with the number of pets we have, and have plenty of time & love to spend on them. We are also confident that if a medical issue were to occur, we could handle it financially without stress to our budget.

Our situation would be vastly different if we lived in an apartment, or had a lower income, or even if we had kids.

A huge pet peeve of mine (and it sounds like one of yours as well!) is when I see people acquiring pets who can not adequately care for them or pets that are not really appropriate to their living circumstances. What’s even more irritating to me, is the people who really can’t afford to get a pet, get one anyway, and then can’t afford to get it vaccinated, or neutered/spayed.

BTW, I like your blog! Gotcha bookmarked!

~TC

1 12 2006
penseroso

We both “free” feed and schedule feed. At all times there are several trays of dry cat food available for them to nibble on. Twice a day (at oh-dark-thirty in the morning and when we get home in the evening) they get wet food — 1/2 a can in the morning, the last 1/2 in the evening. Over the course of the last four or five years, their weight has been consistent: Otto at 15 to 16 pounds, Sigmund at 11 or 12. I don’t know the metric weights (I’m American, bear with me).

4 12 2006
Joey

I used to feed EXACTLY how you do. . . . .

As mentioned, my Minou is overweight.

She is 12lb, and her optiumn weight is 10lb (she has a very small, broad frame)

A couple things we’ve found (using the internet, books and advice from vets, groomers and pet store owners) This has come about since we’ve been activly trying to help Minou slim down.

1. Free feeding means feeding the cat that doesn’t need it all the time. . . .
2. You should try to feed your cats in different areas so they learn know that they have their ‘own’ bowls, and not to eat out of each others.
3. Ingredients matter, the first 5 ingredients should be MEAT. Brewers rice is very starchy and filling and will put on weight quickly. You will have to feed alot of more of a brewers rice based food than a meat based food to get the same nutriants.
4. When the cats show you they are done eating, take the bowl away.
5. Leave extra bowls of water out (I have 5 bowls of water around the house)
6. No “grocery store” food is high quality. And just because you can buy it at a vet, doesn’t make it the best for your cat.

25 01 2007
kellyd

We have 3 cats and one large doofus dog. My parents think the house is overrun with animals. We think it’s just right. :-)

25 01 2007
Joey

sounds just right to me too!

thanks for stopping by

26 01 2007
LindaC

Right now, I have one kitty. She lives in my lap. (She doesn’t know that cats are independant. Shhh) I had two, but lost my 15 year old Maine Coon to renal failure in June.

The most pets I’ve had at one time were four cats, 2 guinea pigs and 2 hamsters. At that time, I was also a foster mom for kittens that lost their mommy. (I’ve hand fed kittens that were under 1 lb.)

I think ‘too many’ is when you don’t have enough time or income to properly provide for them all.

When I had my “zoo” (as my friends called it) they all had daily play time with me, lots of lap time, good food (not cheap kibble) and regular vet care.

One of my cats used to stand “really high” and let the hamsters roll under them in their hamster ball. lol. Then the cat would run in front of the ball and do it again.

I figure one thing kids and pets have in common is that if we can’t care for them properly, we shouldn’t have them. For some people, one is too many. I doubt I could handle more than 4, though. My cats are always very attached to me.

26 01 2007
Joey

I totally agree that in some cases, 1 is too many.

Perhaps in my mind I was thinking of a scale or system of points. By which people are rated by income, time, environment, ethics. . . and you are given a rating. This rating will signify how many pets is you top cap.

I think this would be good for kids too.

I actually blogged a while back about thinking people should have licences to bear children. . . you can read it here:

http://joeymoggie.wordpress.com/2006/12/02/licence-to-live/

Thanks again for stopping by, visit again soon. . . . .

28 03 2007
christie watters

i think your cat is ssssssssssssoooooooooo cute i wish i had a cat like it and i think that if you have to many cats you cant possibly be looking after them properly

29 03 2007
Joey

I wish that was my cat, unfortuntatly its just another stolen internet image. . . . . .

7 04 2007
Dan

If you like pets, you should get them on the internet! :-) 100 pets would seem a tad excessive… But if you owned that many, it might take a tad longer to get them all online.

(edited by website owner : The author of this post has a website you can visit by clicking their name)

the only Pet related forum this blog indorses is http://www.iheartpaws.com

Thank you.

15 04 2007
carla

I THIBK 2 CATS ARE TOO MANY! THEY ARE SO VIOLENT!!!AHHHH1

3 07 2007
Fufa

There’s a guy across the street. His name is Ruben… He has 34 cats, all of them in which he has named. He also has two dogs that live on his upstairs porch… And doves… And ferrets. A friend’s older brother claims he also has demons in his house… Lol.

Well, when the wind is blowing South, we can smell the mass amounts of kitty litter in his back yard and all the urine. The cats also roam freely thoughout the neighborhood.

I, personally, have one cat, Artemis aka Artie. I live with my grandmother, she has one very old cat, Wendy, and a dog just over a year old, Hebo. We also have two cats that live in our sunroom. They don’t come into the house, they just eat here and can come in that room whenever they want. I, personally, do not think we have too many pets (though I hate Hebo).

When I move out again, I will get a hedgehog most likely. Then, later on, I would like another cat. Oh, and I love goldfish, so I’ll probably get some (no, not in a bowl!). But I do not believe that goldfish count when it comes to counting your pets. I mean, I love them, but there is not the same amount of issues.

I hate people like Ruben that hoard all the animals. He’s so pathetic that when treating them all for worms, he had to snip off the tips of their tail after each shot to keep track…

25 07 2007
kiaTTY

i agree it is a waste of time to do it,i have 10 hamster,1 dog and 3 cat.

25 07 2007
Joey

a waste of time to do what?

thanks for stopping by.

26 07 2007
Lindsay

So actually I don’t know any of you , but stumbled across this site when i was reasearching having multiple cats. I am 21 years old and I live in a two bedroom apartement with my boyfriend . I grew up with animals , my father worked for the humane society and I always felt the need to help as many as I could .
I am not excessive and would never live uncomfortably , but I volunteer at our local shelter and they have given my name to a desperate shelter near by who have contacted me to adopt a really sweet siamese 6 month old female , they did this because i am so familiar with the breed, having had them my whole life.
So here is my dilemma , I already have three cats, they are all great , sweet and loving. We have 2 boys (tucker and bear) and one female (ellie) my boyfriend although not AS driven about adopting needing animals is really supportive and said he was okay with it and would be honest if when she came and it proved to be too much . I am torn
Would four cats in a two bedroom apartment be too much ? Financially we are definitely able to handle it, and time wise I give TONS of time to my cats because i do LOVE them so much , but am I CRAZY hahah, i need some outside opinions…
thanks
Lindsay

26 07 2007
Lindsay

Actually I don’t know any of you , but stumbled across this site when i was reasearching having multiple cats. I am 21 years old and I live in a two bedroom apartement with my boyfriend . I grew up with animals , my father worked for the humane society and I always felt the need to help as many as I could .
I am not excessive and would never live uncomfortably , but I volunteer at our local shelter and they have given my name to a desperate shelter near by who have contacted me to adopt a really sweet siamese 6 month old female , they did this because i am so familiar with the breed, having had them my whole life.
So here is my dilemma , I already have three cats, they are all great , sweet and loving. We have 2 boys (tucker and bear) and one female (ellie) my boyfriend although not AS driven about adopting needing animals is really supportive and said he was okay with it and would be honest if when she came and it proved to be too much . I am torn
Would four cats in a two bedroom apartment be too much ? Financially we are definitely able to handle it, and time wise I give TONS of time to my cats because i do LOVE them so much , but am I CRAZY hahah, i need some outside opinions…
thanks
Lindsay

26 07 2007
Lindsay

Ps: randomly posted twice .. sorry

26 07 2007
Joey

When we lived in the apartment we had two cats. . . similar we had a two bed apartment.

If they receive the love and care they require then I personally have no issue. . . .

The only thing I’d be worried about is having another litter box. . . with 4 cats you should have 4-5 litter boxes. (I’ve read that it is suggested to have 3 litter boxes for every 2 cats, actually)

Small apartment+people close by+4 cats=stinky.

Something to also think of is that Siamese are easily homed because they are a desirable breed, perhaps you can find a good home for the Siamese before he gets bonded to you. You know how Siamese are once they get bonded.

Good luck!

26 07 2007
Joey

No worries Lindsay. . . .

26 07 2007
Lindsay

Thanks well i am not so sure about three litter boxes per two cats i think that that is a little extreme… but i do have two HUGE litter boxes adn obssesed with my house not smelling i would never let it get bad and if it did i would not kid myself hahah
thanks

26 07 2007
Joey

I currently have three cats and three boxes, that I clean every day or every other day. . . .

sometimes I think I should get that one extra box. . . . . .

I have a room downstairs in my basement that is the “cat bathroom” – so it doesn’t effect much of the rest of the house (which is good)

2 08 2007
Claudia

I love kittens but i dont hav one.But my friend has a cat its soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute(which i like)

3 08 2007
Joey

My kitties are so cute too! thanks for stopping by Claudia.

3 08 2007
Emily

Hi there! Just found this website and thought I’d add my story to it..

I have 4 cats (2 of which aren’t mine personally, but I am fostering for relatives) and 2 dogs. I had another cat, but we lost him Thursday to kidney failure. He was 16 years old, but I rescued him 5 years ago from The Humane Society. We had him on Sub-Q fluids (weekly) for a little over a year. This actually prolonged his life by an entire year! I miss him dearly..

My husband and I live on 1/3 Acre ALL GARDEN. Our street is very quiet and we bought this house FOR our cats and dogs. We had 2 cats indoors for 8 years. I love them so much and thought they would enjoy life a bit more if they could be indoor/outdoor. So far, so good. All of my pets are well cared for. They are flea treated, up-to-date on vacs, eat high quality food, groomed, even get their teeth cleaned!

I haven’t any children, nor do we intend to. I am home all day due to Anxiety Disorders also. I am thinking of adding another small dog to my brew, but not sure yet.

I thought that maybe my need to “rescue” might be due to some mental disorder? Or am I just a lover of animals? Where do you draw the line?

3 08 2007
Joey

Its all about the resources you have to care for the pets.

If you have the time, money, space and love – I don’t see the issue.

Its when people don’t have those things.

Its not fair to have pets that you can’t take care off.

I wish you guys luck! :)

23 08 2007
Sarah

Hi, My name is Sarah! I currently have 2 miniature schnazuers, 2 cats, and 14 fish!! haha. Also, I have 2 horses that are boarded about 10 miles from me!! My neighbor offered to give us their Doberman Pinscher! He’s 3, completely house broke, but also an outside dog. My husband and I have no children, although, i keep my 3 year old twin nieces everyday! Cain.. is utd on shots, and neutered. All my animals are! We went to get him today, and brought him to our house to see how he would react to the other animals. Well, he’s scared to death of the cats(lol.. he’s a big wimp) and he loved the other dogs! We live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath 800+ square foot rent house, but we have a nice size fenced in yard. Do you think this is an excessive amount of animals?? We are financially stable to take care of them each properly! Thanks, Sarah

25 08 2007
Joey

I sometimes think that my 1500 square foot house is too small for my three cats. . .

But in the end, its about being able to care and manage your animals.

If you can do that, give them love, and never sacrifice when they are in need you are a better pet owner than alot of people!!

Good luck to you guys!

29 08 2007
jess

omg gosh those cats are so cute i have for cats and love everyone of them and i know how hard it is to take care of them

29 08 2007
Joey

thanks for stopping by Jess. . .

31 05 2008
malak

first let me say i like ur web , and i have 1 cat “meme” i love him he is not only my cat but my friend too

13 11 2008
Tamara

I know it’s been awile since the thread was started but I just wanted to jump in as well.

My boyfriend and I currently have two cats. Milton and O’Mally. We had decided on a cat because we’re both animal people and it is easier to relocate with a cat than it is a dog (college and finding the perfect job). Mind you, as soon as we buy a house we will have a dog. We got Milton on New Years day, took him home at 6 months old, and he was just amazing. Then for my birthday present we adopted our Mally, eight months old, from a local resue group that found him freezing and starving to death under a car. It took about 6 months for Milton to adjust (He was a spoiled only child for awile) but now they’re the best of friends and do everything together. Both are neutered and up to date on their shots, and love to play in my clean laundry or hang from the clothes rack (It’s be repaired a few times) but both are as different as night and day. I never would have pictured myself as a cat owner in the past but now I wouldn’t be happy without them. I thought I was done with additions for awile.

Now the shelter is overrun with cats so I started looking up how many was too many because I fell in love with one named Samuel. We both have large hearts and we would never take in an animal for the wrong reason but I think that as long as you have love to give (including finances for all the needs) you should never pass up the opportunity to take in a rescue animal. Its a long transition road but it’s definitely worth it. I wouldn’t think that 3 cats is too many but it’s really great to read what you all have had to say, especially the ones that have three and admit that two is more managable. Thanks for a great read.

8 05 2009
Sarah N.

Okay, we have 2 indoor cats, 1 outdoor cat (he adopted us), 4 dogs (in the house of course), and an Amazon parrot. They are all neutered/spayed, UTD on shots, flea, heartworm, well fed, etc. I provide 95% of their care (litter box cleaning, feeding, walking, etc.). My husband will feed them and let them out if I am not home. He has never cleaned a litter box, bird cage, or scooped poop in the yard. Our house is over 2000 sq. feet and we have 50 acres. The dogs do not beg for people food, sleep in or bed, or get on the furniture. I think we’re doing just fine with our menagerie. Husband, however, thinks we have too many and he complains about it anytime one of the dogs barks at all. I had 3 dogs when he met me (all quite large), so I kinda feel like he knew what he was getting into when he married me and it isn’t fair to complain now. He brought the cats home himself!
I don’t think its too many pets when I can take perfect care of them, almost completely by myself. But….
I guess its too many pets when it might lead to divorce!

31 07 2009
Ravenne

I have “too many” pets. I admit it, however, between working from home and having 2 kids, I don’t find it difficult to take care of them. (brace yourself) 5 cats (all indoor), dog (she’s indoor with regular walks, and a large backyard), hamster and 2 budgies. I have one “cat box” which is actually a very large plastic storage bin, regularly (every 6 months) replaced, and the litter is sifted twice a day (or as “needed”). My house does have a cat smell, but it doesn’t smell like urine/scat. I often have people who are allergic come and “smell check” it. My large yard is regularly cleaned (and my dog has been trained to go into “her area”). The cages are dusted daily (pet litter deodorizer) and cleaned weekly and my animals are all well maintained. I know all of my animals idiocyncrasies and acknowledge that at least one cat (Avalon, aka Avie) would NOT do well with anyone else.

I am stating all of this to point out that, yes, I’m excessive, but, in the end, my household is taking very good care of the animals we have, are able to afford their physical health and mental health. I, most likely, would not have so many beasts if I didn’t work from home, however, it all balances out in the end (and no, I’m definately NOT getting more). Everyone in my household has also been around when adoption has taken place (over the years, we have ages ranging from 4 months, 2 years, 3 years, 7 years (dog), 9 years, 10 years (don’t know the hamster or birds actual ages (likely a year, hamster can live 5 years, birds 10-15). The cats are all from various animal rescue foundations, which have been researched and often donated to. I can’t do a rescue myself, since I would become too attached to the animal. The dog was well researched for her breed, the actual breeder and type (she is a purebred collie, well known to be comfortable with cats and children).

So, I am pointing out that “too many pets” can be between 1 and whatever a person feels comfortable taking care of. My main question is… what makes too many plants? Plants require pruning, watering, food, repotting and care, as well, yet no one seems to make a big deal when someone has a house covered in the green (yes, I know, there is no scat/urine to contend with, and no daily chores to do, but my point is still there, they are living things, often neglected). I have none, since I would most likely kill any, and would have to research to make sure they would be safe in my environment.

For the record: My dog sleeps on my bed, eats scraps from the table (which is actually healthy for her) and is throughly spoiled. The cats are allowed on the table, eat scraps and have a variety of toys and “personal” beds tucked under furniture. The birds cage is large enough to “house 10 comfortably”, since I learned that you should get the biggest cage you can afford (if I did that…) and the hamster… is just spoiled. It’s all a matter of perspective about what is right.

3 02 2010
Reffy

I met a gal with 6 dogs and 3 cats living in an apartment and unemployed.
I thought that was excessive and didn’t bother with her. Was I wrong?

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