How many is too many? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Post How many is too many?

Hello! I live in southern California and I am a new mom/ rescuer of 7 kitties. I have been called many things.. including a collector but in truth I am not. I am just a kind gal who couldn't turn her back on these amazing creatures. And now I need some help..

It all started 3 years ago at 4am. I heard a horrible cry outside my window and braved the cold to find a tiny flea infested tourtie. Her name is Marley and she was about 4 weeks old when I rescued her. A few months into our love affair I realized she needed a playmate of the same species as my hands and face were covered with playful bite marks and scratches. I went with my boyfriend at the time to Petco and immediately fell in love with a 5 week old maincoon-siamese mix. He was the most beautiful scrawny underfed creature I had ever seen. I instantly loved him. He had a sister. We applied to adopt both and they were ours in a few days. The three of them became so bonded.. Marley even let them try to nurse on her! They were a constant source of love and entertainment and I was thrilled.

A year, almost to the day, I heard a cry in the middle of the night. I thought it was one of my babies and I jumped out of bed. Eventually I realized it was coming from outside. This was Frankie. A 4 week old tourtie that was obviously the sister of my oldest cat. (After searching and searching I still haven't been able to find their mom.) My ex and I were breaking up.. I hoped the 4th would make separating the cats less hard. So I kept her.

My ex left. All the fighting over who would get to keep who.. well, he left me with them all.

In a few weeks I was at work and this very dumb boy mentioned that he saw a box of kittens in his parking garage. Really? He saw them and left them there. In a box. After work I went to his place to take them. There were 6. They were AMAZING creatures. I bottle fed them all for a few days and got them healthy so they could be adopted. I was successful with 3. Everyone warned me.. Once I introduced them all to each other? Forget it. I was a goner. Louie, Lilly and LouLou made 7. These kitties are so full of love and personality and awesomeness. They are all so attatched to each other..

It has been almost 2 years now that I have had 7 cats. My house is very clean and I am never without a cat in my lap. However, I spend an insurmountable amount of time and money trying to keep up with the cleaning, vet and food etc. They are all inside cats and the dance I have to do to hide from my landlord is exhausting. It is also illegal. These cats are like my kids. They are ridiculously affectionate, smart and adorable. They all greet me when I come home and 6 of them sleep with me. To some people, hopefully no one here, this is insane.

They are all very well fed, have clean litter boxes and are smothered with affection..I will never put them in a cage or abandon them in anyway but I have to be realistic about our situation and maybe explore the idea that they may be just as happy with someone else..
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 12:41 AM
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Well, I wouldn't say you're insane, but a bit overwhelmed. If you could find them good homes, maybe adopted out two pairs? That would leave you with three cats, and the ones you adopt out would have a buddy going with them. Or maybe find someone who would take the triplets. I used to have four cats, that's doable for one person, too.

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

Always in my heart, my lovely Cinderella, running free at the Bridge.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 03:03 AM
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To many depends on how many you can personally manage. If this is what you want and they are all clean and well taken care of then I'd say that 7 isn't too many.

I'm not going to comment on the fact it's illegal for you to have that many as you already know you shouldn't. My comment is directed to the rest of your situation. Maybe you could move to an area where it is legal. Have you looked into special permits for people who want to keep more pets then the norm allowed? My area has them.

And no you don't sound insane to me. Lots of people sleep with their pets.

I currently have 1 bald cat and one foster and am hoping to add a few more soon!

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 06:36 PM
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Ah yes, I love the politely blank look that washes over people's faces when I mention that I have 5 cats. The look is usually accompanied by an equally carefully bland "Oh, really?" which, despite the vocal inflection indicating a question, is not; I have yet to have anyone directly accuse me of cat hoarding, but the subtext is along those lines.

Too many, as far as I'm concerned, is the number at which, for whatever reason, you stop being able to provide an adequate level of care. If you can't afford to properly feed both the cats and yourself, for example; or if conditions begin to become unsanitary for you or the cats because you are unable to keep on top of the litter box situation.

Being the owner of a special needs cat (who has cost us well over $10,000 in veterinary bills), I also try to factor unexpected medical expenses into my budget. I don't necessarily allocate a particular amount of what I make for this, but if I were in a position where I didn't have any savings and, if the situation arose, really could not afford to pay for a necessary medical procedure, I would consider finding another loving family for a kitty or two. That said, unexpected medical expenses are a somewhat hypothetical situation, so I wouldn't necessarily find a new home for one of my cats based solely on a lack of emergency funds--there are a lot of pet owners who wouldn't be able to afford, say, an expensive surgery, but take very good care of their animals.

If you do have to make the difficult decision to give some of your kitties up, be certain that you screen potential adopters to make sure that, even if they aren't living with you, your kitties will be loved and cared for as if they were. You can find information and tips on how to find a good home for kitty and the kinds of questions to ask a potential adopters to help determine if they'd make trustworthy and suitable cat owners in the "cats in need" forum on this site.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 09:22 PM
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We got our first cat from the Humane Society, and saved the second from a cold night. Being college students and completely on our own (no family), it is very difficult to keep up with the costs of being a good parent.

I applaud you for doing something while others just stood by. But don't forget many cats are very adaptable. If you want to give some up for adoption, you can ask people to come meet them beforehand so they are sure they can get along. If they have other cats, they can be introduced beforehand.

Good luck with it!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 10:18 PM
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As long as they're clean, vetted, socialized, and receiving proper nutrition, "too many" is only limited by your financial capability and your personal comfort level.

We have 8...we had 10 (two died from old age). 8 is a comfortable number for us.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 05:51 PM
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I agree that there is no "too many" as long as you can provide all their needs, financially, medically and socially. I, too, have alot of cats and always get the jaw dropped look when I tell people how many I have. And I dont tell unless they ask. :-D
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 11:07 PM
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I think "too many" depends entirely on your living situation, financial situation, amount of available time, and emotional resources. That will be different for each person, and not only that, but will be different for the same person in different stages of life.

For me right now, more than two cats would be too many, because two is the number I can comfortably afford to care for, and because I'm a renter, so adding more would make finding living spaces more challenging. I'm sure in the future, that will change - I'd love to have a third cat (and maybe a dog?) someday.

I don't think seven (or more) would necessarily be too much for someone else. It just depends on a lot of factors.

You do seem overwhelmed, though, and the fact that you have to hide them from the landlord (plus the legal issue) is very worrisome. As much as I hate to see pets rehomed, the fact is that if you're found out and get evicted, all of you will be without a home, and that would put the cats in a much more perilous spot than they'll be in if you can take your time finding either a new living situation for the whole family or new homes for a couple of cats.

Best of luck with this tough decision!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 11:01 AM
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Wow...your story really touched my heart. I came to this site because it is not always easy for me to live with three indood cats. The constant cleaning.... But we can't help but love them. I can't really comment on the "how many is too many", but I know it is up to the individual.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Blakeney Green View Post
I think "too many" depends entirely on your living situation, financial situation, amount of available time, and emotional resources. That will be different for each person, and not only that, but will be different for the same person in different stages of life.
We have 5 in a home we own, You bring up some good points how the OP if the landlord causes trouble both the cats and the OP might be homeless. 7 is alot for one person to handle.

Last edited by marie73; 01-17-2013 at 05:10 AM.
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