We’ve all heard the trope about crazy cat ladies, but at what point do you really become one yourself? Cats are wonderful, sweet, affectionate creatures, but you can (unfortunately) have too much of just about anything.
If you’ve already got a few cats and are wondering how many more you can reasonably add to your family, this article is for you. Below, we’ll talk a bit more about the various factors that determine how many cats can reasonably live safely and happily together.
Having lots of cats sounds great, but there are three primary reasons why you shouldn’t just keep adding to your pet family. Below is some more information about each of these reasons.
The first reason why you should reconsider a large cat family is having too little space in your home. Cats need plenty of space to play, eat, and explore, not to mention having a separate area for your cats’ litter boxes.
Plus, cats can become territorial over specific spots in your home, so having too little space could result in frequent fighting between your cats for their favorite spots. This can result in a lot of stress for your cats, which can cause lots of health problems down the line.
You also need to consider your living arrangements in general. If you live in an apartment, your landlord likely has a pet clause in your lease stating how many pets you are allowed to have in your apartment. Exceeding this limit could result in fines or even an eviction notice. No amount of cats is worth losing your home!
Keep in mind that cats come with many more needs than just food and water. Litter boxes aren’t small, and it is recommended that you have at least one litter box per cat plus one.
That means if you have four cats, you should have five litter boxes. This will take up lots of space you may not have reasonably available. Not to mention the time spent scooping and the costs of filling each with fresh litter regularly!
You will also need toys, cat trees, and pet beds which can take up lots of space. Unless you live in a huge house, adopting lots of cats at once likely isn’t the best idea.
The next reason why having too many cats isn’t a good thing is the finances required to raise several cats. Rover estimates that cat owners spend anywhere between $305 and $1,450 on a single cat annually for basic care. Multiply that by several cats and your furry family becomes a lot more expensive to maintain.
Food, litter, toys, annual vet visits, medication, and replacement cat furniture aren’t cheap. This is especially true if you get your cats high-quality food, litter, and medicine, which is recommended if you want your cats to lead long, healthy lives. It’s always better to have fewer cats that you can splurge on than to have too many and struggle to give them basic necessities.
Plus, more cats means more risk of illness or injury in your home. Treating a sick or hurt cat can be extremely expensive, so you will have to budget to take emergency situations into consideration.
Unless you’re a millionaire, you should only get as many cats as you can reasonably afford to care for!
The third reason why having too many cats isn’t always a good thing is potential catfights. Not all cats get along with other cats so easily, so having multiple cats in the same house can increase the risk of fighting and injury.
Like other animals, cats can become territorial. If you have too many cats in one space, they may struggle to claim a territory of their own. This can result in stress and additional fighting as well.
With frequent fights comes frequent injuries, which can land you in the veterinarian’s office quickly. These trips become costly quickly, so your annual cost of raising so many cats becomes much higher than usual.
Now that we’ve established that too many cats can be an issue, how many cats is the best number for you? Typically, two is a good number of cats to have. One cat can get lonely if you work throughout the day, so two will keep each other company while you’re gone.
Of course, having more than two is common and perfectly reasonable. For most people, the maximum number of cats you can have at one time is 5 to 6 cats. Once you exceed this, your ability to get your cats high-quality food, toys, and frequent vet care significantly decreases. You also need to have a large amount of space and a pretty big bank account to afford this many to begin with, so don’t expect that having this many cats will be easy for most people.
The best number of cats for you to get is the amount you’re able to provide for without difficulty. If you have enough space and money for one cat, that’s the perfect number for you. If you have the space and money for four, then that’s perfect for you.
Becoming a true “crazy cat lady” isn’t in the best interest of our feline friends, so always make sure you’re adding to your fur family out of love for the pet, and not just to fulfill your dreams of being surrounded by endless purrs.
So you’ve decided you have the time, space, and resources for multiple cats – great! Now, you need to make sure that they can get along with one another. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ease this transition.
The first thing you should do when introducing a new cat to the family is give them some space. Your home is filled with lots of new and overwhelming smells and stimuli, so give your new pet time to adjust to its surroundings.
Once they’ve adjusted, you can slowly start introducing them to your other cats one at a time. Start with your most friendly cat so your new one has a positive interaction starting off. Once one cat accepts your new pet, the others may be more likely to fall in line.
You may want to try separating your cats from your new kitty through a door, so they can smell and interact through the bottom of the door without fully accessing one another. You could also give each cat a toy or blanket of the other so they can get used to each other’s scent.
If your cats are still unhappy with each other after all of this, you may want to consider keeping them separate permanently. If you have enough space in your house, there’s nothing wrong with having two separate spaces for your cats. Just make sure they can’t get out into other areas and you shouldn’t have any major issues.
While any cat can show aggression, unneutered male cats are especially known to be territorial. Spaying and neutering your cats can reduce their aggression while also making sure that none of them get pregnant. You don’t want to end up with a whole litter on your hands!
Most animal shelters require that the cat you adopt is spayed or neutered before you take them home. Typically, this procedure is included in the cost of your adoption fee.
Finally, you can also help your cats warm up to each other by praising them when they have positive interactions. After all, is there anything cats love more than food?
If you notice your cats playing together, grooming one another, or simply sniffing each other without hissing or fighting, that’s definitely deserving of some praise.
You can show praise in many ways, but the best are petting and giving treats. If you give treats for every positive interaction, your cats will soon come to associate being friendly with getting a treat. Eventually, this positive attitude will come naturally to your cats so you don’t have to worry about them fighting in the future.
Having a house full of kitties sounds like heaven to lots of us, but remember it isn’t always in your cats’ best interest. You should keep in mind the size of your home, the temperament of your cats, and your financial situation anytime you consider bringing another stray cat home.
Always do what’s best for you, your family, and the cats you already have before deciding to grow your fur family. If you have the space, finances, and friendly cat companions to give a cat in need a new home, though, we suppose one more won’t hurt.
Thanks to Lex Leigh for This Article!
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Hello and welcome! I’m a genuine cat lover and devoted parent of two adorable kitties. As you can see, cat adoption is meaningful for me. I believe it’s a humane and loving option. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the people who operate rescue shelters. To show my gratitude for their selfless dedication, I’ve designed this website to help enlighten potential feline owners and raise awareness for cat adoption. Please join me and other cat lovers in our efforts to ensure every kitty has a happy, healthy life!
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