How many cats are too many?

livvysmomDecember 21, 2006

I sometimes talk about getting another cat and my friends and family look at me like I am crazy (and I only have one now). Then I read on these sites about people that have 3 or 4 or even 5 cats -- how many are too many? My cousin's wife had up to 7 at one time (dubbed "the crazy cat lady"). Personally I love kitties so much I would love to have three but DH would never go for it -- and I don't have room for 3 or 4 litter boxes.

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I think two is a good number for cats or dogs. That way they have an animal companion when their people are not home.

As long as you have the ability to take good care of them, feed them, clean up after them, shots, (excercise the dogs) and vet care; then you can have as many animals as your local ordinances will allow. Of course your hubby should agree also :-)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 10:08AM
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2 cats max indoors, more starts big problems with hair all over, and possibly the sharing litterbox problems will start up with multiple cats. Some cats are really funny about having to share with other cats and then choose to make their litterboxes elsewhere, like in the corner of your basement.
Outdoor cats, as many as you can take care of. Unfortunately, outdoors cats just "show up" once you start putting out food for one cat.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 10:24AM
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My wife has 3 Persians, 1 too many in my opinion and I think hers also. The oldest is 18 and when he dies he wont be replaced. The next is 13 and she will not live as long and will probably be replaced?
I dont think a dog nor cat requires a buddy other than its human companion, they seem to adapt quite well but a lot of people dont make the distinction between animal and human needs.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 10:28AM
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I have three indoors (two females and a male)...they get along quite well together and when one gets sick of the other, they pair up with the third. The male cat is the "King" and quite often sets the rules for the two females, as well as the dogs...kind of funny, actually.

No sharing problems with the litter pan. Quite frankly, though...I kind of wish I only had two indoors, but love them all.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 11:28AM
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At one time, I had 3 indoor/outdoor cats, and that was at least one too many. Maybe it was because they were all females? But the siamese terrorized our elderly calico, and the other female started spraying (something I didn't realize was possible until I began to see her do it). Even though our home was large enough (a rambling 1903 brick house) the cats never got along. I've already confessed to being a dog person, so as time passed, none of the cats were replaced.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 12:56PM
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I have three males. They are fine. All have totally different personalities. I find them all laying across my bed during the day.

If you were to ask DH, one is too many;). I also have 3 dogs. I am working on the theory if one is gone, the other two will have each other, LOL.

Seriously, as long as you can afford to pay for the requisite care and don't let the hair get out of hand... I vacuum 2 times a day. I think what each petowner decides is the right number for them.

I know the feeling of "look" when asked how mant pets I have and reply, 3 cats, 3 dogs, but what's with that? It's no one's business but mine and DH (somewhat) and the head turner usually has at least 3 kids. I only have one of those:((.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 2:54PM
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Okay, I guess I am the official crazy cat lady here. I have eight indoor and no other pets except a betta fish and outdoor koi in their ponds. I used to have the eight (not the same cats as now) and a greyhound and an African grey parrot. They died and weren't replaced. I have issues with only two female matriarchal cats who hate each other. I have never gone over this number nor ever will. I brought foster kitten in the house in October because the whole house..almost all rescues.. are female and the only male will be 18. The new one is a sweetheart who gets along with all but it breaks my heart that his brother who I loved to death is in a cage at Petsmart where he's been for two months with a brief other foster because of an upper respiratory infection. I'd dearly love to take him in here to reunite with his brother. They were raised three months together and played all the time. This little one in my house tries to play with the others and they don't want to be bothered. When mine start dying I will strive to have about four. Remember I didn't pick these cats, they are rescues I found..some not adoptable because of age, behavior.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 3:39PM
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I have three female indoor dogs (big, bigger, biggest) and it works out really well only because I have the luxury of working from home. I did have one person suggest that it would be difficult.

Having said that, three is my limit.

Cats, are another story. I know numerous people that have two, one person has three and they all get along really well.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 6:01PM
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My DD has 2 indoor cats as differant personality wise as daylight and dark. They get along fine in that they ignore each other.
I think what ever you are comfortable with and can afford and is not against the law is right for you.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 12:10AM
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A friend of mine says that's the limit if you're a single woman -- anymore and you become the crazy spinster cat lady!

Oddly enough, she has two cats -- I have two cats (now) -- another single female frind of ours has two cats --- guess we're all teetering on the brink of crazy spinster cat ladyhood!

Personally, in a 600 square foot aparmtent, two is proving more than enough!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 3:03PM
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Well, since I am married and not old and live in a 2800 square foot house not even counting the basement, I guess I haven't officially the crazy cat lady label yet altho my kids think I have. I know a lot of rescuers who have in the double digits. One, a friend of mine won't tell me how many. She works for a rescue group and she has some unadoptable ones.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 3:22PM
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Oops! I meant to say "my friend says 2 is the limit".

Multi-tasking overload!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 5:44PM
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The answer to this question is kinda "situation specific". IOW, what may be fine in one situation may be WAY too many in another.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 6:26PM
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It depends. I don't have any cats now, but when I've had them in the past, 2 is a good number, though I know people with 3 and 4 and they do a good job with managing them. With dogs, 2 is also a good number, but I extended myself to 3. My 2 oldest are wonderful, sweet pets, but my youngest is a show and performance dog and we spend a lot of time training. So when I have go to out with just him, which is most of the time, the other 2 aren't left alone. Works out well.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 5:39PM
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Hmmmm. Interesting question. I have 4, and would love to volunteer for rescue, but I do worry about what it would do to the 4 I have. I have the room, and have thought of getting 2 more. So I guess my answer is 7 is too many. ;) I don't have any other pets. Maybe 6 in total, so if I got dogs no way on more cats.

It is interesting to see so many respond that more than 2 is too many. I guess that explains some of the looks I get.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 11:26AM
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FYI...1 unspayed female cat + 1 unneutered male cat are responsible for the creation of ~470,000 cats in a 7 year period (if all subsequent generations were left intact). You don't even want to know the 12 year estimations.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 7:53PM
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I think for me 1 is plenty, but I do sometimes long for a companion for the one I do have. And, it would be fun to watch them interact. But then I would have to pay another deposit or violate the lease in the apartment. I think a 1 bedroom apartment is crowded enough with 1 cat and 1 human and 30 antique vacuums so 1 is appropriate at this time. Every time I see a cute baby though I just want to bring it home with me. If I found a stray it would be hard not to take it in, but I will have to "cross that bridge when I come to it".
Anya_101, careful what you say... you might encourage Webkat to repeat her previous behavior!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 8:50AM
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LOL, One could only hope.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 4:46PM
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Hmm, looks like some of the posts got pulled here. It says 40 responses yet I only count 19 (yes I know, too much time on my hands - slow day back at work!).

Anyhow, I have 4 cats. Once they are gone, I don't think I will get any more. They're all pretty young, so I have a long way to go most likely.

I'm turning into more of a dog person I guess the older I get and the more I work with dog rescue. We just added our 5th dog. Yikes!

My friends joke that one day I will be either a crazy cat or dog lady!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 11:02AM
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"My friends joke that one day I will be either a crazy cat or dog lady!"

Nothing wrong with that ambition!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 12:26PM
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Oh oh I'm the crazy cat lady, I have six, didn't mean to but I work in a feed store where animals are dumped. I found Rubie 16 years ago as a feral under the resturant where I was working took her home. Sam just arrived 6 years ago and just stayed atfirst in the barn but moved in the house. Sheena came two yearas ago she was a sick cat that showed up at the feed store. I couldn't let her just die so I took her to the vet then home. RocKat was found under a pile of dead feral cats in the woods by the feed store. He was about one and a half weeks old, he is two and still my baby. Oreo and Kreem came this year they were found on the highway in a sealed box. Someone opened the box and there were two three week old kittens in it. They didn't want the kittens so they brought them to the feed store I meant to foster them but kept them. This is my limit! I also have two dogs, rescued, five goats, one horse(I had him 29 years s far), 6 chickens. We live on six acers so the older cats can go out.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 8:00PM
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It depends on many factors such as:
space - square feet and other inhabitants
money - for vet. care, food, etc.
level of responsibility
time available
restrictions either from community or landlord
Personality of the cat or cats

I think any cat or dog needs a lot of human attention, affection, and care. I would think that 6 cats would be more than enough cats for most cat owners. I would worry that people with more than 6 cats would not be able to spend enough time with their cats to meet the cat's needs. To escape the cat lady classification I'd say no more than 3 cats.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 9:29PM
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I think that space is the biggest factor,really.For someone in an apartment or small townhouse/trailer/house I would say only one to two.If someone has a bigger sized house,it really depends on the person who is taking care of them.So long as they ARE taken care of.
This CAT BOOK I have says that cats dont do well in small areas where there is over crowding (otherwords,too many cats)They can actually get sick and live a shorter life if such is the case.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 1:27AM
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One? OK so seriously...two is almost too many to take care of. My fiance has 2 and he has to clean the litter box at least every day if not twice just for two cats and you can still smell it sometimes even though I'm always on top of him to clean it out. I think any more than two and your will be cleaning litter all day long just to keep the house sanitary. Plus they track litter all over everything too which to me is YUCK! They shouldn't be outside if you live around others because then they will be encroaching upon others that may not share your love for cats!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 12:55PM
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I work for a vet and we try to encourage people not to get more than 5. We see more behavior and potty problems in kitties that live with lots of kitty family members. Not always the case just more common than fewer kitties.
I personally wouldn't get more than 2. I did work with a lady that had 48 (yes that is not a typo 48 cats) all indoors. She lived in a 3 bdrm double wide trailer. All of the litter pans were in 1 bdrm and it took her 2 days to clean them all. Her husband divorced her when she got around 20 cats and refused to get rid of them (can we say hoarder?). She truly is the cazy cat lady.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 6:51PM
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I knew a lady that was a hoarder as well, but if she could find people to give them away she would, they really had messed up personalities, poor kitties!
2 would be great togather, and I would not have any more then 3 in a house, mainly because of the litterbox cleanup:) and partly because I will never forget that house with all those cats in it.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 4:13PM
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I have 6 cats, all rescues. I work at a landscape nursery that backs up to an apartment complex, so there's always stray cats around. The manager, with the help of a local rescue group, traps them and gets them neutered and spayed, which has helped tremendously in stabalizing the colony, but unfortunately, the people at the complex tend to move and leave behind their cats. I've taken 5 home, plus one we recued from a convenience store parking lot, making 6. It almost seems funny to me to think of 2 or 3 being too many. As I type this, 2 of my cats are playing tag and having a good time.

I agree, though, that space and finances play a big role in the answer to the question. My DS wanted to adopt a puppy born to his friend's dog. I explained the facts of pet care to him, even though he grew up with pets, he'd never had to be responsible. I pointed out to him that he's having trouble taking care of himself and feeding himself, and paying rent and utilities, much less paying for vet care, food, vet care, food, etc. for even one dog. He saw my point. So, for some people, like my DS, even one cat or dog is too many.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 1:51PM
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Sally, I thought the same when I read some think more than two is too many cats. I know very few people who have one cat..most have multiples..three of four. While I think my eight is more than I want, they have no where else to go, but I won't keep the population at this number and will strive for about four at some future time..But I have no other pets.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 10:26PM
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I think it just depends on the individual and on knowing your own limits. For many years, I had two cats only. Now we have three and also three dogs. But I think the inn is full at that number. :) It just depends greatly on how much time, money, etc. someone is willing to put into their pets. If all the cats are well cared for, than that's the right number for that house.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 5:16PM
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Yes - does seem like some of the posts are missing - I read through that much too quickly for 51 posts.

I have three males - that number works fine for us. We have three litter boxes in our basement (finished area) - but the cats are not particular about which one they actually use. We scoop the litter boxes each morning and replace the litter once a week or so. We also have an Orek ionic room freshener in our family room as they are confined to our lower two levels at night (we are allergic to them and don't want them in our bed - we live in a tri-level which with a basement is actually a quad level). We do have to vaccuum frequently - at least twice a week. Would love to do it more but we both work so there just isn't time.

I think there are many factors - all stated above. Space, time, money, etc...... My DH keeps joking about getting a 4th cat but I keep telling him he will have to wait until another stray finds us. Although a really sweet girl named Voilet almost tempted me at PetSmart before Christmas - she looked me right in the eyes and stole my heart. I normally know to stay away from that place. Too many temptations. Also, not sure it would be good to bring a girl into a house with all boy cats. I've heard of others where they started spraying.....And my boys seem so happy. Always wonder if cat number four would do in my allergies completly.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 7:10PM
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More than 4 would be too many, more than 4 would be too many. I keep telling myself this since I want to rescue so many on the Siamese rescue site.

I don't want to create some disturbance that could caues problems with the 4 that get along so well now either. They just look so forlorn.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 2:31PM
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Wow, the last post was 4 years ago. I guess im a little behind. I came on here because I have 6 cats and I feel bad about it. I started with one and we moved out into the country and she was outside but she wasn't fixed. DUH! She got pregnant and had only 2 kittens. Thank the Lord because I couldn't have imagined any more. I wanted to get her fixed right away but she was nursing. well, she got pregant again. This time with 4 kittens. I got her fixed and she didn't have anymore. I kept the first two and I got rid of one of the second litter. I couldn't get rid of the one cat because he was TOOO CUTE but I tried to get rid of the last two and I couldn't. I don't want to take them somewhere to get killed. I don't want to leave them outside because they scratch at the door to come in and it's winter and I feel bad. So now I have 6 cats. I'm a stay at home mom and I keep the litter box cleaned and I sweep every day. It doesn't seem to be a problem. I have lots of scented candles and lots of glade room spray because I don't want my house to smell like cat. It seems to be doing okay. I keep telling myself "I don't have 8 cats. I'm not that bad." I won't get anymore and if anybody comes along and wants to take two of them THEY CAN HAVE THEM. I love them I just don't want to be a cat lady. Which, according to others on here, I am. Too late :(

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 10:02AM
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I can't imagine 8 cats in the house full time. Do you have to clean the litter boxes three times a day? We have 7 cats that we allow into our guest house when it is really cold (like now) and when they are in there overnight, the litter box (a kiddie pool)in the garage has to be cleaned in the evening and again in the morning. Even when they come into the house occasionally, I have to clean the litter pool once a day. I do this because I NEVER want them to eliminate inappropriately!!!

Just the cost of food and litter is a problem for me but probably wouldn't be if we didn't also have two huge labs.

I can't wait until spring when the cats will be outdoors full-time and won't need litter or as much food.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 4:13PM
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Last year I had 4 cats and 3 dogs (1 Mastiff mix, 1 beagle, 1 teacup chihuahua). One cat died last year and the 18 year old last month. The 2 remaining cats (1 stray and 1 feral) are old females. We have doggy doors so they come and go as they please. We live on 14+ acres so they have plenty of space. We also use a Litter Maid litter pan so it is automatically scooped into a storage tray. I will never be without a cat! BTW all our animals are fixed so NO babies.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 9:58PM
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We have 4 cats and 2 dogs between 7-10 years old. In the future, we would like to decrease the numbers to 1-2 cats and 1-2 dogs. We had 3 dogs for awhile and it was too much for us and our house.

I think 2 cats and/or 2 dogs as a general rule makes sense.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 12:38PM
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The obvious answer to this is how many cats can you feed, keep safe/odor free and still be happy? I have seven cats now that are outdoor mostly but in the winter they are inside my guest house. I have a kiddie pool litter pan for them that is large and I clean it twice every day when they are inside. They never look elsewhere for places to eliminate because their place is kept clean and is large enough for all of them. We had them all 'fixed' so that is not a problem here.

Frankly, I can't imagine doing this full time!!!. I can't wait until spring when they can be outdoors to hunt, have fun and do their business. Just the cost of the litter is over-whelming and we only do it because they are here and we have to care for them. (Oh, BTW we do also enjoy them somewhat --- but enough is enough.) I think for a family, 2 cats probably is more than enough.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 4:39PM
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My husband and I have 5 cats and 1 dog, and the numbers will not increase from there! The dog we have had for almost 8 years and the cats were all rescued in the past year from a neighbor who couldn't/wouldn't take care of them. (I'm a sucker for a mewing kitty at the back door who just wants a meal and a warm dry place to sleep!) Yup, I am definitely a crazy cat lady.

Three of the kitties live upstairs (mom and her 2 kittens) and the other 2 live downstairs while the dog has the whole house and fenced yard to roam. Yes, it's a lot of work to keep up with the litter pans, vacuuming, etc...but well worth it because they are all so sweet and such loving companions. The dog (who does not get along with other dogs) does surprisingly well with her 5 new feline friends :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 1:12PM
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Well we have four little furry children;) Two male two female. All rescued:) they are all great we have a nice sized house with hardwood floors and nice furniture:) all the cats are fixed and declawed (front ones). We have 0 problems no accidents no nothing:) the brothers fight sometimes but that's what kitties do:) we invest in plug ins so our house is always fresh smelling you get some extra litter boxes and you are set I believe thereis no number for how many just as long as u show them love and take care of them! It's funny our babies are so good we had a little pesky outside cat pee on my front door. And our babies didn't pee or anything I am a firm believer if they are fixed they won't mark:)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 5:10PM
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I have 11 cats .I may be a crazy cat lady but they are all outdoor-indoor cats so they do their business outside(no litter boxes).The only reason why i have so many cats is because there is a stray in my neighborhood and she brings me her kittens when they get old enough.She has brought me kittens 2 times there were 3 in each litter.Then 3 days ago one of my first kittens had her first litter.One we got from Mombasa(city in Kenya).Here are the names.The first litter:Jenny(From Forrest Gump)grey cat female with amber eyes,Ringo(Star)long haired ginger cat female with amber eyes ,Tiger A mix of stripes spots and all different colors male with amber eyes.We have had the first litter since December and second litter for a couple of weeks.
Second litter: Beauty white with blue green eyes,Promise white grey cat male, Miracle just like tiger but with blue eyes.
Third litter:We dont know anything about this litter because they were born 3 days ago.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 10:29AM
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i have 12 indoor cats 1 husband and 3 daughters and we all get along fine

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Always have at least two cats. There are some that prefer to be an only child, but they are social animals who naturally enjoy the company of another, especially if you are out at work.

I've had some kitties that were so glad to see each other and became best buds. What a blast they had romping and wrestling. Even when they aren't close, they like to hang together. I have more than two, five has been my max. I like a big family, they needed homes and they've gotten along just fine or well enough.

People who count your animals and pass judgment need to get a life and mind their own business. Two is perfectly normal, very common and not anywhere near a lot of pets.

Besides, cats are like potato chips. They're so great, you can't have just one!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:27AM
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A person often has many cats because the poor things show up in one's yard or at one's door. God bless the folks who take them in. I have had as many as eight. Now have six and one dog. The latest showed up last fall--wild and only tamed down for the person who coaxed him with wet food (me). You bet he has a home here.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 11:02PM
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Bless your heart, Rose.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 1:09AM
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The amount of cats you can have is only limited by how many you can take care of. If you don't have room for 3 or 4 litter boxes, stick to two cats.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 9:40PM
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    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 6:35AM
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We currently have 7 cats -- outdoor/indoor for lap-time only. They are all neutered and any that come to us will be also. I don't want the stink of intact male cats spraying around my house. The only time they stay inside (in the guest house) overnight is when it is below zero. We will have several days of that and I realize I could NEVER live with them indoors all the time.

Just cleaning the litter pans (baby pools) is unbelievable with 7 cats -- has to be done twice a day when they are indoors. As soon as the weather clears and warms, they can't wait for the freedom of outdoors again! In the spring/summer they rarely use the litter boxes when they are in for their lap-time --- they go out to the great outdoor bathroom!

And, BTW ---- Cats have an odor about them (sort of zoo-like) that can be noticed when 7 of them are inside over night.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 6:16PM
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I think to many cats is when you can't co-op with them anymore :D

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 9:58AM
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