How many pets do you have? How many is 'too many'?

phish_gwJuly 14, 2011

I've had a few discussions with people lately about how many pets are "too many". I have known one person with 5 cats, one with 4 cats, and one with 5 pets (2 dogs & 3 cats). I think they are normal, but then again I'm a pet lover!

I've always wished the world was such where every person took in as many pets as they could (and could obviously provide for well in every way possible).

I somehow have it in my mind that up to 5 pets is doable, but somehow 5 is the max, and once you get past that, you are into "crazy cat lady" territory.

What do you think? How many pets do you have? How many do you think is too many?

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glaserberl

Well, we have 4 cats and 1 dog and my sister in law calls me the crazy cat lady.
I think we have reached our limit. Sometimes I just want to sit down without somebody sitting on my lap or demanding attention. 2 of the cats are young (one not a year old) and so there is constant action. My husband demanded the other day that we get rid of two of the cats. No way! But I don't think I could handle any more. I do love them all and would never give them away.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:58PM
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lily316

Two dogs and four cats. I had five till one died in May. I would never have less than two or three cats.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 3:29PM
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jan2

4 dogs (3 great danes and 1 greyhound) and 2 cornish rex cats.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 4:40PM
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texasredhead

I don't have dogs! I have two Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:33PM
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calliope

I have a dog x two years and a new kitten. It felt very strange to go two years with just one dog because before that I had five cats and a dog. The dog and cats all died in one year of various reasons, mostly related to old age.

It kept me busy.......but it wasn't a zoo.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:38PM
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Ninapearl

LOL, texasredhead!! up until a couple of years ago, i had 2 pems and you are so right, they are definitely NOT dogs!

i have 3 great danes, all house dogs, 3 little fainting goats with 2 more arriving in about a week. i think people should have as many pets as they want to just as long as they can afford to properly care for them.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 6:32PM
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kittens

I have 3 cats and some nights when they get all worked up 3 cats is too many! I know what you gals mean by being the crazy cat lady :) I always find myself explaining the reason why there are 3 is because #1 didn't like the new #2 so I had to get a number #3 for #2 to play with.

Finances, time, and space are probably the prime factors in deciding on how many you should have and that varies greatly from one to another. You have to be really dedicated to cleaning, feeding, playing with a large number of pets. Many people have pets which don't cost much annually to vet but aren't prepared for the emergencies or accidents that inevitable arise. Not to mention when they begin to age the costs start to compile.

I like to give mine individual attention as they like different things. Working full time I think that they would suffer the effects if I brought in more needing attention.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:10PM
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gibby2015

I have three cats and that is the max for me. I think two is a nice number and that's how many I had for a long time until a stray in need broke into my house. After the oldest one died I had two for quite a while until another stray made its way into my house. Then I was down to two again for awhile but decided there are so many homeless cats and I know I can handle three so I went and adopted one from a shelter.

Our cats travel with us to our weekend lake place and three cats in the car is max for me. Also I've found it can get complex and expensive as they age and develop health problems and special needs. CRF for example - subcutaneous fluids for two years - can't ever leave for a day without a pet sitter capable of doing that. Now meds 2x a day - lots of pet sitter business there not to mention vet business.

I love cats and wish I could give more of them a home but I know three is my limit.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:49PM
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dianamo_1

I have two dogs and that's all I can handle. My DH complains because we can't plan any trips because of the dogs. (The one dog is a rescue and terrified of anyone except me).

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 8:16PM
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Julbean

I have one cat and that's it.Anymore seems like too many for us,but we have a small place and I have enough to clean up after as is.If other family members helped out more with care I'd probably be more willing to have another, but I get stuck doing everything.

If you've got the space and the money for their care,then have as many as you're allowed.So long as the conditions are sanitary and everything.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 3:19PM
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raee_gw

I had one cat and took in another when its owner passed away. The two animals have never gotten along, even after 13 years in the same house, and have damaged furniture, floors and carpet in their quests to claim territory. So in this case I'd say I had one cat too many!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:37PM
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jomuir

We have two Shelties, one housecat & one feral cat outside. I would consider getting another cat, our young male cat is a little lonely after we put our old cat to sleep last month.

I don't think there is a specific number that is too many, like others said, the limit would be what one can care
for & has space for.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:16AM
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nan_e_fan

I live in a semi-rural area where every time someone moves out on the adjacent road (ours is private) I hold my breath hoping another cat hasn't been left behind. We have four cats who are all related to each other that came from a feral colony as kittens that we got by choice. Two others came when the person above moved out and left them to fend for themselves. Another two showed up half grown a year apart. The last showed up thirteen years ago and stayed. None of these cats were fixed except for the last one. That makes nine. You can imagine the expence of caring for this many cats especially as they get older.
The only point I want to get across to people is please stop believing that cats can surive on there own. The best hunter in the world will not be able to live very long as a feral, and it's people like me who have to pick up th slack when there are others don't think twice about leaving the cat behind when they go.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 2:51PM
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vala55

My sis had 3 dogs then her daughter moved in with 10 to 12 dogs, 3 or 4 were breeders. I wouldn't eat at my sister's house when she had 3 and don't like to even visit with 15 dogs, much less eat there. She vacuums every day but there is still dog hair everywhere. Oh, the daughter has some cats that they keep in a tool shed. My paper carrier had 2 dobermans and when I went to pay my bill she just opened the door and the stink was bad enough to make me step back. It wasn't urine it was just a dog smell. I love pets as well as any of you but, my experience with these people have made think twice about getting a pet. Plus the fact I have a new home and I don't want it damaged.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 8:30PM
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nan_e_fan

This post is directed to vala55. Please recognize the difference between a pet owner and a pet hoarder. Responsible owners don't neglect or stress their pets by overcrowding as in your nieces case. As for the abhorance of dog smell and hair in the house, remember pet owning is a game of compromise. You get(hopefully) a wonderful companion in exchange for a little more work and expence on your part. No matter what the pet is, the trade off is well worth it. Life is short...give an animal a good home and be responsible, if there wasn't any reward, so many people wouldn't be doing it. That excludes your hoarder niece.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 3:00PM
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vala55

Well, she is not quite a hoarder, she breeds them and lived on a farm where she had chickens and goats. When her family moved her to the big city, she got rid of all the animals except the Chihuahuas.

I want a dog preferably a standard poodle, but I am not sure it would be fair to the dog to take on a responsibility like that at 74. It would probably outlive me. Most breeders I have talked would take it back if that happened and find it a good home. And before anyone mentions it I am very careful about breeders, if they won't let me come to pick it up and look at the parents, no deal.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:45PM
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tournant

2 German shepherds, 2 cats, 1 bunny, 2 blue & gold macaws, one sun conure & two parakeets. All except one GSD were rescues with really heartbreaking backstories. LOTS of work keeping everybody happy and enriched - especially the macaws - and my small home looking as if I had no pets ... but I wouldn't change a thing :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Meghane

I have 3 huskies, 2 rottweilers, 1 pomeranian, 1 cat, and 1 amazon parrot. Until recently I also had a ferret and an iguana.

It doesn't seem like a lot unless you are looking for a place to sit.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 10:27PM
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aviolet6

Wow Meghane,

How does your cat do with all those dogs?? It seems most people have more cats than dogs in a "mixed" household. I had two cats and a pomeranian. I took in a kitten last week that someone dropped off in the street, so now there are 3 cats & the dog. They are getting along so well now that I think I will keep it. I am happy to see that other people have more pets than me, since no one I know personally has that many, although my sister pet sits for a family who owns 6 pets (dogs & cats). I don't think I could have more than one indoor dog simply because it is harder to housetrain them and more difficult to clean up occasional "accidents."

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 11:10AM
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pekemom

We have just one large (23 lb) pekingese. We can take care
of him, his food, his vet bills, whatever.
When we were young we had 3 kids, several dogs at a time, along with
cats, fish etc.(5 is the max. amt. of dogs allowed here.)
I said when the last 3 dogs (doxies) went I didn't want the
responsibility of any more pets.
Then we got Sasha, our first peke. When we had to put her down I knew I would get
another one soon, the house seemed so empty.
My husband and I adore Caesar, though he's twice as big as
Sasha was(mixed breed?) We get so much enjoyment from him.
For now one is enough...

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 1:22AM
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pamghatten

Oh goodness, guess I should add my menagerie ....

1 smooth-coated collie mix, Rocky, rescue dog
1 german shepherd/australian shep mix, Lily, another rescue dog

4 house cats, 2 were intentionally adopted from rescues, 1 appeared in my barn and then had a litter, the last one is her son, the one kitten from the litter I kept.

3 miniature donkeys, 2 purchased who then had a baby. Both males, father and son, now gelded.

1 feral barn cat from a feral barn cat rescue group.

I like meghane's comments out it not seeming like much unless you need somewhere to sit!

My problem though seems to be walking through the house without someone under foot.

Would eventually like 2 dogs and 2 house cats .... and barn critters.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 1:36PM
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kaykay25

i have 3 cats 1 dog and 5 rats!!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 1:58PM
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schmaltzy

We've got 4 dogs and 3 cats. I usually let the pets decide how many is too many. We started with 2 senior dogs, and when we rescued a 2 year old German Shepherd it seemed unfair to both age ranges. A 2 year old rescue Bichon was added as a chew toy for the Shepherd and now everyone is happy. Same with the cats...1 senior who was lonely, so 2 sibling kittens were added to torment each other, but keep the senior company after they wore each other out. As the seniors pass away we will reassess the dynamic. I'm hoping for no additions, just to keep a space open for an unexpected rescue.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 5:03PM
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jackieblue

One cat, one dog. I had two cats until late last year when I had to have my older cat PTS. That was really hard. I considered for a time getting another cat but after having an older cat who needed extra attention and care I decided three was too much for me and I enjoyed only having two pets. I may or may not get another dog when my Boxer passes. I'd like to have a smaller dog like a Boston or Frenchie. But I would really like to have another cat as well. By then it might be cruel to bring in a yougster when my other cat will be getting up there in age so I may wait until I have an empty house before I adopt any more. Or maybe I will just foster for awhile.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 8:12PM
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kim_okla

Two dogs, that's all I can pet at the same time. Between food, shots, heart worm and flea stuff, that's about all I can afford.

Good to see you Meg. 2 Rottweilers? Is one newish?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 8:47PM
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newbuyer2007

We have two cats who are almost two years old. We have recently thought about adding a third but I think we have decided against it.

Our male cat had a urinary blockage earlier this month and it took 2-3 weeks for our female cat to stop hissing at him after he was came back from the vet's office. They are finally back to being best friends now and I don't think I want to risk messing up this dynamic. As we are now feeding the male cat much more expensive food, I also worry about the cost of having an additional pet.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:17PM
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brownthumbia

I guess the one answer is how many you can afford. Well, not the only thing---the number can be overdone, I guess. Having a pet can be very expensive if you happen to get one that has some problems. and that can be nothing more than allergies which can drive you bananas wieh their licking, biting, scratching, etc. Oh, shoot, if you don't mind that, any amount is okay.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 2:35PM
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artistofmysoul

We have 3 doglets. Molly, who will be 9 years old on the ninth, is a yellow Lab; Tucker, who will be 9 years old in January, is a Chi/MinPin; Ollie is a Chiweenie (supposedly). Tucker and Ollie are rescues. Molly was a gift from a friend to my DH at Christmas in 2003.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:27AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

I have 5 shelties ranging in age from 4 years to 10 years and all related. And at the moment, I have 2 adopted feral kitties living in my bathroom. I spend more money on my critters than on myself and this is my enjoyment. I do little else. I also have the most spoiled birds (who live outside and wait for me to feed them every morning) you have ever seen. One maggie has a gimped wing and now he/she comes when I call! My daughter calls me the bird whisperer.......My husband and I feed everything around here to a point but I firmly believe a person can become obsessed which doesn't help the animals at all. All things in moderation is my mantra. Octo Mom has over done it IMO. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:02AM
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zkwz

I have often wondered the same thing. I currently have 3 indoor outdoor cats (outdoor about 90%of the time) and 3 dogs, one 14yo daschund, one 5yo Chihuahua, and one springer spaniel-daschund who is a rescue and is around 5. we also have 2 55gallon fish tanks, and 8 ducks in the backyard (for eggs and meat). all of my animals are very calm, well fed and taken care of. my house is clean although it can get stinky but that is due to my 2 kids who are potty training and like to think the world is their garbage can....we are thinking of getting a 4th dog, something bigger and that has a presence ,like a rottie. However, some of the people we know make rude remarks such as " why did you get another dog?" "don't you have enough?" " you should take the two I don't like to the pound" ect. those people are usually the type that have 1 or no pets and think of animals as disposable, still it bothers me. if my animals are well cared for, my home is clean and my family is happy why shouldn't I get another dog. 4 has always been my limit in the past and if I have the time money and love id like to, what do you think?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 6:54PM
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caflowerluver

As lots of people have said, each person is different. It depends on what you can handle, both expenses and effort. The most I ever had was 2 dogs. We got the 2nd one to keep the 1st one company because we worked long hours. Then we had a son and moved to a big piece of land. I felt like they were always competing for attention and didn' t get enough.

That is why we only have one now 30 years later. She gets all my attention and being a Dachshund, she likes being Queen of the place. I would never have more than 2. That is my limit. Otherwise I feel guilty of not giving them enough attention. I always have wondered how other people do it with 3 or more dogs. How do you give them the time and attention they need and still do other things?

And don't get me started on expenses. She now has a serious illness and we have already spent over $1000 just on tests. I don't know what the final cost will be with an operation and treatment, but it is going to be way up there. What if you had more than one dog or cat with serious medical problems. Vet costs are insane!!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 11:01AM
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rob333

How many pets do I have? Two cats. How many is too many? For me, three cats or two cats and a dog. Two beating up on one is no fun. It's too expensive. Things like that are what I think about. I could handle adding a fish or two, but add another four legged, not a good idea, for ME.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 11:32AM
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jaynees

At our high point we had four cats, 1 dog and about a dozen fish. The cats were all strays that we took in and turned into indoor only cats. The dog was a basset fauve de Bretagne that lived for 12 years. We had the fish for about two years before our thermometer broke and poached them all while we were out of the house at school/work.

We now have one cat (left from the original four) and two dogs - a 9yo Aussie and a 2yo pit bull/cattle dog mix.

We almost added another cat back into the mix - my son desperately wants a cat he can call his own - but we've decided to wait until the current cat is gone because, at 14 years old, we doubt she'd appreciate a young whippersnapper coming into the house and taking attention away from her. *lol*

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:22AM
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mwkbear

If it were up to my husband, we'd be living on a "gentleman's farm" somewhere, with 20 acres and a barn and a dog rescue on the property. Instead, we live in an urban suburb of Boston where they limit us to 3 licensed dogs per household. We also have a rescued cat.

Unfortunately, we had gotten our three dogs all around the same time, so the last year has been horribly depressing as they all passed away over the course of the past year. But, we did decide to make a home for some new additions to the family, who needed a home. We figure we have the space and the love, why wait, right?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 12:52PM
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rob333

I didn't wait and I was glad. I couldn't take not having a cat around. I wasn't trying to replace Keegan, nothing could ever ever do that! I still miss him, years later. But I am so glad I got my rescue girl, Maggie. I love her too and it was better having a cat. Looking back, I guess I'd never been without a cat except at university. I did come home on weekends to see mom's cats. And I was too busy to notice I didn't have fur everywhere.

Don't wait! It doesn't mean you are through mourning or that you don't love your dogs. It means you are ready for another!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 7:51AM
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