When you’re planning to take in multiple cats, remember that the size of your home and the amount you can spend on their care will determine how many are allowed. Avoid overcrowding by ensuring there’s enough space for all these felines!
Having too many cats can have negative effects on the home, on the cats, and on you. As you increase the number of cats in the household, you increase the odds of uncleanliness and messes in the home. Also, you increase the chance of disease. As the number of cats in your home increases, so do the number of litter boxes. You should have one litter box per cat plus one extra. And remember, as the number of litter boxes increases, so does the odor.
If you have multiple cats, overcrowding can create stress for your cats. How many cats is too many? Well, you should think carefully before getting another cat or you may find your formerly well-behaved cats developing behavior problems.
Crushing the crazy old cat lady trope
The thing is, with too many cats in one household, forming secure emotional bonds becomes harder. Cats may become clingy, depressed, or develop poor socialization skills. Beyond that, Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, notes it becomes really hard to monitor the overall health of each cat when you have to work overtime to keep track of who’s who. Urinary tract issues (and many more health concerns) are a lot harder to notice in one kitty when you’ve got ten others stealing your focus.
Consider cat personalities
Depending on a cat’s personality, she may not take kindly to new additions to the family. Even cats from the same litter have been known to distinguish themselves as being from different social groups. Introducing a new kitty to an existing group can—and should!—be a long process to make sure everyone fits well together. Forcing two (or more) cats who don’t get along to live together can cause emotional distress (one cat may not allow another to use the litter box), malnourishment (one may prevent another from eating), and potentially costly vet visits (one may start unfair fights with another).
Downsides to Having Too Many Cats
Do you have the time and money to devote to all of your cats, or do you simply have too many cats?
Ask yourself if there is enough available space in your home to allow the cats to sleep, run and play. Your cats need to be able to escape when necessary, and they need access to vertical climbing territory, like a cat tree. In addition to needing enough space for the cats, you’ll also need space for cat condos or cubbies, scratching posts, and climbing trees.
While it may be tempting to take in another adorable cat, it is important to understand how many cats is too many. You must have the time, money, and resources to care for these animals. Your cats deserve humane treatment, so it is important that you have the ability to properly care for them. Also, with multiple cats in the home, it is important to make sure that all of your cats are spayed or neutered.
As the number of cats in a household increases, so does the incidence of behavioral problems. The more cats in the home, the more complicated the social dynamics and the more diluted the owner’s attention.
So where do we draw the line between “hoarding” and simply having more cats than normal? In most hoarding cases, the cats are not being cared for in a humane way. The home may be stinky and dirty and the cats may be receiving less than adequate care.
Do you have too many cats in your house? Unless you are a breeder, having more than six to eight cats usually seems excessive. The more cats you have, the less individual attention each cat receives. The relationship between humans and cats changes, becoming less personal.
The number of cats you can humanely care for depends on your availability, energy, and resources. For most of us, having one or two cats is a full-time job, but some people may be able to balance caring for as many as four to six cats. In each individual situation, there could be a different answer to the question, how many cats are too many cats?
Personality and resources rule over a specific number any day. If you need to get an extra kitty fix, volunteer at a shelter! Fostering is also one way that people can spend time with more animals in their homes – helping them while doing it too!