OK, I admit it -- I love cats.  My cats are indoor cats because I don’t want them to become prey or road-kill.  Our house is a two-story, about 1600 feet.  Some folks that I know have no cats, some have a few cats, and one has many cats.  So, exactly what is  “too many?”  That depends on who is judging but most important, how we honestly respond to three areas of concern dealing with what we can AFFORD, how much TIME we have and do we have sufficient SPACE in our homes.  The following is a detailed list of questions to answer when considering how many cats we should be responsible for at one time:

  • Can I AFFORD:
  •  Veterinarian bills
  • Pet Insurance (or should I even have it?)
  • Food bills for wet food or meat (remember, cats are carnivores) and dry food.  Some cats may require ‘special diet’ foods which are generally more expensive and can only be obtained from a vet
  • Cat litter
  • Toys, cat furniture and building catwalks or other home renovations for my cats
  • To make my house safe
  • To have someone care for my cats in my home (boarding a cat in a kennel is very stressful for the cat) when I am ill or on vacation
  • Do I have the TIME TO:
  • Play with them – talk to them – cuddle with them (when they want to)
  • Feed them
  • Clean their litter boxes daily
  • Keep the house clean…cat fur, hairballs, litter that gets stuck to 16 little paws (the litter mats don’t get all of it), occasional throw-ups
  • Watch for signs of illness or injury
  • Take them to the veterinarian for neutering, spaying, needed vaccines, annual check-ups, teeth-cleaning (when needed), when ill or injured, nail trims (DO NOT DECLAW– see my prior article:  “Just Say No to Declawing” posted on 7/3/15)
  • Medicate them – pills, drops, subcutaneous IV’s, ointments, help them when they have neck cones (see the article:  “Cats & Whiskers: Neck Cones” posted on 9/9/15)
  • Research the best foods
  • Learn how to introduce a new cat/kitten into your home
  • Do I have the SPACE in my home for:
  • Big litter boxes for each cat
  • Enough rooms so that if a cat has special dietary needs, they can be isolated to eat their special food and not the regular food eaten by the other cats (yes, bathrooms and laundry rooms work)
  • A place to store their food, litter and carriers
  • Places where cats can hide from each other
  • Room to run (through the house, up and down the stairs)
  • Cat furniture (cat trees, etc.)


Dr. Dodman wrote that the natural state of a cat is solitary. “They are lone hunters, they do not hunt in packs like dogs.  However, when resources are plentiful, for example at docksides or on farms, cats manage to dwell happily together in a true society and cooperate with each other to raise their young.”

I would like to think that my cats have plentiful resources.  For the most part, they do get along.  Sometimes the boys play too rough and the girls let them know they are being too rough.  Yes, I have hollered at the boys.  Do the girls try to get the boys to play and chase them?  Yes, all the time.  Do they always get along?  Not always.  Gracee sets her boundaries by hissing and batting.   Then she will stalk Spirit until he chases her, then she chases him.  This play can go on for 15 minutes or more until Gracee has had enough.  Gracee does not play with Inkee-Bear and she rarely sleeps with the other cats.  But the other three cats play and nap together.

ALL of the Cat Authors work together as a team when they want me to feed them, play with them or brush them.  I cannot brush one without brushing all of them.  

Dr. Mary Becker, DVM addresses the question:  “How many cats are too many?”  by asking the following questions:

“Are you happy?  Are you taking care of yourself?  Are your cats happy?  Are you taking care of them?  Is your house in reasonably good shape, and are you able to keep it clean and healthy?  Are you able to pay for your needs and your cats’ needs and have a reserve for a rainy day?  Are you able to keep the cats from being a nuisance or a hazard?  Are they altered to prevent unplanned litters?  If the answer to all those questions is yes and if you’re not breaking any rules or laws regarding the number of cats in your home, then you are fine.  There are some people who don’t provide good care to a single pet while others can care for 5 or more.  Is it going to work for most cat lovers to have that many cats?  Probably not.  However, as a veterinarian, I can tell you that it does work for some. “

Dr. Patty Khuly answers the ‘How many cats are too many?” question by stating:  “When your ability to care for each individual animal is overwhelmed by their sheer volume…you’re a hoarder.”  Dr. Khuly continues:  “After all, I have visions of the frail, elderly woman I plan to be.  And she has pets she could not possibly care for without assistance.  She does, however, plan for their presence via her savings and investments.”

Information for this article was obtained from the following websites:  Pet MD and Pet Place as well as my own experiences with the cats who have lived in my home including the Cat Authors.


Related Articles by the Authors

Get out of here, Inkee-Bear!  This box isn't big enough 4 all of us.
by Gracee
on Feb 20 2016

Meowmuh wants ME to help her! So, Inkee-Bear, get out of here! Same goes for the rest of you! I've got it covered. Read the Related Mews 'N News Article 'How Many Cats R 2 Many?'