The ideal number of cats?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Nicolajane, Mar 4, 2012.


  1. Nicolajane

    Nicolajane PetForums Member

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    What is it?

    I did think it was two till I got two and now I'm thinking that it might infect be four.
     
  2. Jiskefet

    Jiskefet Slave to the Hairy Hikers

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    There is no simple answer to this question.....
    The ideal number of cats depends on several things....

    First of all your cats, themselves. Some cats will not tolerate competition, so in that case the ideal number is one cat.

    Then, there is the size of your house and the possibility for the cats to go out. They do need a place to themselves, they must be able to avoid the other cats when they want to, find a secluded spot to relax.....

    Then there is the amount of time you can spare to pet and groom them, they do all need their fair share of attention. If all your cats like to snuggle up to their humans as much as possible, you should not have more cats than there are laps to sleep on.

    Then there is the age of the cats. We used to have 2 cats, and when they got old, the neighbourhood cats were taking over our garden, and our own cats (both girls) could no longer defend their territory. We then took 2 young toms, who managed to reclaim our garden and got on very well with the old ladies. Later on I learned we have been very lucky, it might just as well have been war between the old cats and the new ones.
    Usually, queens will accept a kitten more easily, and neutered toms are more social amongst each other than queens. But again, the individual personality of the cat needs to be taken into account.

    And there is the financial aspect, of course. Not just the food, but the vet cost... As long as it is just annual check-ups and vaccinations, it is not so bad, but if they get run over or get ill, the vet bills can build up very rapidly.
     
  3. TatiLie

    TatiLie PetForums VIP

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    Very simple:

    INC= NCYH + 1

    where:
    INC is Ideal Number of Cats
    NCYH is Number of Cats You Have

    :D :D :D
     
  4. Nicolajane

    Nicolajane PetForums Member

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    All that taken into account I think four is the ideal number for me.

    But I'm renting my house out (for now) and moving to the seaside where I will need to rent so i I'll stick at two until I'm actually into a property then get another kitten.
     
  5. Jiskefet

    Jiskefet Slave to the Hairy Hikers

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    When you are in your new house, asses the size ogf the house, thesize of the garden, the possibility of making the garden catproof if the environment is not safe enough to let them roam freely, and THEN decide....
    And you don't need an even number of cats, some cats are loners, they will accept other resident cats but go their own way, and other cats will get very attached to each other. And sometimes, 3 cats will form a tight-knit group, and a fourth may upset the balance.

    Don't think in numbers of cats, think in personalities.
    Would another cat be a valuable addition to my clowder from the CATS' point of view, and would the cat I have my eye on have the right personalty to hit it off with my resident cats. These are the questions you have to ask yourself.
     
  6. Ingrid25

    Ingrid25 PetForums VIP

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    there really is no ideal number of cats...........:)
     
  7. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    I thought 2 as well, but now I'm thinking 3.... ;)
     
  8. Lumboo

    Lumboo PetForums VIP

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    With the size of our home I think 4 cats could live comfortably with enough space to avoid each other if needs be.

    However, given Oscar's personality, I don't think he would take to a newcomer and is probably only happy to share affection/toys/home/his humans with Wilbur because he knows no different.

    So for me, another two, making 4 cats would be ideal, but I will stick with two to keep the Furbies happy, which is more important :)
     
  9. McSquirtle

    McSquirtle PetForums Senior

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    Looking back, the ideal number for us was probably 2. However, after getting Lola, her and Dexter are very close and Dexter enjoys the company. Whereas when it was just the two of them, they existed along side each other but didn't really interact. Oscar's nose has definitely been put out but he is an antisocial cat anyway, so perhaps 3 cats works.
    Looking at our house and our situation, I wouldn't get anymore and it would make me think twice even if I did have the means after the stress getting a 3rd involved.
     
  10. Lottiecat

    Lottiecat PetForums Junior

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    I think it depends on the size of the house, whether they have access outdoors and the cats personalities. I grew up with four cats who had access to a large outdoor storage room, large garden and we lived on the edge of the countryside so it was great for exploring and escaping. They all got along brilliantly.

    I live in a two bedroomed house now and have two cats. My girl seems to hate my boy as she is always hissing at him, so I'm sure she would be happy on her own.

    For me personally, I would love four cats, but financially we know we can give two cats a really good home.
     
  11. Space Chick

    Space Chick PetForums VIP

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    Depends on finances at cat personalities.

    For me, two is ideal... I can afford to give them the best of everything, and as they are mother and son they rely on each other.

    When I had Thomas, the ideal number was 1, he would not tolerate other cats AT ALL!

    For one of my friends, the ideal number is 6.... She had 2, went to a rescue for another 2 but came home with 3 siblings, and then got a kitten.... But her 6 are very tolerant of each other.
     
  12. SandyR

    SandyR PetForums Senior

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    For me it's 3. I took in a little stray kitten last year and I must admit it did tip the balance and I noticed my usual happy 3 were all a bit put out and it was a lot more hectic. Lucky my mum was adopting her anyway so now all is at peace again but she was a lovely kitten .
     
  13. merlin12

    merlin12 PetForums VIP

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    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH, Merlin was getting ready to arrive with his list.
     
  14. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    I don't think I could cope with a 3rd cat, emotionally that is:D
     
  15. merlin12

    merlin12 PetForums VIP

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    My ideal number of cats has to be one for now as it doesnt look like Merlin is much of a sharer.
     
  16. Lumboo

    Lumboo PetForums VIP

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    Oscar will make exceptions for Merlin - send 'im over :D

    PS. we found more cat toys during unpacking, so loads more items for the 'three' of them to share :thumbup1:
     
  17. koekemakranka

    koekemakranka PetForums VIP

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    ...maybe four or..... less than 20 is OK.:)
     
  18. Alfride

    Alfride PetForums Senior

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    I can imagine – especially if you got yourself a new Libby eh?


    I think my limit would be three or maybe four if they were different ages – lets say two young ones and two in their teens.

    As much fun as it is getting a new cat we also have to consider the bad part. Emotionally I could not deal with loosing so many cats in a relatively short time.
     
  19. merlin12

    merlin12 PetForums VIP

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    Lol, that´s another story then. Merlin likes knowing his plan B is still intact:D
     
  20. MoggyBaby

    MoggyBaby PetForums VIP

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    Four is just enough for Moggy Towers to cope with.

    The OAP's are happy to just sleep rather a lot - although Merson now tends to hang around the babies more than he used to. I think he likes to think he is keeping a big brotherly eye on them.

    The Blackies are great and play really well together. They are still very playful and, having each other, they are less annoying for the oldies.

    I couldn't cope with more than four. Well, I could if the OH moved out!!! He's STILL more work than the four babies put together!!!! :rolleyes: :D :D
     
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