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Am I a hoarder?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Deleted member 1486988, Apr 6, 2019.


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  1. So I have 18 cats (and 6 dogs and 4 indoor rabbits) and I don’t think I am a hoarder but when I say just how many pets I have I sure sound like one so I’m just wondering if I really am one and I don’t realize.
    I live in a very large (inherited) house and have a cat proof back yard. (Fully fenced in with those cat proof things on top of the fences) with a dog door so all animals can go outside whenever they feel like it, and I know they are safe. The bunnies live in bonded pairs and each pair have a large indoor enclosure.
    The animals have access 24 hour access to fresh water (in 14 filtered dog bowls strategically placed/ hidden with water changed daily)
    I have litter trays hidden strategically throughout the house although the cats rarely use them as they prefer to go outside. They are spot cleaned every morning and evening and completely cleaned every second day. Each pair of bunnies have a litter tray that gets changed every day and their enclosures get cleaned every 2-3 days depending on when it’s needed. I clean the garden of all doggy mess every Saturday/ Sunday.
    The dogs get fed Hills science plan dry food 3 times a day. Except for one who gets the same brand in wet food for his sensitive tummy.
    The cats have access to hills science plan dry food at all times strategically placed in 6 bowls in the kitchen/ sitting room/ utility and get fed wet food by the same brand 3 times a day as well (as they absolutely love their wet food). The bunnies get fresh veg and burgess pellets every day, split into 2 meals and have access to Timothy hay at all times.
    All cats, dogs and even bunnies are spayed/ neutered, get yearly vet checkups and are always fully vaccinated and are all microchipped. Plus if any of them are injured or sick they are immediately taken to the vet. All cats wear a breakaway collar with my number on their tags just in case and all dogs wear collars with my number on their tags. I walk the dogs once a day everyday for 30 - 60 mins depending on what route I decide to take.
    My house is very clean, it doesn’t look like a hoarding house (eg. there is no smell, no urine and no feces around the house). I hold a stable job (Monday- Saturday 9 - 2.30). I eat regularly and take care of myself. I do suffer with depression but am on medication and see a doctor specializing in mental health regularly.
    I don’t constantly talk about my pets either. I don’t feel the need to bring them into every conversation I have. I can afford them all and they all have pet insurance. I don’t spend all my money on them (although it is a good chunk) and I don’t skimp on myself either. I can afford groceries, buy clothes (more regularly can I like to admit lol) and go out for drinks/ dinner/ dates. My point is I’m not in debt nor does it affect how I live financially to have this many animals.
    By the way, I am a 24 year old female who has been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 6 years. I

    P.S sorry fo the long post
     
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  2. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    Hello and welcome

    That sure is a lot of pets, but sounds like heaven to me!

    I have 4 dogs, 4 cats, 2 ponies, no chickens or Guinea pigs right now, but will again I’m sure. I really want to rescue Shetland ponies so am hoping we can get some in the future.

    If your happy with what you have and that’s how you want to live, good for you, you sound extremely happy with your life so do your pets

    :)

    I think we need photos if your able to round up 18 cats :D
     
  3. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    Hi,
    I would say borderline. My understanding of animal hoarders, is they always think there is room for one more.
    I think 18 cats is quite a lot. If they are spayed and neutered and seem to get along well, that is good but would definetly not add more.
    Your work schedule seems as if it would allow you quality time with the animals but the more you have the harder that is to do.

    I read an article in the last year of a trainee vet in the US who had a more mixed animal household but still quite a lot. Her houseshold did not seem stereotypical hoarder either but was a lot of work to maintain.

    Pics please of your pet family if you can:)
     
  4. Quartermass

    Quartermass PetForums Senior

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    Hoarder is sort of a euphemism for someone who has lots of animals in a problematic way.

    So to decide if you are a hoarder it's not about how many you have it's if it's a problem.

    Clearly it's not a problem although with 28 pets it could be a problem if you become ill and will mean you can't go on holiday or for a weekend away etc.

    It must also be a considerable financial commitment.
     
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  5. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    28 pets may become a problem if more than one is seriously ill & needs expensive vet care, or you lose your job, unless you have plenty of savings. Personally I would be putting the pet insurance money into a savings account rather than an insurance company. Remember, they are in it to make money, not out of compassion.
     
  6. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Hoarders usually do think their pets are well cared for, but generally it turns out they aren't. We only have your say so on that and I hope your assessment of yourself and their environment is accurate. :)

    My question would be, why do you have so many, and how did it happen. I hope you don't get any more.

    The cats might be very stressed living with so many other cats, you'd not know it because how could you keep track of so many? They toilet outside, how would you even know if one of them has a health problem?

    It's good to know the cats are on some wet food at least. I hope you don't just top up kibble bowls. Kibble contains bacteria and mold that grows at an alarming rate when sitting open to air and saliva. Old kibble should be thrown out and the bowls washed with scalding water daily, before putting new in the bowl.
     
  7. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    I have to agree with @lorilu ,having so many animals must make it difficult to keep track of their individual needs/health status etc.

    Another thing that rings alarm bells is that with 6 dogs you only clear up after them on a Saturday/Sunday that is a lot of dog poo :eek: not to mention 18 cats possibly using the garden on a daily basis as you say they rarely use their litter trays .

    Whether you are a "hoarder" or not I wouldn't like to say but I do think you have long since reached saturation point .
     
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  8. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    I've come back to expand on this. My mother was most definitely a hoarder of cats, she generally kept 12-15 cats. She worked in rescue after her kids were grown, until her health/age would no longer allow it, but hoarded as well and never stopped. She would have described her set up very much like you describe yours, but her cats were anything but healthy or happy.

    Of course you are young and full of energy at 24, and hopefully your energy is devoted to your animals not other pursuits. But still...it does beg the question how can one person properly care for, provide the necessary attention to, and monitor the health of, 28 house pets.
     
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  9. Kim Watcham

    Kim Watcham KIM N ARCHIE

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    hello and welcome to pf ....wow thats a lot of pets you have if your happy with your pet family great and good on you we would love to see your pet family so may we see some pics ...
     
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  10. Quartermass

    Quartermass PetForums Senior

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    I'm also thinking that a cat can be a 20 year commitment. So even if you got no more pets then you're going to have 20 years of no holidays, significant time and money expense.
     
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  11. Jaf

    Jaf PetForums VIP

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    You don’t sound like a hoarder to me. It isn’t just about numbers, it’s the condition of the animals. I just think anything more than about 5 sets people’s teeth on edge.

    Lots of cat chatters on here have said they’d love to have more animals if only they had the space/ resources.

    I am biased though as with 23 cats to care for I could easily be accused of being a hoarder.

    You’ve come on here though so you must be worried. Have a frank chat with your vet maybe?

    Please do stick around, we have lots to chat about. And of course photos are mandatory!
     
  12. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @Sammisage :)

    As others have said, 28 pets is a huge commitment, especially as you are living on your own. Who takes over their care if you have to be away?

    And it is a big financial commitment for one person if you are to afford a good diet for them, and provide necessary veterinary care, including annual vaccinations.

    In your position I would worry about how I would care for my pets if I were to lose my job and be unemployed. Or if I became become injured and had to be in hospital for weeks, who would care for my pets then?

    I appreciate you are young, energetic and, I assume, in good health, so it is fine for now. But at some point you may need more time for yourself, or you may have your own children to look after. Worth bearing that in mind before considering adding to the number of your pets, or replacing them when they eventually depart for Rainbow Bridge.
     
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  13. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    My friend at one point had 36 cats. Every single cat was well cared for, regularly saw the vet, ate a mixture of raw, wet, and dry, had access to plenty of litter trays. She wasn't a hoarder in the least, she just had lots of cats. The number has reduced as many have passed away and she's not brought in another, she's down to 14 now.

    The number doesn't matter, the quality of care is the most important thing. It's not for anyone, certainly online, to say whether you are or aren't. We can't see the state of your home or your pets.
     
  14. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    36 cats cared for by one person @Rufus15 ?

    It depends what one calls well cared for. If one took in stray or otherwise neglected cats then good food and vet care are a step up and improvement in life.
    But for many cats they may want more individual attention than one can get when competing with 35 others.
    The less demanding of attention will lose out.
     
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  15. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    Yes by one person. They were predominantly Maine Coons, they were groomed and bathed appropriately. They were fed raw and various wet - Animonda, Cosma, Smilla, Bozita. The dry was a mixture of Smilla and another German brand, I think Sanabelle.

    She is extremely dedicated to her pets, she also showed regularly, attended breed seminars, as well as being a committee member for the Household Pet Cat Club of Great Britain.

    Some of her cats wanted less attention than others, she had a rota and made sure that the shyer ones had specific time set aside for cuddles. Some of her cats preferred to cuddle up in bed with her, so they waited until bedtime and got their snuggles then.

    Her home was clean and tidy, she had a stud boy and entire girls so there was some smell. You can't get away from that much with entires, and her boy lived in as she didn't think it fair to put him out. He didn't spray, thankfully, but still had a strong smell about him.

    It's quite a joy to see someone so dedicated to their pets
     
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  16. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Since the question was asked by the OP, it is indeed for any one of us to offer our opinion, based on the information given. I will reiterate that most "hoarders" delude themselves into thinking their pets are "well cared for" when the reality is much different.

    I really cannot envision how 36 cats can be "well cared for" by a single person, unless "well cared for" simply means food and shelter and left to their own devices. There are, after all, only so many hours in a day. 36 cats leaves less than one hour per cat per day. And that is without sleep, without work, without any other life at all. Perhaps "well cared for" is a bit optimistic.

    Or perhaps it's because the definition of "well cared for" can vary from person to person. My idea of "well cared for" may not be the same as yours, for instance. I've seen a number of households with too many cats. Not, ever, would I consider the cats "well cared for".
     
    #16 lorilu, Apr 6, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
  17. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    I haven't seen the situation you speak of but as someone only hearing and not seeing, it is hard to imagine enough attention for all. But then again, you knew her and the cats and I did not.
     
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  18. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    Yes: I was told a few days back by a relative newcomer (he/she had posted four times in as many years) that I should ''keep my opinions to myself'' (very rude). I pointed out that he/she was wrong, and that as PF was a forum, I should be giving my opinions, not keeping them to myself. If everyone kept their opinions to themselves there would be no threads, and subsequently no forum . . . or?
     
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  19. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Absolutely @Calvine! :)

    It's ironic that certain members of Pet Forum whose posts are often abrupt, outspoken, judgemental or rude (particularly towards new forum members) are the ones who object to the rest of us giving an opinion when we've specifically been asked for it! :rolleyes: A case it seems of "do as I say, not as I do" !:p
     
  20. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    I think I got a bit lost in translation. I wasn't referring to giving an opinion, I was referring to whether we could say categorically or not that the OP is a hoarder. Certainly posters can offer opinions on what they feel is too much but we can't see the OP's home or condition of their pets.

    I wouldn't say it was optimistic, I would say it's factual. Again, I, amongst others, saw the cats, the home, the conditions, and the time she spent with her cats.

    It's very easy to make a sweeping decision online without being aware of the facts. It's not for anyone online to say no you shouldn't have any more cats.


    Yes, exactly. I was shocked when she told me but then I went to see for myself. I was absolutely amazed! I couldn't do it myself but fair play to her she did it and did it well.

    See reply to lorilu, dearest :)
     
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