Second Chance: How Many Cats is Too Many?

Second Chance: How Many Cats is Too Many?

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose Counties for 27 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the emergency response, community medical, spay/neuter, volunteer, or other services.

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How many cats is too many? We’ve all seen situations where someone clearly has taken in too many. But what is that number? Where does the scale tip from several beloved cats to being overwhelmed?

There are things to consider when you are a multiple cat household. It’s basically a question of your resources, time, and willingness. Are you prepared to be a good pet parent to multiple cats? Having several/many cats will affect your home, the cats, and you.

First consideration is space. You need to avoid overcrowding. Make sure that there is sufficient space for all cats to escape or hide when they need to. Vertical space is another key – tall cat towers and access to high perches scratch their itch to climb. And, speaking of scratching, you should provide multiple horizontal and vertical scratching surfaces and posts made from different materials.

Of course, 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 and the time spent cleaning. Litter boxes should be cleaned daily; with multiple cats, there’s a lot to scoop and sweep.

Another thing to consider: cats can become territorial if they live in close proximity to cats from different social groups. You’ll know cats are from the same social group if they share mutual grooming or sleep next to each other. Cats from different social groups can get cliquey and lash out at each other. Cats from different social groups should eat and eliminate in different areas. So, you may find yourself with a scenario like a junior high dance – with one clique on the first floor of your home, and another on the second.

Cats need attention and interaction from you. You may have too many cats if forming emotional bonds becomes harder and your cats may become clingy, depressed, or develop poor socialization skills.

It goes without saying, you should have all your cats spayed and neutered – the earlier, the better. This will reduce the urge to defend territorial boundaries. It can also decrease the chances that your cats will spray urine to mark their territory.

You should be aware of the local ordinances. In some places, there are laws about the number of animals you are allowed to have in a single home.

Be very honest with yourself and evaluate what you can reasonably take on. Your time, personality and resources are what should guide you. If it is not in the best interests of the cats and you, resist the urge to take “just one more.” If you need to get an extra kitty fix, volunteer at our shelter! We always need cat loving people to play with and love on our many cats.

Black Bean

My name is Black Bean. I’m a super friendly, affectionate big guy. I’ll talk to you to get your attention, and I’d love to curl up with your other cats. Come meet me before August 31 and get ½ off my adoption fee!

AND… To continue the Second Chance Highlights section, we want to share the following:

Half Price Adult Cat Adoptions in August: Chubby Cats, Petite Cats, Lazy Cats, Active Cats, Sassy Cats, Sweet Cats… We Have Them All!

Some great feedback:

From a customer of our Veterinary Services:

I used them for a spay on an adult dog last week and they were absolutely WONDERFUL. They sat there and took time to go over her health history when I got there. They had her snuggled up under a blanket when I went to pick her up, the vet discussed EVERYTHING with me, and answered my million questions. The tech helped me walk her and put her in the car. I couldn’t have asked for better care.

From a Recent Adopter:

Praise for Christine: Her calm manner, knowledge of canine behavior, and helpful suggestions were invaluable during our visits. Second Chance is indeed fortunate to have such a wonderful, kind person working with the dogs who enter your facility, many of whom undoubtedly have special needs and require special attention to gain new families.  We thank you for having Christine on your staff and thank you for giving so many precious animals the second chance they all deserve.

From a Dog Den Volunteer (who took the photos attached)

The photos are the result of the amazing care these dogs are receiving. This facility is clean, staffed by passionate and knowledgeable employees, and supported by the community. Within moments of starting my walk with each of these dogs, they were relaxed and obediently posed for photos. The pictures are a reflection of your excellent efforts at making sure these dogs are successfully placed!

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