How many pets are too many?

dwdanby

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
58
Purraise
36
My beautiful and incredibly snuggly one-year-old cat Bug ticks all the boxes for "is your cat lonely?". We were thinking about a kitten. We live in a 1500 sq ft home and there is plenty of room for Bug. A second cat - I think so. But then my roommate is getting a puppy in a year or two (mini poodle). Just sounds to me like too many. Dog will have yard but cat(s) is indoor only. I've had too many pets in the past and it was not good. Could anyone advise me? Thank you-all!
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
16,493
Purraise
22,781
Location
Nebraska, USA
It is what you can comfortably afford....2 cats and a mini poodle don't sound like too many to me, but I have had 6 cats in a 1200 sq foot home! i have to admit sleeping arrangements became too crowded so we took two of the cats out to a second heated shop with a couch and fireplace (they were NOT being banished to an uncomfortable place LOL!) They would even beat me there when I opened the door at night, they knew tehy were getting a few minutes of alone time with me and got a snack every night! (TV and cable out there too) I even left the tv on with a timer for a while when I left. daytime was fine, just the nights that got a little crazy!
 

Furballsmom

Cat Devotee
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
39,156
Purraise
53,694
Location
Colorado US
Just be aware that cats aren't pack animals in the way that dogs are.

Even though your resident cat isn't that old yet, there are still going to be territorial issues that the two cats will end up having to work through.

Does Bug get supervised outside time? Walks with a harness? These things are extremely good for a cat's mental health.
 

freer

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Nov 15, 2023
Messages
1
Purraise
4
Hi! This is my first post. Now I have one cat and one dog. But two yesrd ago I had who cats. I don't think that it's too many, it's ok.
Space wasn't a problem, their behavior was a glimpse. Our spaniel really loves to play with cats, but my fluffies didn’t quite understand her games)
 

susanm9006

Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
13,074
Purraise
30,008
Location
Minnesota
1500 square feet is plenty for two cats and a dog, assuming that they all get along reasonably well. For cats it is not only horizontal space that is important but vertical space as well so they have room to get up and away to their own spot if they feel the need. Cat trees, window seats and other up high spaces are important for them and will be more important when you have a puppy running around.
 

maggiedemi

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
17,071
Purraise
44,273
6 are too many, but nobody else wants them, and I already love them, so I will try my best. Haven't read your post yet, just that title grabbed my attention!

Okay went back and read your post. That's definitely not too many! I say go for it. I'm making it work with 6!
 

Shawna87

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 25, 2022
Messages
164
Purraise
416
I currently have three cats in a 400 square foot house with me and my husband. I do have to find creative ways to store things however I don’t feel it’s too much. I love them all they are all best friends.

However it is whatever you are comfortable with and can afford. I personally don’t think it will feel like too much but that’s for you to ultimately decide.
 

Winchester

In the kitchen with my cookies
Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Messages
29,686
Purraise
27,831
Location
In the kitchen
The most we ever had at one time was 8. We made it work, but I doubt I'd do it again. We were very comfortable with six cats, but were a lot younger then, too. Right now, we have 3 and it seems to be a good fit for us. A lot depends on how well the cats get along with each other. If they don't get along, you could end up with peeing problems as they fight for being King or Queen and that can get ugly. When we had our original eight, they were pretty much all related: a mama cat and her sister and five kittens, plus Banshee, who was so laid back that she didn't care how many cats we had. She was the Queen B and she knew it. We have pictures of them all clumping together, sleeping together, etc. The kittens grew up with Banshee and they adored her as much as they loved their mama.

Today, with our three, Mollipop and Muffin do not get along and it can get ugly sometimes. They fight like heck and Molli has drawn blood on Muffin. Molli has claws; Muffin was originally my mother's cat and Mom had her declawed, so no defense for her. And Molli knows it. The three we have now, Mollipop, Tabby, and Muffin, never sleep together and never clump together.

So a lot depends on how well your kids will get along with each other.

I have often said that a person who has too many cats will have one more cat than I will ever have!
 

amethyst

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
937
Purraise
2,826
Location
Alberta, Canada
It depends on why you see 2 cats and a dog as too many, is the cost the issue or space? If you can't afford to care for another animal then yes even 2 cats and a dog would be too much. If you are worried about space it does depend on how the house is designed as well as how well they get along. Keep in mind that unlike for a dog, for cats the world is/should be more 3 dimensional, so you need to look at not only square footage of floor space but also height floor to ceiling that can be utilized. So things like shelving, high cat walks, cat trees, and other things like the top of cabinets they can get up on can easily double the livable area for the cat(s) and allow them to get away from each other and get around rooms without forcing interactions every time anyone enters or exits a room.
 

neely

May the purr be with you
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
19,467
Purraise
47,299
We had two cats with a large dog, i.e German Shepherd, and it worked out fine. I think the single most important factor is their temperament(s). I was worried about bringing the dog in the house with one cat but he was thrilled to have a buddy and visa versa. When we brought in an 8 mo. old kitten it was the first cat whose nose was bent out of shape but we worked around it. As others have said, just make sure Bug and a possible kitten have a safe place if they want to escape and plenty of high places to jump up to.

You mentioned your roommate is planning to get a mini-poodle in a year or two. However, a lot can happen in that amount of time. The roommate could change their mind about getting a dog or move out. I wouldn't worry about something that may or may not happen. In the meantime, you can think about different options you have to help your cat and possible kitten adjust. The above members have given you some great advice and suggestions. Best of luck!
 

xlynnbbyx

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 15, 2023
Messages
255
Purraise
382
Location
Jefferson County, WV (In the US)
I currently have 2 cats and 1 dog myself and I don’t see that as too many. At one point I had like 4 dogs 2 cats to me it was too much. I even tried recently with a puppy to even it out 2 cats 2 dogs but it didn’t work out sadly. My dog wasn’t getting along with the puppy after 2 weeks of trying it wasn’t a great situation for my dog or the puppy. So Friday the puppy found a new loving home with my mom’s co worker who fell in love with her immediately. So for me 2 cats 1 dog is the right amount. Especially when Nera(my dog) is very small and I have a small place anyway so it’s a perfect fit. All 3 of them are best buddies they play every day. Even more now since the puppy is gone. So I don’t think 2 cats & 1 dog is too many. It’s if you think your place can accommodate 3 pets at once that matters. As long as the cats have their space and the dog has a space things would be fine.

Just remember for your resident cat it will be an adjustment period for both the kitten and dog. If you get the kitten soon remember your kitty will need time to adjust to the new comer. For the length of time it could take that depends on your cat. When I brought Casper inside last year his mom was a stray I fed she had him under my place and showed me him at some point. He stayed outside in the cat house with her until he was 8 weeks old. Anyway when I brought him Scooter took a couple of days to get use to him. As I said now both my boys and my dog Nera are all best buddies. The dog if it’s going to be a year or two before your roommate gets it I wouldn’t worry just yet. But I don’t think 2 cats & 1 dog is too much.
 

MonaLyssa33

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Messages
3,497
Purraise
9,335
Location
Minneapolis
I have three cats and two dogs in an 1820 sq ft house. My dogs are both larger (Staffordshire Terrier mixes). Personally, since I am the only human in the house, my life would be a lot easier with one less dog, but I don't plan on getting rid of any of my animals. My cats have access to the entire basement and one bedroom upstairs that the dogs aren't allowed in unsupervised. I think since you have more than one person in the household, 2 cats and 2 dogs is very doable.
 

StormyPeak

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Nov 20, 2023
Messages
15
Purraise
40
I lived in a 450 sq foot home for 14 years. Yeah...a home just big enough for one 12 x 12 bedroom, a hall long enough for a washer and dryer on one side and an itty bitty bathroom across from those. The kitchen was just across the counter from the living room.

There was only 1 door for the house, and I had a doggy door in it...and during those years, I usually had 2 medium sized dogs and a cat. Then for the last 6 years I lived there, I had 3 dogs and a cat, as I took in my dad's dog when my dad passed away.

For me, it never felt crowded. All the dogs got along with each other, and the cat was relaxed around them.
I had a fenced in area...not really a yard...but a 12 foot wide concrete slab with some high quality outdoor grass carpeting...and around back of the house an area that was covered with pebble rocks.

I now live in a house that is a little over 1600 sq ft. been here now since the year 2000. Last year, I had two large dogs, each around 75 pounds...but one of my dogs was old and got cancer, so she was put to sleep and the year prior to that, I had 2 cats and one of the cats was old and got cancer and she was put to sleep. So for some time I had 2 large dogs and two cats.

The doggy door to this house was closed, as I live in the country now and I worried too much about the cats getting killed by coyotes, foxes, cougars, hawks, owls, eagles or even other people's dogs who think it's ok to let their dogs run loose in the country side. We even had a bear inside city limits last summer that killed a few dogs and cats. Usually the cougars and bears that show up end up getting relocated...but that bear got too aggressive and ended up being killed by Fish and Game. (I live in a remote area of Idaho in a Rocky Mountain valley)

Anyway...I'm down to 1 bid dog, a golden retriever, and two cats. I've never felt like room was an issue, given the animals got along. Although my older cat and my newer cat sometimes have short yelling matches at each other..but not too much in physical contact.

So...after saying all the above, I think the answer for me with your question, comes down to do you have enough funds to properly care for x amount of pets...especially if there is some need for medication or even surgeries..etc.

The other thing is your own physical ability to groom the pets, clean up after them, etc.
And even in a large house, if you have 2 dogs going at each other, or 2 cats fighting...then that's one pet too many. :p And a cat shouldn't have to be stressed out by a puppy or dog tormenting it all the time...so the dogs need training to be relaxed around a cat, which can be hard for a puppy to do. There should be a talk with the other people in the house about positive methods of training a puppy in that regard.

Stormy
 

Alldara

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Apr 29, 2022
Messages
5,047
Purraise
8,478
Location
Canada
At one point due to roommate situations we had the maximum 5 pets in a large 2 bedroom apartment. It was much too many. We're in 1100sq ft with three cats and that is comfortable. I wouldn't add another.

We have utilized a lot of renter friendly vertical space for them and they get along well. I would suggest if you do get a cat that you choose one based on personality and maybe even one who has been fostered with a dog so it can be more confident than your current cat and teach your current cat that dogs are okay.

As long as you can get a proper set up, I think it'll be okay. Maybe adding a cat lock to your bedroom door. I got the door buddy for the basement for when my friends visit with their children. It keeps out the kids but let's the cats have access. Works to block dogs too.
Amazon.ca
 

Meowmee

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
2,864
Purraise
3,594
My beautiful and incredibly snuggly one-year-old cat Bug ticks all the boxes for "is your cat lonely?". We were thinking about a kitten. We live in a 1500 sq ft home and there is plenty of room for Bug. A second cat - I think so. But then my roommate is getting a puppy in a year or two (mini poodle). Just sounds to me like too many. Dog will have yard but cat(s) is indoor only. I've had too many pets in the past and it was not good. Could anyone advise me? Thank you-all!
We have 5 cats now since I brought 3 more outdoors inside in the last two years. It is a lot. 2 stay mostly in the master bedroom and are not touchable. I thought they were all getting along so I was letting my other cats interact more by leaving the door open but somebody got bitten about three weeks ago. And then I just had an emergency with one of the untouchable cats and it was really hard. I already knew that that could be a problem, but I was hoping they would become touchable overtime but now I realize they never will be.

I kind of wish I had just left them outside to live their lies out because they were happy there… they had heated shelters and food and they liked running around in the garden. I had brought one in because he was limping and then I decided to bring in his buddy, because he was lonely by himself, plus we will be moving at some point and I didn’t want to just leave them here .

you will not be facing those issues of getting medical treatment and having it be hard to do etc. The cats could have territorial issues, but if you have a younger cat and you bring in a youngish cat they usually end up getting along pretty well for the most part.

I definitely would get cat trees so they can escape from the dog if they need to…if the dog is going to be a puppy when adopted that’s usually better because they will get used to the cats when they are young. We had a beagle and a cat when I was a child, they got along, the cat was th boss and came after.
 

LEGENDofBEVERLY

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 3, 2023
Messages
37
Purraise
110
I've currently got 7 cats in a 1,387 sqft house with unfinished basement. While most times it feels like there is enough space for us all, it's has gotten a little cramped with my oldest held up in her own room for reintroductions. But before that there really wasn't a problem. The 6 young ones were usually in the same room or same level that I was & the old lady was mostly on the 2nd floor.
 

Geul

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
14
Purraise
29
Besides a cat, I have two dogs and it is enough for me. Not because I don't want to have more pets, no, I love cats and dogs. But at the moment I can afford and have enough time exactly for three pets. Both dogs require care. One of them often has skin issues, so it is important to monitor her nutrition and always have apoquel for dogs at home. Another dog is pretty old and doesn't see well anymore, even after the surgery.
I'd like to have more pets, but I must give all of them enough love and care.
 

Winchester

In the kitchen with my cookies
Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Messages
29,686
Purraise
27,831
Location
In the kitchen
Do you have the money necessary for vet care? Doesn't matter how old or how young the fur-kids are. Disease/physical problems strike both the old and young. I think that's always the biggest issue with pets. Having the money to fully care for them, not just for yearly visits and vaccines, but when something hits. We've lost a cat to breast cancer; we've lost a dog to gall bladder disease. Both were extremely expensive financial hits. You need to think about that.

In today's economy, it's not just the food and treats and toys. Vet care is really, really expensive! Make sure you have the financial means to care for those animals.
 
Top