When does it become too many cats?

just mike

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Originally Posted by BSHcatLover

I may be opening a can of worms with this one, but I thought it would be an interesting topic. How many cats is too many?

I just saw this video for a new series on National Geographic Wild called "The Lady with 700 Cats" premiering July 30th, and I just can't help but think "Is that sanitary?"

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/...-on-earth.html

I mean, don't get me wrong, I appreciate what she's doing and I'm sure she is helping a lot of cats... but 700?! How do you control the spread of disease and illness, I'm sure she and her staff can't visibly inspect every cat each day... It just seems a little excessive to me.

We were taught in school that cats are solitary creatures and generally don't like to live together (unless they are from the same litter), so you have to make sure that they can avoid each other at all times and that they can access everything they need (e.g. food, water, outside, litter, bed) without having to pass one another. Being forced to live in close proximity to cats they do not get along with can be very stressful. Now, having said that, I myself have two cats not from the same litter, so that's not what I'm trying to argue, but 700?!
I am currently at my limit. I have 4 indoor only cats and a feral that lives in my garage. I also have 2 dogs and a horse. I board the horse out at a stable.

Financially I feel that I am at my limit because all of my animals eat premium food and get excellent veterinary care. I am fortunate to be able to do this comfortably. I am also fortunate to be able to spend time with each one of them (except the feral) daily with brushings, training and game playing. I do all of this and still have time for myself.

To answer your question, I think most people just *know* when they are at their limit.
 

punkygirl0101

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I foster kittens for this rescue, and have been to the rescue itself. The cats are not crammed in corners of the house, they actually do roam throughout the entire 12 acres. They have multiple buildings on the property, not just the one house. They have an isolation building for sick cats, a kitten "nursery" building, a Senior cat building, and the house. It is VERY sanitary. They not only have the full time staff, but many volunteers that are not included, so its actually not 26 cats per staff member because all the volunteers are not included in that. They have a separate guest room where people actually travel from all over and stay in the guest room and help out.

They DO adopt out animals, but in my city adult cats are rarely found good homes. We have THE highest kill rate at our SPCA in the United States. Its hard enough finding cute kittens a forever home. There are a lot of irresponsible owners here who don't alter their cats, and we have a TON of feral colonies in almost every neighborhood. We are literally overrun with cats.

And CHOTK IS the largest no cage rescue in the world, that was not a lie.

She gets a lot of donations of food, litter, and money..She doesn't do it all by herself so I don't know why regular cat owners are comparing their own limits to that of a RESCUE. This isn't just someone random person who has 700 cats.

I have been fostering kittens for them for years now! The rescue is a wonderful place, and we need more of them!
 

punkygirl0101

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I do have a feeling that the 12 acres comment is misleading. You are unlikely to see cats dispersed evenly sitting out in an empty 12 acre field.
You have never been there...That IS exactly what you see, cats spread out all over the 12 acres.

Its not the largest rescue, but the largest NO CAGE rescue.
 

techiegirl

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I have actually BEEN there and it is incredible! And CLEAN!!


The cats ARE literally everywhere on the 12 acres - in the trees, inside buildings, in the garage, on top of buildings. There are separate buildings and areas - senior cats, FIV/FELV, kitten building, ICU ward, etc. It is very well organized - she knows what she's doing!

Lynea and I walked down the hill towards the Kings River and she would clap her hands and yell "KITTIES!!!! WALK!!!!" and they came running from everywhere and followed us down to the river - ran up into the trees and then continued to follow us on our walk. Every time I turned around there were more coming!


I know it is hard to imagine, but please don't ASSume things.
These cats are very well taken care of - I would make a bet, even more so than your average cat!
 

cat person

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Originally Posted by techiegirl

I have actually BEEN there and it is incredible! And CLEAN!!


The cats ARE literally everywhere on the 12 acres - in the trees, inside buildings, in the garage, on top of buildings. There are separate buildings and areas - senior cats, FIV/FELV, kitten building, ICU ward, etc. It is very well organized - she knows what she's doing!

Lynea and I walked down the hill towards the Kings River and she would clap her hands and yell "KITTIES!!!! WALK!!!!" and they came running from everywhere and followed us down to the river - ran up into the trees and then continued to follow us on our walk. Every time I turned around there were more coming!


I know it is hard to imagine, but please don't ASSume things.
These cats are very well taken care of - I would make a bet, even more so than your average cat!
All I can say is WOW! That is way more amazing then the people I work for. I would LOVE to see photo's of what you saw! Is this place open to the public or did you work for her?

Thank you for sharing what you personally saw
.
 

angelwings2204

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Well I have to reply to the post....

I have personally visited the Cat's House on the Kings and spent two days on the property. I slept the night there and believe me those cats are very well taken care of. It is not madness, it is very well organized. There is the building for the senior cats with a deck where they can just lounge and take the sun and they are not bothered by the younger one who, by nature, are more energetic. There is the kitten building, dedicated to the kittens and their care, there is a FIV building and an ICU... Everything is very well organized. The ones that roam around are the healthy ones, the young ones.

I was there where Lynea himself looked at one of them (and she has 700) and asked one of her volunteer if that cat was losing weight.... they agreed it was so and they immediately picked her up and checked her... so I have to say, yes she has many cats but it is amazingly clean and well taken care.

I have to say this, as I was there personally and spent two wonderful days petting and taking care of those cats. It is a shelter. It is a sanctuary.
 

sweetpea24

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Oh piffles. That's only 27 cats per caretaker. You really think someone can't manage to pay attention to, clean up after, check the health of, and look after the needs of 27 cats in an 8-hour shift? I don't think they're overextended at all. They appear to be doing quite well.


And I don't think cats are solitary either. They may not be pack/herd animals, but they definitely enjoy having other cats around (other than one who has been raised alone and doesn't know how to be around other cats) and living in a group is not necessarily stressful. The more I have, the more contented my cats are, the better they get along, the less they fight. I suppose this is because the attention is spread around, so there isn't the one-on-one tension that can occur in smaller group---if one cat is a bully, she picks on each cat occasionally, instead of picking on one cat all the time. I have even taken in "only cats" who have never lived with other cats, and they settled in nicely and seem to enjoy being in a large group.


It's too many cats if you can't afford to take care of them: If they aren't spayed/neutered (unless they're part of a well-run breeding program). If you can't/won't get vet care for those that need it. If you can't buy (at least) a brand-name food, enough for all of them. If you can't keep the house and litterboxes reasonably clean. If you can't keep up on de-parasitizing. If you can't keep cats who hate each other separated. If you can't give each on individual attention when they want it.


If you can do all those things, there's no such thing as "too many". If you can't do all those things for one cat (and I know plenty who can't!), then one cat is too many.
Just in response to your first point, Willowy, about not being overextended.27 cats to one person may be manageable if they were all healthy and happy. I work in an animal hospital and sometimes caring for 4 sick cats takes up my entire 10 hour shift. When each cat needs.meds or force-feeding or Bloodwork or xray or if they have major.diarrhea and it goes all over the place or if the cat is on oxygen or needs artificial respiration, etc, c, it takes a lot of time. I don't know the situation at this place as I will have to.wait until I am on my laptop but just my $0.02.
 

minka

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Just donated $50. Bless this lady.

In my honest opinion, it kind of seems like she is using the rescue as a cover or front for her 'hoarder-ism'. Just my opinion though.
I completely disagree. Hoarders wouldn't be able to give up their cats to other who want to adopt them. And she says she's saved like 10,000+ cats..
 
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