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03 August 2008

We're about to go from being just cat owners to being crazy cat owners. We have two, and now Mrs Slack wants to bring in 3 orphaned kittens![More:] She's been pushing for another cat for a while, and I've joked that we'd then have three cats, which is just one away from being "crazy cat people". But I'm pretty sure that five cats puts us into crazy cat owner world.

I haven't seen them yet (I know once I do the deal is pretty much done), but they're 5 or 6 weeks old, a brother and two sisters. They're outside cats at the moment, and I guess two of them have eye infections. That first vet bill is going to be a doozey!

Five cats is a little nuts, right?
Five cats is getting towards the crazy cat people side of things but 'two cats and three foster kittens' doesn't sound quite so bad. That way, you can kid yourself you're just looking after the kittens until they get a new home and when it turns out nobody else wants them, well, you had no option but to keep them.
posted by essexjan 03 August | 07:56
We're at two; Guy wants a third. I say "no! Two cats are companions; three are the beginning of a coup d’état."
posted by crush-onastick 03 August | 09:57
I think it would depend. I don't think five is necessarily crazy.

My parents have four cats. You would never know it. Most of them hide when we barrel in. My parents are neat freaks and there is no evidence of cats besides food bowls. The last two they acquired were by accident. One was an elderly stray and ill with a huge tumor on his liver (he's still alive and doing very well) and the other was a cast off from my cousin that was getting a divorce.

I was talking to my husband last night about how I feel bad for our dog that our dog has no other dogs to live and play with on a regular basis. That it seemed kind of cruel to not have any other dogs for her. Husband said, "are you wanting to get another dog?" I said I didn't know. He said, "hell no" and we both agreed that it's not a good idea. I know the arrangement of one dog living with humans has worked out pretty nicely for hundreds of years. But it still makes me wonder. Does my dog want other dogs? Is she lonely for them? If I were more organized, attentive, had a larger house, and were on top of things I would do it.
posted by LoriFLA 03 August | 10:13
The optimum number of cats, I think, is around three or four. The threshold of crazy-cat-person territory doesn't come until six or seven. Do you live in a house or an apartment or something else, Slack?
posted by box 03 August | 10:38
Three is about the most I've ever seen feel normal in a household. Beyond three and it seems like cats are taking over. Go to pick up the newspaper, there's a cat. Go to lay on the bed, there's a cat. Cooking, cat underfoot. Go to sit on the couch, cat sitting on remote.

It's hard to keep up with the litterbox.

I'd say be cautious. My parents have 3 and my brother and SIL have 3. My brother and SIL had two, then adopted two strays that had been abandoned together. It was clear that four was too much. They kept one and I took the other.
posted by Miko 03 August | 11:40
you can kid yourself you're just looking after the kittens until they get a new home and when it turns out nobody else wants them, well, you had no option but to keep them

I like your way of thinking outside of the (litter) box. I think that's the approach I'll take to feel less kooky.

three are the beginning of a coup d’état.

Actually, I think that'd be a coup d'cat.

The optimum number of cats, I think, is around three or four.

For years I've thought that the optimal number was two, but I'm quickly warming up to the idea of a few more - although three more is not what I was expecting. But we have that "don't want to break up brothers and sisters" thing, which was how we got two cats when we went for one so many years ago. Both of our cats are well into their teens and the girl has been on-again-off-again sick for the past year or two. The vet's already discussed us putting her to sleep when the bad days outweigh the good days - but it seems like she's rebounded since that discussion and has been much better. But I think that's where Mrs Slack started thinking about bringing in some new cats - while we still have the whole gang. Our cats are very close and hang pretty close, and I think she's worried about the boy getting lonely. And to be honest, I know we're not going to take it well either when the time finally comes.

Do you live in a house or an apartment or something else, Slack?

We live in a two bedroom townhouse - not huge, but lots of space. The two cats we have now are pretty affectionate and hang around us quite a bit, but they never seem to be underfoot. I'm pretty diligent on the litterbox as it is, but I know we'll be going through a LOT more litter. I don't want to be the house that SMELLS like there are five cats.

Like I said, it's pretty much a done deal now. Mrs Slack has already named them, which I think is a legally binding contract in some countries. We're calling the vet tomorrow to see how quickly we can bring them in and have the vet look under the hoods and give them that new cat smell. I'm excited (and Mrs Slack is downright giddy), but I know for a little while this will turn our routines upside down. And as an advance warning - pictures WILL be posted.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 03 August | 12:08
We have six and we're just fine.

posted by BitterOldPunk 03 August | 12:08
48 (but only 2 lived inside) is not crazy. Chopping 6 pounds of hot dogs and bologna every day and watching cats dash out of the woods from every direction is fun.
posted by Ardiril 03 August | 15:03
I love new cat smell...


Can't wait for the pictures!
posted by halonine 03 August | 17:48
Woo hoo ! Good on ya. It's a lot of cats, so "maximize vertical space" for the kitties, if you need to. If territoriality ends up running too rampant, kitties are easy to find homes for... Then again, factions don't usually form and team sports ensue till they're a little older... Personally, I maxed out at four cats, but that's in a small apartment.
posted by shane 03 August | 23:39
We live in a 2 bedroom townhouse as well, and we have 2 cats and 2 dogs. If we didn't have dogs, 5 cats would be OK given the amount of space. Currently we keep the bedroom doors closed; if we had five we'd have to open the doors to give them all some breathing room.
posted by desjardins 04 August | 09:09
My first (and last) joint, hopefully! || First Morning After. Still Smoke Free.