Monday, October 29, 2012

Your Turn

So, in the midst of my reality weekend, I did watch about 30 minutes of Hoarders. I just can't watch it for long. I have tried, but it always makes me sad. Anyway, while I was watching, I was wondering, how many pets is too many pets? Where do cut yourself off?

67 comments:

Frufra said...

I've always heard one pet per person in the household. We have four people, two dogs and two cats. (Plus a 150 gal aquarium and 11 chickens, but the chickens live outside :-).) I think we're right on the verge of crossing ye olde line!

MISCH said...

I had 4 cats at one point, people keep giving them to us and then we found a puppy. And yes it was too many. The cats lived long and good lives now we have 2 dogs...

commandeered said...

I think once the number of pets outnumbers the number of people, that is too many.

Check out this recent story about some animal hoarders in Arkansas.

Summary-40 dogs killed and 110 rescued after a mobile home fire.
http://www.fox16.com/news/story/110-dogs-rescued-after-Greenbrier-fire/joL3GK9UnkaL1CrJYLOfAg.cspx


150 dogs in a mobile home? my worst nightmare

Melinda9 said...

I have 3 cats that were strays, a dog and an elderly rabbit that was my daughters. Sometimes it feels like too much, especially because the rabbit and one of the cats are sickly. How much you can afford to spend on veterinary care should be a major limiting factor on how many pets you have.

The Black Cat said...

I had 4 cats and a dog at one point but I started worrying about what would happen if I had to evacuate the house quickly and decided a cat under each arm was the wisest, dogs will follow on their own usually. it's a personal decision that common sense should dictate, you should be able to have as many pets as you can care for and afford.

lc said...

I think in the house pets should not exceed 3~4 at the most...and that does not include fish. I have one cat and one dog and a fishtank. It also depends on the size of your house. I live in an apt in the city. And my dog is very small, a chihuahua. A big ole farm on the other hand is different. But there has to be enough food and people to take care of ANY animal.
I know those people that have too many animals do, in their hearts, love them. These people are lonely and animals do give unconditional love. I wonder if the TV shows that uncover their situation offer some kind of help, like counseling or anything like that?

Amy said...

I've live in a studio apartment less than 500 square feet with 1 cat and have a hard time imagining how anyone can keep things sanitary with much more. I mean the litter box changes, the food, the hair, all of it. Love my cat but good lord, it seems I'm never done keeping the situation with just her alone from getting out of control.

Merlin D. Bear said...

Personally, I always thought 2 was my limit.
And it was, until HRH Cleopatra, Queen of Denial came into my life 10 years ago.
And suddenly, 3 became my limit...until the older 2 passed of old age.
Then it was just Cleo and me, until the Universe gave me Shakira a few weeks ago.
So, now I'm back to 2...which will remain my limit, despite the neon sign above my head (which only animals can see) that says "SOFTIE"
For me, it's a matter of willpower. If I had the space and the capital, I'd keep a gazillion animals.


SusanB said...

About one per person (excluding fish) sounds about right. There have been several local stories lately about people hoarding pets (usually start out with their hearts in the right place and then go crazy). I also don't think it wise if you live in a small house with little/no enclosed yard to have a large dog. Those dogs need activity! I used to visit a friend who had a german shepherd in a 600 square foot apartment. He always seemed so sad.

Sarah said...

One pet is too many for me. I'm scared of animals.

auntliddy said...

I think when people start saying,"how many dogs/ cats DO you hv?", you will then know u hv too many, lol

auntliddy said...

And this hoardjng of stuff and or pets us a mental sickness.

Unknown said...

I have 31 pets. No, I am not a hoarder - I do rescue work and take in pocket pets that are elderly, poorly socialized therefore unadoptable, or have medical issues.

Animal Services showed up at my place one day for a surprise inspection (they're starting to check on rescues to make sure there aren't any problems), and the critters and I received an glowing report. Animals very clean and well cared for, and in very large cages or pens; my home is clean, tidy, no smell. Top quality food for them....

That said, I spend a lot of time and money making sure they are happy, clean, and well-fed. As they begin to die off, I won't bring in any more. I think 8 or 10 is more manageable with regard to the amount of time it takes per day to look after them.

smashbash said...

I am an animal hoarder :) 3 cats and 2 dogs. Not to mention the ball pythons my boyfriend has had for years. We have several snakes. But they stay in the basement, in locked cages, with the door shut so none of the other animals go in there. I felt like 2 cats 2 dogs was a perfect balance, until I met Shelly! She is a half Bengal half tabby with some munchkin in her. I couldn't resist (she had been in the adoption place for 4 weeks!), she is amazing around our dogs and she is so cute.

cc423 said...

Where do you cut yourself off? When a camera crew shows up on your porch.

goes in circles said...

In the city in which i live there is a law of 3 dogs max. Dunno the cat law.

JSierra said...

My family has 4 dogs 2 cats 1 large fishtank and frogs. My apt found my little nugget so I had to send her to live with my family, hence the four dogs.

Thank god my mom is really anal though. The house always has to be spotless and there can't be any indication that animals actually live there. She as this weird thing with smells. I swear she can smell cat pee from miles away.

Em Cue Em said...

My family and I refuse to own more than one pet at a time - we have 3 kids, the youngest of whom is 4, so it's a bad idea trying to give our attention to that many needy parties. We have a kitty named Kate who gets to soak up all of our love and affection without having to compete for it, and everybody is happy.

hothotheat said...

Now, 1 cat and 1 dog in 2 bedroom Condo.

In the past I've had 3 dogs and 3 cats at one time. That was too many but they lived long happy lives, but I won't be doing that again.

Saffron said...

No dogs or cats, unless you can afford quality food, expensive vet costs, dog training, daily quality time spent with pet, daily walks and exercise and ability to pay boarding fees when out of town.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

I'd say it depends--as long as there's enough room for everyone, and all the animals are well-cared for and happy, then I'm hesitant to put a precise number on it. I've had 2 cats in the past, but right now it's me & Jezebel, my 16-year-old tortie who moved w/me from GA, and who's all curled up sleeping right now in her bed. (So much for storms freaking out cats, or maybe she's getting deaf in her old age, eh?)

Now, my sister in Wasilla has 2 cats, 2 dwarf lop-eared rabbits, and a dogsled team...and she won't tell me how many dogs make up a team, damn it. ("You'll tell Mother!" "Um, sure, why not? Is it a secret or something?") I'm guessing at least a dozen or so, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was more; then again, they're not just pets, but a team, and I know she takes good care of them. Remember, a good sled dog can save your life when you're stuck out there in the Great White North!

Renoblondee said...

If you're not living on a farm, 2 or 3 max sounds about right. We have two cats, both taken in as strays. My daughter has a guinnea pig she keeps in her room. Mean thing bites! Her first one was sweet, but he died. :(

smashbash said...

Oh. And this is my cut off point. No more pets. Maybe a child in 6 years when the dobies are older. We also do have a large house with almost half an acre in seattle, plus our farm/hill/knoll on the island. So the dogs have tons of space all the time. The cat litter is the bane of my existence though! Twice a day cleaning and sweeping, just because I am crazy not because they are all that messy.

Lucas said...

Robin - I think 7 dogs makes a team.

We have three cats and a dog and I think we have one cat too many. But we just combined households and that's just how it goes. The smallest animal in the house is my dog, Eliot. He's a 10 lb chihweenie (chihuahua/doxie mix - thank god he just looks like a longhaired doxie). The largest is my girlfriend's cat, Carter. He tips the scales at about 20 pounds. Needless to say the only issues we have had with integrating have been between my bitchy old siamese and my girlfriend's cats.

Janet296 said...

There are a few details that I consider before I say too many. Do you live in the city without a yard? The country with lots of space? Can you afford to have them see a Vet on a regular basis? I live in the burbs with a small yard. I have 1 dog and recently acquired a kitten who was abandoned. I don't want any more than what I have now. I am at my limit.

discoflux said...

In my opinion, too many pets is more than you can afford to provide proper veterinary care and food for so even one pet can be too many.

smashbash said...

Robin- so cool about your sister! My friend Dan did dog sledding with his cousin in the Sierra Nevada mountains. He brought home a 12 year old Huskie and she is an absolute sweetheart. I don't know if I have met a more kind, gentle and eager to please dog. She is kept on leash almost always because of her sledding history, she will take off and just keep going.

Texshan said...

I think a lot of you are being really strict. I have two people and five animals in my house. Two dogs and two cats are mine, and one cat is my brother's, who is currently living with me.

It's too many when you can't afford to take care of them and/or give each of them the attention they need. I am currently at that limit, because my dogs are pretty high-maintenance. The only other animals I've seriously thought about getting are fish.

In other news, this morning when I left for work there were three white chickens at the end of my street walking around on the sidewalk. I live in a mixed residential/business area in the city proper, and Houston does not currently let people keep chickens in subdivisions. Looks like someone's been hiding some egg-layers!

Jennmcn said...

We have 2 big dogs and 3 cats. We used to have 4 cats but Sebastian died the day after the Super Bowl. I specifically told my husband not to let him out but he did. The animals are mostly the kids, who moved out and left them here. We have two 15 year old black cats; one mine and one my daughter's. Sebastian was 12 and mine. Gumecinda is 2 years old, she has 3 legs and was my daughter's. Then the dogs, 15 year old Skully is my son's and he's in the Marines and Soldier 8 is my daughter's.

My husband says we have enough animals and I say I'm short a cat.

We have a huge yard and a fairly big house. We can afford the Vet, and medicine for the diabetic cat and the cat that has hyperthyroidism. It's a personal choice and a lifelong commitment. I despise people who return animals because they refuse to train them or decide it's too much work.

I think too many animals is when the owner can't take care of them properly or collects out of some weird psychological need.


Texshan said...

Forgot to mention -- I live in a house that's about 1,950 sq. ft. and my lot is about 11,500 sq. ft., with a huge fenced-in backyard. The cats are indoor-only, and the dogs only want to go outside to do their business and pick fights with the rottweiler behind us. So everyone has plenty of room.

Buick Mackane said...

My old neighbour used to breed his poor chihuahua over and over again and sell the puppies to pay his rent. He lived in a 350/400 sq ft Efficiency and the last litter his dog had (before I moved out) bore 13 puppies.

So, 15 chihuahuas in one apartment. It was nasty.

Tru Leigh said...

I babysitted my sister's cats for a week and that was too much for me. I don't like taking care of anything and that includes myself.

DewieTheBear said...

@TheBlackCat

Right on, well-said.

Lola said...

We have a well cared for zoo. Three dogs, three cats (one is not "ours" but a stray who took up residence with us; he is FIV+ but we are trying to find him a forever home...if anyone's interested...), one turtle and one fish tank. We had rats until this summer but until my daughter is old enough to clean the turtle tank, no more caged pets.

JSierra said...

@Texshan Hello fellow Houstonian! I am in Lubbock now for college but grew up a couple miles west of the city.
These people down the street from us used to raise chickens ( I live in the same type of area you do) so we used to always joke to never accept any egg or chicken dishes from them. I think they eventually ate them all because they all disappeared after a few months...

Lori said...

I have a good sized 3 bedroom home that I live in with my sister and we have 2 dogs. Both are small (chihuahua and pommeranian). Garage is their playground and there are dog doors between that and the house, and the backyard. I couldnt possibly imaging having more pets.

smashbash said...

Jennmcn- I am so sorry for your lost kitty. My AVI is my boy Sebastian. He is like my child and I wouldn't know what hell I would raise if something happened to him. :( hugs my dear.

Maja. With a J. said...

For many years, I refused to get a pet...then I caved and now we have a dog. I have been saying "only one dog!!!" for a while now, but we've started to realise that she would be an awesome adoptive mom to a younger dog. So yeah, we'll probably adopt another in a year or two when she has calmed down a little bit. I think as long as you have the time and resources to properly care for your animals, have as many as you want.

Oh, and a vacuum cleaner. You must have a good vacuum cleaner.

Texshan said...

Hi, JSierra! I take it you are a Red Raider? I thought about going to Tech briefly, but I just couldn't handle the idea of 4-5 years in West Texas! Where did you go to high school? I went to Clements, out in Sugar Land.

I would have no problem taking an egg dish or just eggs from someone who raised chickens. Personally, I would love to have 3 or 4 laying hens, if it were legal, but I know the pomeranians would harass the chickens so much they'd probably never lay a single egg! We go through a lot of eggs in my house (I bake quite a bit), so a free source of fresh, organic eggs would be great!

Roman Holiday said...

OMG!!! Hoarders is the worse show to watch - those people are so overwhelmed with stuff - it makes me sad for them also!!

No pets for me I do not want to clean up after them - I am lucky I want to clean up after myself! If I didn't work I probably would have a dog or cat but until then non!!

iheartjacksparrow said...

In Los Angeles County, the rule is no more than three cats and three dogs per house. I'm allergic to animal fur, so I only have goldfish and catfish in a pond in the back yard, plus I feed all the wild birds (and a hawk frequents my back yard which feeds on the birds).

To all dog and cat owners: Respect leash laws for dogs, and if someone tells you your dog is barking too much, believe them and do something to curb the barking. And keep your cats in your house (there's a reason they're called house cats). I don't want cats pooping in my flower beds and killing the birds. Domesticated cats are not indigenous to any neighborhood and kill hundreds of thousands of wild birds every year.

Tuxedo Cat said...

Two dogs (a Cairn terrier and a chihuahua) and seven cats

Serenity_Now said...

No hard and fast rule. It's just like children. If you're unable to provide the financial resources, time, energy, attention and love they need, you've gone too far!

bobbi_1025 said...

My grandparents are over run with cats. Years ago an elderly man passed away and he was an animal hoarder. Because my grandparents had a dog and horse, the cats all migrated to their house. They live in the middle of nowhere so the city can't trap them. Last time I counted there were 33. They are all outside. When it is time to feed them all you have to do is yell "come on" and shake the food and they come out the woods like crazy. They use 6 pie dishes to feed them. My husband is allergic so he can't even get our the car without having a reaction.

KellyLynn said...

The one pet per person rule is a sensible one, but it doesn't have to be set in stone. It does depend on how much room/time/money you have to care for your pets.

I will admit, though, that we have entirely too many cats around here. If it were just the five that are ours, it wouldn't be so bad. It's the 15 foster kitties we have that drive us up the wall. Most of these guys stay outside, but some of them know how to get in and out when they want to. A few of these foster cats came from a stray mom who decided to have her litters in our smokehouse. The rest are ones that our neighbors couldn't catch to relocate before they moved away.

I didn't want this many pets, but it doesn't feel right to let them get euthanized or leave them to fend for themselves. I would love to find them homes, but there are very few people who want adult cats and the local no-kill shelters are overflowing. I keep trying.

When we were struggling, my husband and I would get into fights about spending more money on the cats than we do on ourselves (this was an exaggeration -- the $12 per week in cat supplies was around 7 percent of our take home at the time). Our current money situation makes this a bit more manageable. We have also started getting the females spayed. We'll work on the males after that.

By the way, would anyone like to add to their own pet population ;)?

VeeBee said...

I agree re: as many as you can adequately care for as far as basic needs, medical needs, companionship, physical/mental stimulation, etc. There is more to being a pet owner than putting out a bowl of food and water every day. We have 7 birds, 2 cats, 1 dog ( a mini-pin), one hamster and one fish. I definitely could have done without the dog and 2 of those birds. (All acquired by my partner. Grrrr.) But I LOVE the cats and the other 5 birds. And I swear that fish recognizes me.

Mary Ann said...

Many years ago, before I married, I lived alone. I had a dog, a cat, and a rabbit. Then I married, had to give away the rabbit. My blended household included my husband and myself, his cat, my cat, and my dog. We have never had fewer than one dog and one cat, sometimes two or three of each. I also had pet rats -- as many as four. I'd say the cut-off is when you cannot care for them. That's why I no longer have rats. I'm not able to give them the care they deserve and I won't have animals I cannot care for.

At present, there are three people and three animals in the household. This is always apt to change.

Gtzisshe said...

2 rescue pittie mixes.
1 cat.
more than enough.
I had 2 cats previously and they stunk to high heaven. Even with frequent litter changes and vacuuming.
My friends has eight cats and you can't tell she has them. Unless you open your eyes.
I hate pet hoarders, they think they are doing good but they aren't.

CarmeliteLady said...

How about one pet per person, that way the pet is never lonely or neglected. Or how about no more pets than can be cared for, paid for, given attention/time and love.

Vintage Pink said...

Too many pets is when you dont notice one has died or gone missing.
And when they are pooping in your house, and thats ok.
Also, when the poop just stays put where it lands, and you are ok with that.

Ari said...

asn long as cages are in the picture

old ;ady said...

I have been lucky enough to have Dogs all my life. My husband was adopted at age 10 and got a puppy his new parents sold it after a few months for booze money.

Together we got a Bouvier and then a rottie/shep mix. Then a mixed female wandered into his garage and had 3 puppies 2 weeks later. Add to that 6 strays were took in. We took care of all their Vet work and all were fixed. We have a large fenced in yard and a place outside of town for them to run. I placed them with only family and close friends so we would know they were being taken care of. At home we ended up with 6 dogs and 2 cats. Everyone was trained to walk on a leash and walked everyday. NO ONE ever broke into our house or my husband's workplace. We never had to worry about our Daughter as 3-4 Dogs were with her always. The key is responsible ownership. Right now, I have 4 Dogs. A Rottie (my Daughter's) a Chow my Daughter refused from a Frat who wanted to fight him and a furball rescue from a puppy mill. I also got 2 weeks ago a Boxer to foster for Boxer rescue. I also have a cat my Daughter rescued at College. They all get along.

seaward said...

I have 2 cats & a dog. Right now we also have a stray dog that we've taken in & are watching till the local no-kill shelter can take her in. The 2nd dog has made me realize 4 animals in a 3br/2bath ranch is WAY TOO MANY.

Jennmcn said...

@Smashbash, Your Sebastian is adorable :) I had mine for 12 years, he was the sweetest thing.


The only time I wish we didn't have all these animals is when we want to go out of town. With two cats that need medicine twice a day and special food, I worry. We usually get two of my youngest son's friends to watch them. Basically the girls just move in, they practically lived here on weekends when Joe lived at home.

I don't like boarding my animals because one or more always come home ill. They have all their shots but inevitably one of the cats gets an upper respiratory infection.

I do recommend the Dyson Animal. Expensive but well worth it. I have a Canaan that sheds year round and one of my cats is not big on grooming like the other two. I usually vacuum every other day.

I love them all even if I bitch about the dogs. I'm more of a cat person.

KittensRUs said...

Agreed. We have four dogs and two cats but I have lived with as many as 25 cats when I was rescuing and the house didn't smell. You absolutely have to have a housekeeper, you slipcover everything and you do laundry constantly. Cat boxes get cleaned twice a day and the ratio is one box for every 3 cats. It can be done properly - hoarders shows people who are not even able to care for themselves. If you knew how many professionals you work with every day have ten or more fosters, you probably wouldn't believe it. We lay low.

feraltart said...

One of my friends has her own business where she pet sits. She does either live-in or drop-in. All of her first customers have been repeat customers and word of mouth is how she is getting more. A lot of people don't want their pets at kennels, even the most well run ones.

Shelly McCrary said...

If you can take care of them and yourself, then I don't see a problem with having a lot of pets. We usually have between 5-10 pets at a time, but we live in a rural area and have a large fenced yard. Pets are expensive to keep, and having more than that would be unreasonable. We also only have cats and dogs, and more cats than dogs, usually because they just show up. The feral cat population is pretty hard to control, and they're hard to catch to do the spay/release method. Plus that's hugely expensive. Right now we have five cats and two older dogs; but three cats and two dogs have all passed away since October, 2011. One of the cats arrived after we lost the others, though, and one of the ones lost was a stray that we had managed to mostly tame and neuter. He just left one night and never came home, so I'm hoping he's found another family. I can't imagine my life without all my animals!

My cousin is a hoarder though--she has something like 25 horses and she can't feed them. They look horrible, and once, she moved into my grandparents' home, and her dog started having puppies, and she had like 30 dogs living in the house and my grandmother finally turned her in. There would have been more but my mom kept giving puppies away. It was awful, and she didn't take care of them.

I know another lady who keeps lots of cats in the yard, strays that she is able to catch and spay, but they stay outside.

dia papaya said...

Enty, I love watching Hoarders. In fact I'm watching it right now.

I can barely manage one dog. So two, yes two!, would be my answer. LOL.

Zeeky_Boogy_Doog said...

Shelly McCrary - That's terrible about your cousin! With those horses, if they are malnourished or neglected, she needs help or someone to take them. Local ASPCA can help. Depending on where you live, if the city finds out, she could end up getting arrested and have the animals seized if their condition is bad. (Horses show up frequently on that "Animal Cops" show.) I hope she's able to get things turned around, getting some therapy and getting help for the animals.

Zeeky_Boogy_Doog said...

I don't have any animals right now, but I wish I did. We're in a suburban paradise, where life is serene and there's a TV in every room. Our limit would probably be two dogs... I want a little white fluffball, but dude hates fluffballs!

Me said...

when you know the family has pets just by walking in the door. so if you walk in and you can smell them, see pet toys all over the floor, hear crazy barking. to me, being smacked in the face with the "WE HAVE PETS" moment, means too many pets.

a couple of years ago i took one of my kids over to a new friends house. the minute you walked in you were overwhelmed with this horrible smell. they had these dirty containers with lizards and fish in them that just looked awful. there were also piles of laundry everywhere and basically crap ruled the space. they were a nice family, but could not keep up with the demands of their pets (or anything else that needed attention).

Jennmcn said...

My daughter is a Vet Tech and she does pet sitting on the side. She makes more doing that, than actually working but she gets benefits from work. I think it's better for the animals to stay at home. She was living in Seattle but she moved to Boston to be near her boyfriend. Now we never hear from her. Typical. But the one thing is she loves animals. She snuck a cat into her room to take care of, glad to say that this cat is living at the Vet she worked for. We already took in the three legged kitten and Bebe needed more attention than we could give her. She even paid for Gumercinda to have her leg amputated because the family that brought her in couldn't afford to even have her put down. She's so adorable and only weighs 7lbs compared to our 18lb old men black cats. Old Monkey still plays/fights with her but she really need a kitten to play with. Our other cat, Zelly doesn't acknowledge their existence which is sad because he played with Sebastian, really late at night and never where we could see it. They would chase each other around the house at night,

Evan Thomas said...

While I respect and understand what you're saying, own a dog or cat
and then feel the same way you do now. Sometimes cats get out and sometimes dogs bark when their not supposed to even when you try everything. Sometimes you just can't control what happens, and that's the difference between animal owners and non animal owners. When you own you understand and you sound less nasty when you say things the way you did here.

misspeg86 said...

I have 3 rabbits who are almost 3 (they stay outside in a fenced area on faux gras with a hutch) and a kitten (she's almost 1). I think the line should be drawn at the point that you feel like you are losing control (in terms of cleaning/finances/noise/hygiene etc). Those people on Hoarders have definitely gone past that point. A looong time ago!

misspeg86 said...

On another note, I wonder how many pets Enty has?

Lori Wilson said...

Anyone really read all these comments? I have my doubts! ;-) @entlawyer is very popular! I have three dachshunds in my 3,000 sq ft. house in a suburb of Colorado Springs. Three is plenty because they bark like crazy...but we but we let them on our bed, of course ;-) If you can take proper care of your animals, stay within the state's requirements.

babo said...

I have two pets, one 8y Pekinese and a 1y Burmese British Shorthair. I live in an apartment in the center of Paris and I am bound to move internationally soon (luckily). So that s our limit.
But I d love to have more dogs. The husband (sensibly) refuses and my Pekinese would take it real bad. Pekinese are famous for being exclusive, one on one.

OT: I received yesterday for my kitten a toy called a Pipolino to replace her food bowl.
Her dry food is put inside and she has to play with it to get some.
She got the trick in one hour, played with it all evening and all night, and for the first time in months, she did not wake us up at 6AM to get her bowl refilled :-)
http://www.pipolino.eu