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Jude's avatar

What would be a reasonable number of cats and dogs?

Asked by Jude (32190points) February 9th, 2011

Say, that you could afford it and had the space, dog and kitty lovers, how many would you have (or like to have)?

I have a 14 year old “puppy”, a 10 year old kitty and now a 4 month old kitty. They all get along great.

Maybe, this summer, I will get another dog. And that will be it.

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38 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have had two dogs but no cats.Now I have one dog and two cats.I was told by a good friend who insists that she cares about me that if I have more than two cats,I will then be a cat lady ;)

Seelix's avatar

If I could, I’d have four cats. I’ve had three before, and the balance was really thrown off – one kitty is bound to be at the bottom of the pecking order. Now that I have only two, she’s still at the bottom, but at least she has only one kitty picking on her. Maybe the same thing would happen with four, but I like to think that if they’re all adopted at the same time (and preferably from the same litter) that they’d band together in pairs.

I had two females, and Mr. Fiance had a male; I think that when we all moved in together it created a love triangle. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I did the 2 and 2 thing for many years and loved it! Everybody had somebody to play with in many interesting combinations. The vet bills for routine stuff got a bit daunting (not to mention the _non_routine stuff!). I’m down to only one dog, now, and I miss all the extra furriness. Probably about time to add a couple…

syz's avatar

It truly would depend on my ability to financially support them, my space, and the amount of time that I would have to spend with them. I currently have 3 cats and 1 dog (and 2 birds), and I can imagine one additional dog. But that’s it, in my current situation.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

When I was growing up we had as many as 25 cats at one time, and usually 2 or 3 dogs.

janbb's avatar

That’s a completely personal decision. Unfortunately, my husband feels that no animals is the right number.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I would have two cats, if allergies permitted. Two is enough for me, although a passel of kittens at play is adorable to watch.

Coloma's avatar

Only as many as you can afford to properly care for, like children.
I have 2 cats and a pair of geese at this time and the balance is good.

The most animals I ever had were during the years I raised my daughter in the country and we had a small farm full of critters. Bunnies, geese, chickens, cats, a dog, a donkey and a horse.

While great fun it was a LOT of work to keep everyone and their space in order.

I remember falling out of my boots into the mud one night in the pouring rain on my way to the barn with a big bowl of bran mash for the horses. I was splayed out in the mud with bran mash all over my face….I just lay there and cried a little before finishing the nightly routine. lol

downtide's avatar

If space, time and money were not an issue I would have up to four dogs, and possibly cats as well (although cats are more my partner’s preference than mine).

mrentropy's avatar

I’d have a farm with 20–30 cats. A couple of mutts for the outdoors. I’d be set.

Coloma's avatar

Trust me peeps, the whole old MacDonalds farm fantasy is just that, a fantasy! lol

The cats have 5 acres to crap on and a perfectly clean litter box, but… they make little poo volcanos in the pea gravel off my garage.

The dog does not lay on the porch and look noble, it kills the chickens by licking them to death behind a tree. The goats stood on the rabbit hutch and peed on them, and jumped on the cars roofs to be king of the mountain.

The geese learned to climb the stairs and stand on the deck honking for bread and pooing on the porch.

My now gone old granny goose layed her eggs on the rug on the front porch asnd you couldn’t go in or out the door for hours while she was in process of laying her giant egg.

Trust me, trust me….the peaceable kingdom does not exist! haha

Seelix's avatar

@Coloma – Poo volcanoes? Licking chickens to death behind a tree? Peeing on rabbits? Sounds like an exciting time to me!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Seelix @Coloma That sounded like fun. We also had around 150 head of cattle so the cats weren’t that obvious.

Coloma's avatar


Oh yeah..haha

wundayatta's avatar

For me, a reasonable number of dogs would be between 0 and 3. A reasonable number of cats would be 0.

I had a dog when I was a kid, and it was a wonderful thing to have a dog. I had some cows, too, and that was also wonderful. I had a cat, and that was not so wonderful.

I would not have a dog now because I don’t believe in leaving dogs alone for ten hours a day. I think that is animal cruelty.

partyparty's avatar

In an ideal world I would have the two dogs I have now, and if my daughter wasn’t allergic I would get her another horse. Ah well I can dream

Soubresaut's avatar

I think it might be fun to have three dogs and two cats, but that would probably be my limit. I love animals but I’d want to be able to give them all adequate attention, and I’m not super great at multitasking. Ideally I’d rescue them all, but with money really not being an issue I might get one Italian Grey and one Russian Blue from a breeder, and rescue the rest… : ]

Of course, if I really had enough space and money, I’d have an animal rescue,—rescuing animals that were about to be put down because of limited space/unwantedness, and trying to find them good homes—so I’d probably go with one and one to keep a little sanity.
…assuming I’d have the self control not to fall too attached to rescued ones…

Coloma's avatar

My diehard dream is still a goose rescue. I would like to build a huge pond with circulating and filtered water and a big island in the middle, and take in all the dumped domestics that people toss into park ponds with rank stagnant water and little food supply.

Maybe, someday. ;-)

tinyfaery's avatar

Hmm. I have 5 cats and though it sounds like a lot it really isn’t. I have the space, time and money to care for them, so I don’t have any problems. I also just added a bunny to my household and she is settling in nicely.

Would I like more pets? Sure. But at this time I have plenty.

6rant6's avatar

@Seelix That call that dreaming.

My SO has the same theory – one more cat, one more dog will somehow round out things and make the least happy one happy. Only they don’t make me more happy.

And we have experience with three cats where two picked on the oldest and he moved in under the bed. The dog certainly would feel denied our affection if we got a puppy. Besides, he thinks he is one of us.

In my opinion, if you hold the belief that one more cat will always increase overall happiness, you are already a cat lady – you just may have it under control.

Seelix's avatar

@6rant6 – My reasoning is that even numbers work out better than odd numbers. We have two cats right now, which works out much better than three. However, I love cats and I think the more the merrier (to a point), and I miss having three. That’s why I’d go for four. My place is too small for four, though, so it’ll stay at two until these ones are gone.

It’s not a question of one more, it’s a question of even numbers, I think.

6rant6's avatar

@Seelix “Two is better than three” is pretty strong evidence that you’re not a cat lady, IMHO.

My SO says that the newer cat (16 pounds two years) is being picked on by the older cat (12 pounds, 4 years). So if we got a kitten, the 16-pound cat would have someone he could dominate.

And then obviously, the new kitten would need someone to pick on…

I don’t have to hit the ground to know when I’ve fallen out of a tree.

Coloma's avatar

It’s true that some people ‘use’ getting a new pet like a shopaholic uses shopping to aliviate their boredom or as a quick fix for a bad mood. Not cool.

My biggest ‘pet’ peeve is people getting animals on a whim and then losing interest in them in a matter of days. Jesus…wake the F—K up! Eat a donut or go for a walk. lol

submariner's avatar

My last dog had to spend too much time alone. I don’t think I’ll get another dog unless I can get at least two of them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I wouldn’t have a single pet. My last two dogs were inseperable. The vets even put up with both dogd going when one was ill. They boarded there and they could tell how much they bonded. The downside was when one died the other quit living and died within 30 days.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that it’s only fair for any dog to have a friend for when you’re gone. Cats do all right by themselves. That’s about all I can handle anyway.

partyparty's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Oh that is so very sad. So sorry for your loss :(((
We also take both dogs to the vets.
I expect I will be in the same position as you one day. Just don’t know how I will deal with it

Ladymia69's avatar

Like @psychocandy I have 5 cats (originally had 6), and it really isn’t that big a deal. And I live in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment to boot!

Jude's avatar

^^ crazy cat lady ;-)

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’d love to be a crazy cat-lady, not too keen on the crazy litter-box lady thing.

Sunny2's avatar

I think you can have more pets in rural areas than in cities and suburbs. In fact, some communities have limits to how many you may have. So do do landlords. Besides the money and room to accommodate pets, you have to consider how much time you have to spend with them. I feel sorry for dogs, in particular, who are left alone all day. Choice of breed is also a consideration where exercise and stimulus is not not readily available. Pets are a joy and deserve a good life.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I have 2 medium sized dogs and 3 male cats.
We’ve had more and we’ve had less…. and this seems to be a very happy number for us. Everyone gets along, we aren’t overwhelmed, they all get plenty of attention and we aren’t crowded in here. It works for us, although I’m sure many people would think that 5 pets is too many.
@Seelix I’ve found, personally, that mixing male and female cats within the household can be really challenging, even when they are spayed and neutered. All of the people that I know (myself included) that have the most harmonious situation with their multiple cat household – have either all male cats or all female cats.

rooeytoo's avatar

I personally think that when you have more than 2 dogs, your place starts to turn into a kennel. 3 just seem to cause so much more upkeep and expense than 2. I loved my big akita but since he is gone, my life is so much simpler and easier with just the 2 dogs.

I am not sure about cats. When I had the kennel there were always cats around, never had more than 3 at a time and they would be adopted out if someone wanted them. They were always mysteriously replaced though with unwanted kittens or cats dropped off for boarding and never picked up.

One of the biggest problems is what to do when you want to go away. If you have 2, it is not too difficult to find a senior citizen to come and house and pet sit. I don’t like in home pet watching services, they spend 10 min a day feeding and then leave until the next day. I want someone to stay in my house and keep the dogs on their usual schedule for feeding and walking and company. If I can’t find someone I trust to do that, I will put them in a good kennel, but good kennels are expensive and the more critters you have the more expensive it gets.

Birds are usually a bit easier but still more work for your sitter or expense for boarding.

Jude's avatar

My two boy cats are getting along swimmingly. I just got the 4 month old kitten a few day ago.

Now, I have one male dog (14). What would you recommend getting as far as another dog? A male or female?

YARNLADY's avatar

The most cats I’ve ever had was 5, when I lived in a big house. The most dogs is two, plus 3 rescue dogs for a week or two at a time.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Jude since your dog is so old I would definitely get another soon to give you love while you grieve the loss of the oldie. I would get a female because I think female dogs make better pets, spayed of course. What age you get depends upon the strength of the oldie, I would not want to bring in a rambunctious lab pup unless you can keep them separated when you are not there to supervise every minute. Perhaps adopt an adult from a rescue or breed specific rescue. Breed specific rescues always health and temperament test dogs before they place them so you are sure you are getting a stable healthy animal and one who will get along with your cats. You are still saving a life that way.

It doesn’t sound like an overwhelming number to cope with on a day to day basis, as I said above, just a problem when you want to go away!

Keep us posted on what you decide.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I once got a “transition dog” when my old dog was failing, and the old dog rallied and lived a few more years, delighted to have a buddy. It was a marvelous happy thing for all concerned.

faye's avatar

I once had 1 dog, 3 kids, 5 cats! 2 of the cats were temporary but it was fine. Everyone sure had someone to cuddle! Now I have 1 cat, and my daughter and her dog live here- need more cats.

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