How many pets do you think are too many?

United States
May 25, 2009 4:40pm CST
I have had many pets over the years. I love animals and having a pet is such a worthwhile experience. However, I do think there is a limit to how many pets one household can tolerate. The most pets I've ever owned at the same time (not including livestock) is four dogs outside and a cat in the house. Even then, it was a little overwhelming. I have a friend who has five dogs and four cats, with six of them being in the house. I think that is too many. How many pets do you think are too many?
7 people like this
27 responses
• United States
25 May 09
I think it all depends on the size of your house and yard. I live in an apartment right now, so one cat is my limit right now. However, my parents live in a nice little house and are very comfortable with one cat and two large dogs (they have a big yard for the dogs). Unless I end up with a farm or a really big bard, I think about 3 or 4 furry pets are enough for me. I'm excluding caged pets and fish because they are easier to care for (and require less space) compared to large pets like dogs, cats, and horses.
3 people like this
• United States
25 May 09
I have a whole frakking horde of pets. They are pretty much all rescues or adoptions. They are 90% reptile and insect. One cuddley little bunny is the only mammal. I am lucky that my animals all have their own little contained worlds. Except the bunny, he hangs with me all day. I think that the biggest factors revolve around the personal space of each animal. As well, the hygienic conditions that can be maintained. If you have an insane number of cats and they are a little crowded , you are increasing the chances of disease spreading. If one cat gets sick then they all will. The same goes with all pets. I've even limited my reptiles. I can't have dozens on tanks in my apartment because it just becomes to consuming. Not too mention my electrical costs. That should be another factor, a persons ability to afford the number of pets. Financing a healthy life for one pet can be expensive, doing it for 5 or 10 could be an economic burden. Hygiene! I've been to too many homes that are just wrecked by the number of animals that live there. Animal feces and excessive hair buildup can cause respiratory problems as well pest problems. A home where the hygiene is being poorly affected by the pets in it can lead to disease or serious infestations. Fleas and cockroaches as well lice and other mites could take hold of a home quickly. A loved pet should never have to feel like it's surviving, it should be a nice easy and comfortable life. It should be a healthy one. Does your friend keep a clean and healthy home for their animals? Are they struggling to keep them fed with quality food? Do they receive proper veterinary treatment? With the average home being as big as it is around my area, i would say your friend already has too many animals for it to be a comfortable living space. How can this friend have a good personal relationship with that many animals. Do they all receive lots of attention? I think that the topic of your discussion is a very important one. Thanks for posting it.
2 people like this
• United States
25 May 09
That is one of the reasons I believe that my friend has too many pets. It is a struggle for him and his wife to keep up with the care and mess caused by their animals. It becomes terribly expensive to feed them all and take care of their medical needs. I don't doubt that there are people who can give even large numbers of pets the care they need, but for everyone there is a point where you have to say when.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 May 09
I think you are absolutely right.
@rrdj71 (696)
• United States
25 May 09
I have 2 cats a dog and 2 parakeets. But I still would like some more. AM I NUTS? I think I would like a couple of more dogs, a rabbit maybe, and another cat. :) Of course my husband will not LET ME!!! Can you blame him?
2 people like this
• United States
25 May 09
Of course, you and your husband will have to work that out on your own. However, in my opinion, it does depend a lot on how much time, space and expense you can spare to care for the animals. If you can manage them, it can be a lovely experience, but it is very easy for them to get out of hand.
• United States
25 May 09
I think it depends on the size of a place,the ability to feed and give them each the attention they need. We have 3 dogs and 2 cats.two of the dogs are inside,tiny chihuahuas.all the others are outside.Even with three of us to care for them it does get a little overwhelming from time time.but I wouldnt trade it for anything :)
2 people like this
@thyst07 (2079)
• United States
25 May 09
I think that to some extent it depends on the size of the home. I live in a one-bedroom apartment. I have two cats and two fish aquariums, and that's pretty much full capacity. If I had a large house, I might have up to four cats but probably not more. As for dogs, I personally think that two dogs is too much, since dogs require so much attention and space. But it really depends on how much time a person has to care for them.
2 people like this
@maezee (42241)
• United States
25 May 09
I have a friend who once had 11 pets in total (including a dog, a cat, a bunny, a couple fish, 2 turtles, & a baby croc). I don't think there's such thing as a "too-many" number; I think people should only have pets that they can care for & pay attention to. It's not fair to the animals when people have too many - to the point where they end up getting neglected, diseased, or starving (etc). So, I think that if a family can take care of 11 pets (like my friend did), then it's totally OK - more power to them. Most people can't, though, and that's why it's important to take on pet-responsibilities little-by-little, so that we can gauge just how many we can adequately take care of. For me, 2 cats are quite enough of a hand full. But I'm sure this differs depending on the person & the family taking the animals in.
2 people like this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
25 May 09
I can not put a limit in our household because they all need to eat and feel loved in some way. I have 4 dogs and 10 cats. 4 cats were strays and have found a home with us. I couldn't turn them away if my life depended on it because they come here hungry in need of food. What if it were me, I would hope someone would show some compassion and give me some food. It's not overwhelming to me at all for they all come and go as they please through a cat/dog door that we've provided for them. All have been fixed except for two and they're being fixed tomorrow and they've all had their shots. If more come, so be it. I hope not but hey, if they do, so be it. They'll be welcomed.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 May 09
Do you make an effort to find other loving homes for the animals you take in? It is commendable to do so, but it does get difficult to keep up with the care of so many.
2 people like this
• United States
26 May 09
I think the answer to this is... "it depends". It depends on the person because some people just can't handle pets, or only a limited number of pets. It depends on the quality of care... I honestly believe that if you have a choice of buying *good* dog food for 2 dogs or cheap dog food for 4 dogs, then you should only have 2 dogs. The rest is space. Animals NEED space, whether it be the space for aquariums, tanks, habitats, crates, back yard space, cages, et cetera. I have 3 parakeets (budgerigars), a pineapple green cheek conure, one cat and one dog. I have a huge back yard for the dog, the cat is indoor with scratching posts and a 4 1/2 foot tall cat tree, the parakeets have a large bird cage/house with ample space (it can fit 5-6 parakeets but I think 3 and all their toys are more than enough) and a large 5 foot cage and a tabletop play area for my conure (type of parrot). I know I am at max capacity. It's just myself and my 8 year old daughter, we both spend quite a lot of time with all the pets. The 'keets are hand-trained, the conure does tricks, my cat plays fetch and my dog is learning all kinds of different commands. However, that's just how we can do things, which most people just don't have time/patience/money/energy to do.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 May 09
It seems to me that you are very responsible pet owner. Your pets are very lucky to have that environment in which to learn and grow. I think you are absolutely right that it does depend. It's good to know that people do know their limits in ability to care for pets. That's what I was looking for when I started this discussion.
@Porcospino (31508)
• Denmark
27 May 09
At the moment we have six rabbits and one cat, but we plan on adding a dog and a couple of guinea pigs. I love animals and I don't think we have too many, but my relatives and friends usually laugh at us and call our home "the zoo". The truth is I would like to have more than six rabbits, but as we live in an ordinary house and not on a farm it is probably best to stick to six rabbits at the moment If I had a farm I would like to add some goats, some sheep and a couple of horses, but right now I am extremly happy to have my rabbits and my cat and I couldn't imagine living without any pets.
1 person likes this
@dsrtrose (166)
• United States
27 May 09
I have 4 dogs and 3 cats inside and have no problems. They all coexist well. The only problem is of course vet bills can be large when one or more is ill.
1 person likes this
@msh545 (1)
26 May 09
I think it depends on how much time and space you have. For the average person I think that more than 4 pets is too much.
1 person likes this
26 May 09
i think it depends on the size of the house where the pets will be living; whether there is a garden or somewhere secure for the animals to sleep plus whether the animals can be cared for if they fall sick and if they can be fed properly. i have always owned animals, a budgie and a dog before i got married. at the moment i have 1 dog and 4 cats. just over 2 years ago i had 2 dogs and 5 cats. in previous years i had the 5 cats, 2 dogs, 2 rats, 5 fish, a hamster and a bunny. i was busy looking after them, but the dogs were always walked, and all my animals were well fed and cared for . so to sum it up as long as the animals are content and you can afford lots of pets, there is no magic figure of how many animals you can own. But i do get cross hearing about pet owners who own large dogs in small flats, or don't take them for regular walks. or the people who mistakenly think that when they go on holiday, their cats can live off the wild. I dont mind admitting , i love my pets but if i couldnt afford to keep them i would go without myself just to make sure they didnt go without.
• United States
26 May 09
I really think that there is a different thresh hold for every family and every situation! I live in a townhouse. My neighbor currently has 8 cats living in her house - and the house is under 1000 square feet! It is just one woman living there. I think that is WAY too many. I do know other people who have that many cats living in their barns and it is no problem. I, personally, dont ever want more than 3 pets in any house I own! Right now we have 1 cat and that is enough!
1 person likes this
@Shar19 (8235)
• United States
26 May 09
I really think it depends on what kinds of pets the people have in their house. If the pets are inside, like dogs and cats, then I think two is enough. Any more than that and the house starts to smell funky.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 May 09
I think the amount of pets you have should be dictated by how many you can provide love and care for. We all have our limits and sometimes they change. The problem arises when you develop problems in you life that makes the amount you have - too many. How do you choose between your loved ones. How would you choose between your kids?
1 person likes this
• United States
26 May 09
I feel that when it comes to cats that 3 of them is kind of pushing the limit. My parents were babysitting to cats while they had one of their own in the house, and you could really start smelling their presence. Especially with one cat which was the size of a suitcase and weighed close to 30lbs. He has serious issues when he uses the restroom.
• United States
27 May 09
The smell really does become a problem. It's so hard to keep a house with several pets clean and sanitary. That is one of the problems I have with having a large nember of them.
@stafei (98)
• China
26 May 09
I have a bog.I think that is enough.Because my house is very small.If I have more pets,there have no enough room for them.And the cost is too high to take care them.Also my mother take care my dog every day,need give he breakfast and lunch and dinner and take him go to outside every morning and afternoon whatever sun or rain or cold or hot.Thanks for my mother and I think one dog for me is enough.How about you?
@kanecn (149)
• China
26 May 09
i agree with you,keeping a pet is a good way to for old people to kill their spare time, but if you have too many pets, it's tiring for old people to take care of the pets and manage them.
• United States
27 May 09
I have a 2 cats and a dog ... any more than that would not be good inn my house with kids and everything else. You have to be able to care for the animals, if you can't then what is the value of having them since they won't be able to bring you joy and will most likely be in the way and getting into places they shouldn't be.
@fifileigh (3618)
• United States
27 May 09
i dont think there is a limit. take as much as you can handle and have room for. right now, i have one cat. all my other pets are in heaven. but i like most animals. i live in a townhouse. it is not that big for too many pets. and i am afraid there will be friction if i get other pets. so, 1 cat is enough for now. but who knows, maybe sometimes in the future, i will get a dog again. i also like rabbits, birds, fish, etc.
@saundyl (9785)
• Canada
27 May 09
I think its a personal thing. IF i had all my pets indoors all the time and not outside on a farm with the barn and the dog houses and the space I'd limit myself to one small dog and a couple cats. I wouldn't have 3 dogs and 11 cats (i only had two fixed females to begin with but strays keep showing up and having kittens). All but my two that i had originally are wild though and i dont see them often. Lots of times by the end of summer they have wandered off out of my barn or a neighbour kid has caught them and found homes for them I think the big thing is that if you get too many pets i feel that it gets too expensive to provide proper care - food vet toys grooming and the like for one person to support. Some people can afford more and enjoy more...but i just cant see myself even being able to afford my husky (esp with how he destroys things) if i was in an apt in the city.