Multi-Cat Household

by Lisa James
(Green Cove Springs, FL)

Shelf for the cats

Shelf for the cats

I have 14 adults & 6 kittens. BUT, to qualify, I am the President of a purebred cat rescue, AND I show & breed Turkish Angora cats.

Managing a multi cat household IS work. However, after a while, it becomes a matter of managing a routine. Once you get the routine down, it's not hard. The costs of vet care can be alleviated by learning to do the basics yourself. I do all of my own routine vaccinations & wormings.

The cats see their vet once every 3 years for a 3 year rabies, & for emergencies. If you are lucky, or have a very good relationship with your vet, you can sometimes even get them to exempt older cats from ever being required to get another rabies vaccination. I have 4 cats that now are no longer required to get them. 2 of them are 13 years old now, & the newest 2 are 8 years old. Reasoning? None of my cats EVER go outside, so there is no way they will come into contact with anything that carries the disease. Over vaccinating can cause VAS, a form of cancer that caused by vaccinations. Plus, by the time my adult cats are about 6 years old, they have had enough routine distemper vaccinations in their lifetimes to have built up a lifetime immunity, so after age 6, they don't get any further distemper vaccinations. They don't ever receive felv/fiv vaccines, because if they are negative to begin with, & they never come in contact with a positive cat, they can't catch it, so it's irrelevant to their health care.

Besides health care, you just have to learn to budget a little differently for food & litter. I have a membership to Costco, which is a warehouse store, I don't know if you have anything like that in the UK, but here in the states there are several, Sam's Club, BJ's, Costco are the 3 big ones. I buy up to 6 bags of food at a time, it makes more sense, & it's actually less expensive, but is a high quality food. I don't feed my cats anything "cheap".

My husband put a shelf up by the picture windows in the dining room, which are above the regular windows. They were jumping on top of the curio cabinets to get up there anyway, & we were always afraid someone was going to roll over in their sleep, fall & get hurt. With the shelf, we no longer worry. He has a few more he wants to put up in front of the picture windows in the kitchen.

Yes, there can be personality conflicts, but they are few & far between. For the most part, they all get along peacefully. If not, it usually gets settled between the 2 parties involved quickly when one walks away.

All of my cats except my 2 Turkish Angora queens & 2 my 2 Turkish Angora studs are altered. Kittens are altered before they leave home, as well as have several sets of kittens shots, wormings, microchip, & state health certificates.

So, basically, a multi-cat household is no more work than say, a multi dog household, & I dare say, LESS work!

Lisa

Comments for
Multi-Cat Household

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Jun 03, 2011 Disagree with Lisa
by: Gail (Boston, USA)

Sorry, Lisa, but I absolutely disagree with no shots for your cats, especially rabies! Your cats may be indoor, but god forbid, what happens in case of fire and they get out?

What if, during one of their infrequent vet visits, they come into contact with another animal by accident? I am particularly surprised at your cavalier attitude about 3/year vet visits when you allege to "show" your cats. All it would take is one time coming into contact with an FIV/Felv animal and that's it - the odds of spreading disease, even by an infected mosquito, flea or any other diseased creature in Florida, and your cats are toast! Sorry, but you would never be allowed to adopt from our shelter, that's for sure.


Jun 03, 2011 Other Thoughts
by: Lisa James

Absolutely I believe the benefits outweigh the work 🙂 I think the other BIG thing is that you have to REMAIN at a number that YOU are comfortable caring for, WITHOUT it becoming stressful. if you are stressed, the cats can feel it & are stressed themselves, & if the cats are stressed, they can become ill, break out with things like URI, UTI, ringworm, diarrhea, etc.

I have had over 30, but I was stressed, & the cats were feeling the pressures of overcrowding. As my numbers have gone down, from adoptions of foster cats to retiring adult show cats, to attrition by death of the very elderly cats, my permanent cats have become healthier, happier, & our shyer cat has become much more outgoing.


Jun 03, 2011 Interesting
by: Michael

Thanks Lisa. Your article has given me an insight into the mind of a multi-cat caretaker.

It seems to be about knowledge, routine and organization.

You obviously believe that the benefits (upside) are greater than the downsides (work element).

That is what it is all about ultimately. And the important fact that you are giving a home to 20 cats who are no doubt loved and well cared for.



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