Are 5 cats too many for one person to keep?
Q. How many cats are too many? I live in a house and I have five, and people are telling me that I've gone over the line.
A. Are you happy? Are you taking care of yourself? Are your cats happy? Are you taking care of them? Is your house in reasonably good shape, and are you able to keep it clean and healthy? Are you able to pay for your needs and your cats' needs, and have a reserve for a rainy day? Are you able to keep the cats from being a nuisance or a hazard? Are they altered to prevent unplanned litters?
If the answer to all those questions is yes, and you’re not breaking any law (or homeowners association rule) regarding the number of cats in your dwelling, then you are just fine. And my answer would be the same if you had one cat or 20. There are some people who don’t take good care of a single pet, while there are other people who can take great care of five or 10 or more. Is it going to work for most pet lovers to have that many cats? Probably not, but as a veterinarian, I can tell you that it does work for some. If you’re willing to put the time and the money into providing proper care for your cats, it can work for you, too.
Pet owner vs. animal hoarder
Your friends and relatives mean well; chances are they’ve seen shows on TV about animal hoarding, and that has sparked their concern. But it’s not the number of pets that defines someone as a hoarder — it’s the behavior. Animal hoarding is a mental illness, and as such, it’s related to other forms of hoarding that don’t involve animals.
Now about those questions I asked: If you answered no to some or all of them, then yes, you do have more pets than you can care for. Ask your veterinarian for referrals to reputable shelters and rescue groups that can assist you in finding responsible homes for enough cats so you are not overwhelmed by the remainder.
Bing: How to care for cats
If “overwhelmed” describes your normal state of mind, then you may need additional help. Please contact your doctor or a local mental health agency in your area for assistance, because chances are your problems may reach beyond your inability to care for your pets properly.
If you’re handling it all just fine, though, then you’re not a crazy cat lady — you’re just crazy about cats. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that.
More from MSN Living:
pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers
Once popular, names such as Brandy, Scooter, Spike, Scooby and Lucky have fallen on hard times in the dog-naming world. Check out which male and female names are out of fashion in 2013.
We've already examined the most popular puppy names of 2012, but just finding out which names we're most likely to hear at the dog park wasn't quite enough. We wanted to look at which monikers were on the rise, so we dug a little deeper to determine the 10 trendiest names of 2012. To do so, we hit up Vetstreet's data, which includes information about 1.26 million dogs. We looked at where the names were in 2003 and 2012; those that moved up the most made the list. Of course, some names fell off the list completely in the past decade — Elvis, Ozzie and Cassie among them. Some of these were replaced by newer names like Thor and Athena that, despite a late entry to the Top 100, have become popular enough that they, too, were included.
What is the best route to follow should your pet bite one of your guests or run off and nip an innocent bystander?
Tiny Terrier rescued from traffic in Texas.
Shaved legs, trimmed mustaches and long, luxurious coats — sometimes we think the Westminster Dog Show, which airs Monday and Tuesday, is like a red-carpet event for unusual-looking breeds.
February 14 isn’t just a day to shower the special human in your life with chocolates and roses. It's also important to do something special for the one member in your family who loves you unconditionally — your pet. In honor of how much we love all things furry, feathered and four-legged, we rounded up our favorite cats and dogs celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Here are nine fundamental steps for taking care of your new kitten.
Only 35 of its kind exist in the U.S.