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How much room do cats need?

Sonya SangerSonya Sanger Member Posts: 113
edited 6 July, 2009 in Choosing the Right Cat
Hi. I have two cats and there is this one kitty that I am really interested in at the local rescue. I live in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo. One of the bathrooms is huge. Also we have a small laundry room, a kitchen, an open living/dining room area. (no basement) Do you think 3 would be too many? Also, I have a female who was there first and is clearly the dominant cat. And I have a male who is submissive. These two get along great. If I get another cat should I rather get a male or a female?


  • Sandy NenningerSandy Nenninger PlainvilleMember Posts: 1,975
    edited 2 July, 2009
    I have 6 cats in a small 2 bedroom house. They are all happy and have plenty of windows to look out of and a cat tree to climb. If you have room for 3 litterboxes and can afford vet care, litter and food for 3 cats, then GO FOR IT!! I have turned my half bath over to my cat\'s litterboxes. Not really room for humans to use it now, but I didn\'t need it anyway. LOL And as far as male or female, I would be more concerned with the new cats temperment and whether the rescue says it gets along well with other. Sex makes no difference although I prefer females myself. Just make sure you do a proper introduction period. Keep the new kitty separate where they can smell each other through a door for a few days and then try slow short supervised visits to see how things go before leaving them all together.
  • terri echolsterri echols kalamazooMember Posts: 4,758
    edited 3 July, 2009
    right now we have four resident kitties, two humans. three are mine, one belongs to my roommate. poor churrah...until he was ten he was an only kitty. then came kaya & shyloh. then came rhymon. then came meayah. then shyloh & meayah moved out, taking their human with them. if you\'re keeping track: 1. churrah was alone. 2. churrah suddenly was presented with two kittens. 3. a few months later, churrah was saddled with another kitten. 4. about three months later, in came another kitten. there are four other felines, two kittens, two barely a year old. 5. one kitten and one young cat leave-down to two other kitties. three total counting the long-suffering churrah cat. then the feral cat i\'d made friends with had kittens, and i brought the whole fam damily indoors for awhile. 6. churrah is assaulted by three more kittens and one adult (aggressive) momcat. two babies were adopted out, momcat turned out to NOT NOT NOT want to be an inside kitty, and one kitten decided she was ours. 7. churrah regrets to state that a loss of three out of four unwanted kitties is not a net gain. no, seriously. churrah loves kaya, is mostly indifferent to rhymon, and still suspicious of little jadyn...but does not seem particularly traumatized. all those changes, with a senior cat, and he\'s been fine. our house is three bedroom, but the third bedroom is basically fit for a smurf\'s where we kept the little cat family when we brought them in. besides the bedrooms we have 1 and a half baths, a hallway, a large public room, and a kitchen. and four cats. and two humans. and it works. there are many windows, which helps. there are many places to hide, and many places to congregate. there are many litterboxes, and there is vertical territory, which is important with multiple cats. i think it actually helps our cats\' nerves that we\'re sort of cluttered and that there are gaps between the furniture and the walls. there IS open space, but there are also lots of niches and corners and boxed away spaces-in short, lots of easily defined territory. we have a small cat tree (i call it the cat shrub), a cat bed, a cat play cube and a fleece blankie. everything else is our furniture and \"stuff\", which the cats co-opt as necessary. it\'s not square footage (pawage?) you need to think\'s do you have adequate \"cliffs\", \"caves\", \"box canyons\", \"trees\" and \"fields\"...scaled down, yes...but they need to be there.
  • Lisa DaversLisa Davers SacramentoMember Posts: 3,642
    edited 5 July, 2009
    As th eothers say it sounds like you have plenty of room for a 3rd cat and have spare rooms that you can use for the new cat during the intros. As long as the cat you are interested in is friendly with other cats and not pushy they should do well with your existing cats. As long as everyones fixed I don't think it really matters whether you get a male or female just go by their personality.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 5 July, 2009
    It sounds to me as if you have enough space for another cat. I live in a tiny Tokyo apartment and am running a small-scale cattery. I have four permanent cats, and the kittens are getting new owners. Fortunately, all my cats get along--most notably, the two neutered males have no Alpha-male issues. However, I have had to rehome cats in my past. I feel guilty about this, but sometimes cats just don\'t mix--which means unhappiness for all the cats and for the humans in the house. Space-wise, you have no problem. Remember that cats are vertically inclined creatures and therefore different from dogs. As long as you have a cat tower, enough litter boxes, and cats that get along (which may take a while, but is usually the case), if you want another cat, I would judge that there is no problem. Some cat show friends of mine have around 17 cats in an apartment that I suspect is no bigger than mine (three small rooms, kitchen, one bath). I find that a bit extreme, but it seems to work out for them. Three cats are not a problem, as long as you have the resources to feed them, take care of their toilet needs, and, most importantly, take responsibility for their medical care.
  • Lilly KoonsLilly Koons LouisvilleMember Posts: 159
    edited 6 July, 2009
    That is a very good question...which I say there are many ways of figuring out what is the limit. When it comes to space its the rule of how many litter boxes you can fit comfortably or manage. So rule of thumb for cats is to have one for each cat plus one but I think as long as you can keep them clean and keep the cats happy then you can go with less. Like we have one cat and just one litter box, I make sure its cleaned out every other day. We have scoopable litter, since I think we save more money and waste less litter that way.
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