I’ve had a lot more cats go through my house at one time than I ever expected to.
I’ve gone through the vast majority of the years I’ve spent with cats having just one, then at some points, I’ve had 5 that I’ve been taking care of at once, plus an additional two under my roof in my basement, because my brother moved in with us for a number of months and had two cats of his own.
So that’s a lot under one roof at one point in time. And no, it was not fun.
Especially since not all these cats got along. And while at least one or two of the 5 under my care were not meant to live with me forever, in the meantime, I had to play musical chairs with the cats depending on the time of day, with regards to who got let out at what time and when.
It was not easy or fun, but we got thorough it, and now I have 3 cats (all the boys) and my brother has 3 cats (all the girls).
He took two of the five that were with me, but sadly, one of his died abruptly from a congenital heart defect that he was born with, but there was no cure for.
I had four cats for almost a year, and I thought I was going to have four forever, but the kitten under my care never warmed up to me.
She liked all three of my cats, and was relatively bonded to one or two of them (honestly, they liked her better than she liked them).
But she really wasn’t a fan of me at all, and I could tell that when my brother and his husband came over to our house, she would light up and was so happy and would try to cuddle with them and play with them.
So off to their house she went when I finally gave up on trying to get her to like me, and she grew far more cuddly and really bonded to them, far more than I’d ever seen her.
I could take in one more. But when I had four, I couldn’t really attend to any of their needs the way I wanted to. I couldn’t cuddle them enough, play with them enough, and I wasn’t happy with the way I was micromanaging.
I like to give my three boys some water mixed with kibble twice a day, for instance. I have an automatic feeder, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feeder, go off at other times into the Catit Senses Food Maze to keep them busy and space out feedings. You can see my review of the feeder and my full set up here.
With four cats, this feels way too much to do each day. I did do it when I had four, but with the same three I do this with now.
Because the last one was a kitten who didn’t eat with the other boys, I was always on top of her trying to get her to eat throughout a day so she would take in enough calories.
That was also exhausting, having to divide and conquer because more cats means more chances of having one that your system doesn’t work for.
I only have so much lap space, and there are times throughout nearly every single day each time the temperature drops where all three of my cats want to be in my lap at once.
Luckily I have just enough room. And yes, they’re all Velcro kitties, each in their own way. But lap cat definitely describes them all.
Has there being three cats made them any less snuggly? Absolutely not!
And if I got another cat I don’t think they’d be any less snuggly either. But a fourth would mean I wouldn’t have time to give every cat the kind of attention they’re after.
With three? I feel like I can just manage. Not overdo it, not underdo it, just enough.
Same with keeping on top of the chores around the cats.
Except for grooming, which I wish I had more time for, but I have two long hairs and shave them myself, so it’s a bit of a handful.
They used to hate being shaved, but I’ve learned how to make shaving less stressful for cats that hate it, so even this is getting far easier to do over time.
Though I absolutely wish I used my Furminator on my shorthair (Avery) more! That would help a lot with hairballs that seem to give him a cough every so often. Best brush I’ve found so far to get the shed out without touching the hair that’s still in tact.
Vet visits don’t feel super arduous to have to do either, though I have had a lot of good luck on that front and since they are indoor-only cats, I haven’t needed to take them often at all.
When I had two for a very long period of time, that also felt near perfect. Closer to perfect than four. So I would say that for me, two or three are probably the perfect number.
But I like three as an ideal number of cats, and always have, because I’ve always felt like if one passed, I’d still have two who get along to keep each other company, and comfort me, then I could gradually introduce a third if/when ready. Being left with one just doesn’t feel the same.
One feels like too few these days anyway, especially after seeing how Avery as a single cat for so long didn’t even like the second cat and was super stressed out about him for ages, and still all that time, he seemed more content and far less bored.
Now the three cats get along so stupendously, you would never have known Avery had initial anxiety.
I mean it. He’s really good with them now. Definitely seems to like Athos better even though he came long after Bjorn, but cats absolutely can like each other even when they didn’t initially, and this transformation Avery’s had is proof.
They will even snuggle up with each other without me present. Without me having placed them next to each other, and at times when I am not even in the room. It’s so sweet.
They even play together, which is something I never thought I would say about Avery, since he’s such a lazy cat and I could hardly get him to play with anything even after trying practically everything.
But with the other cats, he plays with them pretty much daily, and if they start him off he’ll often continue to play on his own for some time as well.
It’s just been very good for him having them as companions, honestly.
It took time. I’m not going to pretend it was easy for him after so many years of being an only cat to make that adjustment, but through this process that I outlined, and with some effort and a lot of patience, he did get to the point far past what I remotely near expected his relationship to ever get to with them.
I wouldn’t want any cat that I have in the future to be without a buddy, even for a short period of time. And cats don’t live forever. So I think three.
So that two can keep each other company when one inevitably passes and crushes me to the point where I heavily rely on the cuddles of the remaining two to comfort me.
And then I can bring a third into the fold when I am ready.
Is it a lot more work? Not really. Not if they get along. And I now firmly believe that I am capable of getting cats to live together just fine, even if they’re not the best friends. Though obviously, when they do become best friends, or even just pretty good friends, it’s pretty magical.
Your Thoughts on Having Three Cats?
What do you think about specifically having three cats in your home? Do you think it’s too many? Just the right number? Too few?
What do you think is your ideal number of cats in one house at one time? Do you have other numbers you think are not so bad? How many cats do you have now?
Would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any stories for me I’d love to hear them! Just leave a comment down below.