Cats are wonderful, no need to support that claim. I mean, in ancient Egypt, cats were thought to have shared some character traits with feline deities that the Egyptians worshipped. The most well-known feline goddess, Bastet, was revered as a deity in the Second Dynasty (2890 BCE). And so this cat-worship seems to continue today (just take a look at social media).
As a proud cat owner of three wonderful feline creatures—Lusia, Dave, and Zinka—I know firsthand the joy and love that they can bring into our lives.😻There’s nothing quite like cuddling with a cat or watching them play, and having multiple cats can double (or triple) that joy.
However, as with any pet ownership, there are important considerations to take into account when deciding whether to add another cat to your multi-cat household.
In this blog post, I’ll be exploring the question: are three cats too many? So stay with me if you’re considering becoming a proud parent of three cats.
- The definitive pros of having three cats
- Potential cons of having three cats
- The cats will copy each other’s behavior
- Is three cats too many: FAQ
The definitive pros of having three cats
As we have agreed, felines are lovely animals and I think most cat lovers will agree that there’s no such thing as having too many cats. I absolutely love cats and so I obviously want to start with the pros of living in a multi-cat household. I have broken up this section into separate categories and I go over each one below.
Endless companionship and entertainment 🐈
There’s no denying that having more cats means more companionship and entertainment on a daily basis (especially if you work from home!). Cats are social animals, and having multiple ones means that there’s usually a cat somewhere around. And since I do work from home, I’m always accompanied by one, two, or three of our cats when working.
The entertainment part is also a big one—I can’t imagine my day without it! For example, walking into the living room and seeing one of the cats sprawled on the radiator. Or sleeping in the bathtub. Playfighting is always fun too—cats need to stay entertained, otherwise they get bored and start doing random stuff, like destroying furniture or other valuables. So it’s very amusing to watch them when they engage in these innocent playfights.
Owning three cats will make you more cautious
This is something we’ve been appreciating with our baby daughter on the way: cats (especially three of them) make you super alert and cautious. We’re constantly careful when leaving some potentially hazardous objects out or something valuable that could be destroyed by the cats. Each cat is different and has her own habits and preferences. For example, our youngest one, Zinka, loves to play with all kinds of plastic bags (even to the point where she chews on them), so we make sure to keep them safely stored away.
Having three cats, owners do have to be extra vigilant, however, I think that this experience can be positively utilized in other areas of life as well.
Not a big difference in terms of expenses 💵
Whether you own two or three cats, the difference in spending is minimal. For example, back when we had just two cats, the same amount of cat litter (25L) lasted us about a month and a half, and now we order it once a month. In terms of cat food, we did have to increase the number of cans, but the difference in cost is not huge at all. I think that if cat owners are already setting aside a particular amount of money a month for their cats, then an extra $25 a month won’t break the bank.
Of course, on top of that, we should add vet bills which are pretty difficult to calculate since it all depends on the cats’ age and their particular medical needs. Assuming that the cats are younger than ten years old and in good health and shape, they should be taken to the vet once a year and dewormed every three months (usually, this can be done at home and a deworming pill should cost under $15).
However, our oldest cat, Lusia (she’s only five and a half), had to undergo some severe tooth extraction surgery recently, so it’s not always easy to predict vet bills because things will come up.
Sleeping and napping with three cats 🛌
Another great thing (for me, for us) is that they sleep with us, which is especially nice in the winter (extra warmth). However, some people don’t like sleeping with pets, but I guess if someone is opposed to sharing a bed with a cat, then why have one in the first place? I really enjoy taking naps knowing that there’s a cat or two or three around, for some reason it also makes me feel safer😺
Frankly, one of the reasons why I prefer to have cats over dogs is because of their calming purring, which to me is therapeutic, especially when taking a nap or at bedtime.
Potential cons of having three cats
Though I am absolutely happy with our three amazing cat family members and I would never trade them for anything in the world, I do understand that some people may see drawbacks to having multiple cats. I’ve decided to break this section up as well and go over the cons, or I’d prefer to say – potential challenges associated with having three cats one by one.
The more cats, the more power they have
Whether in politics, in society, or in any other group, the majority is always more powerful. And of course, the same applies to cats. We often say that if our home was a democracy, then we’d all be eating chicken livers.
I often hear from people who own only one cat that if our cats aren’t letting us sleep or are otherwise bothering us, then we’re doing something wrong. Apparently, I’m too lenient of a cat lady/mom. No—the truth is, two cats are powerful, but three or more are an army, and people who don’t own more than one cat won’t understand this.
As a group, they can do a lot more and they feel a lot more empowered when they act together. So if there are only one or two humans in the household, be prepared to be the minority in your home😀
Prepare for sleepless nights ⏰
With our baby daughter due in May (our first baby), many people have been trying to scare me with sleepless nights and waking up completely exhausted in the morning. But the reality is that our three cats have been preparing me for it all along. Sometimes my husband and I are awoken by our cats’ crying at 2-3 AM, for absolutely no reason at all.
Cats love routine and expect to be fed at the same time every single day. And since our cats once successfully demanded food at 4-5 AM (I’ll just feed them and we’ll go right back to sleep), we have now been waking up at that time for the past 3 years or so. However, to combat this issue, we’re planning to invest in two or three of these automatic cat feeders, at least to let us sleep semi-peacefully until 7 AM.
Cats can be extremely loud and they will make all the noise in the world in order to get their owner’s attention and be served that meal when they demand it.
Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning 🧹
Another potential issue is more cleaning. With our three companions, we have to dust all surfaces and vacuum every day, otherwise, we’re surrounded by cat hair all over. The lint roller is also in use every single day, but I have to admit that my newly discovered gel lint roller has been a game changer. It’s made it easier for me to get rid of cat fur from my black coat, and the great thing is that you can just wash it and reuse it as many times as possible.
Cleaning every day or every other day is essential when dealing with three cats, just like ensuring that your closet is securely closed at all times, that is if you don’t want cat hair all over your clothes, linens, and so on.
Cats’ personalities and getting along (or not) 😼
It’s important to consider the personalities of the cats already in the household. Cats can be territorial, and not all cats will get along with each other.
When it comes to our bunch, Zinka (the youngest one) and Dave (the middle one) became best buddies pretty quickly, although even they go through drama sometimes. It’s like with people—there are better and worse days, sometimes people argue and the atmosphere goes sour even if they normally get along. All cats have different personalities and it’s really noticeable once you start living with a couple of them.
It’s super important to take the necessary steps when introducing a new cat to the household.
Throwing the new cat into the room with the resident cats too quickly can result in serious behavioral problems in all of them, so pay a lot of attention to this process. If there’s not enough space in the apartment for three cats, then don’t get another cat and wait until you move to a larger home.
The cats will copy each other’s behavior
Whether they like each other or not, cats will eventually start to imitate one another’s behavior. It will be surprising when you see your most well-behaved cat start doing things she’s never done before (like jumping on you in bed as a way of demanding food at 4 AM). Especially with three cats in the home, there’s plenty of behavior to imitate.
Is three cats too many: FAQ
Let’s dive deeper into the topic of having 3 cats by answering some of the most commonly asked questions on the topic.
Can three cats bond?
This all depends on the cats’ personalities, their age, and the way they’re introduced to each other. Sometimes cats take a liking to each other right away and others end up enemies for life. When introducing a new cat to the household, always make sure to take the right steps and do it slowly and carefully.
What are the challenges of owning three cats?
With three cats in the house, there may be an increased risk of territorial and/or behavioral issues (for example litter box problems or spraying if they don’t accept each other). It is also necessary to clean and vacuum every day in order to maintain a clean house or apartment.
What are the benefits of having three cats?
Definitely endless companionship, fun, and entertainment. With three cats, there’s always a cat to cuddle with or pet, making it impossible to feel alone even when you spend lots of time at home. Having three cats also teaches their owners to be cautious and alert, which is often beneficial in other areas of life as well.
So, how can we determine if three cats is too many? The answer will vary depending on each person’s individual circumstances, but there are a few questions to ask yourself before getting a third cat. Is there enough space and can I provide the right living conditions for three cats? Are my existing cats (or cat) social and friendly, or rather more independent and withdrawn? Will I be able to afford the vet bills in case any serious medical issues arise?
As for me, three seems to be the magical number and I would never want to have fewer cats (maybe we will adopt a fourth cat sometime in the future). I hope that all those looking for advice on having three cats found this article helpful in deciding whether bringing home another cat is a good idea.
Author: Charlotte is a happily-married mom-to-be and an expert mom of three lovely cats. Her passions include late-Victorian fashion and culinary history, Victorian architecture (particularly Second Empire), vintage finds, traveling, visiting casa museos, drawing and art. You can find her Etsy shop here and read her blog about vintage home decor at Charlotte’s Vintage.