Living in a Multicat Household: Let's Talk Pros and Cons
My beautiful ginger tabby, Noé, was my only feline furbaby for nearly five years before I added another cat to my life. After moving from a shoebox apartment in Paris to a more spacious place in the Alps, I decided that Noé needed a kitty companion to play with. I wanted a high-energy cat to get lazy Noé off his furry behind (and encourage him to lose some weight), and preferably one with little to no hair, as Noé sheds enough for an entire clowder of cats.
After some research, I adopted Skinny Mini, a "retired" adult female Sphynx cat, from a responsible breeder nearby. Unfortunately, Noé didn't even seem to notice that he had a naked lady friend ready and eager to play with him, and Skinny Mini was the one who now needed a playmate.
After a lot of begging and eyelash batting, I convinced my husband to let me get another adult Sphynx. And so, less than a year after Skinny Mini had joined us, I went back to the breeder and got tiny Fly. I am now greatly outnumbered by felines at home and have discovered that living in a multicat household definitely has some pros and cons. Read my story, see my photos:
Pro: There is always someone to snuggle
When I only had Noé, I had to share his snuggles with my husband, Max. I'd see him sitting on Max's lap and wish he were warming mine instead. Now, my three cats fight to see who wins the coveted spot on my lap, and there's always someone left off over to go sit with Max (definitely the consolation prize). Unfortunately, they all love to sleep in my bed as well, which means the space available for my actual body has decreased substantially. The two sphynx cats each choose an arm crook to curl up in and Noé gets my feet. I haven't slept on my side or belly in over a year.
Con: I'm a slave to the litter box
All three of my cats are strictly indoor cats, which means that their "business" is my business. I have three litter boxes and cleaning them now feels like a (sorely underpaid) part-time job. It's the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do before I go to bed. And more often than not, one or more of my cats will sit and stare at me as I diligently scoop each box and then promptly dive in and leave me a new present.
A few months ago, one of my cats started peeing just beside the litter boxes, and it took me ages to figure out who it was. It's a good thing I work from home, because I spent many hours creeping my cats' bathroom breaks in order to find out who the problematic piddler was (Noé). Three cats means three suspects every time you find an errant pee or puke puddle!
Pro and con: I spend more money, but know how to save some, too
It's no secret that owning three cats is more expensive than owning just one. I definitely took the increase in food, litter, and vet care expenses into consideration before getting my cats. I take owning a cat (or any animal) very seriously, and will not hesitate to cut back on my own personal spending to make sure my cats can get to the vet if they need to or that I can buy that really expensive bag of vet-brand cat food when someone has a bout of diarrhea. Fortunately, I now know how to save on other cat-related expenses.
When I got my first cat, Noé, I went crazy buying cat toys and cat beds and cat trees that ended up, for the most part, under the sofa or collecting dust in the closet. Now that I own three cats, I know perfectly well that they will enjoy playing with an empty cardboard box or hair elastic just as much as any store bought toy. I still indulge in cat trees because they need to be able to scratch on something other than my walls and furniture, but I'm certain that they'll always choose a clean pile of laundry to sleep in over a pricey cat bed any day.
Con: I've greatly increased my chances of accidental injury or death
Most cats love popping out of nowhere and snaking through your legs causing you to stumble (and sometimes completely wipe out). These sneak attacks are much easier to handle when you've got just one cat to keep an eye out for. With three, I'm completely outnumbered, and I would need eyes in the back of my head to stay alert and ready for all the times they gang up on me and send me flying to the floor.
Luckily, I live in an apartment and there are no stairs down which I could fall to my death. But, since acquiring three cats, I've fallen more times than I can count -- with and without a hot cup of coffee in hand -- and I would be lying if I didn't say that I'm constantly paranoid I'm going to step on someone's paw or tail and later be subject to kitty's revenge.
Pro: There are three times the opportunity for "awwws," "SQUEEEs," and "LOLs" at my house
With three cats, you are bound to have an abundance of awww-worthy moments every day. I catch my cats being funny or adorable all the time, and I'm always running for the camera to capture the cuteness. I love seeing how my kitties interact with one another, and while Noé is a bit of a loner, the two nudists love to play and sleep together. My heart melts every time Skinny Mini gives Fly a raspy-tongued bath or I find them curled up in the perfect kitty yin-yang.
I read somewhere that if you have one cat, you are a cat person; two cats, you are a cat lover; and three cats or more means you are a crazy cat lady (or fellow). I am the proud owner of three cats and wouldn't have it any other way, so feel free to call me crazy -- it wouldn't be the first time!
About Crystal Gibson: A child-sized Canadian expat in France who is fluent in French and sarcasm. Owned by a neurotic Doxie mix, a Garfield lookalike, and two needy Sphynx cats. An aspiring writer and pet photographer with a love of coffee and distaste for French administration, she can be found blogging over at Crystal Goes to Europe.
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