Monday, November 9, 2009

Are YOU a Crazy Cat Lady?

Voters in Dudley, Massachusetts, passed a ballot measure last Tuesday making it illegal to own more than three cats without a special license. The caterwauling and rampaging of one female citizen's 15 cats led to many complaints from her neighbors, and served as the inciting incident for creating the new law.

In light of this ruling, re-posted a 2005 article that asks its readers, “What's the deal with cat ladies? Are there cat gentlemen, too?”

According to Slate, we first need to define the difference between a woman (or man) who cares for several cats versus an animal hoarder.

“Animal hoarding has also been viewed as an addiction, like compulsive gambling or alcoholism, or as a form of dementia… No one knows why women are more susceptible than men. One member of the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium points out that women are also more likely to become veterinarians and less likely to perform acts of animal cruelty.”

I hate the stigma of the term “cat lady,” but Slate highlighted two pieces of damning evidence:
  • Not all animal hoarders are cat ladies, but most are. The typical person who gets caught with more pets than she can handle is a woman over the age of 60 who lives alone.
  • They found that two-thirds of the obsessive collectors were women and that 70 percent were single.
Yikes! I know how hard it can be to say no to “just one more” animal. As a foster volunteer, my heartstrings have been tugged again and again. Anytime I visit my local shelter, or even Petco with its weekend adoption events, I want to whisk all the cats away with me!

But wanting and doing are two totally separate things. I consider how my cats would feel, how much food I can afford, how much attention I can share equally and how much actual space I have… These are things that hoarders don’t seem to consider.

So, how many cats really IS too many? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic!


  1. That action figure is sweet! Where can I get one?

    Also - three cats is pushing it.

  2. LOL

    Here's a link to purchase:

  3. Where is the line between Crazy Cat Lady & Hoarder? I think cleanliness is the main factor. Cat Ladies keep a clean and orderly environment, even with multiple cats...and Hoarders have an indoor Land Fill of dirt, garbage and way too many cats. I think the absolute limit of the most cats anyone should ever have at one time is 6. I think 2 is perfect, but some people have the means & space for more than 2.