Are you thinking about getting a third cat but not sure if it’s the right move?
As someone who had five cats at once, I’ll help you out!
Below, we’ll go over everything you need to know before expanding your family.
Let’s just dive right in, shall we?
Thinking of Getting a Third Cat? Here’s What You Need to Know First!
While my current feline family includes just two kitties, like I said above, I’ve had as many as five at one time.
So, I’m definitely no stranger to a multiple-pet household!
Heck, at one point, furry (and feathered) friends outnumbered humans almost 4-to-1 in my house!
We had three dogs, five cats, two guinea pigs, and a parrot!
Ask yourself why you want to get a third cat
We’ve added a third (and fourth, and even fifth) cat for several different reasons, including:
- Rescuing a feral kitten after his mom died.
- Adopting another cat to keep our other cats company.
- Avoiding “single cat syndrome” in the event that one of our other cats pass away.
Of course, “just because we love cats and have the means to care for another” is also a totally acceptable reason.
There are so many “right” answers and really only one “wrong” responses.
If it’s because someone guilted you into taking him or her even though you don’t really want to, then you could end up with cat adoption remorse.
Also, adopting one to “replace” a cat that died is an iffy reason.
While rescuing a shelter cat is a beautiful way to honor your lost pet, no cat is “replaceable.”
Thinking of a new cat in those terms can lead to unrealistic expectations. It’s not fair to you or the kitty.
See our article on what to do after your cat dies for more about this.
Consider your other pets
Even if your other pets- say, a dog- get along fine with the two cats you have, that doesn’t mean they’ll accept a third one.
I desperately want to add a third cat again, but sadly my dog makes that a major challenge.
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She has a very high prey drive, and while she’s okay with my two current cats, I’m not so sure she’d do well with a new introduction.
If anything, we’d consider adding an adult to our family. Kittens run around like crazy and she instinctually cannot resist chasing.
Even if you’re a cats-only household, you may face problems with bringing in a third pal.
For example, if you have aggressive kitties who barely tolerate each other, introducing another to the mix could bring tensions to a boiling point.
On the other hand, if you have one aloof cat and one super-affectionate pal, maybe a third cat will keep your loving guy company.
Just make sure you follow the tips on how to get two cats to get along (it works with three, four, and so on, too) to ensure a harmonious home.
Know the Pros & Cons
It’s easy to gloss over the drawbacks of owning multiple cats and just focus on the positives, especially when we’re trying to talk ourselves into something.
However, that’s a sure-fire way to end up regretting your new addition.
So, sit down and make a list of both the pros AND the cons of owning multiple cats at once.
Then, really consider those cons. I mean it!
Don’t just say, “Well, there are ten pros and three cons, so the pros win!”
REALLY ask yourself if those three cons are something you can live with.
Remember, three cats means three times the cost of food, routine vet visits and even litter.
All the pros in the world can’t outweigh that con if your budget is already stretched to the breaking point. See more on that below.
Also, if you relocate frequently for work, make sure you’re ready to deal with moving with multiple cats!
By the way, if you’re a kid trying to convince your parents to get a cat, showing that you understand the cons will go a long way towards making your dream come true!
Consider the additional expenses
I know we touched on this literally a second ago, but it bears further consideration.
While some aspects owning three cats aren’t too much pricier than owning two, there are a few areas where you’ll see a major spike in your spending.
- Vaccinations & routine vet visits
- Litter & litter boxes
- Boarding costs when you go on vacation
Breakdown of additional costs for a Third Cat
Some of these costs aren’t going to be astronomical.
Depending on what type of food you use, what size box/bag you buy, etc., it could be as little as $10 a month.
Ounce-for-ounce, I pay less for a big bag of high-quality dry food than I would for smaller bags.
The litter is where your wallet really takes a hit. Experts recommend one box per cat, plus a spare.
Honestly, we didn’t do that. We had two boxes for three cats, and it was fine.
Now, we have one box for two cats…and again, it’s working out just fine.
However, the step down from two to one box saved us roughly $40 a month in litter costs!
As far as vaccines go, there’s really no getting around the extra expense.
Shots cost what they cost, and that’s that.
However, you may be able to save a bit on the actual vet visit fee.
Our favorite vet charges X amount for the first cat, then gives a discount on each additional one.
Along with routine vet visits, also keep in mind that three cats means three times the chance that you’ll need to pay for emergency vet care as well.
If, after considering all of the above, you feel like you’re ready for a third cat, by all means, go for it!
I’ve never regretted adding another cat to my family. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into first!
Have you ever added a third cat to your family? Share your experiences and tips below!
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief and one of the writers here on CatVills. She’s been a cat lover most of her life and-at one point- counted five felines as part of her family. Today, she’s proud cat mom to two indoor kitties and caregiver for a slew of ferals.