How many cats are too many cats?
While the city of Toronto has laws in place stating that six is the legal limit, one woman in the GTA decided that six was not enough.
In one of the worst cat-hoarding situations in Canada’s history, 300 cats were recovered from a North York apartment last weekend, a number 50 times larger than what’s legally allowed in the city, according to Global.
The cats were saved by Toronto Cat Rescue (TCR), who teamed up with Toronto Animal Services to remove over 70 of the cats from the crowded home. The TCR states that the rest of the cats will be removed promptly, as late as Sunday.
Cat hoarding can come with serious health risks. Cats urine can contain high levels of ammonia.
Cat urine ammonia emits a strong odour that triggers asthma and allergy symptoms in those sensitive to it. In a home where the litter box is cleaned regularly, and the cats pee where they should, ammonia isn’t usually an issue.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, say someone that has 300 cats, cat urine residue and ammonia could cause serious health problems, even for otherwise healthy people.
Ammonia isn’t the only risk that cat hoarding can have. Toxoplasmosis, a parasite that can be contracted by handling raw meat or being around infected cats, can cause some major health problems for those with weaker immune systems.
People who are affected by toxoplasmosis may have fever, shortness of breath and neurological problems, such as seizures and lack of coordination. Those in relatively good health will usually show no signs or simply have mild, flu-like symptoms.
Things aren’t much better for the cats in these situations, either. When not given enough space, cats can experience stress-related hair loss, illnesses, and can easily transmit parasites like ticks to one another.
None of the cats have been adopted yet, as they require medical care. It is still unknown as to whether the woman will be charged for a crime.
If you or someone you know is hoarding cats, we ask of you to stop. There’s no good that can come from such a practice.