What is it like to have a house full of cats? Or how many ragdolls can I keep?

I have always had a house full of cats and other critters. For many years I had a one cat per lap rule so that each cat had his own person to be adored by. But I also had a constant rotation of fosters, kittens, dogs, fire refugees.  My home has always been full of fur and purr. Now that we are officially a cattery, things are extra interesting. I’m fortunate to have a long-standing foundation of critters who get along. I call this “the legacy of Frtiz” but that’s another story. It’s pretty wonderful though, to have a house full of critters who snuggle and groom, and share their plates and pillows. 

Enter the Ragdolls. Now we all know ragdolls are chill, right? Except that the hormone pushes that come with being unaltered can challenge even the coolest demeanor. Sometimes, the ladies are happy and snuggling, then all of a sudden someone is offended and the accusations go flying. Occasionally so does the fur. Some of the ladies get fussy and just keep their distance, others go out of their way to pick fights and instigate arguments. Penny will swear like a sailor at anyone who dares to offend her while in heat, she’s got quite a mouth!  We allow each of them their own space when they need it and there are plenty of soft places to curl up and avoid the fray while the hormones cool down.
The boys are an extra added layer of hilarity. When one of the girls is nearing a heat cycle, the boys start following them around. They casually lay nearby, give sweet kisses, and wait. And then they start singing. The girls songs have many facets from sweet trills and coos, to full on desperate decries. The boys, they generally go straight from zero to a thousand. When they’re calling they sound like peacocks. You can hear them on opposite sides of the house and it’s a bit like living in a zoo. The cacophony can be mind numbing.  

The boys generally wear pants when walking through the house. If not, I would be spending a fortune on natures miracle and black lights. They water EVERYTHING. The girls are a little different in this department. Each has her own style and thankfully, it seems to be relegated to heat cycles.  Some keep their fluids to themsleves. Others do not.  One squats in the shower. Another sprinkles the couch and the chairs.  It’s just enough that you think you smell it but it takes a dedicated sniff-out to find and clean. Some love throw blankets or cat beds. The Poor dogs have given up all of their lovely soft posturpedic beds to cat pee. Lately, someone has been watering the stove and the kitchen counter. Another hits anything I’ve left on a table top, mail, laundry, a plate. whomever it is, she has no preference of item, just location. It’s time consuming at its most basic. We clean and we clean and we clean some more around here. And we mutter things like “you’re lucky you’re cute”. And boy are they!  They are so cute. And the cleaning is notjing compared to the joy they bring us and the joy that comes in the form of kittens when the hormones have done their job. It’s disgusting and hilarious and we wouldn’t have it any other way. This post is a great argument for early spay and neuter. I can’t stress enough that these are all hormone induced behaviors. Without the hormones, ragdolls are downright dreamy.