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January 25, 2012 at 9:18 AMComments: 6 Faves: 0

Cat Hoarding: What causes it? Nearly 100 cats found in women's home

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Welcome to The Scratchpad. This week we are exploring the topic of cat hoarding.

First, let’s try to take a look into the inner minds of people to see what causes hoarding to occur. According to Dr. Gary Patronek of Animal Rescue League of Boston, cat hoarding is usually brought upon by people who had dysfunctional childhoods. Their childhoods usually are characterized by inconsistent or unstable parenting (up to abuse), so they turn to animals as a stable form of comfort.

This type of childhood can create what’s called disordered attachment style to occur. This disordered attachment can cause a person to control relationships and become a compulsive caregiver. Hence, adopting too many cats than they are able to take care of. Their intentions are always good, they truly want to help and care for these animals. However, they are unable to stop at point where they would actually be able to take good care of every single one.

Cat Hoarding Recently in the News

50 Cats. Humane agents discovered 50 cats in this woman’s home and a judge ordered the woman to give up all of her cats. Many of these cats were infected with feline HIV due to the conditions in the home. Read more.

66 Cats. This lady had collected this many cats due to not spaying and neutering, so they quickly multiplied. The police had told her to reduce her number of cats before they seized all of them, but instead the number of cats increased. The living conditions in her home had “deteriorated” and were the “worse than they’d ever seen.” Four of the cats had to be euthanized due to medical conditions. Read more.

93 Cats. This lady had almost 100 cats living in her home. Unfortunately they were seized because many were suffering from parasite infestation, diarrhea and other illnesses. 16 had to be put down because of sever health problems and 77 are up for adoption. Read more.

What’s your take on cat hoarding?

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More from Bri Luginbill Others Are Reading


  • Is it usually women? I think of cat hoarders as 'the crazy cat lady' every time. I've know a few of these people, always women.

  • All the articles I found on cat hoarding this month were just from that it seems like that could be true. I haven't come across any men cat hoarders, but maybe they just don't make the news ;)

  • i guess guys just hoard empty beer bottles.

  • I read the above about cat hoarders.... if I had the space. (MANY acres of my own) I would have as many cats as I could afford to alter, feed and keep safe. I think hoarders are really people who just have SO much love to give... and cats really GIVE MORE LOVE than you can imagine if you've never lived with any. ....and.... when we see one suffering.... we MUST take care of it.... mother it.... It's is VERY rewarding. The sad thing is, that those who "hoard" start out just loving.... but they will take in more than they can care for... and then the trouble begins. I think everyone NEEDS 2 cats. tee hee

    I am only allowed one at these apartments. Bruno has been my best friend for almost 18 years.

  • The one episode of Hoarders I've watched that had a male animal-hoarder was a man who kept pet rats, but ended up with far too many.

    Regardless which animal it is, I think there's a delicate balance between having too many pets to take care of and letting a pet go unadopted and risk euthanasia. If I could afford to take care of a pet, I would. Since I can't, I at least stop into PetSmart sometimes and buy a treat for one of my friends' pets, and donate a buck or two to their charity funds to help other animals.

  • Vera, everything you said makes so much sense. I agree wholeheartedly! Cats do give a lot of love. My old roommate/friend had a cat and that cat loved snuggling up to me while I watched a movie. I miss that cat so much! Also my friend's mom has over 10 cats and she takes care of all of them just fine and loves each and every one! I was able to take care of her cats for a weekend and it was so much fun. :)

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