After appearing today on This Morning, a woman and her 13 cats live in a bungalow with two bedrooms.
Carol Walker, from Preston, joined ITV hosts Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes to discuss how many cats is too many for one owner.
Her bungalow has two rooms for reception and she houses thirteen cats.
However, This Morning’s vet Dr Scott Miller said 13 was too many felines under one roof – suggesting the felines were solitary creatures and wouldn’t appreciate living with that many other pets.
The segment was divided by viewers. Some thought Carol’s cats seemed happy and well-cared for, while others said she didn’t have the time or the resources to provide the personal attention that they needed.
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Carol Walker, a Preston resident, has joined Phillip Schofield (pictured right) and Rochelle Hues ITV hosts to talk about how many cats are too many for one person.
The bungalow she lives in has two bedrooms and 13 cats. (pictured some of her pet animals)
But, Dr Scott Miller of This Morning said that 13 cats was too many for one house. He believed the felines would not be happy living with so many pets.
Speaking on the programme, Carol said: ‘I’ve got a reasonable size two-bedroom, two-reception room bungalow, I’ve got an outside… area where they’ve got numerous climbers, they’ve got free access to that in the day.
“There are two to three cats in my house. I can afford the care and money.
Explaining how she ended up with 13 cats, she added: ‘I think it stems back from years back doing a little bit of rescue and some come in and you end up adopting them.
Sometimes “One leads into another.” Everyone has a limit. It is a personal question.
‘At my age now, I wouldn’t get anymore, I’ve got to look at the youngest who’s two, and expected lifespan, I mean I think I’ve failed If I don’t get them to at least 16.’
When asked if the cats all get along with one another, she replied: ‘There’s occasionally the odd spat but you can get that with two cats, it’s usually only very minor.’
Reaction: Viewers were divided over the segment, with some saying Carol’s cats all seemed to be cared for and happy, while others insisted she wouldn’t have enough time to give them the individual attention they’d need
She was then asked if they help with her mental health, to which she said: ‘Certainly, especially in the first part of lockdown… they were a lifesaver.’
Dr Scott however stated Carol had too many cats to be cared for by just one person.
He explained that being able focus on one person, and their individual needs, is the key to 13 up to 18 cars. This means you have to spend a significant amount of your time focusing on each individual.
‘Also taking into account that cats by nature are solitary animals and actually don’t really enjoy social contact that much, so to have 13 or 18 cats crammed into a two-bed house, for me personally and professionally is way too many.’
The issue was divided by viewers, one of them writing “Dr Scott speaking sense.” Because he is a veterinarian, he understands what he is talking about. He was 13 years old in a house with two bedrooms.
Another person said, “You cannot possibly care for 13 things properly.” They can’t be properly supervised or given the care they require.
The issue was controversial and viewers were split. One person said: ‘Anybody who knows cats can see these are in very good condition – none of this guy’s business unless the cats are neglected’
A third comment was added to the mix: “Anyone who has ever seen cats will know that they are in good health. It is not my business whether or not cats are being neglected.”
Carol was on the show following news that a chief executive of the UK’s largest cat charity has stepped down after it emerged its chairman was allegedly keeping 18 cats in her three-bedroom house.
The number of cats Linda Upson was looking after had reportedly left other staff despairing, fearful about how the charity might be viewed and ‘nervous about using her as a spokesperson’.
Interim chief executive Charles Darley, who has left just three months into a 12-month contract, claimed Miss Upson had said she ‘didn’t think it was a problem’ when confronted with the concerns, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The charity – Cats Protection – had itself done research into multi-cat households contained in too-little space in the past, finding the confinement could cause the animals considerable stress.
Carol (pictured top right) was on the show following news that a chief executive of the UK’s largest cat charity has stepped down after it emerged its chairman was allegedly keeping 18 cats in her three-bedroom house
Mr Darley said he decided to step down after an internal investigation concluded Miss Upson should keep her position – only asking her to assure them she would not house any more of the pets.
Cats Protection – which has its national adoption centre in Haywards Heath, West Sussex – reportedly consulted five other animal welfare charities and a cats home charity to ascertain whether she was in breach of official guidance from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
These guidelines advise that cats must have ‘enough space so that they can get away from one another if they want to’.
All those consulted said they would be unable to defend keeping such a large number of cats in a three-bedroom house but the investigation’s decision to let Miss Upson retain her role was made before the responses were received, according to Mr Darley.
‘I’ve been in and out of more than a dozen charities, and I’ve never encountered a position like this before,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.
‘Many of the [trustees] are passionate cat lovers, so they may see this behaviour through a different lens from people who love cats but don’t love them in quite the same way.’
A spokesman for Cats Protection said the chairman of trustees was a volunteer fosterer for the charity and had undergone ‘regular training’.
They said all six foster cats in her care were kept in a clean and separate area from her pets and there were ‘no welfare issues of concern’.
‘All were happy, healthy and had sufficient resources for them to express their natural behaviour,’ they added.