A woman with 13 cats in a two-bed bungalow has divided opinions online after appearing on This Morning today.
Carol Walker, from Preston, spoke to ITV presenters Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes about how many cats are too many for one owner.
She lives in a two-bed bungalow with two reception rooms and is home to 13 cats – and claims she has the time and financial means to care for them all.
This Morning’s veterinarian, Dr. Scott Miller, however, said 13 was too many cats under one roof – suggesting the cats are loners and wouldn’t appreciate living with so many other pets.
Viewers were divided over the segment, with some saying Carol’s cats all seemed well-cared for and happy, while others insisted she wouldn’t have enough time to give them the individual attention they would need.
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Carol Walker (pictured left) from Preston spoke to ITV presenters Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes about how many cats are too many for one owner
She lives in a two-bed bungalow with two reception rooms and is home to 13 cats (pictured are some of her pets) – and claims she has the time and financial means to care for them all
This Morning’s veterinarian, Dr. However, Scott Miller (pictured) said 13 was too many cats under one roof – suggesting the cats are loners and wouldn’t appreciate living with so many other pets
Speaking of the programme, Carol said: “I have a two bedroom bungalow with two reception rooms of a reasonable size, I have an outdoor area… where they have numerous climbers, they have free access to it during the day.
“Each cat has at least two or three beds throughout the house, I have the time and financial means to take care of them.”
Explaining how she came to have 13 cats, she added, “I think it comes from years where they’ve been saving a little bit and some come in and you end up adopting them.
“Sometimes one thing leads to another. Everyone has a limit. I think the question of how many is too many is very individual.
“At my age I wouldn’t come now, I have to look at the youngest who is two years old and the expected lifespan, I mean I think I’ve failed if I don’t get her to at least 16.”
When asked if the cats all get along, she replies, “Sometimes there’s spit, but you can have that with two cats, it’s usually very little.”
Response: Viewers were divided over the segment, with some saying Carol’s cats all seemed cared for and happy, while others insisted she wouldn’t have enough time to give them the individual attention they would need
She was then asked if they were helping with her mental health, to which she said: “Sure, especially in the first part of lockdown… they’ve been a lifesaver.”
dr However, Scott said Carol has too many cats for one person to care for.
He said: Being able to focus on one person and their needs means ramping up 13 to 18 cars, that’s a tremendous amount of time you need to focus on individual attention.
“Even when you consider that cats are solitary by nature and don’t really like socializing that much, having 13 or 18 cats crammed into a two-bed house is way too many for me personally and professionally.”
Viewers were divided on the issue, with one person writing: “Dr. Scott speaks reasonably. He’s a vet, he knows what he’s talking about. 13 in a two bedroom house, wrong.’
Another said: “You can’t possibly take care of 13 of anything properly. You can’t really control them or make sure they get all the attention they need and deserve.”
Viewers were divided on the subject. One person said: “Anyone who knows cats can see they are in very good condition – none of this guy’s business unless the cats are neglected.”
However, a third added: “Anyone who knows cats can see that these are in very good condition – none of this bloke’s business unless the cats are neglected.”
Carol was on the show after it was revealed that a CEO of Britain’s largest cat charity has resigned after it was revealed that its chairman allegedly keeps 18 cats in their three-bedroom home.
The number of cats Linda Upson cared for had reportedly left other staff members distraught, anxious about how the charity might be viewed and “nervous about using her as a spokesperson”.
According to The Daily Telegraph, interim CEO Charles Darley, who has only just stepped into a 12-month contract for three months, claimed Miss Upson said she “didn’t think it would be a problem” when she met the concerns were faced.
The charity Cats Protection had previously conducted its own research into households with multiple cats kept in too small a space and found that the confinement could cause significant stress to the animals.
Carol (pictured above, right) was on the show after it was revealed that a chief executive of Britain’s largest cat charity has resigned after it was revealed that its chairwoman allegedly keeps 18 cats in her three-bedroom home
Mr Darley said he decided to step down after an internal inquiry found Miss Upson should keep her position – asking only to reassure them she would no longer take pets.
Cats Protection – which has its national adoption center in Haywards Heath, West Sussex – has reportedly consulted five other animal welfare organizations and a cat shelter charity to determine whether it had breached official guidance from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
These guidelines advise that cats “must have enough space so they can get away from each other if they want to.”
All those consulted said they could not defend keeping such a large number of cats in a three-bedroom house, but the inquest’s decision to let Miss Upson play her role was made before answers were received, according to Mr Darley.
“I’d been in and out of over a dozen charities and I’ve never had a position like this before,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
‘Many of the [trustees] are passionate cat lovers, so they may see this behavior through a different lens than people who love cats but don’t love them in the same way.’
A spokesman for Cats Protection said the chairman of the board of trustees is a volunteer carer for the charity and has undergone “regular training”.
They said all six foster cats in their care were kept in a clean and separate area from their pets and there were “no welfare concerns”.
“All were happy, healthy and had sufficient resources to express their natural behavior,” they added.