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101 cats.
Just like 101 dalmations.
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At least one cat is needed. If it’s been carefully thought out as to how Cat #1 will react to another cat, another may be gotten but two cats change the dynamic of the house completely. I’m serious...
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JoAnne 29,

The Feral cats I feed are under the management of a local TNR cat rescue. The colony is registered with the local government, per local bylaws. The cats are not on, nor near residential property and we have permission to feed them where they are located.

We are not allowed to reveal the location of the colony to avoid cat dumping, which unfortunately does happen from time to time at other colonies. The cats are all 'fixed', if they appear to need medical care, they are trapped and taken to the vet, then returned to their home colony, once mended.
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Technically none, but personally, I need two. I have to have at least one for companionship and snuggling, but many cats need feline companionship too. My cats also need a buddy for when I'm occupied, not home, or not feeling well. Plus having two takes the pressure off me to be the sole focus of a cat's attention. I already hate cleaning the litterbox, and I can't afford more vet bills than I already pay, so more than two would be too many.  Two seems to be the perfect number. 

Two is also the limit in my lease agreement and in our city's by-laws (though I don't know anyone who's gotten in trouble with by-laws for having more, except in the cases of cat hoarders). 
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Where I live the law is only five domestic animals a home. Feral feeding is looked down upon. We had that problem in our small development. A woman was feeding at least ten. The smell was awful for the neighbors.
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Someone has the option to own as many cats as is happy and healthy, both for cat(s) and people. A chat with animal protective services will give you a better idea of what is and is not appropriate, as well as legal in your area.

Even one cat is too many, if it isn't being cared for correctly.
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This sounds like a lead in to a punch line...... "How many cats does one need to change a lightbulb.....".

Would you let us know a little more about your situation? If i read the tea leaves, it sounds like you might be helping an elder who has a lot of cats, probably more than they can handle, and they keep adding to the herd.
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Depends on who you ask. I have three and feed a feral colony. My great grandmother had three and fed 18 feral cats (all were spayed/neutered).

My personal limit is 3, one is too few, four tips the scale to Crazy Cat Lady (for me). I have friends with 4 cats.
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Need? None.

How many they want is another story.
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