If you’re a true animal lover, sometimes it’s just too hard to say no. Having a loyal pet companion while living in an apartment is possible, but how many pets is too many? If you’ve spoken with your landlord about your building’s pet policy, the next step is to determine whether or not you can handle having multiple pets.

Because there is no clear-cut rule as to how many pets is too many, consider the space that you have available and the care you will be able to give your furry friends. Animal hoarding is (perhaps surprisingly) a very real thing–there are even televisions shows about it! Some experts define it as the point when you no longer have the ability to adequately care for your pets because you are overwhelmed by sheer volume. We’ve all seen the stories on the evening news of the woman housing 27 cats–you don’t want to be that person.

Of course, the line differs for each individual, and it may have a great deal to do with what type of pets you have. Dogs, for example, require much more care than fish, birds or cats. Dogs must be walked and groomed and played with, and require a great deal of your time and attention. Low-maintenance breeds are best if you have a small apartment and a busy lifestyle.

Although cats may not need as much attention as dogs, you do have the litter box to consider. It must be changed regularly, and you may need more than one if you have multiple cats. To keep your apartment smelling fresh despite the habits of your feline friend, purchase scented, scoopable litter. It’s easy to clean and will keep the odor to a minimum. For seriously low-maintenance care, invest in an automatic, self-cleaning litter box.

This could all be a moot point if your apartment has a cap on the number of pets that it allows in the first place. Landlords that accept multiple pets may only allow one dog per apartment, but would permit several smaller animals, such as cats or fish.

If you have roommates, you will also want to have a conversation with them about how many pets they feel would be “too many.” In the end, it’s all about what you can handle (just make sure you don’t have so many pets that they can unite against you).