Two Kittens: The Benefits Of Adopting In Pairs

One of our adopters recently wrote to us:

“Last year I decided that I wanted to adopt a kitten so of course I turned to Hyde Park Cats. They convinced me to take not just the one kitten but also one of her littermates. It was the best decision I ever made. Flurry and Cupcake eat, sleep, and play together. They sit together in the window watching the world go by, groom each other constantly, and stampede through the house chasing each other. They keep each other company, comfort each other, and amuse each other. If one of them suddenly notices that the other is not in sight, he walks through the house crying until she runs out to join him.

They are inseparable; I’m so glad I didn’t separate them.”

Most cats, regardless of age, are highly social and are happier living with other cat companions (or sometimes with a dog or rabbit). This makes them better pets, which results in happier owners.

Kittens are no exception.

Kittens want and need interaction with other kittens for healthy social development. A kitten learns from its mother and littermates. Separating a kitten from its mother is often necessary for adoption. But taking a kitten away from its littermates can delay his development emotionally, socially and physically. Kittens who remain with a littermate or a similarly-aged companion are healthier, happier and better socialized.

Kittens are curious and crave constant stimulation. A single kitten may become bored and entertain itself by chewing on plants, climbing drapes and furniture, unrolling toilet paper, or exploring electrical cords and sockets. It is less likely that kittens who live with other kittens will engage in these dangerous and destructive behaviors.

Kittens are active at night. A single kitten may awaken you with jumping, pouncing and other hunting behavior. However, two kittens will occupy each other by finding interesting shadows to chase and games to play until they finally tire and fall asleep, too.

It’s normal and appropriate for kittens to “play bite” and wrestle with each other. Without a litter mate or other kitten to play with, a kitten will bite and wrestle with you, which is unacceptable. Even if you allow this behavior from your kitten when it’s small, once the kitten matures, your adult cat will have learned these bad habits. If your kitten grows up with another kitten, this negative behavior is minimized.

Even if you are fortunate enough to be home during the day, the attention a single kitten demands may occupy all your waking hours. A pair of kittens will also want to interact with you, but they can occupy each other while you are carrying on daily activities.

Think twice about bringing a kitten home to a senior feline resident. A kitten may have too much energy for an older cat. Kittens want to play and run constantly and require a lot of interaction. This may overwhelm and irritate an older cat, and the kitten may be frustrated her elderly companion doesn’t have her energy level. This makes two very unhappy cats, and behavior problems, such as litter box avoidance or destructive scratching. Long-term, the two may never have a close relationship because their initial experience with one another was negative. An older cat is better matched with someone of her own age and temperament.

Adopting a single kitten or young cat is not a good idea. Trying to keep a single kitten occupied, stimulated, safe and happy while also going about the business of everyday life is much more of a challenge than it may seem upon first consideration.

Our goal is to ensure we are adopting our cats and kittens into a loving home for life.

Please find additional information on the benefits of adopting kittens in pairs from here.

8 thoughts on “Two Kittens: The Benefits Of Adopting In Pairs

  1. what do you think about adopting a 14 wk old kitten (she’s a dilute Calico and has no litter mates)and looking for another about the same age?

  2. Hi Betty, We would be happy to help you find a companion for this kitty. A separate email will be sent to you with more info.

  3. I rescued two brother kitties and it’s the best thing that’s happened in this house. We also rescued them at an early age and bottle fed them so they are more attached to us. It’s been a great experience

  4. I’m thinking of adopting two kittens when our 16-year old boy passes. Do you find that littermates are more attached to each other and might not bond with me as opposed to adopting two unrelated kittens of the same age?

  5. At what age do you think a cat/kitten can manage as a single pet? I volunteer for a rescue that is considering changing its policy, and I am getting a lot of complaints from potential adopters who are told they will have to adopt two kittens or settle for an adult cat if there isn’t already a cat or dog in their home. Some can’t afford two pets, some have landlords that only allow one cat, etc. The policy currently applies to kittens under 6 months, but some board members want to apply it to cats up to one year.

  6. Hi
    I niece’s cat is currently living with me and my 12 year old cat. The new cat is 13yrs they are both female and calico. I havehad her for 2 days . My cat wants to fight her
    She is very passive. I have hadmy cat for 6yrs. Do you think they will ever get along?

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