Kitten Season has arrived and Wayside Waifs is full with all kinds of adorable little ones waiting to begin a new adventure with a new family!
Kittens are sweet, cuddly, fun and….full of energy! You may have heard the expression “double the pleasure, double the fun.” Well, that applies to kittens. It is highly recommended to adopt kittens in pairs. “What? Why? Now there are two to care for. Wouldn’t that be twice as much work?” Actually, no. Having two kittens is very beneficial in many ways. The most beneficial part is that they will wear each other out! And, who doesn’t enjoy watching kittens chase, pounce and wrestle with each other, or share a toy together? It’s also nice to know they have company when left alone.
“Do they have to be from the same litter?” No, although it is encouraged, since the kittens already know each other. If you do choose two kittens from separate litters, they do need to follow an introduction process in order for their interactions to be positive. You can find our article with proper introductions here. Otherwise, if they start off on the wrong paw, they might never be friends. Sometimes kittens will adjust faster to another kitten they have never met, but there are times when it is very stressful. Remember, each of those kittens are adjusting to a new environment by coming into your home – new sights, sounds and smells. Add to that, a strange kitten, and that can increase the amount of stress. Creating a positive association is key. Proper introductions does not guarantee a friendship, but there is a better chance of that happening rather than just letting them work it out themselves.
This also applies to adult cats ( like one of our bonded pairs Wally and Bolt, pictured above). Cats may not be pack animals like dogs are, but they can enjoy each other’s company as well. Again, following proper introductions will be very beneficial and highly recommended. Some cats (or kittens) will want a snuggle buddy, or someone to wrestle with, or maybe they will just want to co-exist within the same home.
“Should I adopt 2 cats or kittens of the same sex? Does age matter?” Not really. What matters most is the personality and energy level of both cats. If you have an energetic and playful 8 year old, adding an energetic kitten might work. If one is laid back and the other is hyper, that might not be a perfect match.
If you have friends or family with more than one cat, ask them what the pros and cons were for them and the cats.The following are quotes from people who want to weigh in on this topic.
“When our first cat was a kitten, she was lonely whenever we left for work or went away for the weekend. We adopted a 2nd cat around the same age. It took 3 weeks for them to adjust to each other, and they became good friends. It was a great decision!”
“We adopted two sisters from the same litter. We didn’t know it at first, but it was the best decision ever. They were lifelong friends. When one of them passed away, her sister never left her side, and it was so endearing to see how wonderful their bond was.”
“I adopted a brother and a sister, and you’re never bored. I feel better leaving them alone for an 8 hour work day because they had each other. It’s nice to see them comfort each other when something scary happens, like storms or moving.”
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Written by Bonnie Still, resident Cat Behavior Specialist, edited by Teryn J.