Adopting in pairs

Sometimes people might look at their adult or senior cat and start thinking, ”Gee, I bet she’d have more fun if she had a playmate.”  Maybe there has been a recent loss of a fur companion and the idea of a new little feline friend warms your heart.  There’s not anything much more adorable than a kitten, but  kittens are going to be a much better housemates and members of the family if adopted in pairs.

And I know what you’re saying right now, “I can take on one kitten, but two? No way. That’s going to be too much for me and too much for my other cat. ” Trust me, two cats is really going to be much easier on you or another cat and here’s why.

Kittens are working hard in the first year of life learning all the skills they need to survive.  They don’t realize that they don’t have to be the best hunter to supply their food or the most agile to escape their enemies when they live with us providing for and protecting them.  So it’s a developmental need to chase and stalk anything that moves; learn how to pounce and yes, even learn how to play fight with other cats so they can defend themselves. Cat buddies can do a lot of play fighting and be just fine and best friends after a tussle. But if a single feisty kitten has the urge to play a bit rough with the established cat or is always chasing the tail and wanting constant interaction, a lot of hard feelings could develop. Once a cat is an adult and established in their own turf, they’re rarely pleased to have to share the space.  A kitten will constantly try to play hunt and play fight with the adult cat. And if that adult cat doesn’t “share the love”, the animosity and tension between the two cats can blossom into inter-cat aggression, with all kinds of consequences.  There’s a lot of silent suffering that goes on when cats are frustrated and unhappy.  But if you bring two kittens into the house at the same time, they will spend most of their time playing with each other and give the older cat a little breathing room. These households are usually much more peaceful and have fewer behavior problems in the long run.

And if you don’t have an adult cat?  Then you get to be the play thing. The people in the house are often the only thing that moves. Single kittens are often at home all day alone while owners are away. They have all this pent up energy that they have to release when their people come home.  We all like to play with kittens for a while, but it’s very, very hard to interact with them as much or as well as another kitten.  Again, the consequence of the poorly adjusted kitten is behavior problems later on down the line. All kinds of things crop up when a kitten doesn’t have enough play hunting or other socialization activity.

Here’s a link for you to look at to find out more about the benefits of adopting kittens in pairs. If you can get 2 kittens of the same sex from the same litter that would be great, but kittens are usually pretty open about accepting friends who are simply close in age regardless of what sex they are.  So when you’re ready to take the kitten plunge remember to take two for the road.


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