Why Kittens Should Be Adopted In Pairs

🐱🐱 Ā Kittens are curious and crave constant stimulation. A single,Ā bored kitten will often entertain itself by chewing on plants,Ā climbing drapes, climbing furniture, unrolling toilet paper,Ā exploring electrical cords and sockets, etc. This is not to sayĀ that kittens who live with other kittens won’t also sometimes doĀ these things, but if they have another kitten to tumble aroundĀ and play with, it is less likely that they will need to entertainĀ themselves with behaviors like these, which at the least areĀ destructive and at the worst can be very dangerous.

Kittens tend to be very active at night. A single kitten is likely to keep the owner awake withĀ constant jumping, pouncing and other hunting behavior directed at any portion of the owner’sĀ body which moves under the bed linens. With a companion to play with after the owner hasĀ gone to bed, this behavior is minimized as the two will occupy each other by finding interestingĀ shadows to chase and games to play until they finally tire and fall asleep too.Ā Kittens want and need interaction with others of their own kind for healthy social development.Ā A kitten learns a lot in the first several months of life from its mother and litter-mates. SeparatingĀ a kitten from its mother is often a necessity in order for it to be adopted, but taking it away fromĀ its litter-mates and isolating it can delay the kitten’s development emotionally, socially andĀ sometimes physically. Kittens that are able to remain with one of their litter-mates or a similarly agedĀ companion, tend to be healthier and happier, and in the long run, better socialized petsĀ than those who are isolated from others of their kind at an early age.

Anyone who has observed kittens knows they want to bite andĀ wrestle with one another–this behavior is normal. You cannotĀ prevent a kitten from doing what comes naturally anymoreĀ than you can force a two year old toddler to sit still. Though itĀ is not acceptable for a kitten to bite and wrestle with its humanĀ companions, in the absence of having a littermate orĀ companion its own age to play with, this is precisely what aĀ single kitten will want to do. Even if you are willing to allowĀ (and can tolerate) this behavior from your kitten when it isĀ small, by the time the animal matures, you will end up with anĀ adult cat who has developed very bad habits (for example,Ā biting and scratching as “play”).Ā Humans, even loving, caring humans, are not an adequate substitute for a cat in lieu of one ofĀ its own kind. Even if the owner is fortunate enough to be home quite a bit, the amount ofĀ attention a lone kitten will demand is likely to occupy all of the owner’s waking hours at home. AĀ pair of kittens will definitely still want to interact with the owner, but can keep each otherĀ occupied while the owner is doing such necessary tasks as working, paying bills, havingĀ telephone conversations, gardening, laundry, etc. Most cats, regardless of their age, are highlyĀ sociable and are truly happier living with other cat companions. This in turn makes them betterĀ pets, which results in happier owners.Ā Particularly if there is already an older cat in the household, aĀ kitten should not be brought in as a lone companion. AsĀ mentioned above, a youngster has boundless energy, wantsĀ to play and run constantly, and requires very high amounts ofĀ interaction, all of which are likely to overwhelm and irritate anĀ older cat in short order. Likewise, a kitten is apt to beĀ frustrated that its companion does not have the same energyĀ level as itself. At the very least, this can lead to two veryĀ unhappy cats. Worse-case scenario, behavior problems suchĀ as litter box avoidance or destructive scratching can occurĀ if one or both cats act out their frustrations on their surroundings. Longer-term, it is almostĀ certain that the two will never have a close, bonded relationship, even after the kitten matures,Ā since their experiences with one another from the beginning of the relationship are likely to beĀ negative. An older cat is better matched with someone of his or her own age, who has a similarĀ temperament. Ā Adopting a single kitten or young cat is simply not a good idea. Trying to keep a single kittenĀ occupied, stimulated, safe and happy while also going about the business of everyday life isĀ much more of a challenge than it may seem upon first consideration.

At Purr Partners, our goal is not simply to do large numbers of adoptions, but rather to ensureĀ that the animals adopted from our program are getting a home for life. Recognizing that evenĀ when a potential adopter has carefully thought through the decision to make the lifetimeĀ commitment of adopting animal, bringing a new pet home inevitably creates big changes. Ā Minimizing the factors which are likely to cause stress to an owner, both in the beginning andĀ on an ongoing basis (like being repeatedly pounced on in the middle of the night, or having theĀ brand-new draperies shredded) is therefore the best thing we as volunteers can do to achieveĀ that goal. Ā We understand and accept that someone out there will probably adopt or sell you a single kitten. With that in mind, please think long andĀ hard about forcing a kitten to become an only child. Mother Nature knew what she was doingĀ when she created kittens in litters!