One of our favorite sayings at Angel’s Wish, especially when it comes to kittens, is “Two is better than one.” Not only do we want to find homes for as many kittens as we can, it’s also better for the kittens to have a buddy to go home with. We all like to have a friend around when we go someplace new, someone familiar that can help us navigate our new surrounding and help us learn. Read on for reasons why two isn’t just more fun and more cute photos–it’s makes for happy, healthier, more well-adjusted cats and happier pet parents too.
Kittens need interaction with other kittens for healthy social development
Cats are extremely social animals. In the wild, they run in bands that have a distinct social hierarchy. When a kitten is separated from its littermates and isolated, the isolation can delay its emotional, physical, and social development. Kittens learn from their mothers and littermates in their first few months of life. A kitten that is placed with a littermate or another cat will be better adjusted, happier, and healthier. Cats that have a playmate tend to be more social with humans, too!
Multiple cats are healthier and happier
Cats living with other cats are less likely to gain weight and suffer related illnesses. With a companion, your cat will remain more playful and youthful into her later years. If you work long hours, have an active social life away from home or travel, two cats will keep each other company in your absence. When two cats are adopted instead of one, they are less likely to experience behavior problems.
Kittens are curious and desire constant stimulation.
Bored kittens find ways to entertain themselves. While humans, toys, and an interesting environment can help, those often aren’t enough. The new activities bored kittens think up on their own—chewing on plants, clawing furniture, climbing drapes, unrolling toilet paper, playing with electrical cords and sockets—can be destructive at best and dangerous at worst. While kittens still get into the occasional mischief in pairs, they are less likely to do so when they have a friend to tumble and play with. Even if you are home during the day, a single young kitten demands all of your attention, making it difficult to do anything else. A pair of kittens still crave your attention but will distract each other a good deal of the time.
Kittens are active at night
Cats are nocturnal animals. Night is when they hunt. A lonely kitten will keep its owner awake with hunting behavior—jumping and pouncing at moving arms and legs under the blankets, crying when locked away from their human playmates. When there is another kitten to explore and chase shadows with, the two entertain each other and (eventually) tire, letting you sleep!
Kittens wrestle and play-bite …this is normal behavior
As hunters-in-training, kittens instinctively wrestle and play-bite when they are young. If they don’t have a feline playmate, a kitten may bite or scratch you. But, what seems cute when your kitten is young won’t be acceptable when your cat is full-grown and her bites hurt! A second kitten allows the little ones to engage in natural behavior as they mature, without developing habits that could injure people.
Two (or more) cats can be easier for the whole family!
Having a feline playmate allows your kitten to develop naturally… rather than constantly requiring your attention. Two kittens take up the same amount of space as one. The additional workload to care for a second cat is minimal and there is more feline love to spread around.
Trying to keep a kitten safe, healthy, happy, and go about your daily life can be more of a challenge than expected by many new pet owners. Adopting two not only gives a second homeless kitten a home, but it leaves you and your cat much happier!
Kittens won’t necessarily bond when introduced to an older cat.
Sometimes a kitten can be just the thing to bring an older cat back to the playful animal you remember from years past. More often, introducing a kitten into a household where there already is an older cat puts stress on both cats. Older cats often don’t have the energy to keep up with a kitten. The kitten becomes bored and frustrated with an unwilling playmate.
Kittens need endless stimulation. They want to run and play constantly and this can irritate an older cat very easily. If the first impression between the cats is a negative one, these feelings can remain and the cats may never form a close relationship. An older cat often is better matched with one closer to her age and temperament. Alternatively, consider adopting a pair of kittens who can focus their energy on each other and give your older cat some peace!