Why two are better then one
When Two is Better Than One
While we may pride ourselves on how we pamper our pets with the best of
everything, we may be denying them what they need most--the companionship of one
of their own species. Most feline behaviorists agree that cats generally lead
healthier, happier lives if there is another feline in the household. Even if
the cats never become bosom buddies, just sharing the house with another living
creature while you are away helps to break the monotony and loneliness. Of
course, if they become playmates, there is the added benefit of exercise and
entertainment that is especially needed by kittens and young adult cats. Many
cases of playful aggression directed toward the owner as well as various forms
of household destruction, can be prevented if the cat's energies are focused on
a playmate. Young males (3-24 months) have an especially strong need for a
"buddy". While owners of rambunctious young males often hesitate to take on
another cat, those who take that "leap of faith" and get another young male are
generally delighted to see how much the "boys" enjoy each other.
Why Kittens Should Be Adopted In Pairs*
Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she
created kittens in litters!
- Kittens need interaction with other kittens for healthy social
development. A kitten learns a lot in the first several months of life from
its mother and littermates. Separating a kitten from its mother is often a
necessity for adoption purposes, but taking it away from its littermates and
isolating it can delay the kitten?s development emotionally, socially, and
sometimes physically. Kittens who are able to remain with one of their
littermates or a similarly-aged companion tend to be healthier and happier, and
in the long run, better socialized pets than those who are isolated from others
of their kind at an early age.
- Even loving, caring, humans are not adequate substitutes for kitten
companionship. Even if a person is fortunate enough to be home quite a bit,
the amount of attention a lone kitten will demand is likely to occupy more time
than the person has available. A pair of kittens will definitely still want to
interact with people, but can keep each other occupied. Most cats, regardless of
their age, are highly sociable and are truly happier living with other cat
companions. This in turn makes them better pets.
- Kittens are curious and crave constant stimulation. Out of boredom, a
single kitten will often entertain itself by chewing plants, climbing drapes and
furniture, unrolling toilet paper, exploring electrical cords and sockets, etc.
Kittens who live with other kittens may sometimes do these things as well, but
if they have another kitten to tumble around and play with it is less likely
they?ll need to entertain themselves with behaviors like these, which can be
destructive and dangerous.
- Kittens bite and wrestle with one another--this behavior is normal.
You can't prevent a kitten from doing what comes naturally, any more than
you can force a two-year-old toddler to sit still. Though it's not acceptable
for a kitten to bite and wrestle with its human companions, in the absence of
having a littermate or companion its own age to play with, this is precisely
what a single kitten will want to do. Even if you are willing to allow (and can
tolerate) this behavior from your kitten, by the time the kitten matures, you
will end up with an adult cat who has developed very bad habits (i.e. biting and
scratching as ?play?).
- Kittens are very active at night. A single kitten is likely to keep
people awake at night with constant jumping, pouncing and other ?hunting?
behavior. With a companion to play with at night, this behavior is minimized
because they will have each other to chase and play games with until they too
- A single kitten is not a good companion for an older cat. Kittens
have boundless energy. They want to play and run constantly which typically
overwhelms and irritates an older cat. Likewise, a kitten is apt to be
frustrated that its companion doesn?t have its same level of energy. At the very
least, this can lead to two very unhappy cats. At worst, behavior problems such
as litterbox avoidance or destructive scratching can occur as one or both cats
act out their frustrations on their surroundings. Its not likely that the two
will have a close, bonded relationship, even after the kitten matures, since
their experiences with one another from the beginning of the relationship are
likely to be negative. An older kitty is better matched with a cat closer to its
own age and temperament.
*SPICER requires that young kittens be
adopted in pairs unless you have an existing kitten or young cat at home. This
policy is NOT based on a desire to increase our number of adoptions. Rather this
ensures that the kittens we rescue, nurture, and love are adopted into homes
that offer the best possible environment for their social development. We
understand that some people will still want to adopt a single kitten. Most
rescue groups have similar policies regarding kittens. Thus, we suggest you
adopt from a local KILL animal shelter where kittens may not otherwise find any home.
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