By: Franny Syufy
Author of Your Guide to Cats
The decision to adopt a kitten is an exciting event, but not to be entered into lightly. Kittens require an enormous amount of care, which, of course, is compensated by the extreme pleasure of watching them grow and develop. Sometimes, it is better to adopt two kittens, whether this is your first cat or an addition to a feline family. I put the challenge to my forum members to explain why two kittens are better than one. They came up with some very solid and creative arguments for two kittens.
1) You'll save two lives instead of one.
As Sarah reasoned, 'If it's kitten season, that's one more kitten that will get a home instead of growing into an adult which will decrease its chance of getting adopted.' It is entirely true the 15-month-old cat you see in the shelter today is very likely a holdover from last year's crop of kittens. Another way of looking at it is that it's better to get all the kittens adopted out right away, to give the older cats a better chance at finding homes.
2) One kitten can become lonely.
A kitten left alone during the day can become lonely and bored, which sometimes can lead to mischief. Two kittens will never be lonely, especially if they are siblings. In fact, you'll often find situations in shelters and rescue group adoption where a cage will contain two kittens with a sign, 'These kittens may be adopted only as a pair.' Shelter volunteers recognize that siblings really need to stay together.
3) One kitten can just drive an older cat nuts.
Although it might sound contrary, an older, established cat will probably accept two kittens better than one. One kitten will seek out the older cat as a playmate, or worse, tease and pester the senior cat which can cause stress to an older cat. The kitten in return, will be 'rewarded' for his playful efforts with hisses and swats. Two kittens will expend their energy in play with each other, leaving their older 'uncle' to relax in peace.
4) Two kittens will 'self-train.'
Kittens learn by copying. If one kitten is quick to learn appropriate litter box use, the other will be likely to copy. They also help each other with grooming; washup after meals soon becomes a ritual with two kittens.
5) They help each other burn off energy.
Even the most devoted cat parent can quickly become exhausted by trying to keep up with the energy of a single kitten. Two kittens will wear each other out, leaving their human free to just enjoy watching them. The downside to this, of course, as Judy Litt so aptly put it is, '...but of course, sometimes you have double trouble, too. I still remember the time I spent at least 15 minutes getting one or the other of them out of my armoire; everytime I got one out, the other one was in there.'
6) Fewer behavior problems with two kittens.
Many people who experience behavior problems with kittens find that some of them go away when they adopt another playmate. What may be perceived as mischief is often just the result of boredom. Much like their human counterparts, kittens sometimes misbehave because 'negative attention is better than no attention.'
7) Curiosity overcomes 'food finickyness.'
Yesrie came up witn a zinger: 'If one kitten is finicky about food, the belligerence is often overcome by curiosity at what its [i]sibling[/i] is eating. (Feed one cat Same Old, the other cat New Stuff, and they both end up tasting the new stuff.)'
8) They act as pillows for one another.
Kittens will often play so hard that they simply flop where they are, and more likely than not, they will flop next to (or on top of) each other. There is no sight so endearing as two kittens curled up together for a nap. Their peaceful innocence can soften the heart of even the grumpiest curmudgeon, and the sight of that blissful moment will wash clean the slate of their previous misdoings.
9) Having two kittens is insanely fun.
Steve summed it up nicely, and Judy confirmed it, 'And last, of course, they're just so much darn fun to watch!' Having lived through (and survived nicely) the joy of adopting and raising two kittens, I can personally attest to the downright fun of having two kittens.
10) Fill in the blanks.
I'm sure you can come up with your own inimitable reasons why adopting two kittens
is better than one. This has been both a serious and a fun discussion. If you're
thinking of adopting a kitten, do give some consideration to the reasons why you
should choose two instead of one.