10 reasons why you should adopt two kittens instead of one
A guest blog by our Digital Content Editor, Hannah Gransden.
I phoned up the rescue centre to ask whether they happened to have any kittens in their care, not sure that they would, and I was told that, yes they did - they had two small kittens ready to be rehomed together!
I hadn't thought about getting two, one seemed a good starting point seeing as this would be my initiation into cat mum life! I sheepishly asked my partner what he thought and although he responded quite the same - we thought, why not meet them?
We went to meet the little things, fell in love and brought them home the following week... A year later and we're forever grateful to have taken the plunge and adopted both and without a doubt - they are too, seeing as they're inseparable!
It wasn't until I started looking into it that I really appreciated why rescue centres often have kittens they feel are suited to be rehomed in pairs. In fact, if a friend tells me that they're looking to adopt or buy a kitten, I will ask them to consider getting two instead of one (and adopt not shop, too!). That is, of course, if that can take on two and that they known the pair will get on! Sadly, many people seem more interested in the breed or colour of a pet more than anything else - but I have never met a cat mum who wished that their kittens/cats were a different colour!
So, from my research and experience, here are my top 10 reasons to rehome kittens in pairs...
1. They can learn how to behave properly (in ways we can't teach them!)
Similarly to dogs, kittens play fight with their sibling and by doing so, quickly learn what is acceptable in terms of biting, nipping and gnawing (all very normal kitten activities!). Pairs of kittens can understand cues from each other - in many ways, your pets will train each other - for example, co-ordination can be taught from wresting and hunting much more easily from an enthusiastic sibling than it can a human!
2. By bringing home two kittens, you can relax knowing that they have a 24/7 play-partner!
This is important as kittens are extremely playful - and bored kittens - aren't happy kittens. Bored kittens are also more likely to cause trouble around the house... Having a playpal will keep your kittens both mentally and physically stimulated, more so than if they were on their own and looking to you to keep them entertained at all times! So, while the idea of playing with a cute kitten all day every day hardly sounds like a big feat - you might feel differently at 3 am when they are swiping at your toes! Of course, it's still very important to bond with your kittens through play. It's also important that you provide both kittens their own private, quiet space where they can retreat when they are done with playing and wanting some peace!
3. Your kittens might enjoy having an affectionate grooming and napping partner
As well as having someone to play with and learn from, siblings can also offer affection to each other. By rehoming in pairs, your new kitten will have someone to clean or to clean them as well as someone to cuddle during nap time. These are the cutest moments and something that you'd miss if you only had the one! Of course, not all siblings will automatically get on and relationships can change over time, but in the case that they are a good match, it can make a lovely friendship!
4. Siblings already know each other!
I hear people often say that they think it will be easier to start with one kitten and then, later on, adopt another. I can see the logic - getting two might seem like rushing into a bigger commitment but really, it's not much different. In fact - bringing in a second kitten later will likely be a much harder process. The reason siblings are sometimes encouraged to be adopted together is because that way owners can be fairly confident that the kittens know and trust each other from day one and can skip the (sometimes long and difficult) process of introducing cats to one another or a cat to a kitten.
5. Cats and kittens aren't always best friend
One argument I hear a lot, is that an older cat can teach a younger kitten the ropes... In reality, the older cat is much more likely to be disturbed by a new animal coming into the home. A kitten that wants constant attention and play, while your older cat perhaps just wants a nice snooze like they're used to! Adopting kittens at the same time can help avoid these hurdles later on - if you can, why not bite the bullet day one?
6. They get to move in together!
By having two, we knew they would have a friend at all times and hopefully wouldn't feel too lost or confused at the beginning. In fact, the first night we brought them home, they showed no signs of upset or discomfort and knowing they had each other made the settling in process much easier for everyone. Seeing them navigate the world together as they grow up, makes it all the more worthwhile!
7. They can explore the world together
Oh, and when it comes to learning about other objects, sounds and so forth - they can do so as a team! Watching the two of them sniff around the house and the garden for the first time was (and still is) a lot of fun with the two of them. Mowgli (my boy cat) helped encourage Mushu (my girl cat) out of her crate when we first brought her home. They learnt to play with us together and - if nothing else - they have a friend to help relax them when it comes to the vets which they aren't the biggest fans off!
8. Double the kittens doesn't necessarily mean double everything!
While, I can see how two would seem like double-everything, a daunting thought, especially if you're thinking of getting your first pet - believe it or not - it actually isn't as overwhelming s it sounds. In fact, by having two, a lot of the 'effort' involved with caring for a kitten in terms of play and affection and training is helped by the other! It doesn't take much more time either, as you can feed them both at the same time and take them to the vets together and so forth. It may cost you a bit more in terms of kitten/cat food, but they will happily share their toys, so don't rule it out! Of course, getting two kittens is certainly not the easy option but it is very rewarding! Just keep in mind that each animal needs an equal amount of time and effort and that each kitten has enough resources (ideally a pair of kittens will need three litter trays!).
9. Two kittens mean double the cuteness (yes this counts!)
Kittens will play together, they will groom each other then will explore together... My favourite kitten moments (and kitten photographs) have been of my pair curled up for a snooze. Honestly, it - is - adorable. We would have missed out on so much if we had only brought one of them home, and of course, so would they! Of course, you should never adopt an animal on cuteness alone but assuming you can care for them and provide them with everything you need - it's a bonus for sure! It's so fulfilling seeing them grow into cats together as two best friends. I wouldn't want it any other way!
Bonus reason: You'll save two lives instead of one...
How fulfilling to not only provide a happy life for an animal but to do so for two! As long as the pair get on well and won't be stressed living together and you're in a position where you can commit to kittens - why not consider adopting two? You'll never regret it, I promise you! Just be sure to get them both neutered as kittens!
So, if you're eager to adopt or buy a kitten, my advice would be to make sure that you can commit to the full-on attention and care they need and do consider rehoming two if you can commit to taking them on!