Adopting Two Kittens
Double trouble or twice as nice?
Spoiler alert! Once glance at our family photos on this page & you'll instantly guess I am very much in favor of adopting two kittens instead of one. Why? Read on for seven good reasons -- if the pictures alone aren't enough to convince you!
But first, a little background on how we got our babies a year and a half ago.
(all photos: my own)
Last summer, the vet for our then 17-year-old cat Sam emailed their clients. Public Safety had rescued and brought to them a very sweet, very pregnant cat, they said, who had given birth a few weeks prior. Her kittens were up for adoption.
As it turned out, we were scheduled to bring Sam in for an appointment the day after the email went out. Two of the kittens were already spoken for, but my son and I decided to see the others just for fun. (Anyone with kids, you know how this is gonna go...)
Is there anything cuter than a bunch of tiny kittens jumping around & rubbing up against each other? This pretty pastel tortoiseshell cat had given birth to 2 girls (a pastel tortie like her and a pastel calico) and 5 boys (an all-gray plus 4 fluffy yellow guys). The calico and all-gray kitties were spoken for. My son, of course, instantly demanded we bring all 5 remaining kittens home. I said, of course, that I didn't know if we should even take one. After all, we had an elderly, chronically ailing cat at home who might be super stressed by the constant presence of a bouncy little baby. Keeping him comfortable and as happy as possible for the end of his life was extremely important to both my husband and myself. After all, he was our baby before we had human babies.
A thought popped into my mind. One kitten would not work, but how about two? They could keep each other busy & (I hoped) not bug Sam. And once that thought escaped my lips, my son latched onto it. He texted his dad multiple times at work, begging for an ok on the adoption. When we got home and shared the story with our animal-loving neighbor, far from supporting me as a fellow parent, she demanded we go get the kittens immediately! "It's the right thing to do."
When we brought my hubby in to meet the two kittens we'd picked out -- the tortie girl & "stripiest" yellow boy -- he had to agree they were adorable. After a bit more pros-and-cons type deliberation, it was a done deal.
So why did adopting two kittens instead of one turn out to be such a smart move? I'll explain...
They make each other brave.
Cats don't love change, but together they can help each other tolerate it -- from a new type of food to a brand new home. Unlike our previous cats, adopted singly, these 2 never even hid when we brought them home for the first time. And within an hour they were playing like crazy with our kids (above -- they're chasing a straw).
Having a playmate can cut down on behavior problems.
Yes, it's true that sometimes two kittens equal double trouble, but more often than not, having each other to play with will cut down on the negative-attention-seeking behaviors you might see (yep, kittens are just like toddlers that way) with a bored solo kitty when you're trying to work or are otherwise engaged.
~~ get this! ~~
Read up on declawing & you'll think twice about this awful intervention. Invest instead in a great scratching post. Ignore the fluffy frou-frou types all over the pet stores and go with this one, as we did (along with 900 or so other happy customers). Though it hasn't completely eliminated carpet scratching, our kitties use this all the time and love it's scratchy, sturdy feel. They also loved learning to jump and climb to the top .... first our nimble little girl, then her rather plumper brother figured it out :)
They keep each other from getting lonely.
Whether you're gone all day at work or hitting the road for a few days, with a friend or neighbor coming in to care for your kitties, you'll feel much less guilty leaving two than one. They'll miss you, but they still have each other.
They groom each other.
This isn't a necessity, no -- cats can groom themselves without any help. But watching June & Jasper take turns grooming each other is one of the sweetest things ever. Wouldn't miss that for anything.
Even cuter? They snuggle together.
Just when I think they can't find a cuter, goofier way to intertwine, they do. It's often on my work chair, which can eat into my productivity, but who cares? Watching them cuddle is a major de-stressor.
Bringing home two makes it easier on your older cat, if you have one.
Our 17-year-old cat with multiple chronic, age-related health problems would not have been able to handle a jumpy kitten batting at him, pouncing on him, and otherwise trying to engage him. Kitten siblings took the pressure off him and allowed him to be the "elder statesman" of the house -- as it should be. We wanted the last months of his life to be just as happy as the preceding years, and after an initial adjustment period to the two kittens, they were. (We lost our sweet Sam on New Year's Eve 2012 :( and miss him dearly. He's napping with new brother Jasper in the pic above.)
Kitten siblings are BFFs.
Jaspie loves the bathroom when someone's showering, so the kids often take him up when they shower. Within a couple of minutes, June will start crying for her brother. They love each other so much, it makes us feel grateful to have them both together. We wouldn't have it any other way.
Even more reasons two kitttens are better than one.
~~ poll! ~~
Where are you in the kitten adoption process?
Please share your experience with a kitten -- or kittens!