ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Adopting Sibling Cats

Updated on July 24, 2017

We Adopted Sibling Cats

When my family decided to get a kitten, we didn't even think about getting two. To be honest, I wasn't even sure I wanted even one -- I have always been more of a dog/fish/reptile man, and the though of sharing the house with a cat didn't really grab me. But everyone else was pretty keen on the idea, so I went along with the program.

This was why, when we were standing at the counter of the animal shelter with not one but TWO kittens in a carrying box, I had to ask myself if I was making a serious mistake. If cats were at all like children, we were in trouble. I knew from first-hand experience the truth behind the old saying: "One child is like having one child; two children is like having fifty." There was some demented mathematical formula behind multiple offspring, and having just been around the barn twice with our two beautiful sons, two years apart, I wasn't at all eager to start again. Especially if that barn was filled with cats.

But this was the smart way to go, according to the wonderful people who ran the shelter. Cats are intensely social animals, they said, and are much happier if they live with one or two siblings. There are fewer behavioral issues, they're cleaner (since they can groom each other), and they're less likely to run away. I wasn't sure if all of that was true, but in the end we, and I do mean we, decided to take home two cats, a brother and a sister. Sibling cats -- were we making a big mistake?

This article will discuss the reasons why adopting sibling cats is better for both felines and humans. I hope this helps you think about how to proceed with your own cat adoption!

lonely kitty!
lonely kitty! | Source

Cats Love the Company of a Sibling

There's nothing sadder than a lonely kitten.

Kittens love other kittens -- they're social animals, who respond to each other in ways hard for us humans to perceive, let alone comprehend. When you adopt sibling kittens, you give them someone to relate to. Sibling cats will groom each other, wrestle, and even fight occasionally. It's all part of two cats having someone to relate to.

Sibling cats keep each other so happy, and so entertained. There is substantial evidence that companionship early in life helps kittens become more social later in life. According to author Dr. Michael W. Fox, "an animal's happiness and well-being can be undermined by a lack of adequate socialization or impaired bonding with their own kind and/or with humans during their formative early weeks of life."

Anxiety and the Live-Alone Cat

Cat behavior is also generally better when there are two cats from the same litter in the house. Much of feline "misbehavior" is due to unease with being alone, not having another cat to groom or play with, and the general lack of social contact that another cat provides. Unease or anxiety caused by solitary life isn't an issue with another cat around. Even when it seems that they're fighting, they're engaging in important and necessary activities with each other.


Sibling Cats -- The Biological Argument

Why having a litter mate around makes a difference

Single kittens adopted into new families can lose the sense of belonging that they would naturally have. Cats are social animals, and by nature will develop strong mother-child bonds and habits that can persist over a lifetime. According to John C. Wright, pet psychologist and co-author of Ain't Misbehavin', the acute sense of smell that cats use to interpret the world they live in is especially attuned to "litter" smells -- and no, that doesn't refer to the stinky smells of a cat's litter box. It means that the scent that sibling cats and kittens share from birth is all-important. Wright argues that litter mates are similar, not only in appearance and temperament, but in biology. Since biology drives the cat's behavior, it follows that having a sibling to go through life with makes a cat's behavior more natural.

Sibling Cats -- Why You Will Be Happier, Too


We learned from first-hand experience that having sibling kittens or cats makes everyone happier, including you. No matter how much you love cats, sooner or later you will need to take a break. Sibling kittens have a built-in babysitter, and when you need to sleep, eat, or go to work, you can rest easy knowing that your cats will keep each other entertained for as long as you need. Sibling cats always have time and energy for each other, even when you don't. There have been many days when our sibling cats spend hours chasing each other, grooming each other, or sleeping, often literally in each other's arms. Our sibs are happy and well adjusted, and I'm happy to say we are too.

The act of grooming a cat causes deep relaxation and dramatic slowing of the heart rate

Sibling Cats and Grooming


This picture says it all! Cats are social animals, and grooming is a major activity. Domesticated and wild cats groom to clean, share scents, and soothe each other. When a cat is alone, that behavior is of course not possible. You can help by brushing and "grooming" the cat yourself, but with a sibling, the cat will be able to partake in an instinctive and natural grooming activity. Although your kitten will love being brushed by you, having another cat to interact with is even better.


Happy With Our Kitties

As it turned out, no, we weren't making a mistake. We were making one of the best decisions we could have made. Our two sibling cats are now essential parts of our family -- and it's been almost five years. They play, fight, groom, eat together, and just generally show us that adopting them together was the best thing we could have done.

And I am now, I have to admit, a total cat man.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)