One kitten or two?

One kitten or two? This time of year when rescues are full of kittens, maybe think about adopting two.

  1. It’s twice as much cute fluffy fun … if one kitten is adorable, then surely two is even more adorable?
  2. So they can play together. Kittens love to play. They have a wide variety of play behaviours: play with objects such as cat toys or shoe-laces, chasing, running, hiding, leaping, and even chasing their own (or  another cat’s) tail. Play behaviours peak at about four months old, and then tail off, but adult cats like to play too. There are several ideas about why play is important, such as practising hunting behaviours, developing motor skills, keeping fit, and learning about the environment and social bonds. As with other animals, play seems to be important in feline development. Having another kitten around will increase the opportunities for play, and they will continue to play together as adults.
  1. Kittens learn from each other. As young animals, kittens have a lot to learn, and they will be able to learn from watching the other kitten and copying their behaviour.
  1. Because cats are social creatures, but they need early experiences to learn about other cats. Cats that have grown up with feline company are more accepting of it when they are older. A cat that has always been an only cat is not so likely to be happy to get more feline company. If you think you would like another cat in the future, it makes sense to get two as kittens. In fact Sharon Crowell-Davis and her colleagues at the University of Georgia suggest that it’s better to adopt cats in small related groups of two or three.
  1. So they can be properly socialized and learn feline communication and behaviours, such as how to greet another cat, how to show affection, or to ask another cat to play. This isn’t something we can teach them – they have to learn it from other cats. Interestingly, dogs can also learn how to greet a cat the way it likes, with a nose-to-nose greeting.
  1. So they can just be cats. Having a second kitten around gives it the opportunity to do the things that being a cat involves – observing other cats, snuggling up together, grooming each other and so on.
  1. If they will be indoor cats. Indoor cats can easily get bored; the presence of another feline gives them something to do and counts as environmental enrichment. (You can read more about environmental enrichment for indoor cats here)

Source: One Kitten or Two?

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