One thing the volunteers at Cat Tales like to suggest to kitten adopters is that they consider adopting a bonded pair of kittens. While we certainly would never encourage hoarding, cats really are a lot like potato chips, it’s hard to have just one! And, once you see how much most kitties like having a kitty companion, you have an even better reason to adopt a pair.
Some reservations adopters have is that if they adopt a bonded pair that the kittens will just hang out and snuggle with each other instead of with their humans or that they won’t become friends with the other kitty they already have at home. Others are more concerned about it being too much work to care for two new kitties.
In our experience—as fosters and cat guardians ourselves—the advantages of adopting a pair far outweigh any negatives. A pair of kittens will absolutely still want to snuggle their new human family, but when the humans are too busy, they will have their sibling or kitten buddy to keep them company. And if they already have another kitty at home who needs a friend, now he will have TWO new friends; and if they become too much for him, they have each other to play with so he can get some peace.
Many people mistakenly think that cats are aloof. The reality is that most cats, and especially kittens, are very social creatures who are much happier with companions. Kittens especially are in need of constant stimulation and having a sibling or another kitty they were raised in foster care with gives them someone to play with, snuggle with, grow up with, and learn with.
As far as it being too much work, sure it is a little more work. But, if you’re already scooping a litter box or spooning some food into a bowl, it’s just another minute or two to do so for a second kitty.
We’ve had quite a few pairs adopted over this past year. To help illustrate the benefits of adopting a bonded pair, here’s a few of their stories.
DAISY AND HOWARD’S TALE
Daisy and Howard were not originally going to get adopted together. Their adopter, Heidi, already had a young cat at home who needed a new friend. She originally had trouble choosing between the two, but finally decided on Howard. Shortly after that, someone else was approved to adopt Daisy.
Several weeks later, Daisy’s adopter informed Cat Tales that she’d adopted elsewhere and backed out. When Heidi learned of this, she immediately took it as a sign that she was never meant to have to choose between the two and decided to adopt Daisy along with Howard.
Heidi says, “I am soooooo happy we decided to take Daisy with Howard when her adopter backed out! They had each other when they were getting acclimated to their new home in the beginning, and their bond is so strong!”
“I am soooooo happy we decided to take Daisy with Howard when her adopter backed out! They had each other when they were getting acclimated to their new home in the beginning, and their bond is so strong!” – Heidi, adopter of Daisy and Howard
She goes on to explain, “In a way, it was like adopting one cat. For us, it was the same acclimating the two siblings together as it would have been acclimating just one kitten (as we had just gotten a kitten one year before we got Howard and Daisy). They are just so much fun and a perfect fit for our family!”
As you can see in the photos, months after their adoption and they still can’t get enough of snuggling together, and also with their human family.
ZOLA AND MOCHI’S TALE
Adopter Beth first saw Zola and Mochi (FKA Dashuri) on their foster mom’s Instagram page along with their three siblings. It was shortly before COVID shut things down, so they were able to visit the entire litter in their foster home and determine which two kittens they wanted to adopt. The family knew they wanted to adopt a bonded pair, so they just needed to see which two would be best to go home together.
Beth explains why they wanted to adopt a bonded pair of sibings, “We felt that adopting two kittens at once would just be twice the joy.”
Beth quickly saw the benefits to adopting a bonded pair, “We found that they adjusted quickly to our home because they had each other. I also believe they are more comfortable around people because they help socialize each other. Their kitten-specific play helps enrich them cognitively in my opinion as well. It’s really just twice the cuteness, twice the fun and twice the love.”
“We got them these mice that can accommodate treats or dry food,” Beth shares. “We hide them in the house so they can ‘hunt’ together. Zola makes Mochi (Dashuri) do all the work and she just eats after the mice are found.”
GYPSY AND LOKI’S TALE
Michelle adopted two kittens who were not actual siblings but were being raised in the same foster home together and had become good buddies. Gypsy (the tuxedo kitty) and Loki (formerly known as Rose and Graham) are now inseparable, as you can see in their photos.
Michelle’s biggest concern was that she thought it would be harder and be overwhelming to have two kittens rather than just one. But she found that it’s not.
Michelle tells Cat Tales, “I have a schedule when I feed them and change the litter during the day so there is no difference whether there was one or two.” In fact, she goes on to say, “I think caring for two is actually easier because they have each other to play with. If there was only one I would have to dedicate more time to interact and play with them, and sometimes that is hard while working. It is a little more expensive buying the extra food (I give wet and dry) but not that big of a deal.”
To that last point, while we often suggest that kitten adopters to consider adopting a pair of kittens instead of a solo, we only want that when it’s reasonable for the adopter. We do understand that some people are concerned about being able to financially support the well-being of more than one pet. That’s a legitimate concern and we really appreciate when an adopter is being realistic and ensuring the best care for their kitty in that regard.
If you are a young person out on your own for the first time, it may not be as affordable to provide proper veterinary care for two cats instead of just one at first. Plus, they can always adopt a friend for their kitty in another year or two when they feel they are in a better financial position.
NEBULA AND SUNNY’S TALE
It may not always be bonded pair of kittens you are considering for adoption. Nebula, formerly known as Melody, came into foster care with Cat Tales when she was a verrrrrrrry pregnant “catermelon”. She gave birth less than 24 hours after arriving in her foster home to six adorable, healthy kittens.
Lauren was following them on their foster mom’s Instagram page. After watching them for a few weeks, she decided to adopt the mother and her “mini-me” kitten, Harmony—now named Sunny. After they had both been fully vetted and spayed, they went home together.
“Adopters are often encouraged to adopt kittens in pairs, which is smart, and an excellent thing to do,” says Lauren. “But, when the momma cat isn’t much more than a kitten herself, it makes just as much sense to adopt a momma and her baby, if you can. Nebula and Sunny share a special bond, and getting to keep one of her children with Nebula has made her a more content and loving member of the family.”
WHAT MATTERS MOST
Cat Tales very rarely makes a double adoption “mandatory”, even when in some cases, we know that there’s two kittens or cats who are particularly bonded. But, we will encourage it, especially in cases where we know two are particularly close. So, if you are considering adopting a solo kitten, we just ask that you consider the option of adopting one of it’s siblings or foster buddies.
If you aren’t in the right place financially to care for more than one kitty, we respect that and appreciate your sense of responsibility. If you are in an apartment that only allows one kitty, we certainly want you to follow the rules of the apartment and not end up getting caught and having to return the kitten a few months later. If it’s not a good fit for you for whatever reason, we will be thrilled you are giving a great home to one of our kitties.
What matters most is that each kitty finds a wonderful home where it will be loved and well cared for with an annual wellness exam and up-to-date vaccinations.
PS – The author of this blog was also the foster mom of several of the kitties mentioned above, and can tell you that double adoptions make the foster parents extremely happy, too.