This week's blog, How Many Kittens Is Too……Few, is written by Trish Quinn, Director of Feline Behavior.
You’ve never had a cat before and want to adopt a kitten. You should adopt two! You have four kids and a dog, but you still want a kitten. But kittens in pairs or even threes are easier and more fun to raise than a single feline.
Contrary to what you may have heard, cats are social creatures, kittens especially so. Their first best friends are their brothers and sisters. Even before they open their eyes, they sleep together in an adorable pile of fur, never far from one another. As they grow, they are squiggly little fuzz balls who crave attention and almost constant activity. For their first year of life, their mission is to play, eat, poop sleep and play some more. Kittens are rough and tumble little MMA fighters with their siblings. They have tremendous fun chasing each other, wrestling, pouncing and engaging in the occasional boxing match. They learn what works and what hurts. These are important lessons that can only be learned from their mom or siblings, whether by birth or accident.
Now let’s say that you make the decision that you want to start off slowly and only adopt one kitten. It isn’t wrong, but it’s a good bet that within a few short weeks or months, you will be back for another. The reasons are pretty simple: For example, the cute little kitten you brought home bites you a little too hard, her claws stay out a little too long and she climbs you! At 3:00 a.m. when you’re fast asleep, that little ninja is chasing your feet under the covers or climbing on your head while getting all tangled up in your hair. She has no concern about that fact that you have to work in the morning, hey, it’s time to play! Not to mention that your elder cat is very angry with this little hooligan who keeps pestering him to play when all he wants to do is nap. Even if he does want to play, for the older cat that’s not for all the hours upon hours of play that a kitten demands.
Of course you love your kitten, but you can’t entertain her 24/7, you have a job and a life and your poor older guy isn’t too thrilled; he’s already been through the kitten stage and wants to take it a bit easier. So…what can you do for your darling little kitten to make her life happier, not to mention yours?
Well, you can get in the car, go back to the rescue or shelter to adopt another kitten! When you adopt two, or even three kittens together, you are adopting a family who will be interested in the other animals and humans in their world, but who will look to each other first for entertainment. They’re all on the same page with their silly kitten antics. They hop, jump, climb, wrestle, bite and scratch each other. They tire each other out and get yelled at by their brother or sister when they don’t play right. They learn, they love and they grow together. They all get excited to hear your footstep and your voice when you come home to feed them and love them and then they let you do human things while they happily go back to napping or playing with each other. As they grow, they settle down to the business of being cats that are well adjusted and loving to each other and you, their best human friend.
So when you think of kittens, at least two are best!
This week's blog is written by Trish Quinn, Board Member and Director of Feline Behavior. Trish began her work with Sammy’s Hope as a volunteer in 2010 and was elected to the Board in 2012. She initially spent the majority of her time working with shelter cats to ensure their comfort, safety and health in a shelter environment. Trish has also fostered both healthy and hard to place cats and kittens as well as managed other foster families in our network from foster placement, care and ultimately adoption.
As an adoption coordinator, she composes bios and takes photographs for promotion. Through her hands on work with cats that have behavior problems as well as ongoing education she brings thoughtful and successful methods to our organization to help the cats find their adoptive homes. Trish assists individuals performing TNR. Her day job is as an office manager at a successful law firm.