The Whole Cat and Kaboodle

Single Kitten Syndrome

It is a policy of The Whole Cat and Kaboodle that kittens 6 months old or younger are adopted out in pairs/multiples unless another suitable kitten or young cat is already in the home. This is healthiest for you and your kitten!

If you’ve ever raised a litter of kittens or adopted a pair of them, you know how much they play together. The kittens bite and scratch each other, sometimes quite hard. All the while they are learning from one another that this behavior is not the best way to make friends! In order to become well socialized cats, kittens need to learn appropriate play behavior from one another. A human is not a substitute for a feline companion. You can provide attention and love but there is simply no way you can replicate the play behavior of the species. If they don’t learn limits in their play as youngsters, they often lack bite inhibition. It may be cute when a kitten attacks your ankles when you walk by, or playfully nips at your fingers, but as an adult cat these behaviors escalate to another level that can be dangerous.

Adopting a bonded pair has many rewards and benefits both short-term and long-term. Two kittens playing together is one of the most entertaining activities in the world, both for you and for the kittens. Later on, witnessing two bonded adult cats playing and sleeping and grooming one another is priceless. Having two cats will also ensure that they are not lonely when you are away from home. A lonely cat can become neurotic and will sometimes let their owner know about their unhappiness by destructive behavior or inappropriate urination.

Because of these reasons, many shelters will not place a single kitten under the age of six months into a home without an appropriate feline playmate. This is not about placing more kittens and cats. It’s about the future of the individual kittens and setting them up for success in their new forever homes.

If you feel you are unable to care for two kittens, we strongly encourage you to consider one of the wonderful young adult cats needing a home. Cats in the 1-3 year age range are in general playful and healthy, and have an established social etiquette and kitty manners. Cats in this age range also tend to be self-sufficient if left home alone during regular work hours so long as they are given attention and play time before and after work.

Remember, the difference between a cat and a kitten is only about six months. A happy cat can bring you joy and companionship for twenty years or more. It’s well worth laying a good foundation in their early months. The payback is tremendous.

Modified and reprinted with permission from MEOW Cat Rescue (425.822.6369)

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