Why Adopt Two Kittens?

Important info from feline behaviorist Jackson Galaxy: https://youtube.com/shorts/EkG3RIjRWps?si=KFIuQrooXR39luDA

Predatory Aggression in Kittens 

  • Predation is an inborn survival instinct that cats use to obtain food in the wild. Predatory behavior is often displayed during playtime by young cats, which allows them to develop and hone necessary survival skills. However, when the behavior is directed at humans, it can become dangerous. Sometimes we inadvertently encourage such behavior in the way that we play with young cats and kittens. As our pets grow older, the biting and scratching may become more intense and painful even though the cat is still just playing.
  • Predatory play is one of several categories of play behavior exhibited by young kittens. Although the evolutionary function of predatory play is to hone predatory skills for use later in life, it is often misinterpreted by owners as blatant aggression. When a kitten has playmates (such as littermates or other young cats or kittens) for company, predatory play aggression rarely becomes a problem. When a kitten does not have an appropriately responsive playmate, they may direct their playful aggression towards humans.
  • Symptoms: The usual age of onset of predatory play behavior is five weeks, and may continue into adulthood. A kitten or young cat that exhibits aggression towards people or other cats with movement as a trigger may be displaying a form of predatory aggression. Typically, cats hide behind walls, stalking and pouncing on approaching feet and ankles, inflicting scratches and minor bite wounds. This behavior is more common in cats that have few alternatives onto which they can direct their natural prey drive.  It may seem cute at first, but this “play” can escalate to seriously dangerous behavior if not addressed immediately.
  • Treatment: Predatory aggression is normal cat behavior, and treatment of any related problems will be futile if aimed at complete extinction of the behavior. Toys may be used to redirect predatory tendencies, but the only way to truly solve the problem is to introduce another feline playmate into the household. No self-respecting natural prey lies around on the floor waiting to be flung or tugged at by a human, and no human can possibly chase a kitten around the house all day to bite and wrestle. There is simply no substitute for an appropriate feline playmate.

*Although it’s hard to believe, two kittens may actually require less work than one.

How so?  Kittens are social creatures and tend to be happier (and therefore better behaved) when they have a buddy their own age. Doubling up on your kitten quota can:

  • Alleviate boredom and loneliness. A kitten needs a lot of stimulation, and humans simply cannot provide the necessary level or type of activities that kittens need to develop appropriately. But two kittens can wrestle, chase, play, and entertain each other all day long, which is exactly what they need!
  • Provide important training. Kittens are natural copy cats, and will mimic one another’s behavior, including appropriate litter box use and grooming techniques.  Kittens also learn proper etiquette and limits from playing with another kitten.
  • Spare your older cats relentless pestering. A single kitten needs to play, and may constantly seek out your older, more sedate cat as a playmate, leading to frustration for both.
  • Seriously increase amusement. You’ll get twice the delight from your twosome’s mad antics and adorable snuggle fests.