Should You Adopt Kittens in Pairs?


‘Tis the season for kittens! Are you planning on getting or giving a kitten for the holidays? If so, you may want to rethink your gift and get a second kitten, so they have a companion to grow up with.

Despite their reputation of being solitary animals, cats are quite social, and having a lifelong playmate and partner can be beneficial for the whole family, humans and cats alike.

Is It Better to Adopt Kittens in Pairs or Alone?

Adopting a kitten is a long commitment, since cats can live up to 20 years. Cats make excellent companions for people who live in apartments or small spaces and don’t have the time to train and care for a dog, but it may be daunting to adopt two kittens at once, especially when you factor in the extra cost of food and vet bills. It can cost up to $800 a year to own a cat, but that is at the top of the cost spectrum. Typically expect to pay about half that on food, vet bills, and other cat-ownership essentials.

Ultimately, your lifestyle and budget should be the deciding factor on whether you adopt two kittens or just one. If you can’t properly care for two kittens, stick to one cat to ensure they get the best care possible. But there are many advantages to adopting two kittens simultaneously if you are able to properly care for both.

Automatic Playmate

If you’ve ever had a kitten in your home, you know that they are furry balls of energy and mischief. You may even think to yourself, “Why would I want two of these guys running around?” Well, aside from the chaos, there is a definite upside. When kittens play together, they learn from each other and grow. This is not something that can be replicated by humans.

Just like all young animals, kittens have extra energy to help them grow, and they need to expend that energy regularly. As a cat parent, you should play with your kitten several times a day to keep them happy and engaged. If you have a second kitten, they can play together and help dispel each other’s energy, while getting the stimulation and exercise they need to grow healthy and strong.

Single-Kitten Syndrome

While there is no scientific evidence to support this, many shelters and rescue workers notice that kittens adopted alone are more likely to be returned to the shelter because owners cannot manage them. This phenomenon has been dubbed “single-kitten syndrome”.

These kittens are returned because they exhibit destructive behaviors like biting, clawing, or scratching furniture. While each kitten’s reasons for misbehaving are unique to their situation, having a companion is a great way to help a kitten adjust to their new home in a healthy way.


Single cats don’t get the opportunity to socialize with other animals if they are never exposed to them. While this may not be an immediate issue, it can cause problems as they grow. If your living situation changes due to a move or new roommate with a cat, it can cause stress on your cat, which may even lead to physical illness. Your cat may begin to act out in new situations because they don’t know how to adapt to changes in their life. Having a second cat around helps them learn social behaviors and makes them more comfortable with change throughout their life.

Learning Companions

Kittens will teach each other a lot about being a cat. Through play, they will learn that biting and scratching is painful and, if they want to play together, they must be gentle. This will also keep them from biting and scratching while playing with their human companions. Additionally, when adopted in pairs, kittens learn to potty train and play gently faster than solo cats. They are excellent observers and will watch each other and take cues from each other’s actions, so having multiple cats is a great way for them to learn.

Companionship and Entertainment

Your cat will very likely spend a lot of time without you. While you’re working or away from home for any reason, your cat will remain behind. Having a companion will keep your cat from getting lonely in your absence. You may find over time that your cats have grown to love each other to the point they are considered a bonded pair. Now your two kittens have become friends for life.

Kittens entertain and enrich one another. They learn together, and find comfort in each other, so adopting two at a time is a great way to enrich their lives and make their journey into adulthood easier. Saving your home from scratching is just an added benefit to bringing home a duo of kittens!

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