With kittens, it takes two

Cats are social animals that thrive on company so don't ignore young kittens

  • Jun. 19, 2012 7:00 a.m.

By Magda Szulc

Kittens and puppies are very much like human babies – they need lots of attention.

They need us to watch over them to make sure they don’t get into trouble. They need warmth, security and lots of love.

Quite often when a family gets a new puppy, they try to do it during a period when they can devote some time to the new arrival, maybe take some time off of work, spend a few days at home making sure the puppy settles in and is comfortable in their new surroundings.

The same is not always true for kittens.  Because grown cats, by nature, are more self-sufficient than dogs, many people believe they can bring a kitten home, set them up with  food, a littler box, a few toys and all is well.

Many people don’t worry too much about leaving a kitten home alone all day while they go off to work. While kittens will, in fact, fend for themselves for the day, emotionally, they will suffer.

Contrary to popular belief, cats are very social animals who thrive on company.

Young kittens, like many other animals, learn most of their social skills through play with others.

More and more rescue groups have implemented the policy of only adopting kittens out in pairs. This is especially the case when a kitten is going into a home with no other animals.

This is not a strategy to adopt out extra kittens, not a two-for-one deal to clear out inventory. It is simply something that is done in the best interest of the animals in our care.

Two kittens will keep each other company and provide one another with the  warmth they so desperately need when they are very young. They will entertain each other and hopefully leave your plants and furniture in peace.  They will comfort each other. They will sleep together, eat together, wait for you to get home together. They will still be thrilled to see you when you walk through that door at the end of a long day, but they won’t suffer the loneliness that a single kitten at home alone does.

Of course, if you already have another cat, or five, or maybe a dog who loves feline company the kitten may be OK.

Although some people will argue that the bond of siblings (real or adopted) is the strongest, the bottom line is that a kitten needs another kitten to wrestle with. The role that this interaction plays in their healthy development is unquestionable.

So if you are considering adding a new feline member to your family, and you are partial to kittens, please consider bringing a pair home. They will have each other for company. You will be able to rest easy that while you are away your little bundle of fluffy joy is not lonely, and hopefully they will wrestle with each other and not your favorite vase or priceless china.

If nothing else, you will have a pair that will be bonded for life. Two is always better than one.

 

Magda Szulc is a volunteer at Katie’s Place, an animal shelter in Maple Ridge.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School District 42’s Energy Cup runs from April 6 to 30. (SD 42 photo)
Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows students take on month-long energy conservation challenge

Sixth annual Energy Cup sees district’s elementary schools compete against one another

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

Ethan Andrews (left) and his aunt Shihana Wewala were two of the volunteers planting trees with Pitt Meadows parks workers in Bonson Park. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Pitt Meadows families plant trees for Earth Day

Popular city event sees beautification of Bonson Park

Stu Burgess is operations manager for Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks. (The News files)
Golden Ears park camping to be limited to those in local health region

Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health now considered one region

Police respond to a reported stabbbing near Fletcher Park in Maple Ridge on Wednesday afternoon. (Ronan O’Doherty/The News)
UPDATE: Stabbing reported in downtown Maple Ridge

Police and ambulance respond to home invasion near Fletcher Park

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Willoughby condo fire at 208th Street and 80th Avenue on April 19, 2021. (Shane MacKichan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. Carlos Monteith, the man charged in the Clayton shooting, was sentenced April 22 on charges related to a different shooting in New West in November, 2019. (File photo)
Man gets 6.5 years in prison for shooting as he awaits trial for separate Cloverdale slaying

Carlos Nathaniel Monteith sentenced for possessing a prohibited weapon and discharging a firearm with intent

Most Read