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Do we want 1 cat or 2? Updated with photos at end


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We have owned pets before but it’s been a few years since we had any cats. Youngest kids are 5 & 7. We are looking at our local rescues and shelters. I just can’t decide if I want to get one single cat or two who are already bonded together?

We are away from the house during weekdays so I was thinking 2 would keep each other company. But we are hoping for a very affectionate cat who will want to hang out with us.  My teen misses having a pet and wants a pal too.
 

We don’t want kittens (I know to get them in pairs) but want to avoid the sharp claw crazy kitten stage (dd 7 is on the spectrum and really wants a cat but kittens would be too much for her, I think).

I know 2 is double the cost and litter 🙂

What do you think? Thanks.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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Two!

We started with one and that was fine, but she clearly became lonely when we on vacations. When we got our second, they became (almost) instant best friends. Original kitty is so much more active with a feline friend (Second kitty is nearly one year younger, both rescues) and much happier. Both are very affectionate to us and each other, they are “people cats” and always nearby. Both follow us around the house and occupy the same spaces as us.

We are constantly marveling at the various ways they play together and interact. Honestly, we would have rescued two cats right away had we realized what a big difference it makes. Never again will we have just one. 
 

 

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I am allergic to cats so when we got a cat a few years ago, we got a hypoallergenic breed, a Siberian Forest cat. They’re not cheap, so one was a stretch, much less two. If I had been able to get a regular domestic cat from the Humane Society or whatever, I would definitely have gotten two. We love our cat but she seems lonely somehow. There is almost always someone home at our house but I’d feel bad if we were away more. 

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We got a pair of kittens, but my old cat has been doing just fine since his brother passed away (after an adjustment period.) I don’t want a second cat.

That said, anyone willing to take two should. It’s harder to place bonded pairs, so going that route would be great.  If someone wants just one, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if two are fine, get two! 😃

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Two are best if you can swing it. Sometimes one is more affectionate. We are fostering kittens. Two have already gone to forever homes & the two left are bonded. One is very snuggly, but the other is starting to nap near us, too. 

I know of two that were just adopted together - not a bonded pair. The original older kitten they wanted (based on looks) is not a snuggly one (yet), but the late addition loves to curl up in laps. The adopters didn't realize their last minute decision was such a good one.

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2 hours ago, Hilltopmom said:

We have owned pets before but it’s been a few years since we had any cats. Youngest kids are 5 & 7. We are looking at our local rescues and shelters. I just can’t decide if I want to get one single cat or two who are already bonded together?

We are away from the house during weekdays so I was thinking 2 would keep each other company. But we are hoping for a very affectionate cat who will want to hang out with us.  My teen misses having a pet and wants a pal too.
 

We don’t want kittens (I know to get them in pairs) but want to avoid the sharp claw crazy kitten stage (dd 7 is on the spectrum and really wants a cat but kittens would be too much for her, I think).

I know 2 is double the cost and litter 🙂

What do you think? Thanks.

I would get two. In my experience, being part of a bonded pair does not make a cat less affectionate to humans. We have two bonded pairs and they are just as lovey dovey with us as they are with each other.

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58 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Fwiw we just have one litter box. Not all cats will share but ours don’t mind at all. 

True, but in good conscience I could never recommend anyone get multiple cats w/o having a plan for accommodating the generally recommended rule of one box per cat plus one extra. Because IME from working in rescue--sometimes cats really do demand that many.

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11 minutes ago, klmama said:

If you can find a bonded pair with good litter box habits, go for it!  They'll keep each other company and provide you with extra entertainment.  

I’m hoping the rescue/ shelter will be honest about litter box habits. We have room for more than one box.

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18 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

True, but in good conscience I could never recommend anyone get multiple cats w/o having a plan for accommodating the generally recommended rule of one box per cat plus one extra. Because IME from working in rescue--sometimes cats really do demand that many.

Oh absolutely! We started with two but they ignored one box in preference for sharing. Lol. But yes, I agree, it’s essential to have the space and extra box just in case. 🙂 

Same with food bowls. Some kitties are more territorial than others. 

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2 hours ago, Hilltopmom said:

We have owned pets before but it’s been a few years since we had any cats. Youngest kids are 5 & 7. We are looking at our local rescues and shelters. I just can’t decide if I want to get one single cat or two who are already bonded together?


What do you think? Thanks.

You want 5, but will settle for 2.

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We've been cat people for decades until the older kids grew up and took them with them.  We're big advocates of at least 2 around the same age.  Find 2 already bonded if you don't want to have to deal with introducing 2 cats with histories of being solitary to each other. Aim for young adult cats if you can, they're more likely to be more adaptable.

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3 hours ago, Hilltopmom said:

 We are away from the house during weekdays so I was thinking 2 would keep each other company. But we are hoping for a very affectionate cat who will want to hang out with us.   

We have a ridiculous number more than two cats, and they are still affectionate (to varying degrees) and want to hang out with us. A couple are frequent lap cats, some like to sleep near but not on the humans, all like attention and all but the senior like to play. 

The good thing about getting grown cats is that the personality is much more known. 

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51 minutes ago, mom2bee said:

You want 5, but will settle for 2.

You’re right. I have 5. It would be hard to settle for just 2. 😄

And If my kids weren’t college age (or fast approaching), I’d have 15, but...$$.

OP: definitely 2.  The rescue place might not have a good sense of the kitties’ box habits.  I’ve volunteered at shelters petting the cats and unless you’re in the room with the cats 24/7, you can’t always tell which cat is doing what in which box.  The people at the shelter are probably pretty busy cleaning up after the animals and doing too many things to keep exact track of box issues.

Pet the kitties a lot, but don’t force them to be held in your arms or on laps.  That can come with time. Just pet them a lot on their own terms and don’t try to force lap sitting. 

Some cats are immediately, completely affectionate, and some take a bit of time to warm up. Forcing the issue just pushes them away and it takes longer for them to warm up to you.

I would certainly get a pair of kitties that are already bonded, for sure.

 

Also, I’ve found this works really, really well: when cats are relaxed and feel safe, they will look at you and very slowly blink and keep their eyes half closed.  When a cat sees another cat relaxed, with their eyes half closed, and slowly blinking, they find it relaxing. 

I’ve found that if I am around cats in a shelter, that if I stand/sit there very still and look at them with half closed eyes and blink slowly, that they start to do the same back to me. It settles them down. They see that you feel safe and relaxed and they respond to it.

So, when your kitties are new, sit still and slow blink at them, with relaxed eyes. If you let your eyes fly wide open, that can indicate alarm or excitement, so try not to let your eyes fly wide open in the middle of relaxing slow blinks!

Edited by Garga
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3 hours ago, Gobblygook said:

I am allergic to cats so when we got a cat a few years ago, we got a hypoallergenic breed, a Siberian Forest cat. They’re not cheap, so one was a stretch, much less two. If I had been able to get a regular domestic cat from the Humane Society or whatever, I would definitely have gotten two. We love our cat but she seems lonely somehow. There is almost always someone home at our house but I’d feel bad if we were away more. 

They are gorgeous. (though some aren't. wide variety in looks.) I learned about them when I was researching "hypoallergenic cats".   The breeder near here wants $2K, and there is no way we'd spend that much.     I did see one come up at a rescue.  In Texas -  the rescue required in-state adoption.

 There are other breeds that do well for allergies. e.g. Balinese (aka: long haired Siamese), Russian Blue.     There are choices other than a crested, or a sphynx.

Dudeling has a Siamese, and hasn't been very triggering - but it's not in the top ten list.  (usually asian breeds have less of the protein that causes allergies.)

 

- it's hard to get one from a rescue because they're usually mixed with other breeds.

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7 minutes ago, Garga said:

You’re right. I have 5. It would be hard to settle for just 2. 😄

And If my kids weren’t college age (or fast approaching), I’d have 15, but...$$.

OP: definitely 2.  The rescue place might not have a good sense of the kitties’ box habits.  I’ve volunteered at shelters petting the cats and unless you’re in the room with the cats 24/7, you can’t always tell which cat is doing what in which box.  The people at the shelter are probably pretty busy cleaning up after the animals and doing too many things to keep exact track of box issues.

Pet the kitties a lot, but don’t force them to be held in your arms or on laps.  That can come with time. Just pet them a lot on their own terms and don’t try to force lap sitting. 

Some cats are immediately, completely affectionate, and some take a bit of time to warm up. Forcing the issue just pushes them away and it takes longer for them to warm up to you.

I would certainly get a pair of kitties that are already bonded, for sure.

 

Also, I’ve found this works really, really well: when cats are relaxed and feel safe, they will look at you and very slowly blink and keep their eyes half closed.  When a cat sees another cat relaxed, with their eyes half closed, and slowly blinking, they find it relaxing. 

I’ve found that if I am around cats in a shelter, that if I stand/sit there very still and look at them with half closed eyes and blink slowly, that they start to do the same back to me. It settles them down. They see that you feel safe and relaxed and they respond to it.

So, when your kitties are new, sit still and slow blink at them, with relaxed eyes. If you let your eyes fly wide open, that can indicate alarm or excitement, so try not to let your eyes fly wide open in the middle of relaxing slow blinks!

OK- great advice.   kitten attacks my feet, climbs up my leg, scratches and bites when he wants to eat.  (he's fed 4x a day, with kibble always available.)  I'm trying to do better at anticipating, and offering more of his favorite wet food (he's picky about texture - pate only, no flakes.  the dog would happily eat the flaky wet food if allowed.)   He's so much more pleasant when his belly is full . . . . .Maybe he's in a growth spurt.

do you have suggestions?  am I doing something wrong?  I've never had cats before.

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23 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

OK- great advice.   kitten attacks my feet, climbs up my leg, scratches and bites when he wants to eat.  (he's fed 4x a day, with kibble always available.)  I'm trying to do better at anticipating, and offering more of his favorite wet food (he's picky about texture - pate only, no flakes.  the dog would happily eat the flaky wet food if allowed.)   He's so much more pleasant when his belly is full . . . . .Maybe he's in a growth spurt.

do you have suggestions?  am I doing something wrong?  I've never had cats before.

Single kitten syndrome, it’s an actual thing

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5 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

OK- great advice.   kitten attacks my feet, climbs up my leg, scratches and bites when he wants to eat.  (he's fed 4x a day, with kibble always available.)  I'm trying to do better at anticipating, and offering more of his favorite wet food (he's picky about texture - pate only, no flakes.  the dog would happily eat the flaky wet food if allowed.)   He's so much more pleasant when his belly is full . . . . .Maybe he's in a growth spurt.

do you have suggestions?  am I doing something wrong?  I've never had cats before.

It sounds like normal kitten behavior to me. They are carnivores and there is a strong instinct to get out there and hunt for food throughout the day. Their brains are the size of a pea, so they can’t understand that the food will be coming shortly, or even really consider that there is kibble just around the corner.

I would not feed Kitty earlier and earlier, though Kitty will tend to start up the antics 30 minutes or so before feeding time. Stick to the feeding time.

For bad kitten behavior (clawing or biting), a firm NO with a frowny face is a good start. Cats make frowny faces of their own when they don’t like something, so it’s something Kitty will know means you’re annoyed.. Do not pick Kitty up by the scruff of the neck, but you can put Kitty on the ground, gently grab the scruff holding Kitty still, and say NO when Kitty climbs your legs.  They say that Mama cats will hold kittens down by the scruff and growl when they’re getting to rambunctious, so you’ll be doing recognizable Mama cat behavior.  But, always be gentle.

Kittens do tend to outgrow this behavior, but they don’t really calm down completely until they’re around 2 years old. 

I have friends with who got a kitten 2 years ago. My friend was quiet about disciplining her kitten when her kitten bit or scratched, but her husband was louder about it...a loud NO!  The kitty is 2 how and has settled and loves both humans, but will still bite my friend more than the husband.  My friend didn’t do as good a job of teaching kitten that people don’t like bites or scratches.  

Shortly after “disciplining” a cat (a NO or gentle holding down), be sure to give Kitty a lot of love and affection. 

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11 hours ago, Gobblygook said:

I am allergic to cats so when we got a cat a few years ago, we got a hypoallergenic breed, a Siberian Forest cat. They’re not cheap, so one was a stretch, much less two. If I had been able to get a regular domestic cat from the Humane Society or whatever, I would definitely have gotten two. We love our cat but she seems lonely somehow. There is almost always someone home at our house but I’d feel bad if we were away more. 

I have a similar problem.  It is almost impossible to get a kitten here as the desexing campaign has worked do well.  I also want to keep it inside or at least not free ranging and I know everyone will tell me I am being cruel.  So I am buying a ragdoll from a breeder and I can't afford two.  I might try and get an adult cat for company if she seems lonely.  We are home a lot.

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5 hours ago, Garga said:

It sounds like normal kitten behavior to me. They are carnivores and there is a strong instinct to get out there and hunt for food throughout the day. Their brains are the size of a pea, so they can’t understand that the food will be coming shortly, or even really consider that there is kibble just around the corner.

I would not feed Kitty earlier and earlier, though Kitty will tend to start up the antics 30 minutes or so before feeding time. Stick to the feeding time.

For bad kitten behavior (clawing or biting), a firm NO with a frowny face is a good start. Cats make frowny faces of their own when they don’t like something, so it’s something Kitty will know means you’re annoyed.. Do not pick Kitty up by the scruff of the neck, but you can put Kitty on the ground, gently grab the scruff holding Kitty still, and say NO when Kitty climbs your legs.  They say that Mama cats will hold kittens down by the scruff and growl when they’re getting to rambunctious, so you’ll be doing recognizable Mama cat behavior.  But, always be gentle.

Kittens do tend to outgrow this behavior, but they don’t really calm down completely until they’re around 2 years old. 

I have friends with who got a kitten 2 years ago. My friend was quiet about disciplining her kitten when her kitten bit or scratched, but her husband was louder about it...a loud NO!  The kitty is 2 how and has settled and loves both humans, but will still bite my friend more than the husband.  My friend didn’t do as good a job of teaching kitten that people don’t like bites or scratches.  

Shortly after “disciplining” a cat (a NO or gentle holding down), be sure to give Kitty a lot of love and affection. 

thank you,

I will feed him extra if 1dd's dogs have been here. - they'll eat his food (and beg for more.)

when the dogs arrived today - she let them in the house and they immediately ran over the cat to go up the stairs.  I don't think they even noticed him.   But he's approaching them and sniffing them more - so progress on dog-cat socialization.

I put him in dudeling's bedroom (I gave him food - and he has a litter box in there)  from setting the table to eating.  He jumps up, and climbs the tablecloth.  I used a gate for the dogs to keep them out - but he can climb over it.

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  • Hilltopmom changed the title to Do we want 1 cat or 2? Updated with photos at end
On 12/4/2020 at 8:19 PM, stephanier.1765 said:

They are adorable! Are you keeping their names? Only because they are adorable too. LOL Do you know their history? I'm so thrilled you are opening your home and family to two sweet, little girls. 💗😻💗

We may keep their names. My kids want to name them Zoey & Sassafras after the book series we are reading right now. They were fall kittens last year born at the shelter, adopted together in Feb, & returned to the shelter 2 weeks ago. The woman who was fostering them since says they are sweet and like attention.

They’re currently hiding in my basement behind the fuel tank but came out last night to use the litter box.

One peed in the carrier they shared on the way so when they do venture out I’ll need to give them a bath, they were soaked. Poor things will be even more traumatized after that.

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