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Adoption Tips and Tricks

Two kittens are twice the fun and half the work!
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This is a question we get asked a lot. Despite the common belief that cats prefer to be solitary, they are actual quite social and thrive when they have feline friends from an early age. Because of this, two kittens are actually half the work of one! Here are some of the reasons why.

 

  1. Kittens learn a lot in the early months of their life. At first, they learn basic skills such as grooming and using the litter box from their mom and siblings. When adopted with a littermate or similar age kitten, this process can continue to help them learn more and improve their skills.

  2. Kittens like to play…a lot! Having another kitten to wrestle and play with gives them a positive outlet to that playful energy. It also helps them to learn boundaries in regards to biting and scratching. They learn from each other that such can hurt and therefore are less likely to do so in their normal daily lives.

  3. Kittens are curious little ones who need stimulation and entertainment. Without a companion, this can often lead to mischievous behavior. With a friend, they are more likely to keep each other entertained in a positive way and therefore out of trouble. This is especially helpful during the hours you are away from home or trying to sleep.

  4. When there is an older cat at home already, a single young kitten is often overwhelming to your existing cat. Kittens like children often have a lot more energy than their adult counterparts. Having a second kitten gives them a playmate so that they are not overwhelming and irritating your current cat.

  5. Having a littermate is even more beneficial due to the connection they have already made. Littermates are already familiar with each other and good friends. This is especially helpful when they first go to their new home. While everything else in their world is changing, they still have their friend and sibling there to anchor them and help them to adjust. 

 

For these reasons, we have adopted the policy of adopting our youngest kittens out in pairs, especially if a littermate is available or they are already bonded to another. The happier the kittens are, the better they do in their new home which also helps their people to be happier with them as pets. Our ultimate goal is to find all the animals in our care a home that best suits their needs and this practice is just one of the ways we aim to do so. 

Interested in learning more? Check out kitten expert Hannah Shaw's (aka Kitten Lady) site highlighting the benefits online at http://www.kittenlady.org/twokittens.

Kitten Pairs
Bringing Your New Cat Home

You have adopted a new cat/kitten. When you first bring your new cat home, we recommend taking some steps to help them settle in comfortably. Depending on the individual cat/kitten, it can take some time for them to settle in comfortably.

 

  1. It is best to start them off in just one room such as a bedroom, office, or bathroom. A new home can be a bit overwhelming to them at first with everything around them changing. They should have all the essentials in there including a litter box. During this they should be kept separate from any other pets in the home.

  2. Some of the shyer ones might hide initially. If they are, it is typically best to give them a little time to settle in. Then things like their favorite wet food, treats, or toys can help coax them into their surroundings. If they are walking around sniffing their new surroundings, it is a good sign that they are exploring. 

  3. Once they seem confident in their surroundings, it is a good time to either start the steps to introduce to your pets or allow them access to more of your home if there are no other pets.

Introducing Your New Cat to Your Current Cat
Introducing Your New Cat

Have a cat or cats at home already? Now how do you introduce them? The answer is in small steps to create a positive introduction. How in depth you need to go varies depending on both your current pets and the one(s) you  are adopting. The most important thing is to take it at their speed to best set them up for life-long friendship.

 

  1. Set up a separate room for the new addition(s) to start out in. This gives them time to adjust to being in a new home before meeting other pets in the home.

  2. Offer something positive near the door such as their favorite wet food or treats. This builds a positive association with the scent of the new animal.

  3. Switch out something that would be considered a scent-soaker. Scent-soakers are items that will have the scent of the animal on it such as a bed they enjoy. With two cats, switching litter boxes is a common option.

  4. Be prepared to make their first face to face introduction a positive one. Some popular ways to do so are by offering each their favorite food in the same room as the other or by playing with each with a favorite toy and slowly moving them closer.

Want to see a more in depth set of tips and tricks? Check out this video from Jackson Galaxy, well-known cat behaviorist and author.

Stock Up On Supplies

Whether you are adopting your first pet or adding to your home, it is good to make sure you have some supplies on hand. There are several essential things and we recommend some enrichment items as well. When it comes to their food, it is best to start with what they have been eating. If you want to transition them to something else (such as what your current cat/cats are eating), it is best to do so slowly so it doesn't upset their stomachs.

The Essentials

 

  1. Dishes for their food and water

  2. Litter boxes (recommend having 1 per cat plus 1)

  3. Litter

  4. Litter Scoop

  5. Cat Carrier to bring them home and for any vet visits or trips

  6. Cat scratchers

  7. Food such as dry food and wet food. We recommend at least starting them on what they have been eating 

Enrichment Items

  1. Cat scratchers, there are lots of options and some cats prefer a certain type. If there are any known preferences, we will share them with you.

  2. Cat toys, both ones that they can play with on their own and interactive ones like wand toys so you can play too.

  3. Cat treats

  4. Cat bed

  5. Cat nail clippers if you would like to keep their nails trimmed

  6. Cat tree

  7. Cat brush

  8. Flea prevention (the best options are typically sold through your vet)

Supplies
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