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Should You Get One Kitten Or Two?

So you're considering getting a new kitten.  Perhaps it's your very first kitten, or maybe you're thinking of adding another member to an existing feline household.  Either way, you might find yourself wondering if you should get just one kitten, or if two kittens would be a good idea.  Two kittens might seem perfect; after all, you'll have two bundles of cuteness, and the two kittens can keep each other company.  On the other hand, two kittens means extra trouble and expense, and might upset your existing feline family far more than just one new addition.  So before you decided, there are several questions you should ask yourself....

Do you have the time, space, and money for two kittens?

There is no doubt about it, kittens are expensive.  If you are buying pedigree kittens there is the initial outlay of course, but even if you are acquiring moggie kittens you still have to get them vaccinated and microchipped, and there is the ongoing expense of food, cat litter, vet bills, and so on.  Obviously, two kittens means two lots of expenditure, so this might need to be considered.

Also, you will need more time to care for two kittens than one, though not all that much more.  But if they are long haired they will need grooming, and any kittens will need feeding, you will need to clean out litter trays, and also play with your kittens.  Two kittens are considerably more work than one, so think about whether you are prepared to take this on.  Also, if you live in a flat or a very small house, you may not have room to comfortably house two kittens, or two extra kittens if you already have cats.  Two kittens may simply be impractical for you.

Do you have time to spend with the kitten(s), or are you and the rest of the family out at work all day?

If you get one kitten, you will need to be its playmate.  If you don't do this, the kitten may well start playing with things it shouldn't, such as ornaments, house plants and so on.  Two kittens, on the other hand, are likely to play together.  So if everyone in the home is out all day, it may be a good idea to get two kittens rather than just one.  Indeed, some cat rescue organisations will not re-home single kittens to a household with all working adults, for just this reason. 

Even if you have other cats, you may find that the older cats are not keen to play with a new and very young kitten, although this depends on the individual cat, and no two cats are alike in this respect.  But a friend of mine who had a new kitten ended up going and getting another kitten so that her first kitten had a playmate and would stop pestering and annoying her older cats!  So in a situation like this, two kittens is clearly a good idea.  Indeed, it could be the only way of keeping feline harmony.

Bear in mind that it might not always be a good idea to start off with one kitten, and then decide later on that your kitten needs a playmate, so you'll go and get one for it.  I did this some years ago; my new kitten seemed lonely, so I went back and adopted her litter mate.  Unfortunately a couple of weeks had passed, and the two kittens didn't recognise each other.  Lots of hissing and spitting ensued, and I began to wonder if I'd done the right thing.  The two did eventually become friends...but they might not have done.


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What will the rest of the family, whether human or feline, think about the new addition(s)?

If you are considering getting two kittens instead of one, it is well worth discussing this with the family first.  Indeed, the one thing you don't want to do is to go out to get one kitten and arrive home with two.  Your family may be delighted...but they may not. 

As for your other cats,  in a case where you already have a feline family, it is very difficult to tell how they will react.  You might think that getting them to accept two kittens would be twice as hard as persuading them to accept one, but this is not always the case.  Sometimes two new kittens will simply play together and ignore the older cats, who will then take no notice of them.  But I have heard of cases where two kittens ganged up on an older cat, and the two kittens eventually needed to be re-homed.  So be very careful, and if you have two new kittens, make introductions very gently and carefully, even more so than you would if you were only introducing one kitten.

Do you really, really want two kittens?

You need to be quite clear about this.  Kittens are incredibly cute, and it is very easy to acquire more of them than you really want to once the initial euphoria wears off.  Don't go out to get one kitten and arrive home with two without having thought things through.  If you are a cat lover, this is very easy to do, but it really isn't a good idea.

Conclusion

So, should it be one kitten or two?   There is no definite answer to this question, as you will have realised by now, and everybody's situation is different.  If your finances and household can cope, and if you want it, two kittens will be fine.  Indeed, if you are not likely to be around for much of the time, two kittens is definitely the best way.  And of course if you are taking on rescue kittens, then giving two of them a home is definitely a good thing to do.  But be aware that having two new kittens can cause problems, particularly for other cats in the household.  So think things through carefully before making a definite decision about this.


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