Don’t fear the diabetic cat
It seems daunting at first, but hang in there
Visitors to our shelters are immediately drawn to kittens and their antics, and who can blame them! There’s no doubt kittens are adorable—they’re playful, lovable and oh-so-much fun. However, what people sometimes tend to forget is that kittens are also come with quite a bit more ‘work’ than an older cat.
At Ninth Life Cat Rescue, we insist that kittens be adopted in pairs, or to a home with another (not too senior*) cat or dog. We do this not only for the kitten’s benefit but also for yours.
Despite what most people often believe, cats really aren’t solitary creatures. In fact, most cats favor a playmate around to keep them company. Cats who prefer to be a ‘one and only’ usually have had a tough life in some way or other.
Before being placed in our shelter, mama cat and her kittens are fostered in a home environment where they can be socialized and learn to behave. Kittens grow up best with their siblings and mother, and sometimes other cats in their home, but it is an ongoing process that does not suddenly stop when they are weaned from mom. They need more time to learn from their siblings and also appreciate the wonderful bond that can form with humans. Getting two kittens together is much easier than introducing a second cat later on.
The shelter is at first a frightening place and kittens rely on one another even more. Strong sibling bonds form. Newly arrived kittens have never been alone and are terrified without a sibling or young partner. As much as they might like humans, they still need another of their kind.
Leaving a kitten alone while you work is asking for trouble, and the lone kitten will find it. They get bored and look for entertainment, often in the wrong places. Kittens learn from each other and burn off energy playing. They are calmer, happier kittens for having one another. Do not worry, however, your kitten(s) will still want to snuggle and play with you too.
We often hear from our adopters and seeing a photo of two kittens or cats asleep with their paws wrapped around one another is heartwarming. Two kittens are twice the fun.
* When we say ‘not too old’, we mean that your senior pet will not appreciate an energy filled kitten play fighting with them all the time. Before long, the grumpy senior cat will be hissing and batting at the kitten. They need to enjoy their senior years in peace and quiet.