The Nine Lives Foundation believes that kittens under 5 months of age should be adopted in pairs to allow for their proper development and socialization. It is important to understand the four stages of kitten development to appreciate why this philosophy is so crucial. We will consider a single kitten adoption if you currently have a kitten of similar age (under 4 to 6 months) in your home. It will be necessary to bring the kitten into the shelter to ensure an appropriate size and personality match.
Kitten development occurs in four stages: neonatal, transitional, socialization and juvenile. Puberty is reached at approximately 4 to 6 months of age and adulthood at approprimately 12 months of age. There will be some variation in the timing of the developmental stages depending on nutritional and health status as well as environmental influences. Our goal is to allow the kitten to transition properly through the four phases of development to become a well-adjusted, confident and healthy adult cat.
Our goal at the Nine Lives Foundation is to ensure a successful transition between the socialization and juvenile phases. During the socialization phase, young kittens form relationships with other cats and kittens as well as humans and dogs. It is also in this phase that they learn to communicate through body language and social signals, learn to play with toys and practice predatory-like behaviors such as chasing, pouncing and attacking objects and other cats or kittens. When deprived of interaction with others in the same stage of development, many kittens grow into adults that suffer from anxiety, fear, aggression, frustration and anger. It is very difficult to reverse these behaviors later in life and even more difficult to introduce new cats or kittens into the household. Thousands of cats are surrendered to shelters every year for behaviors that could have been prevented with proper socialization as kittens.
We hope you will embrace our philospohy of adopting kittens in pairs when younger thn 5 months of age. For new cat owners it may seem more difficult to have a pair of cats but in reality it is easier for so many reasons. From preventing your cat from becoming lonely, bored and frustrated to encouraging inter-cat play behavior as a way to prevent the total destruction of all furniture, drapes and carpets! Kittens and as well as grown cats living in pairs are more content, may be left alone for longer periods of time, suffer from less anxiety and behavior problems and are generally healthier than cats forced to live in solitude.
8 weeks to 11 months
Adoption fee: $100 each
Kittens under 5 months must be adopted in pairs
Stages of Kitten Development
Neonatal stage: birth to 10 days of age
Transitional Period: 10 days to 3 weeks of age
Socialization Phase: 3 weeks to 12-16 weeks of age
Juvenile Phase: 12 to 16 weeks of age until onset of sexual maturity
Why Two Are Better Than One
By having two or more cats, you are able to enjoy the true social nature of cats & their relationship with each other.
Cats who have a playmate tend to be more socially well-adjusted & avoid behavior problems like shyness, biting, hissing, being frightened & hiding in the company of people they don't know.
Cats need stimulation during the day like humans. Studies have shown that some animals left alone most of the day in the house have brains that weigh up to 25% less than those that live in the street.
In Switzerland, an anti-cruelty law was passed that requires people who buy/adopt dogs & cats to get two instead of one since it is the nature of animals to have company of his/her own kind.
They are less likely to ruin furniture out of boredom.
If you must work long hours or travel for a couple of days, two or more cats keep each other company and are more tranquil during your absence.
It's more likely that people bring back an adopted cat due to behavior problems when only one has been adopted rather than two.
Your cat will remain more playful & youthful into his/her later years with a companion. Cats are much less likely to gain weight due to lack of movement, & to suffer related illnesses.
The workload to care for two cats remains relatively the same.
You don't need more space for a second cat!
Reprinted from the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary Newsletter & Doing things for Animals