Is there anything more magical than adopting a kitten? How about adopting two kittens? It’s not necessarily the ideal fit for every household or situation. Under the right circumstances, there are benefits to adopting kittens as pairs, though. In many cases, it can make your life a little easier and it’s great for kittens to form bonds in their early stages of development. Understanding the pros of having two kittens can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Why Two Kittens Can Be Better Than One

Two kittens can certainly mean twice as much food, litter box scooping, and veterinary and other pet care expenses for you. But it can also mean twice as much cuddling, playtime, and love! What makes a two-kitten household a great option for the kittens themselves?

  • Energy Levels
    Up to age two or older, cats can have an insane amount of energy. They want — and need — a lot of play and enrichment. This can be overwhelming even to experienced cat parents, so having another kitten around can take a little of the pressure off you in keeping them active and burning off that energy. 
  • Socialization
    The more experiences your kitten has, the more comfortable they’ll be with new things throughout their life. Having a cat buddy can help them develop social skills, learn how to interact with other animals, read body language, and communicate more clearly. 
  • Bite Inhibition
    Kittens and juvenile cats can be biters. They’re all about hunting, and anything that moves (including your hand) can often spark that prey drive creating a little prey aggression. Being around other kittens at a young age helps cats learn how to play gently. They teach each other how hard they can bite and pounce without causing pain and learn when enough is enough. Kittens who don’t have that opportunity early on can sometimes be more prone to play aggression. But don’t let that dissuade you — it’s an issue that can be improved with behavior work, time, and patience.
  • Companionship
    Having two kittens means they’ll always have a friend for entertainment, action, and snuggling. It can take some of the pressure off when you have to be gone for a while during the day.  
Benefits of Adopting a Pet
Pet Ownership
Benefits of Adopting a Pet
How to Adopt a Dog or Cat
Pet Ownership
How to Adopt a Dog or Cat

What is a Bonded Pair?

A bonded pair is simply two cats who have a strong relationship. They may play, rest and sleep together, groom each other, get a little anxious when separated, and even walk side-by-side and touch tails. While many cats living in the same home will peacefully coexist, they may not be “connected at the hip” the way bonded pairs are. This connection means they have a wonderful partner in life. 

Should Kittens Always Be Adopted in Pairs?

There are obvious benefits to adopting kittens as pairs, and some shelters and rescues make it a priority. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give a single kitten an amazing life. Not everyone is in a position to have two cats. It’s twice the time and expense and may require more space than you have. Or you may already have an energetic, friendly cat your new kitten can bond with. Some kittens with mobility issues or injuries might not be able to hang out with another rambunctious kitten. There are many situations where having one kitten works beautifully. Just be prepared, as you’ll need to provide lots of play, enrichment, and socialization every day. 

If I Already Have A Kitten or Young Cat, Do I Need to Adopt Another One?

People often suggest getting your cat a friend as the solution to behavior issues, play aggression, or seemingly endless energy, but that’s not always the right answer. If you’re not ready for a second cat, don’t get a second cat. Kittens are not necessarily easy, and two kittens can be a lot to handle. There’s an additional financial burden with double the food and care. While they will help keep each other occupied, they both still need plenty of bonding time and care from you. Don’t feel pressured to bring another cat into your life if you aren’t ready. However, if you can’t give your solo kitten lots of interactive play, enrichment, training, and quality time, a second cat could help bridge the gap. 

There are lots of kittens out there who need homes. If you have the means to adopt two kittens together, you’re in for an exciting, love-filled ride. If you aren’t quite ready for double trouble, talk to your local rescue organization about your situation. Be honest about what you can provide for a kitten and see if they have a single furry guy or girl that can complete your household.


Melody R. Conklin, VMD, MBA

Dr. Melody R. Conklin is originally from Youngsville in northwestern Pennsylvania and earned her BS at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park in 2003, where she majored in Animal BioScience and minored in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning her VMD in 2007. Dr. Conklin worked in companion animal general practice until 2015 when she joined Zoetis’ Veterinary Medical Information and Product Support department while finishing her MBA at Penn State Great Valley in 2017. Dr. Conklin currently works full-time in a companion animal practice while working with Zoetis US Petcare Medical Affairs in a consultant role. She lives in Sinking Spring, PA with her 4 cats, Vegeta, Fluffzor, Poof, & Butter, and 3 guinea pigs, Pascha, Elena, & Caroline.