Resources, Advice & Tips for Covid-19
Read More

Questions About Adopting Two Cats

Kelly Roper

Are two cats happier than one? Our visitors have questions about adopting two cats.

Visitor Questions About Adopting Two Cats

Should We Adopt Brother and Sister?

I live with my sister and her family, and we are both getting cats. My sister heard that it was better to get a brother and sister, rather than two sisters or two females; is this true? If we do get a male, I'm also wondering whether we can keep him from spraying if we have him neutered early enough?

Thank you for your time!

~~ Molly Flynn

Expert Reply

Hi Molly,

I think the reason some people recommend the brother and sister route is that they believe the cats will get along better in the long run because they have grown up together since birth. While this is reasonable thinking, there's no guarantee that two litter mates will get along any better. It's just something that only time will tell.

The problem is that most cats seem to prefer living in a single cat household, and once they reach maturity there is usually some degree of territorial struggle with other feline house mates. This is not a hard rule, but it does happen frequently. I also agree that keeping two cats of the same sex, whether male or female can also lead to territorial struggles, and this tends to happen whether they are altered or not.

As for spraying, I recommend having both cats spayed/neutered at four months old to try to head off the problem before it begins. Both sexes can spray, so eliminating the hormones as soon as possible is your best bet.

All things said, you simply never know how well two cats are going to get along until you give it a try. At least by choosing your new pets from the same litter you'll be able to watch them interact to gauge how well they get along now. This should put you ahead of the game, and hopefully on track for a happy household.

Best of luck, and thanks for your questions~~ Kelly

Adding a New Kitten Results in Fighting

I have a three-year-old male cat who was becoming bored and lethargic, but is quite healthy otherwise. I brought home a female kitten a week ago in hopes of giving "Moe" a friend and playmate.

I've read that having two cats is better than just one. However, they chase each other around and fight constantly. Moe will bite her, clean her and then bite her again. So they are friendly sometimes, but they do seem to fight a lot.

Moe does not hold back; he clenches her while biting her and kicking her. I break them up and the kitten will usually run right back at him and try to pounce on him. Other times she runs under the bed.

I came home last night to find blood on my bed from a wound, but I couldn't find the actual wound on either cat. So my question is: is my new kitten safe with my older cat? Will they learn to accept each other before one of them, most likely the little kitten, gets seriously hurt?

~~ Julia

Expert Reply

Hi Julia,

I've also read a lot of recommendations about having two cats, but personally I doubts it's automatically the best scenario. Cats tend to be quite territorial, so adding a second cat to the household may keep cat number one from being bored, but it also creates a fighting problem if they just can't get along.

Right now, your pets are trying to work through a major adjustment, and to some extent you're going to have to let them work it out themselves. However, the size and age difference causes reasonable concern, so I'd recommend keeping the smaller kitten confined unless you can be home with them to intervene when needed.

I'd also like to ask exactly how old your female kitten is, and if both cats have been spayed and neutered? Sexual tension plays a great role in fighting between members of the opposite sex. Depending on your kitten's age and breeding status, the blood you found on your spread may be from your kitten's first season. Check this angle out so you don't wind up with an extra litter of kittens.

Thanks for your question, and I hope things work out for your household.

~~ Kelly

Questions About Adopting Two Cats