Pair of Kittens

Q. I raised two cats from the same litter, and they were fine together. They’re both gone, and I want to do it again. But the cat breeder says she won’t sell two litter mates to the same home because they bond to each other instead of to people. Is this true?

A. This thinking is far more common among dog people, but it seems to be more tied to the development and training of working dogs or dog-sports competitors. The people who have these dogs usually believe the bonding and training for a high-level of performance is better attained when the animal’s focus is on the handler only.

I’m actually kind of surprised to learn of your breeder’s refusal to let you take a pair of kittens from the same litter. It’s common for cats to be raised in pairs. And since some cats don’t like the addition of another cat later, raising two together may be the best way to go if you want two cats. (Unless you’re willing to adopt a bonded shelter pair, which would be even better in my book!) I don’t think the issue of bonding is really that great — your cats will love each other, and they’ll love you just fine.

The only real problem I see is the “start-up” costs of raising a pair of kittens is going to be understandably more — twice the veterinarian examinations, twice the vaccinations, twice altering and so on. Maybe that’s the breeder’s real concern?

Have a discussion with the breeder and see if you can work things out. Discuss your past experience so she is aware you know what you’ll be getting. You may get the kittens you want after all.

If she still insists on not allowing you a pair at once, however, you might consider adopting a second kitten or a pair from a shelter or rescue group — or working with another breeder if your heart is set on a pair of pedigreed cats.