Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Communal cats: Adopt more than one!

Cats sometimes appreciate living in communities

The Oregon Humane Society recently took in nearly 75 kittens ranging in age from three to six months. This is truly an amazing amount of kittens, and the Humane Society is serious about trying to place them all in new homes. In fact, they’re dropping the price for a kitten to $50, which is about half the normal price. Additionally, new owners can adopt a second kitten for half price.

It’s a great idea to adopt two kittens at once. Kittens are wild, rambunctious animals that need a lot of playtime and roughhousing. Most kittens would prefer to do these play activities in the middle of the night, when you would probably like to be sleeping. Bringing home a pair of kittens may help you preserve your sleep while they play with one another. Kittens will also teach one another important lessons about how hard to bite during playtime.

The Humane Society is also offering discounts on adoptions of older cats. The first cat is just $25, and the second cat is free.  I think this is an amazingly good idea. Many of the cats at the shelter live in a communal area, and may have formed tight relationships with one another. Bringing a bonded pair into your home allows them to keep that relationship intact, and allows them to lean on one another as they learn the ropes at your house.

Bringing home just one cat to blend with your existing cats is always an option, of course. Watch the new cat closely before adoption, and ask about his/her temperament and previous living arrangement. Look for a cat that is similar in temperament to your existing cat.  In the cat world, opposites truly do not attract. Cats who are too dissimilar usually just fight.

I have successfully integrated small kittens into my home with my older cat. Lucy was brought home when Eamon was 8 years old. Eamon is a busy, needy, curious guy, so he appreciated having a young wrestling partner. His former wrestling partner, Maggie, was no longer interested in this sort of play, so she was glad to pass on the torch and step in an a snuggling partner when playtime was over. 

I think cats truly do better in pairs or trios. I hope this drive at the Humane Society is a success, and they’ll continue the plan in the new year.