Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Should I Get Two Cats from the Same Litter? Vet-Verified Facts, Benefits & Drawnbacks

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

two kittens playing together outdoors

Should I Get Two Cats from the Same Litter? Vet-Verified Facts, Benefits & Drawnbacks

VET APPROVED

Dr. Maja Platisa Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Maja Platisa

DVM MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

When you’re ready to bring a cat into your family, several items need to be purchased in addition to taking necessary preparations. But once you’re looking at a litter of fluffy kittens, bringing home just one can be challenging. So, why not adopt two?

Adopting two kittens from the same litter is an excellent idea! They have already formed a strong bond since birth and are likely to have a playmate for life, although this is not always the case.

But there are other very important factors to consider, which include whether owning two cats is the right choice for you and your family.

cat + line divider

Do Sibling Cats Get Along?

The answer to this question depends on the age of the siblings; generally speaking, siblings get on really well when kittens. They start playing with each other when they are 3 to 4 weeks old, which is an essential part of socialization. Play between kittens looks like fighting, with plenty of biting and pouncing, but this is how they learn how to cat.

Until the kittens reach social maturity, which is different from sexual maturity and occurs roughly between 2 and 5 years of age, they usually get along quite well¹. But maturity tends to change the dynamics. This shift can affect the siblings’ behavior, usually with more fighting for dominance. This can turn into bullying when one comes out as the leader.

So, technically, siblings do get along, but adolescence and adulthood can change this. With changes in the home, though, you can help them fight less and play more.

three cute kittens sit against the background of the sky and look around with curiosity
Image Credit: Anna Pasichnyk, Shutterstock

Can Two Sister Cats Get Along?

Once they hit social maturity, it can go either way. Some sister cats get along well, while others barely tolerate each other.

Some females might spend time ignoring each other and others fighting. But this won’t be the case for every female sibling, and some pairs will spend most of their time grooming and cuddling each other.

Can Two Brother Cats Get Along?

Raising two brothers can be hit or miss, just like with sister cats. There will definitely be jockeying for leadership because most males are also territorial. As they grow older, they might become inseparable or fight frequently.

It’s important to note that if you decide to adopt male and female siblings, you’ll need to have them neutered before they reach sexual maturity, which is around 4 months of age.

3 cat divider

Reasons for Adopting Two Cats from the Same Litter

  • The relationship between the kittens has already been established, and they will keep each other company.
  • If you spend most of your time away from the home, this can help prevent your pet from being lonely and bored. A bored cat can suffer from behavioral problems.
  • The two cats will play together and not entirely depend on you to entertain them. They keep each other warm when it’s cold and will groom each other, which adds a huge level of comfort.
  • It will be quite beneficial when you first bring home the kittens. A lone kitten will take more time to acclimate to a new home without a familiar companion.
  • Two kittens are simply adorable, and they’ll eventually be two cats curled up with each other!

cat paw divider

Tips on Keeping a Peaceful Home With Two Sibling Cats

It’s all about territory when it comes to cats living together. This means you will need to provide each one their set of resources and spread them out in the preferred location. Remember the rule of thumb in this situation: one item per cat, plus one extra, in separate locations. This means that in a two-cat house, you should have three of everything.

Litter Boxes

When you own more than one cat, you should have one litter box per cat, plus an extra one. So, for two littermates, you need three litter boxes. These should not be kept close together. All litter boxes should be completely separated so the cats can’t see each other while using them.

When there is only one litter box for multiple cats, this can cause a great deal of stress, which can turn into serious urinary health problems. You’re less likely to encounter fights and health issues when each cat has their own bathroom space.

cat sitting on top of several litter boxes looking at another cat leaving toilet through flap
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Food and Water

You’ll need separate food and water bowls for each cat, and these should also be kept far apart. You might even want to have more than two bowls for food.

Cats are likely to fight over resources, particularly when placed beside each other.

Pheromones

Products like Feliway Friends contain synthetic pheromones that can help cats get along better at home and it can also help reduce conflict. The product consists of a plug-in diffuser to be used where cats spend most time resting and away from open windows.

Personal Space

You must ensure that you provide multiple options for your cats as places to hide, escape, and to give them a degree of privacy.

Everything should be in multiples: the litter boxes, the food and water bowls (or fountains), scratching posts, hiding places, and cat beds. Scratching is an instinctive behavior and scratching posts are essential for sharpening claws, exercising, stretching muscles, and marking territory with the scent glands in their paws.

cat face divider 2

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Get Another Cat When One of the Siblings Dies?

Getting another cat is best if you and your family want a second companion. If you only want to bring a new cat into the home to give your existing cat a new companion, this might cause more stress for your cat.

Your existing cat must be given time to grieve.

The following are signs that your cat is grieving:
  • Excessive vocalizing
  • Searching the home for the other cat
  • Exhibiting changes in grooming (decreased or increased)
  • Exhibiting changes in appetite (decreased or increased)
  • Seeking attention from owner (decreased or increased)
  • Exhibiting general behavioral changes

You should wait until most of these behaviors return to normal before bringing a new cat into the home.

Cat not eating food
Image Credit: Elena Kutepova, Shutterstock

Is It Better to Have One Cat?

If you already have a cat and have been considering adopting a second one, this can be hit or miss. It can be done quite successfully, but some cats do better as the only cat in the household. It can take weeks or months for both cats to adjust, and there are no guarantees that they will ever get along.

If your cat seems relatively relaxed around other cats without any excessive aggression or fear, another cat might work. But if your cat reacts with growling, hissing, and even marking territory, owning a second cat is likely not in the cards.

Does the Breed of the Cat Make a Difference in the Need for Companionship?

Not entirely, as previous experiences, temperament, age, and sex of the cats must all be considered. For the time being there is no scientific evidence on whether the sex of the cat affects how well a cat might get along with other cats. What is clear is that neutered and spayed cats are much less likely to fight since sex hormones do not come into play.

Age can also be an issue. Some senior cats might not appreciate a young, rambunctious kitten. It has been known to work, but there’s no guarantee. Temperament is the most critical factor here. If your resident cat is quiet and low-key, the new cat should also be quiet and low-key. You should match up two energetic cats and so on.

It’s best to bring home two cats at the same time—it is more challenging to add a new cat to an existing cat’s home.

cat face divider 2

Conclusion

If your heart is set on adopting two cats, the best option is to get two kittens from the same litter. But know that once they reach about 6 months, all bets are off! Some littermates stay best friends their entire lives, while others will drift apart or resort to bullying and fighting. If you remember to provide them with enough resources throughout the house and in their preferred area such as separate litter boxes, scratching posts, beds, high resting spots, toys, and food bowls, this will likely reduce the fighting.

If there continue to be any problems, speak to your vet, as they might refer you to an animal behaviorist to help you through your feline issues.


Featured Image Credit: Mesa Watthanaphichai, Shutterstock

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Catster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart

Pangolia

© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.