Adopting a lone kitten can lead to what is commonly referred to as single kitten syndrome; a solo kitten is less likely to grow up as well-adjusted and happy as cats who grew up with another kitten. Kittens who are raised as only cats have an increased chance of developing various behavioral problems later in life.
Taking home just one kitten may seem like a good idea—but a lonely kitten can be a real “cat-tastrophe” for felines and humans alike. Single Kitten Syndrome is the reason that, like many other organizations, we ask for kittens under 6 months to go home in pairs.
Despite the common belief that cats are solitary animals, they're actually incredibly social beings who thrive when they have feline friends from an early age. That's why I always recommend adopting two kittens, or adopting a solo kitten only if you already have another young cat in the home for the kitten to befriend.
Single kitten syndrome is the idea that young kittens, when raised with other young kittens and cats and then adopted into a home by themselves, can become aggressive, anxious, stressed, and even develop behavioral issues like inappropriate chewing/scratching and inappropriately using the litterbox.
The answer to “Do cats get lonely?” is likely yes — if they're kittens. That territorial nature doesn't typically kick in until adulthood. Kittens crave playmates, and they especially bond with their littermates. But even if you adopt kittens from separate litters, they will likely become instant besties.
It's normal — especially for first-timers — to feel a bit overwhelmed. If you're questioning your decision or wondering how to cope with feelings of anxiety, regret, or guilt, please understand that these feelings are quite common and they almost always pass with a bit of time.
Six to eight weeks is the optimal age to take the kittens from the mother for socialization and adoption placement, and any time after eight weeks for Trap-Neuter-Return (spay/neuter, vaccination, eartip, and return to their colony).
Cats are naturally solitary animals and are often happy without the company of their own species. They are territorial animals who don't like conflict with other cats.
Because of the attachments they form, the answer is yes; cats can feel lonely! While each kitty has a unique personality and needs, the following signs could indicate a lonely cat: Destructive behavior. Loss or increase in appetite.
Does a single cat get lonely? Cats in a single cat household may get bored and lonely if you don't provide proper enrichment, mental stimulation, and spend quality time together. Get high-quality cat furniture, fun activity centers, and play with your single cat daily to prevent health and behavior issues.
By bringing home two kittens, you can relax knowing that they have a 24/7 play-partner! This is important as kittens are extremely playful - and bored kittens - aren't happy kittens. Bored kittens are also more likely to cause trouble around the house...
The answer to “Do cats get lonely?” is likely yes… if they're kittens. The territorial nature doesn't typically kick in until they reach adulthood. Needless to say, kittens crave playmates. Even if you adopt kittens from separate litters, they will more than likely become instant besties.
They should stay with their mothers until they're around 8-9 weeks (taking them away earlier than this can lead to problems with their behaviour). A kitten should be sociable and alert, with bright eyes and no visible health problems.
Understanding the Kitty 'Terrible Two's'
Between the age of 6 months and 2 years, your kitten will be reaching physical and sexual maturity. They will grow out of being a pure bundle of energy but, like human teenagers, they will be learning and exploring more of the world around them.
Remove the kittens only if they are in immediate, grave danger. The mother cat offers her newborn kittens their best chance for survival, so wait and watch as long as you safely can for her to return before removing them.
Between 4 and 8 months of age, if there is time and capacity and if the kitten is showing meaningful signs of social behavior, the decision may be made to place the kitten in a foster home for socialization and eventual adoption. But keep in mind that socializing is time-consuming, especially for older kittens.
Most literature on feral kitten socialization suggests that kittens older than 8 weeks up to 6-8 months old, or even adult cats, can still be socialized and adopted, but they need more time and experienced attention.
An animal that isn't used to be touched will generally not enjoy being handled. This can make cuddling and grooming exceedingly difficult. An under-socialized pet will hate being brushed, having their teeth brushed or having their nails clipped.
In most instances no, it's not. Unless you're returning the pet for unprovoked aggression or an untreatable illness, they are probably going to find a new home where they fit right in.
Whining & Crying
It is completely normal for kittens to cry on their first few nights in a new environment. A good idea is to warm up a blanket to mimic the warmth they would get from their mother so that they feel more at home.
At what age do kittens calm down? Generally, by 9 to 12 months old, the massive amount of enthusiasm has begun to settle, and a personality has become more apparent. Each cat differs individually with some being more playful and some lazier. However, these are some typical stages you'll see as your frisky feline ages.
Singleton kittens (kittens raised alone, without a mother or siblings) are often referred to as nightmares and are commonly either euthanized or considered unadoptable. When single kittens aren't hand raised properly, they can develop biting and scratching issues, as well as misplaced aggression.