After spending 27 years as a dog person, I became a cat mom to two kittens almost overnight, and not too shortly after, a crazy cat lady who wears clothes that say "Cat Person." The transition was one of the smoothest of my life, and I regret absolutely nothing, despite always assuming I'd only ever end up with a dog or two "when I grew up." In fact, adopting both of my babies at once is the best pet-owner decision I've ever made.
To back up, before Grey and Swayze (named, of course, after Dirty Dancing's Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey) came into my and my fiancé Matt's lives, we were just about to move into a tiny co-op building that doesn't allow dogs on the property, let alone inside its apartments. Because of this fact, I mentioned to my fiancé that a cat named Catrick Swayze had become a then-newfound dream of mine, so we decided we'd go to a shelter and find our guy once we were settled in our new place. Then, we saw on a friend's Instagram Stories that his parents had found a litter of baby cats in their backyard with umbilical cords attached and eyes closed, and their mom hadn't come back for them in nearly two days.
For the next couple of weeks, the three little newborns were bottle-fed and slowly became competent kittens in the comfort of our friend's home. Almost immediately, the male cat was claimed by a family member, and it looked like one of the girls was going to stay with our friend's family. When we finally met them all at about 4 weeks old, I fell in love with the striped baby girl who now lives in our home and goes by Grey. That meant all three were accounted for.
However, I couldn't get out of my head that I wanted a cat named Catrick Swayze, and thought, maybe we could call this one Grey — ahem, Jennipurr Grey — and if we wanted to adopt another cat, we could get a Swayze way down the line.
Nearly three years later, I can say with certainty that adopting both of them at the same time, instead of just one as planned, is the best decision we've ever made.
But as with most things in life, it didn't quite go that way. Two weeks later, our friend, who was taking care of Grey for us while we closed on our apartment, mentioned that they weren't going to be able to keep the second baby girl, a dark gray cat who was being called Captain, after all — she'd be going to the local shelter. Ever the emotional decision-maker, I decided on the spot that there was no way we'd separate these sisters if it meant not knowing where Captain would end up. And just like that, we got our Swayze.
Nearly three years later, I can say with certainty that adopting both of them at the same time, instead of just one as planned, is the best decision we've ever made. Plenty of people have more than one pet at once, sure, but many people stagger adoptions so as not to completely overwhelm themselves; but, apparently, not us! (I'm trying to convince Matt that we need to adopt two dogs at once when we move into a house, but that's going less well for me at the moment.)
Thinking about adopting a pet or two, or just wondering what it's been like being a mom to two sweet furry angel assh*les with the same birthday? Keep reading for all the reasons I'm glad that we took the plunge and adopted two cats at the same time.
Reasons I'm Glad I Adopted 2 Cats at the Same Time
- Not only are they sisters, they're best friends. Although our girls love their alone time and have claimed various solo territories around the apartment, they're never above a snuggle sesh or playing with a toy together. Any two cats that live together could end up being this way with each other after a time — especially because, despite popular belief, cats are very social animals — but the fact that they've been together since birth shows and it makes my heart swell.
- Two cats adopted together, especially from the same litter, are more likely to accept each other. As any cat owner knows, introducing new animals, even other cats, to your existing fur baby can be tough. Many cats get territorial and defensive over their space, so it's definitely easier to bring two young kittens home at once. Littermates tend to get along as seamlessly as cats can, but two unrelated kittens who haven't done much with their nine lives yet should also be able to build a strong bond.
- We saved two lives at once. Had we not taken Swayze, her life could have been spent sitting in a shelter until she was an adult, then even more unlikely to get adopted, and it breaks my heart. I'm sure she would have been scooped up as a precious kitten, but so many animals don't get adopted, so it just wasn't a risk I could take. When you adopt two pets at once, you're clearing up two spaces for more animals in need of a home at your local shelter, and when you adopt kittens, it could mean that there are fewer available babies and therefore more opportunities for people to consider the adult cats at the shelter.
- They physically and mentally stimulate each other. Because they're the same age, it's been so fun to see them grow together. An older cat and a kitten can also motivate each other, but because Grey and Swayze were kittens learning new skills at the same time, they definitely influenced each other and helped the other learn. Plus — even though Grey is a certified chonk — they keep each other physically fit through various exercises, including, but not limited to, smacking each other incessantly, chasing each other around the apartment, and doing loops around each other on the bed at 4 a.m.
- They're each other's entertainment. We love to play with the girls, but we're out of the house a lot for work and events, so I feel much better knowing that if they do get bored, they have company. It's not uncommon to find them running alongside each other, chasing the other's tail, play-fighting, swatting at the same toys, birdwatching out the window side by side, and generally being the most adorable duo.
- Two cats of the same age means easier training. This one is completely more of an in-theory point, as our cats are monsters who clean their butts atop the kitchen counter and still scratch the barstools as if they haven't been shouted at about it 4.8 million times, but generally, training them together was easier. They both learned how to do things like use the litter box at the same time, and they also learned from each other's mistakes. If one was sprayed with water for scratching the couch or walking over the stovetop (seriously, the worst), the other generally didn't try the frowned-upon behavior after that.
- They groom each other. My cats clean themselves as is typical, sure, but they also groom each other until we're sure their fur is about to start falling out. It's the sweetest thing in the world, and it means they're clean behind the ears and on the backs of their necks, which surely can only be considered a bonus, no?
- In many ways, you have two pets for the price of one. Although having two cats means more vet appointments and buying twice as much food, they share things like litter boxes, cat trees, scratch posts, toys, bowls, and beds. It's basically free, you guys!
TL;DR: adopt two cats, then email photos of them to me. Please and thank you.