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When you see a kindle of kittens rolling together and playing, it would seem inhuman to even think of separating them.
But, in reality, keeping littermates together does not necessarily turn them into tight companions as they grow older.
Once a kitten has been separated from her siblings, she will only miss them for one or two days and then forget them completely.
In other words, it doesn’t take too long for a kitten to adapt to a new home or environment.
And once this happens, she typically forgets her siblings or mom and adapts to her new family.
In fact, if they meet a few weeks or months down the line, chances are they won’t recognize or remember each other.
Why Kittens Don’t Miss their Siblings
Cats primarily use scent to recognize their family members or their surroundings.
If you take your kitten to another location, like the vet’s clinic, for instance, they are covered in unfamiliar scents different from their usual surroundings.
If you take them back home, the other cats in your household may not straightway recognize her because the new scents make her an invader.
Similarly, when a kitten goes to a new home, she is covered in new scents and forgets her siblings’ scents.
Now, tell me—is it possible to miss someone or something you don’t even remember?
Your Kitten’s Emotional Needs
As much as kittens don’t miss their siblings, this should not be interpreted to mean that they are solitary animals.
Cats are also social beings, and they will grow and develop better if they are together with other feline friends.
For this reason, it’s advisable to adopt two or more kitten siblings or adopt one kitten if you already have another one in your home.
And you know what? It’s actually easier to take care of two kittens as opposed to one.
This is because cats learn by observation and quickly pick up skills like grooming or using the raised feeders if they have another feline buddy to teach them.
Additionally, if your kitten shows any signs of distress after being separated from her siblings, you can hasten her reattachment by responding to her cries and playing with her as her siblings or mother would.
Allow her to experience as many new things in the new environment as possible to keep her entertained and engaged.
Related Post: Is It Better To Have Two Cats Of The Same Gender?
When is the Right Time for a Kitten to leave their Siblings?
Typically, a kitten is ready to leave her siblings by the time they are eight weeks old.
By this time, they are well socialized with their mother and siblings and may lead an independent life.
Of course, they will show signs of anxiety immediately after they are separated from their siblings.
But once they have settled into their own home, kittens can quickly form new attachments with their new human family or other pets in their new home.
The worst thing you can do is separating a kitten from her mother and siblings before she is eight weeks old.
The period between 2 to 7 weeks of age is very critical to a kitten’s growth and development as she gets to learn essential social and predatory skills from her siblings.
For example, when she bites one of her siblings, and he squeals, she learns that biting causes pain.
Therefore, she will refrain from biting her human family because she doesn’t want to cause them pain.
If she skips this stage, you may have to brace yourself for hard blood-drawing bites from her when she is five years old and 15 pounds.
And just so you know, it is extremely hard to break this habit later in life.
Kittens only miss their siblings for a day or two, after which they form new attachments with their new human and cat family.
However, it is important that a kitten is separated from their mother and siblings when they are eight weeks old and above to ensure they are fully socialized with their cat family.
If you don’t have another kitten or cat in your household, it is also advisable that you adopt two or more siblings to allow them to keep learning together.
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Hi! I am Eleanor Price. I started this website after my cat, Louie, almost died from a case of botulism (a type of food poisoning often caused by bacteria that grow on food items). Turned out that my cat’s diet was the problem. I have made it my duty to provide the best information and recommendations about everything cat lovers need to know about their felines’ health and wellbeing. My goal is to find the most informative content on anything feline-related and share it with fellow hardworking kitty lovers.