I greatly appreciated the excellent interview with Andee Bingham about her valiant work rescuing neonatal kittens [“Q&A: Future Hopes and Plans for Esther Neonatal Kitten Rescue,” Nov. 16, Xpress]. I would like to take this occasion to mention another important point about kitten rescue.
A few years ago, my neighbors adopted a kitten, and when they went to work, it would sit in the open window and meow piteously all day, clearly feeling lonely, scared and abandoned. And when they got home, it would be so happy to see them, and they had no idea that anything was wrong.
A kitten suddenly removed from its mother and siblings experiences great distress, and its isolation from other kittens is very damaging to its emotional development. Kittens need other kittens to learn how to play, how to relate to other cats, and to be emotionally healthy and happy.
I was moved by this experience to write a little flyer about this problem, although there was very little information on the web about it then. Recently, I Googled “Why kittens should be adopted in pairs” to see if there was any more data, and was astonished to find 10 websites — 10! — devoted to this problem, with titles like “Eight Reasons Why Kittens Should Be Adopted in Pairs.” All were very well done, and some were videos.
I strongly urge anyone considering adopting a kitten to check this out, and if you have kittens to adopt, please do not adopt them singly and do not separate two kittens who have clearly bonded with each other. Animal shelters should require kittens to be adopted in pairs. I welcome comments at 828-458-8409.
— Rusty Sivils