Pick of the litter - how do you choose a kitten?
March 13, 2021 7:04 AM   Subscribe

We are fostering a litter of four kittens right now. In a couple of weeks, we'll choose a pair to keep and find forever homes for the other pair. Is there a recommended way to choose the pair?

We have been fostering four perfectly nice kittens - and their mother - since they were 3 weeks old, in January. These are not feral or outside cats, the mom is someone's house cat (long story short we are helping someone who is unable to pay for spaying, via our foster organization).

After mom goes home, we'll rehome two and keep a pair ourselves. We know one that we will keep - female, we like how she looks, she has soft fur, cute personality. In the litter, there are two males, two females (we THINK, being confirmed by vet soon); two have soft, medium length fur, the other two regular shorthair; two are larger than the other two. Personality wise they are generally all friendly, playful, maybe one or two are more comfortable being handled. They are all very cute but nothing striking about their coat pattern, just pretty cats. They all seem to play with each other, they aren't choosy about who they wrestle with or sleep next to.

Does anyone have recommendations or suggestions on how to pick the second of the pair? Should we be think about the sex of the other kitten - I've heard two female cats might not get along? Should we think about size, would it be better to have two large vs. a large and small? They have somewhat different tendencies, though this changes week to week, but should we look for any particular personality traits that might suggest a better match? Is this the most twee metafilter question you've ever read and we should just pick the damn kitten we want?

Maybe there are other things I haven't thought of - would love any suggestions.

I guess our "goal" is two well adjusted, playful indoor cats (though I suppose that's pretty obvious).
posted by RajahKing to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'd keep watching to see if patterns emerge more in the litter - if a pair become bonded, keep them together if possible. A pair bonded couple of cats is ideal. So much snuggling! I'd also try to keep the ones that are more interested in being handled, and more interested in you. Even if one or two cats is spectacularly cute, you'll have a better relationship with the cats that are drawn to you and seek out your interaction.
posted by amycup at 7:49 AM on March 13, 2021 [18 favorites]

A while back I fostered 6 kittens and their mom and ended up keeping 3 of the siblings. My wife and I had favorites by the time we went to find them homes, so we each picked our fave kitten and then one more adoption fell through and so there's three. They seem to get along great. We didn't pick the ones that seemed closest to each other or anything, although if your kitten has a favorite sibling that might be your best bet. I think being raised together makes it a lot easier to choose ones that will just get along.

They don't all snuggle together like they did when they were babies (they're almost four now) but they still play and occasionally sleep next to each other and rarely fight.
posted by possibilityleft at 7:52 AM on March 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Kitty tax, please!
posted by mefireader at 8:21 AM on March 13, 2021 [17 favorites]

I've heard two female cats might not get along?

I suspect that is more likely with two unrelated females. Previously I had two unrelated females (in addition to two unrelated males) and the females did not get along. One bullied the other quite a bit. My current two are 7-month-old sisters and they get along great.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:29 AM on March 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

In my experience, the cats pick you more often than not.

If you're keeping two, keep two who seem to spend time with each other. It's difficult to select based on personality, because that will change. I would never pick based on physical characteristics. I've got two female cats who I adopted as littermates, and 13 years later, they still cuddle all the time.
posted by adamrice at 6:00 PM on March 13, 2021

Best answer: Look to see if another one of the kittens is very obviously bonded to the one you plan to keep - or if one is very obviously not bonded to her (not mean, just...indifferent.) That will narrow your choices somewhat.

I've had unrelated females, and they did coexist with a minimum of fuss. I have also had two related females (sisters) and one...has more anxiety than the other. She very (very rarely) occasionally gets into a spat with her sister. But in six-plus years, they've never gotten into huge fights or caused injuries or even had issues that lasted longer than...oh, half a day.
posted by Tailkinker to-Ennien at 7:04 PM on March 13, 2021

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