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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I'm new to the forum, and I am very much interested in your thoughts about adopting a pair of kitten littermates. I am hoping to get two kittens, and I have been researching this.

Do you have thoughts about whether a male/male or male/female pair might work better? I have read that sometimes a pair of females does not work out well.

Any other input or advice?

Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you. :2kitties
 

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My two cats are male and female littermates and they get along great (they are 1.5 now and I've had them since 7 weeks old). I would guess that getting along has more to do with the cats' personalities than sex.
 

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I can only speak from experience, I'm sure people have different stories and opinions.

I had a male cat who was 1 year old, he was an only cat, then I rescued a female who was 6 months. I did the whole introductory period and they get along great now. I think this is largely due to the fact that the female is so much smaller than the male, she isn't threatening to him or his territory. I'm sure if I got a boy around the same size as my male it wouldn't have ended up so good.

I'm not sure about your situation as much since you want litter mates. Maybe it's different if they are related? Hoping someone else can shed some light.
 

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I've had both. The girls are six now and while they played a lot together as kittens they did their own thing as they matured. It's only been in the last year or so that they're started grooming each other and snuggling together again. Feef runs the house while Bowse spends 95% of her time in my sister's room.
I found Clementine and Blitz at five weeks and they were together until just before their second birthday when Blitz passed away. They also lived with Ghost, a male Siamese about about two months younger, and all three were super close. Rarely did you see one of them alone.


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I would pick whoever you fall in love with.

Barring that, I'd pick females. I've had a male that sprayed and lived to 18, a male that got crystals and lived to 3, and a current male with FLUTD. While the FLUTD I believe can happen equally to either gender, the other two issues are more prone to males... and I just can't handle either of those issues again. I'll cut down my chances with females in the future.
 

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I have sister-kittens who just turned 1 yo last week....littermates. Originally we were only going to get one kitten from a rescue and we picked her. Then, last minute, we decided to get a littermate. We visited the foster home and the rescue asked the foster parent if the particular kitten we wanted had a buddy. In this particular litter, they seemed to think we could go with any of the kittens as they all played well together. I think in some litters, some might pair up more or there could be ones that don't get along, but that was not the case here. Originally, we chose a boy who had a similar tabby coat, but he became unavailable because he had some teeth issues, so we went with another one who had jumped up in my husband's lap and bit his toe on our foster visit. We figured she picked him. Ironically, now that they are home the original pick adores my husband...follows him around, gets excited when he is around and the sister who jumped in his lap acts afraid of him--??? Anyway, I didn't want to get one kitten and then a few months later decide she needed a playmate and have to introduce another kitten. If we were going to get 2, I wanted them from the same litter AND the process of bringing them home went so much better than I could have expected. They just got out of the cage and started playing with each other. They were probably a bit confused about why nobody else (siblings) were there...but had each other. It probably helped that all the kittens were separated from the Mom for a couple weeks before to be spayed/neutered...so they went from being with mom/siblings...to be separated for a few days...3 boys one location/3 girls in another, not sure why, but something to do with where or when the spay/neuter was done...then all siblings reunited without mom...then the 2 sister-kittens to our home :) Our kittens get along well...sometimes hang together or sometimes apart.
 

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Cali and Charlee are sisters I adopted at 9 weeks old. Six years later, they fight and wrestle like boys and chase each other through the house every day, but they are inseparable, they cuddle, groom and sleep with each other.
 

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I am not a expert on this but I will put my 2 cents in any way. I talked to the breeder and she said. 1. would to get two small females of the same size so One couldn't over power the other. 2. Get two males the same size for the same reason. 3. Get A male and a female the Male is to be smaller then the female so he doesn't over power her. 4. Is to get a female now and wait for the second litter and get another female. the litter I got my two out of was only 4 kittens one female and 3 males. We chose option 3 and they play nonstop with each other. Sleep together.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks

This is helpful, thanks everyone.

I hadn't considered the size of the kittens before, so that is a good point.

I guess I'm most likely considering either a M/F or M/M pair, but I am concerned whether male cats may still spray/urinate on furniture and carpet even if they are neutered. Also, someone mentioned they are more prone to certain medical issues (crystals, etc.).

It would be helpful to hear from anyone with male cats in particular, as to whether you have had challenges with spraying/urination. I definitely don't want that. If I get two male cats and they are littermates and neutered young, I hope they won't have that problem.

Some people have also shared that male cats tend to be more affectionate and friendly.

Jecky, what your breeder told you seems logical. Maybe there is more than one good way that things can work out, as you mentioned.

I would love for the kittens to be good friends, so keep the advice coming.
 

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My male cat has never sprayed anywhere in his life, and he's never urinated on anything either. He was neutered around 6-7 months.
 

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I will say I have a Male and Female for only a week ago Monday and the male urinated on the bed once but I think it was because he was scared. He only did it once. They are 12 weeks old. I am hoping that it is a one time thing. See it is kind of different for me because they came on a plane ride to get here.
 

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I have a male and female kittens, and within a week I got them, the girl urinated next to the litter box. My fault - I started with only one box figuring I'll add another one later and was scooping and had a litter box up on my toilet to make it easier for me to scoop, and it turned out they wanted to use it. He was waiting and meowing but she couldn't wait. I had some plastic lying nearby that she used. No problems since but keeping fingers crossed.

Some of the comments about the sizes got me scared that he'd overpower her when they grow up. He is bigger. They are getting along fine for now, she just moved from being next to me to the futon where he is sleeping and curled up next to him. Two little circles with their backs touching. Oh well, too late now, I love them both.
 

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Our sister-kittens (same litter) look the same size, but when I pick each up, one probably weighs at least 2 pounds more than the other. Last time I weighed them, it was about 8 1/2 pounds and 10 1/2 pounds. They wrestle/play and it still seems like an even match. The little one is scrappy :)
 

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My boy cats are really good, and the oldest one only had a few accidents when he was sick once, and once, shortly after we took in our second boy, and that cat was bullying him while he was trying to use the litter box. But they are so good, I keep their litter boxes very clean and scooped, and I have several, so they have lots of places they can go if they don't feel confident going in one of them.

They say that crystals can happen to boys or girls, but I have heard that boys are more prone. But some say that is not true. I do know that one of my boys did have crystals and block, back when he was 1 (he is now 6) and he was on an all dry diet. If you want to prevent that heartache from ever happening, feed your cat an all wet food diet. You can avoid so many problems down the road if you feed a good diet to your cats. I switched my boy to all wet food and he has never had any more issues with uti's since the change.

My own personal opinion, with all animals, dogs and cats, is that boys are so much sweeter!! I know, this is opinion only, but my girl kitties are little you know what's at time, and my boys are cuddle bug sweethearts. Kittens are usually easier to socialize with each other, the older they are, the harder. I have that problem. My oldest cat was 5 when the next stray came along, and she refused to ever accept him. I have to keep them separated at all times, and this is 6 years later. She is an extreme case, but it does happen, on occasion. I tried everything to make it work too. Everything.

Until your kittens are really good at using the litter box, you may want to keep them in a smaller, confined area, a bedroom or a bathroom, until they have established good litter box habits. Don't leave down any towels or clothes that they can go on. Many times, people find, if they let the cats loose to the whole house when they are too little, they will find other places to go. I am a big believer in not letting them have the whole house when they are little for other reasons. Safety being number one. There is so much for them to get into. It is much easier to baby proof a bedroom or bathroom. Kittens are so naughty! They are like toddlers, they will get into everything. They are going to sleep most of the day, so being confined to a bedroom is not awful. If you haven't invested in a cat tree yet, you can't imagine how great it will be for them! They will climb it, sleep on it, it will give them so much exercise and enjoyment for years. Put it next to a nice window where they can sun themselves and look out, and you will have some happy babies :)
 

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I had two male cats that I adopted at the same time from the same shelter, and they were awesome buddies. They both loved to wrestle, bunny kick, attack, etc., something neither of my girl cats has wanted to have anything to do with. They were both clean as a whistle too - never a litter box issue or a urinary issue in 16 years.

When I lost one of the two original pair, I adopted a female as a buddy for my remaining male. They loved each other and would sleep together and groom, but she fell short for him in the playing category because she would not allow him to play rough with her with the wrestling, etc. She would play chase with him, but that was it.

My newest cats are one male and one female, and my older female is much more accepting of the new male than she is the new female. But again, my male would love to pounce and wrestle, and the females scream like they are being butchered every time he even looks like he is going to try it lol.

Just my experience, ymmv.
 

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All cats have different personalities and no one can really say how your situation will turn out.

The best bet to get siblings who get along would be to adopt an adult bonded pair, and added bonus being those cats are typically hard to adopt out from a shelter, so you'd most likely be saving their lives.

As far as health issues go:

Wet food IS best (second to raw ;) ), and will help prevent many health concerns down the road.

Housefrau mentioned urinary issues...and is on the right track. Generally, any cat can get crystals or a UTI (urinary tract infection), however when a male has crystals it's much easier for it to become more serious. A male cat's urethra is much smaller than a female cats, so it can more easily become blocked which is an extremely serious health issue. Add to that the fact that UTIs seem to spring from no where (*sigh* something I've had thrust in front of me recently) and you may miss the initial signs in either a male or female, but it's more serious for males.

So, while both genders can get UTIs - generally speaking, boys can have more serious complications.

My personal policy on litter box use goes something like this:

-I expect the cats to use the boxes.
-I will provide enough boxes (# of cats +1 = # of boxes. Some of our members have success using one box for multiple cats, but since I've had litter box problems in the past I prefer too many boxes over pee all over my house... not a hard choice, lol)
-I will keep the boxes clean (scoop once a day, or once every other day at the very most)
-If an animal is sick/injured accidents don't count.
-If I fail to hold up my end of the bargain (ie, the boxes are too dirty) accidents don't count (my fault, not theirs)
-Kittens make mistakes, you can't blame them but you CAN prevent it

Small kittens, under 6 months, should have at least one litter box per floor of your home...more if you have a very large house.

In general, following the litter box rule, your boxes should not be all in one spot but should be spread out throughout your home in out of the way corners. (Closets work well for us)

If one of your cats has an accident (ie a kitten pees on a bed because the litter box is too far away) and an older (or properly trained) cat pees in that spot after, it ALSO doesn't count. Since you probably didn't clean the spot thoroughly the first time.

...Basically, I give them the benefit of the doubt.

Also, keep in mind that cats will pee outside the box mainly due to:

-Age
-lack of training
-stress
-ILLNESS

A stressed cat can be triggered by darn near anything...but it's up to you to figure out what and then work out a way to reduce the cat's stress and retrain them.

Cats (animals) NEVER pee/poo to 'get back at you', 'show you who's boss', or 'show dominance'. It has been scientifically proven, and I'll produce links if I must, but it's simply true. they don't have the capacity for that.
 

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They say that crystals can happen to boys or girls, but I have heard that boys are more prone. But some say that is not true. ...
My friend's cat just had crystals and blockage and spent time in a hospital, so I had a chance to look up the information for her. While both males and females can get crystals (my cousin's former female cat had them at one point), the male's urethra is narrower and longer and thus they are much more likely to have life-threatening obstruction. The article I read compared female urethra to a wide straw you use for drinks and the male urethra to the thin coffee stirrer.
 

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Nyx and Stella have done great... however Stella gets annoyed if Nyx doesn't bury her mess enough and she constantly organizes the litter box after her. But it works cause neither one of them has tried to mark anything. (BTW they are both girls)
 

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I would pick whoever you fall in love with.

Barring that, I'd pick females. I've had a male that sprayed and lived to 18, a male that got crystals and lived to 3, and a current male with FLUTD. While the FLUTD I believe can happen equally to either gender, the other two issues are more prone to males... and I just can't handle either of those issues again. I'll cut down my chances with females in the future.
I know males have their health issues and issues with spraying, but I've had two females that have both had hyper-thyroid, have constantly had diarreah, and have continually gone outside the box (peeing as well). One lived to 14. The other lived to 16. Both basically wasted away due to the hyper-thyroid and the inability to process food. My 8 y/o male has no health issues.

I'm not sure that one gender is better than another.
 

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My boy cats are really good,
I couldn't agree with your more. Up until 8 years ago, I always had female cats because of the perceived "spraying" with boys. I got every one of them as kittens, yet they were still temperamental. The last one we put down, Misha, lived to be 16 y/o and was totally bipolar. She would snuggle one minute and bite my face the next. When she was a kitten, I closed my office door and she was so mad she spread the Spanish Moss from our plants all over the house. Cleo, my very first cat, was very loving to me but hated everyone else.

Our boys, Milo and Toby, are totally comfortable with whatever is going on and whoever is in the house and cuddle with us all the time. They never bite. Milo is the best behaved, sweetest cat we've ever had and Toby (6 months old) is turning out the same way. They aren't finicky at all. We even have an outdoor cat, Marvin, who comes in the house occasionally and he cuddles with them as well.

I will only go with boy cats from now on. I'll put up with the health risks. Milo is 8 y/o will no health problems so far, so fingers crossed!
 
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