Separating Bonded Kittens?

Abutler

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3 days ago my mom found two kittens in the middle of a highway, cars straddling them and driving over. No mom or siblings were anywhere around. I took them to the vet, they are both female and 5 weeks old (I’m sure they are sisters). The plan is for my sister to have one when they are old enough to separate. They have both been staying at my house together these past few days. I am starting to notice that they are 100% best friends. I am getting worried that it might not be OK to separate them at all. I’ve read 8-12 weeks is where they begin being separated from the litter, but these two kittens went through a traumatizing experience together and I think they may be “bonded”. They groom each other, play with each other, eat together, sleep together, everything. My sister will be heartbroken if I keep both because she has already named hers and comes to play with them daily. Is it okay to separate them at some point, or should I push to keep them together? Will their bond subside over time or are they forever bonded? Please help, I am having an intense internal conflict over this. 6ACE083F-EFC1-4C27-A66F-D6ED27270031.jpeg
 

StanAndAlf

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The bonding you mentioned is completely normal for most littermates, and lots of kittens get separated to go their new homes. I would wait until they are 12 weeks old, to allow them to develop proper social skills. I think you'll find they are young enough that the trauma won't have a lasting effect, if any, much like we don't remember much from when we were babies ;)

Some people say its better to adopt two kittens together, but I have always adopted my kittens/cats singularly and then introduced a friend once they are older and have had no issues with this. In fact, a lot of cats do better completely on their own! So in short, I think you will be fine to separate them, but if it makes you feel better to keep them together then there are plenty of other kittens in shelters that would love a home for your sister to adopt.

Thank you for saving these babies. Make sure to give them KMR for a few more weeks yet, and when they are older make sure to get them neutered to prevent this exact thing from happening again :)
 
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Abutler

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The bonding you mentioned is completely normal for most littermates, and lots of kittens get separated to go their new homes. I would wait until they are 12 weeks old, to allow them to develop proper social skills. I think you'll find they are young enough that the trauma won't have a lasting effect, if any, much like we don't remember much from when we were babies ;)

Some people say its better to adopt two kittens together, but I have always adopted my kittens/cats singularly and then introduced a friend once they are older and have had no issues with this. In fact, a lot of cats do better completely on their own! So in short, I think you will be fine to separate them, but if it makes you feel better to keep them together then there are plenty of other kittens in shelters that would love a home for your sister to adopt.

Thank you for saving these babies. Make sure to give them KMR for a few more weeks yet, and when they are older make sure to get them neutered to prevent this exact thing from happening again :)
Thank you so much for the info! This is very reassuring because I didn’t necessarily want two cats, and my sister is bonding well with her kitty. I have been feeding them “cat milk” and the occasional kitty broth per the pet store’s recommendation, so I will go get KMR tomorrow. (I’m a new kitty mom and did not know!) I am so excited to watch them grow!! Thank you for the advice! :):)
 

fionasmom

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Thank you for helping these babies. I have dealt with ferals and strays primarily and have had litters of kittens born locally with whom I have worked. In fact, the last survivor of a litter born 16 years ago today in the lavender bushes in front of my house is celebrating her birthday. I have never thought twice about separating kittens once they are old enough to go to new homes. They continue to grow and develop and bond to their new owner.

The reverse of this question is that I have also adopted siblings over the years who became much less bonded once homed and inside. I had a brother and sister who all but completely ignored each other once they entered adulthood, and two sisters currently who are sociable with each other, but live their own lives in the house.

The birthday girl, Eve, spent 5 months in the same room as tiny kittens with two of her brothers, sleeping in a heap in their bed. Once they were able to have access to the house at large, the bond greatly weakened.
 

Tik cat's mum

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I wouldn't hesitate about separation. As you've already said you don't really want two kittens, and your sister has bonded with her kitten. I've had kittens alone and they did well. It's better they are separated than living on the streets. Thank you to you and your sister for giving these two sweethearts loving homes.
 
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