The Yin and Yang of Sibling Cats

by Deb at 6:50 AM • Uncategorized16 Comments

 I always find the study of genetics particularly fascinating, especially in the feline world. Zoey had four kittens that were born relatively within minutes of one another and we know without a doubt who the father was. Yet these siblings are as different as the Yin and Yang of night and day, despite that they were virtually impossible to distinguish from one another since birth and often still are. We kept three of them – Mia, Peanut, and Rolz, so all things considered equally at their current age of three, they live in the same environment, eat the same food, and get the same stimulation and care via human interaction.

So, how is it that Peanut is so loving and needy for attention, that it borders on obsessive, yet if you try to touch Rolz or pick him up, he will recoil in horror at the thought… Peanut is a very tactile kitty – she will cradle in your lap and touch your face with her paw as a way of communicating with her. She also jumps up on Dan’s shoulders and likes to take walks with him. Friendly and social is an understatement.

Rolz and Peanut

Rolz does not mind an occasional pat or brushing with the FURminator, but YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PICK HIM UP OR SNUGGLE WITH HIM. He will grace us with his presence by sleeping at our feet on the bed and occasionally sit with us on the couch, but that is the extent of it. And it’s not like he is anti-social. More times than not, when I am in the office, I will look down at the rug on the floor and see him happily staring at me or napping near me. He is also an extremely talkative cat and likes to keep us abreast at all times where he is with his loud conversational meows. It’s just that body contact is off limits…

Mia is our enigma and the most difficult to figure out. She is a sweet, friendly, and happy girl, but also very shy and reserved. She has the most adorable chirping kind of meow and will follow you around like an excited little puppy, but, for the most part she does not want you to pick her up. Occasionally you will find her in your lap, almost like she accidentally landed there and it is best not to make a fuss over it and just enjoy her company before she realizes where she is!!

Mia and Rolz

She loves to snuggle on the couch at night, but not so much for human companionship, but because Zoey religiously naps on my extended legs while I watch TV and Mia wants to be near her Mama. Ironically, Peanut who is like a human stalker during the day, wants no part of couch snuggling, other than an occasional reminder that she would like some exercise and will bring DaBird to us!

The one thing they all have in common, is that they LOVE one another to the ends of the earth. They are all best buddies and you will find them napping together as a trio, or as a revolving duo, which is the paradox of Yin and Yang – how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are  interconnected in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn in relation to each other.

The Trio - Peanut, Mia, and Rolz

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  1. Just like people and dogs, each cat has their unique temperament And personality regardless if they are siblings and have same upbringing. Hansel and Gretel are siblings. Gretel is a Diva, very demanding of attention with bellowing meows in the morning. Anytime I look at her and lock eyes, she talks to me and comes running to me demanding petting and scratching around chin, whiskers,on her belly, you know full body massage.

    Hansel is more reserved, a knight in shining armor. Unlike his sister i can not approach him without permission. He’s a platinum gray tuxedo with white undercoat. Extremely shy, he walks towards me, stands in regal form and let’s out a demure meow “come hither to the petting zone” and I must follow him to his tufted bench or my bed as he gets in position so I must pet him.

    It always amazes me.

    I’m a big proponent of adopting more than one cat and preferably siblings. Currently we have a number of cats awaiting homes!

  2. I find it fascinating how they all resemble one another. ….gorgeous, of course…but it’s so easy to see they have more than beauty that links them together.

    Mia sounds like Katie. The blogosphere sees only an exaggerated version of Katie’s skeptical side. But she follows me around with a sweet little chirp. She enjoys being near us most of the time, yet picking her up is considered a gross infraction. Still, just last night she landed half on my lap and decided to soak up a few pets. Only a couple minutes though, and she realized what she had done. Poof! She’s gone. ha!

    : )

  3. Interesting – Maxwell’s like that – oh, so loving, and is always begging for belly rubs. He’s constantly rubbing all over us, and flopping down to expose his belly. And lap time? Not often, but when he does choose to do so, he makes a big production of it, kneading Marty’s stomach like he’s punching a pillow down to get all comfy.
    But don’t ever try to pick him up! We’ve always wondered if it’s because of his deafness and the fact he had such bad ear infections as a kitten. His balance was off at that time. To this day, he gauges all his jumps meticulously before he leaps.

    Faraday’s like Peanut though – except we’re not sure Peanut is quite as – err, BOSSY. LOL!

  4. Eric and Flynn are litter mates and have very different personalities too. We had them when they were 5 1/2 weeks old and Flynn has always been the sensitive one, nervous of strangers and sudden movement. Eric has always been laid back and old for his years, even as a kitten. If any visitors come, he is straight up to them looking to have a fuss made of him. Flynn bolts for the bedroom. Flynn is always checking on me. If he is in the garden and I am indoors, he will come in every half hour or so, make sure I am still there and go back out. If I go to the bathroom he is up and in there waiting before I get there. Eric just takes everything in his stride and if I tell him supper is ready, you can see him thinking, “Whatever, just bring it to me.” If they have a disagreement though, it is usually Eric who starts it, but minutes later they are curled up together washing each other. Flynn always has to get a sly nip of Eric’s ear though just to say he had the last word. They are both equally adorable in their own different ways.

  5. Cheysuli says:

    The woman always hopes to find me a cat that I really like. She doesn’t understand that I like them all but they aren’t always that friendly. I adored snuggling with Georgia (although no one else was ever allowed to snuggle with her). I actually kind of like Ichiro sometimes too (don’t tell). What the Woman really wants is a couple of cats who snuggle all the time. Ichiro and I play all the time and are usually in the same room–it’s unusual to find us in different rooms. Gemini definitely moves to her own drummer.

  6. loved reading about the differences in your kitties even with them all being born at the same time.

    I think this is the same phenomenon as how can twins (or any multiples) be so different or children coming from the same parents in the same family being raised the same way all being so different.

    Some is environment…some is just the package or gene pool that you are born with

  7. It’s amazing how how cats who resemble each other have such different personalities just like human genetics. Merlin and his sibling Coco were polar opposites but very close until the end of Coco’s life. It’s be interesting to note as your guys get older, how they’ll change.

  8. It’s fascinating, really. I guess we do expect them to be somewhat alike because they had the same mother & father and were raised in the same environment. And yet, human brothers and sisters rarely have the same personalities and likes/dislikes, so why should it be any different with cats? I’m glad they are all close though. My kitty siblings Rocky and Belle were quite close until about one year, but now they just kind of co-exist. They don’t appear to have any feelings towards each other. Kinda makes me sad.

  9. Marg says:

    I have four sets of litters of cats here and they are all that way. None of any of the litters are alike except for one litter all being very nervous. But they are all totally different than their brothers and sisters. Take care

  10. We can almost feel the complicity in this last picture!
    They are beautiful!!

  11. Brian says:

    I tell you what…the Ying plus the Yang equals stunning!

  12. Penelope says:

    Nellie’s Mom here,
    Cats, dogs, kids and twins all run in the family and they are all different-well its kind of hard to tell with the new twin grand daughters – yet!

  13. CATachresis says:

    So interesting! It is the same of course with all siblings whatever species. My brother and I are so very different in character and personality, yet had the same upbringing, same genes! Being born as a complete set and yet being so different is fascinating! Austin is quite complex in his own little personality. However, his yin-yang is black and white!! x

  14. Rumpy says:

    In our house we have Bubba and June Buggie. Both were found where Jen worked when they were about 6 weeks old. They are now 15 years old. They are so different, but they have one thing in common- they see each other as a mortal enemy. There is at least one fight per day between the two.

  15. Sue Brandes says:

    Those are so beautiful. I love how cats are all unique.