If you’re looking to adopt a feline companion, you have a lot of choices to make. One of the most important is whether to get a kitten or adult cat.
Both kittens and mature felines have their pros and cons. Of course, the best thing to do is draw on your past experiences and evaluate your life situation. Could your home, family, and resident pets handle a kitten or a full-grown feline?
Give it some thought before you stop at the shelter and adopt your new family member. Here’s what you should know about adopting kittens versus adopting adult cats.
What To Consider With Kittens
Kittens are adorable. It’s difficult to resist these funny, lively little bundles of fur and energy. But when you adopt a kitten, you get a baby who needs a lot of time and attention from you. You must teach a kitten how to be a good companion.
Kittens have sharp little teeth and claws. Unfortunately they can’t differentiate between climbing the lovely cat tree you bought for them and climbing the drapes, couch, or your leg. And kitten teeth might miss the toy you’re playing with and chomp down on your hand.
These tiny balls of energy are not the best choice for families with young kids or older people who aren’t steady on their feet. Kittens are fragile and can get hurt by children who don’t know what “gentle” means. And they tend to magically appear underfoot, causing a person to trip or fall trying to avoid them.
No question, you’ll need to kitten-proof your home. Think like a kitten and view your house from their level, removing all the objects that could cause them harm. You’ll want to consider everything, from covering electrical cords, to making sure there aren’t any dangerous items on the floor, to hiding valuables that might get broken.
Even with their drawbacks, kittens will bring you hours of amusement.
What To Consider With Adult Cats
When you adopt an adult cat, you know exactly what you’re getting. You know what they look like. You can tell whether the cat is laid-back or active, vocal or quiet, cuddly, curious or shy.
If you work outside your home and the cat will be alone all day, an adult cat is a better choice. Kittens on their own tend to be lonely and can get into trouble while looking for amusement. Older cats sleep more and are often satisfied entertaining themselves.
Adult cats are usually already litter box trained and know how to use a scratching post. They’re less likely to damage your furniture or knock something off the shelf.
That said, it’s a good idea to ask about a cat’s litter box habits; a reputable shelter or rescue group will tell you any problems the cat might have. Usually, such issues can be resolved fairly easily.
Another reason to adopt an older cat is the joy you get by giving them a second chance. People go to a shelter or rescue to look for a cat, but the “cute kitten factor” often keeps them from seeing all the sensational adult cats.
Don’t forget to check out the adults who already know their manners. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Regardless of whether you adopt a kitten or an adult cat, you are going to be doing a good deed. The shelters are full of both cats and kittens in need of loving homes. We have our own CatTime adoption page full of beautiful cats and kittens who would love to move in with you.
Would you prefer to adopt an adult cat or a kitten? Got any tips for first-time adopters? Let us know in the comments below!