If you are in the market for a new feline friend you are probably tempted to get a kitten. While kittens can be fun, they are also a lot of work. Older cats are much easier to handle and if you are considering adoption you should definitely give them a chance and here are some reasons why.
Kittens seem great at first, but what most people don’t realize is that kittens are like babies, and their true personalities won’t be fully developed until they reach maturity at about 2-3 years of age.
When you adopt an older cat you know what you are getting. If the cat is extremely friendly it will likely be that way the rest of it’s life, unless something traumatic happens to change it. The same can be said for many other personality traits.
However, it is good to keep in mind that many animals will not act themselves in the shelter environment. If a cat has lived with one family it’s entire life and suddenly finds itself in a loud busy shelter, chances are they will be overwhelmed. Be sure to ask shelter staff about which cats they think would be the best fit for your home and take their advice into consideration. Most staff members know the animals in their care very well and will be able to point you in the right direction.
If you want a cat that is declawed adopting an older cat is a great alternative to having the surgery performed yourself. Declawing can cause an array of undesirable behaviors and it can cause cats an unnecessary amount of pain.
If you are adopting you will be able to ask the staff if they have noticed the cat exhibiting any of the behaviors sometimes caused by declawing and you can prevent another cat from having to endure the surgery.
Save a Life:
No matter what age the cat you adopt is—you will be saving a life, but if you adopt an older cat you know you are making a huge difference in that animal’s life. Kittens tend to get adopted quickly while older cats are left waiting for the right home to come along.
After they have been waiting a while cats tend to get depressed, and it’s a downhill battle from there for staff to keep them alive. A depressed cat will often stop eating and refuse any specialty foods offered to it. The sooner an adult cat can get out of the shelter and into a home the better.
Adult cats tend to bond more closely with their owners than young kittens. I believe this is because they are grateful. They felt the fear and uncertainty of the shelter and when you came their life immediately improved. They will always associate you with their great life and they will love you dearly for it.
Kittens are maniacs. If you are convinced you want a kitten, I always advise people to get two. A single kitten will be into everything, climbing everything they can, pouncing on your feet, and just enjoying exploring everything in the world. On the other hand, adult cats are much more laid back. They are more interested in napping in the sun spots on the bed than chasing the lights from passing cars across the room.
If you are open to adopting two cats, but want older cats ask shelter staff if they have any bonded pairs. Pairs of cats frequently enter the shelter together when their owners pass away or move. Pairs can be hard to adopt out together, but many of these cats will stop eating without their best friend around to keep them company. Two bonded cats are the same amount of work as one, so you might as well go for it.
Adopting an older cat is a great way to get an amazing cat without all the work of kittenhood.
Be sure to check around the shelters in your area to find a cat that speaks to you, and don’t be afraid to visit several times before making your final decision.