Of course kittens are so freaking adorable, who can resist a cute, cuddly Kitten. But there are many reasons why you should consider instead adopting an Older Cat rather than a kitten. The sad fact of the matter is there are far too many older cats who are locked up in shelters waiting for a new home through no fault of their own. Imagine suddenly being taken from your loved ones and being confined in a strange new environment, surrounded by other strange cats, while time after time you are passed by in favor of a playful little kitten. You would be confused and heartbroken too, right?
Older cats often end up in shelters because of circumstances beyond their control, such as losing their families through a change in circumstances, their owner passing away or going into a nursing home, or they are picked up as strays or rescued from a bad situation where they were mistreated or even in a hoarding situation. Too often we hear on the news about that smelly house next door that is discovered to have hundreds of cats living in it. Is that the cat’s fault? Certainly not. Every cat deserves to have a home where they are loved and treated well.
Benefits of Having an Older Cat
Cats today have a much longer life span, often living into their late teens or early 20’s, so adopting an older cat means you can still enjoy many years together with your new little furry buddy. Older cats are less rambunctious and are more content to settle onto your lap and just appreciate being with you.
When adopting a cute little kitten, you never know what they will grow up to be like while an older cat is already fully developed in its appearance and behavior, so what you see is what you get.
An adult cat is less likely to get into all kinds of mischief. Kittens, because of their curiosity, often end up in more mishaps and accidents from falling and jumping from high places, to eating stuff they shouldn’t. An older cat will have outgrown all of that and be much more calm and settled.
Just like little children, kittens like to put everything into their mouths and they chew up all kinds of stuff while they are busy exploring their world, from chewing on electrical cords to chewing up your ear lobes or shoes, drapery cords, strings, plants, etc. Adult cats usually chew things up much less or not at all, which is a huge plus in my book.
Kittens are extremely high energy little bundles of trouble that require much more supervision than an adult cat. An older cat sleeps more, plays less and can be left unsupervised for longer periods of time.
If you have small children, it is much safer and better to adopt an older cat rather than a kitten. While your child may not mean to hurt a kitten, it is more likely to happen with a kitten because kids like to roughhouse and even though they don’t mean any harm a kitten may still be injured. But an adult cat can better protect itself or even run and hide if a kid is messing with it.
One of the best arguments for adopting an older cat is that they already know and understand what a little box is for and as long as you keep it clean and tidy, they will usually cooperate and use it properly. But kittens often will play in their litter box and treat it like a sandbox or even sleep in it and generally create more of a mess.
This may be a cat’s last chance at living a full and happy life. It makes me so sad to think of these great pets being confined in a cage, scared and confused while being passed by over and over again in favor of a cute little kitten. Remember, for an abandoned, lonely, heartbroken older cat you may be their final chance to learn about the love and warmth of living out the rest of their lives in comfort instead of confinement.
Adopting an older cat will add years of enjoyment to your life as well as theirs. Cats typically stay active and playful throughout their lives, and with a little extra patience to help your new feline adjust to your home, making her feel safe and secure, you can have many years of companionship and love together.