When adding a feline companion to the family, one may ask themselves, should I adopt an adult cat or a kitten? Kittens are often favoured over adult cats due to being small and adorable, but adopting an adult cat has many pros that are often overlooked. So, why should you consider adopting an adult cat?
Kittens are very active and playful, which is often believed to be a preference when people are looking for a cat. This is especially the case when kids are involved, as the general belief is that they can keep eachother busy. However, some family situations may not be suitable for an active cat, and playfulness and being active, doesn’t always take shape how one may expect or hope.
Kittens love to play, but this isn’t always done carefully. They might use their nails and teeth, which is totally normal and would be how they play with feline siblings, but for kids, especially young ones, this play may be too rough. When kittens and kids play, rough play can scare the child, or even unintentionally hurt them. Due to their need to explore and be active, kittens also require a lot of supervision, and for busy families that are often out and about, this may not be an ideal situation.
There is a lot of charm in older cats, that have lost the kitten craziness, know how to play, and play when invited. And while all cats need play and enrichment, kittens are considered high maintenance when it comes to attending to their energetic needs.
Cats often get chosen based on looks, while character should be leading when picking your new feline family member. While you definitely already can distinct some character traits in kittens, how a kitten will turn out once grown, is not predictable. By adopting an adult cat, you have a much clearer sight of their true personality. Do you like cats that are snuggly couch potatos, or ones that need to be kept active and entertained? By adopting an adult you can much better decide which cat would suit your family dynamics.
Another plus of an adult cat is that they are physically full grown, and what you see is what you get. This is especially important when it comes to for example coat care, as long coats are high maintenance, and will require daily coat care and regular grooming, which is something one may not be able to commit to.
With maturity, also comes less destruction and disruptive behaviour. Kittens explore the world with their mouth, to test how things feel and what response it leads to. Having a kitten will result in objects getting bitten, and maybe even destroyed. This behaviour may also lead to dangerous situations around the home, such as biting cables, and one should kitten proof their home if they decide to bring a young cat in their family.
It’s often easier to integrate an adult cat into a family with already existing pets compared to a kitten. Due to the maturity of an adult cat, they often know how to behave around other animals, which makes the introduction process smoother. Kittens unintentionally can be rough and “rude”, which can make the process harder and may require more intervention. For cats that end up for adoption it’s often also already known if they can get along with other types of animals, so this can be kept in mind when adopting.
Love & Bonding
Just like kittens, adult cats have a lot of love to give. The belief that kittens will bond better with their humans compared to adult cats, is a myth, and it will all depend on the individual relationship and personalities involved. However, moving homes is stressful for every cat, and even more so if they are given up by their current family. When adopting a cat, you should give them plenty of time to settle, which in some cases can take months.
There are many pros to adopting an adult cat. Due to personalities already being developed, and the loss of the kitten craziness, it’s easier to make a good match based on family life and expectations. The age range of adult cats looking for a home ranges vastly, and many cats for adoption are just barely out of kittenhood. Giving a second life to an adult cat that is very rewarding, has many pros, and should definitely be considered when looking to add a feline to the family.