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Whilst kittens are infinitely cute and adorable, there are definite advantages to adopting an older cat. If you’re considering adding a new feline to your family, here are our top 5 reasons why you should adopt an older cat.
No surprises – what you see is what you get
When you adopt a kitten, they are still growing and their personality is still developing. Whereas when you adopt an older cat, you know exactly what you’re getting. You’ll know whether they are a calm and cuddly lap cat or more active and independent. You’ll also know their full-grown size, how much hair they shed, how quiet or vocal they are and how much attention they might demand or require.
It’s easier to find the cat that is the perfect fit for your family when you adopt an older cat. It’s also important to note that an adult cat will bond with you just as closely as a kitten will, once they are settled into their new home.
Older cats are usually house-trained
Older cats have usually been trained in basic household etiquette and acceptable behaviour. They know what their litter box is for and they use it for its intended purpose, so there won’t be any messy accidents. Compare that with kittens who are still learning. Kittens often roll around in their litter box, shovel it all over the floor or hide their toys in it, just for fun. I recall Charlie playing in the litter box as a kitten and somehow managing to tip the entire pee-soaked tray on his head.
Adult cats have typically been trained to use a scratching post too, so are far less likely to claw your sofa or tear your curtains to shreds. Naturally, older cats are less playful too. So they are less likely to pounce on and attack your feet when you’re lying in bed asleep. Senior cats are more inclined to spend their time lying in a sunny spot, rather than climbing the curtains or engaging in other destructive behaviour. Just think how much time and energy you’ll save by adopting an older cat that is already house-trained.
Older cats require less supervision
Kittens are active, curious and typically into everything. This means that they also require constant supervision to ensure they stay out of trouble. By comparison, older cats prefer a quieter lifestyle and are much calmer and more independent. They will probably still enjoy regular playtime with their humans and their favourite toy but they can easily be left at home alone during the day – they’ll sleep most of the time anyway.
This makes adult cats perfect for pet parents with busy, active lifestyles or who work full-time. Older cats are also ideal companions for older people, who may not be as mobile as they used to be.
Adult cats are a better choice for families
From both perspectives, children and kittens don’t always mix. Kittens have sharp claws and teeth and they have a tendency to play rough – any child in their path is likely to get scratched or bitten. At the same time, kittens can be fragile, and children don’t always understand ‘gentle’. How many kids have you seen accidentally pull a cat’s tail when trying to play with them? Older cats are generally more patient and understanding with children and less likely to react to some accidental rough handling. They also know how to run and hide until it’s safe to return.
When you adopt an older cat you give them a second chance
Adult cats are often the most difficult for shelters and rescue organisations to place in a new home. This is regardless of how healthy, attractive or well-behaved they are. It’s hard to compete with a cute, fluffy kitten!
Adult cats often end up looking for a new home through no fault of their own – as a result of divorce, sickness, death, or other family circumstances. All they really want is a home to call their own again and to be loved unconditionally. Whilst you may have a shorter time together, the bond you form with an older cat can be incredibly rewarding. Why not adopt an older cat and give them that second chance they deserve?
Have you ever adopted an older cat? Please share your experiences in the comments.