You’re thinking about adopting a new cat. That’s wonderful! You get to the local shelter and immediately fall in love with the tiny adorable kittens. While most people simply forgo the adult cats for a kitten, there are a lot of great reasons you should adopt an adult cat.
You should adopt an adult cat rather than or in addition to a kitten because adult cats are better behaved than kittens in general. If you decide to adopt a kitten in addition to adopting an older cat, perhaps the older cat will model good behavior for the kitten. I noticed almost immediately that my kitten mimicked the behavior of my adult cat. If you decide to adopt an adult cat alone, you will not need to spend as much time training it. It is likely that an adult cat will already know how to utilize its litter box, will know not to scratch furniture, and not to climb on the countertops. One major difference I noticed between my adult and kitten cat is whereas my kitten jumped onto the curtains and hung from them with his claws, my adult cat never exhibited this behavior.
The second reason you should adopt an adult cat instead of or in addition to a kitten is that older cats are much less likely to get adopted. When I adopted Carmine, he was only four months old, still a kitten. He was in a cage with another cat known as Mr. Pib. The two cage mates appeared to really enjoy each other’s company! I desperately wanted to take Mr. Pib home with me as well as Carmine, especially given Mr. Pib was a couple of years old. However, Mr. Pib had long hair, which posed a problem for my cat allergies. I could not even be near him without sneezing. If you are able to take an adult cat home with you, I highly recommend doing so. All cats are worthy and deserving of as much love and care as kittens receive.
Another good reason to adopt an older cat is that oftentimes, these cats already know how to use the litter box. On the contrary, you might need to continue to work on training a kitten to use its litter box.
Older cats may have had previous owners, but being in a shelter again does not mean the cat is a “bad” cat. Owners may have to take their cats back to shelters for many reasons. Some cats get lost, and are not found for a long period of time after their disappearance. By the time the cat is found, the owner’s circumstances may have changed. Such was the case with me. I adopted a pretty calico cat from a local animal shelter shortly before I moved into a new apartment building. My landlord had to fix the screens in my windows, and unbeknownst to me, he had left one of the windows open enough so that my new cat could, and did, get out. About a month after her disappearance, I figured she wasn’t going to turn up. I adopted another cat. Yet, when she was found, I could no longer take her into my home, as I could not support three cats. So, I had to allow someone else to adopt her and give her the love and care she deserved. Other previous owners may have had to go into a skilled nursing care facility. Still, others may have developed allergies severe enough to drive them to take their cats back to a shelter. Give one of these lonely cats a new loving home!
I mentioned earlier that adult cats are better behaved than kittens. This is true, but it doesn’t mean adult cats aren’t playful! In fact, my 3 year-old cat, Milita, runs up and down the hallway or dives into you when she wants to play, which is a regular occurrence. She loves playing with dangling toys; she could play with them for hours and never get bored!
You get the best of both worlds when you adopt an adult cat. You get a cat who loves to play and who knows the rules. So, next time you are considering adopting one or more cats, consider an adult cat who might not otherwise have a chance at a good, loving home like yours.