Is it better to adopt a kitten or a cat?

March 13, 2014

Are you torn between taking in a kitten or an adult cat that needs a home? Here are a few avenues worth exploring before you adopt a new pet.

Adopting a kitten: The pros and cons

  • It is a mistake to presume that you can do anything you like with a kitten. Every cat—baby or adult—has its very own personality. It can be all too easy for a family to let a cute, active kitten grow up to run the show at home.
  • A kitten is likely to adapt to a new home much faster than an adult cat, especially when there are other animals around. Because it is tiny and sweet, the members of the family are naturally attracted to the kitten.
  • A kitten can get away with many daily blunders much more easily than an adult cat would. Spilled plants, curtains shredded by tiny claws and broken knick-knacks on the floor tend to be more tolerated from a kitten who is going through a learning process.
  • However, akitten’s high-octane energy level and the annoying scratches of little claws can overwhelm some pet owners, leading them to throw in the towel and abandon the cat at a animal shelter.
  • There are expenses to be considered when acquiring a kitten. It will need to be vaccinated, spayed or neutered (a mandatory procedure in certain municipalities), and declawed, if you choose to do so. And, because a kitten’s health can be rather fragile, it may be vulnerable to viruses and bacteria, in which case some additional health expenses may come up.

    Adopting an adult cat: The pros and cons

  • Adopting a cat as an adult also has its advantages: it has likely already been spayed or neutered, mischief is a thing of the past and it will need less supervision. Usually, a daily cuddle session with some petting or brushing is all that’s needed. In addition, an adult cat is clean; it knows how to groom itself and use a litter box.
  • Because an adult cat has a developed personality, it is easier to make a more informed choice about exactly who you’re bringing home. Generally speaking, adult cats are happy to find themselves in a stable family home once again. On the other hand, if the cat comes from a less stable environment, it may take longer to adapt. After the transition period, however, the adult cat will likely remain loyal and make an excellent companion.

Before you adopt a cat

It can’t be stressed enough: before adopting a pet, you must ask yourself if you are ready to take on the responsibility, make certain sacrifices and exercise patience. You’ll have to think about your budget, your lifestyle, your motivations and the needs of any children or other animals already in the home. If you adopt a cat you can’t go into it with your eyes closed. Be sure you make the best choice for you and for your family. Speak to friends who are pet owners, and speak to your neighbourhood veterinarian. He or she can answer all your questions and outline the costs that will be required for your new cat’s care.

Is it better to adopt a kitten or a cat?
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