Should I Adopt a Cat or a Kitten?
Everyone wants a kitten, and yes, kittens are cute. But, lots of beautiful adult cats need homes too. If you truly want to save a life, please don�t forget �Yesterday�s Kittens� when making your selection of a new pet.
Please consider the following:
- A kitten is only a kitten for a very short period of time.
- Adult cats don�t require constant supervision - kittens do.
- Adult cats don�t run the Indy 500 in the middle of the night.
- Kittens can be destructive: Toppling plants, chewing wires, climbing your curtains, and climbing your legs.
- Adult cats have developed a strong immune system. A kitten�s immune system is fragile and its health can never be predicted.
- The younger the kitten, the less reliable the Feline Leukemia/FIV test is.
- Adults only need booster shots once every year or two. Kittens require a much larger financial commitment in their first year.
- Adults will already be neutered, and many times are already declawed.
- Do not assume a kitten will live longer than an adult. There is no way to predict the life span of a cat. The kitten you choose may only live 12 years. The 5 yr. old adult you choose may live another 15 or more years.
- You cannot �mold a kitten�s personality�. Each cat�s personality is unique. Adult cats� personalities are developed, so �what you see is what you get�.
- Adult cats are more settled, often more affectionate and want more lap time.
- Adult cats have LOTS of love to give!
- Adopting an adult cat is a great way to teach your children compassion and unselfishness.
- There is nothing more satisfying than the grateful purr of a content, mature cat who knows he�s loved and will never be abandoned again.
Adult cats will be fully vaccinated. A kitten will only have its 1st shot, and will need 2 more boosters in 4-6 weeks ($25-$30 ea.) A kitten will only have its first deworming, and will need 1 or more treatments ($10 ea.), plus fecal parasite checks ($13 ea.) If you plan to declaw, we may have an adult that is already declawed, saving you the expense ($100) and the hassle, and saving a cat the trauma.
All kittens are cute and playful! However, they only stay small for a very short time, and as they mature their true personalities emerge. It is impossible to predict what a kitten�s adult personality may ultimately be. A cat is born with a certain personality, and it is what it is. There is no such thing as �molding a kitten�s personality.� Cuddly kittens may turn into shy cats, no matter how well treated they�ve been. Very social kittens may grow into �loner� cats. Playful kittens may mature into quiet cats. The kitten that used to fall asleep in your lap may prefer not to be picked up as an adult.
We strongly suggest that if you are only going to be satisfied with a cat of a certain personality, that you consider adopting an older �teenage� kitten or an adult cat. This way, �what you see is what you get,� and you can then select the cat that is perfect for you and your family. Remember, this is the cat that will be part of your family for the next 15-20 years - not the little kitten that was so darn cute!
Likewise, it is impossible to predict what a kitten will physically grow into as an adult. Blue-eyed kittens grow into green-eyed adults. Small kittens grow into jumbo cats or seemingly large kittens may turn out to be petite adults. Short-haired kittens may grow large-plumed tails, and fluffy kittens may develop short sleek adult coats. Again, if you have strong preferences along any of these lines, we suggest that you adopt an adult cat that has already physically matured.
Kittens are very energetic and playful. They do not understand the difference between climbing up the wonderful cat tree that you bought for them or climbing up your expensive draperies or your pants leg � or even your bare leg! They do not understand the difference between batting around their jingle ball or batting around your pearl earrings or batting your favorite vase off of the shelf. Kittens wrestle and play very aggressively, are easily stimulated and need constant attention. Kittens, especially when left alone, may destroy your furniture, your phone wires, your plants or your shoes. Adult cats are calmer and are not as likely to destroy your furnishings or keep you awake at night. If declawing is a necessity, kittens cannot be declawed until they are 3-4 months of age, and it is highly recommended that declawing be delayed until 6 months of age so it can be done at the same time as the neutering. That can seem like an eternity when a kitten is ruining your best leather couch!
All animals need companionship. However, many of us are not home for long periods of time. Another pet is an ideal companion for most cats. Kittens learn socialization and security much better in pairs and will not exhibit as much destructive behavior when they have each other to wrestle with and cuddle with. We highly recommend that your cat or kitten not be an �only child� and that you adopt 2 cats if you do not already have other pets at home. If this is not a possibility, our policy is to not allow single kitten adoptions to households where the adults work outside the home. In these cases, we will insist that you choose a teenager or adult cat that is more able to acclimate to being left alone.
All of our cats are tested for Feline Leukemia and most adults are tested for FIV (feline AIDS). Kittens cannot be reliably tested for FIV until 6-8 months of age. All of our cats are examined by a veterinarian, are vaccinated against distemper-type viruses and are dewormed. We will not knowingly adopt out a sick animal. However, we cannot guarantee the health of any of our animals. Kittens are especially susceptible to many viruses and parasites, as their immune systems and digestive/intestinal tracts are very immature. A kitten appearing healthy one day can be very sick by the next day, and sometimes cannot be saved. The younger the cat is, the higher the risk of it getting sick. Older cats have stronger immune systems and more highly developed bodily systems and organs. Adults will be spayed/neutered before adoption. A kitten will have to be neutered when it matures. Though it�s generally a very routine procedure, there are always risks of anesthesia or complications of any surgery.
By far, the most common victims of animal bites and scratches are children. Young children, no matter how well behaved, do not realize how fragile a kitten is and do not always know how to handle such a small animal. Toys and other objects are inadvertently dropped and kittens are easily stepped on. Therefore, for the protection of both kitten and child, our general policy is that no kitten under the age of four months will be adopted to a family with children five years of age or younger.
We hope that this information helps you to make a thoughtful decision regarding adopting your new pet and that the resulting adoption experience is a positive one.