When people go into a shelter looking for a cat, they’re often looking for the ‘newer models’: kittens. There are so many fantastic cats that are overlooked solely because of their age, and older kitties are usually the first to be put down! If you’re thinking about adding a kitty (or two) to your life, here are some reasons why a mature cat might be perfect for you.
Kittens are sweet and adorable, but they’ve got boundless energy in their tiny frames. They won’t leave you alone when it’s time for bed, have to be trained, and devour things left on countertops. With an older cat, they’ve probably already had homes, have dealt with all of the litterbox stuff at a tender age and have slowed down considerably. When it comes to adult cats, you can usually see what you’re getting in terms of personality and habits.
Are you on a budget? It sounds awful to phrase it this way, but older cats are a great deal! Many adult cats have already been spayed/neutered, dewormed, immunized and some of them have already been declawed (note: I advise against any declawing of future pets, but that’s for another time.)
Plus, many shelters have free adoptions for mature cats!
When you’re obtaining a kitten, you really don’t know what direction their personality is going to take them. They might turn out to be a lovely, fluffy pile of sweetness. They might bite you in the face while you’re sleeping (I may know this from experience.)
Shelters give you an insight into your older cat’s behaviors, like if they get along with other animals, if they have any health problems, if they sleep all the time, or even if they’re used to households with children.
Speaking of children, older cats are often a better option if you have smaller children in the house. No matter how much training or advice you give kids, they haven’t grown into their fine motor skills yet. Older cats can handle a little more “rough handling” than kittens, who might react with scratching or biting (and those little claws and teeth hurt). A mature cat is more likely to put up with it.
Since we’re talking about young children, why not talk about senior citizens, too? Older cats are a perfect addition to a venerable person’s home because they’re calmer, more relaxed and far less destructive than kittens. Kittens want to play constantly, and that can be taxing for someone who has limited mobility.
If you’re looking to add a cat to a house with other animals, older cats have an easier time integrating with other cats. Adding a kitten into the mix stresses your older cats out, because if you’re not playing with them, they’re playing with them. Cats enjoy their routines and independence and upending the balance in the home can be extremely stressful. It’s true that there are some cats that just don’t get along with other animals, but your animal shelter should be able to shine a light on that. Many older cats have already lived (well) with others.
Studies have shown that—after rescuing an adult cat—these animals show gratitude and love in unbridled ways. They are unbelievably grateful that you have given them a warm home, whereas kittens have always believed that home was theirs.
So if you’re out looking for a cat, consider an older one. They have immense love and gratitude to give, are already more responsible than their younger counterparts, and fit in with other animals and people extremely well. There isn’t really a reason why you shouldn’t consider adopting one!