If you and your family have decided you want to get a cat, there are lots of decisions to make to ensure you get a pet that will be happy in your home and compatible with your lifestyle. Unless you are especially fussy about the breed of cat you want (for instance, for allergy reasons), the best thing to do is adopt one from a shelter, as this is cheaper than buying a pedigree breed. It also means you’ll be helping a cat find a new forever home.
However, when you go to pick out your new pet from a rescue center, you’re likely to have the choice between adult cats and kittens, and which you choose can be quite important. As well as checking out the ultimate guide to adopting a kitten or cat here, here are some things to consider when deciding if a kitten or mature cat is better for you.
Kittens Are Hard Work
Kittens are, of course, just about the most adorable things on the planet, but like all babies, they need quite a lot of attention as they learn how to be cats. Kittens are not a good idea if you are out for most of the day, as they shouldn’t really be left unattended for too long. While cats don’t take much training, as they generally use their litter box instinctively, a young kitten will explore a lot and will need a lot of supervision. If you can’t do this, an adult cat that settles into your home more quickly and doesn’t need to be looked after at all times is a much better choice – though, of course, even adult cats will need a lot of love and attention as they get used to their new surroundings.
An adult cat can also be easier in the sense that when adopted, they are likely to already have been spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Depending on the age of the kitten, he or she may not have had these important things done yet, and so you’ll need to take responsibility for that. For most people, this isn’t a problem, but if you’d rather not have to do all of this, it’s better to get an older cat whose veterinary history is known.
Children and Other Pets
Another factor to consider is your family and other pets you already have. If you have existing cats, then a kitten may be a better option as it will be less threatening to them and more likely to bond. If you have very young children, however, an older cat that has already been around kids can be a better option, as children can frighten cats.
Whether it’s a tiny kitten or a grownup cat, you are sure to love your new pet, but it is worth thinking about which age of cat is best suited to you and your family, rather than simply going for a kitten because it’s really cute!