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Cat or Kitten: Which Should You Adopt?
Many people who decide to adopt a new feline for their family think they should start with a "clean slate" by choosing a kitten. Many people like the idea of watching their pet grow. What most people don't realize, however, is that caring for a kitten is a lot like caring for a baby. Young kittens need almost constant supervision. You must kitten-proof your home from common household dangers - electrical and computer cords, knickknacks, household cleaners, drawers, window screens, toilet bowls, your feet, and other pets can place a kitten's safety at risk. Young children move quickly and like to hug pets. Kids can accidentally hurt a small kitten, which might bite or scratch if it's frightened. The right adult cat, on the other hand, is more likely to tolerate children and less likely to be injured. Senior citizens are often unprepared for a kitten's energy level and would actually get more enjoyment from the company of a calm adult or senior cat. Kittens are often underfoot and can cause even a sure-footed young person to trip or stumble, injuring both kitty and friend. Kittens have endless energy. Expect your kitten to spend its nights scaling your drapes and running up and down your stairs and across your countertops. Rarely will a young kitten sleep at the foot of your bed. Furthermore, kittens grow quickly, becoming nearly full size by six months of age but often continuing kitten behaviors for much longer.
An adult cat, however, is generally much calmer and less likely to get into trouble. And, because an adult cat is fully developed, you know what you're getting in terms of size, appearance and personality. For example, you can tell whether or not it is the type to sit on your lap. Depending on your own age and lifestyle, you may be happier with an adult cat in your family. If you have a quiet lifestyle, work outside the home, or have children under the age of six, give serious thought to adopting an adult cat or two.
The best part about adopting an adult or senior cat? You're literally saving a life. Because most people want to adopt kittens, a cat's chances for adoption decrease with age. Most of these cats make wonderful pets when someone gives them a chance. MEOW is a no-kill shelter. The cats here will remain here, or in foster care, until they are adopted. Although their odds are improving, many older cats brought into shelters are euthanized. By adopting an adult cat from any shelter, you are helping to make room for another, who might otherwise be put to death.
Finally, at MEOW, we will not place a single kitten in a catless home or a home with only older cats. Kittens need a playful buddy, somebody to wrestle with, to bite and scratch, somebody to chase from one end of the room to the other, somebody to curl up with for a nap. Certainly, they enjoy human companionship, love to play with you, and will learn that a human lap is one of the best possible places to nap. But if they don't have a kitten buddy to wrestle with and to learn from, they may decide the human in their life is suitable for these rough activities as well. Once this inappropriate play behavior begins, it's difficult to break. If you do feel that kittens are the best choice for you, please be prepared for all that this will bring to your home, the good and the bad. If a pair of kittens is out of the question and you really want only one pet, do the right thing for everyone - adopt an adult cat.