You know what your getting—hair length, personality, temperament, disabilities, if they like dogs, etc.
Adult cats tend to have excellent litter box manners where kittens may not be as good.
Adult cats are fastidious groomers—kittens, not so much.
A kitten’s health can be more fragile—immune systems may not be well developed and that means more trips to the veterinarian.
Kittens get into a lot of trouble and need lots of supervision—they will often eat anything, they knock things over, they fall, they find nooks and crannies to explore and get stuck in, etc.
Kittens bite and chew—they bite fingers, noses, earlobes, toes, arms, chins, electrical cords, blinds cords, shoelaces, plants, etc.
Kittens are needy—cats are social animals and kittens are used to being with their litter mates. It can be a frightening to be separated from their litter and then left alone all day long while you’re at work. An adult cat will still miss you, but won’t be as needy.
Do you already have an adult cat that needs a companion? Another adult cat is probably a less stressful addition than a frenetic, crazy kitten.
Adult cats are usually already spayed or neutered and have had all their vaccines.
Adult cats have stable digestive tracts—kittens are much more likely to get diarrhea.
Kittens are more easily hurt by small children—an adult cat should still be treated with care and children should be supervised with any animals, but an adult cat is better able to take care of itself.
Kittens are young for only a short time.
Adult cats are still very playful—kittens, on the other hand, have a ton of energy, need to play a lot and their timing may not be so convenient when you’re trying to sleep.
Adult cats are available for adoption year round—in areas where winters are cold and the days are short, kittens are born during “kitten season” and are mainly available from June through October.
Cats easily live into their late Teens now—an adult cat still has many years of happy life left. In fact, many “adult” cats at shelters are just last year’s kittens.
Adult cats are rarely at the shelter because there’s anything wrong with them—their human companion has died or moved to a nursing home, someone in the house developed an allergy, their owners got tired of them, they got lost and weren’t claimed.
Adult cats are much less likely to be adopted, while kittens are almost always quickly adopted.
In the past, we’ve always adopted kittens or young cats, but I really hope to be able to adopt an adult cat the next time we add to our family. Kittens are fun, but taking care of them well is a lot of work and every kitten we’ve adopted has had at least one health scare. I’d love to adopt a sturdy, adult cat with a known personality.
Please keep those sweet adult cats in mind next time you adopt!