7 Reasons to Adopt an Adult Cat

Cute cat enjoying his life outdoors.We all love cats for their affection, their companionship, and their entertainingly curious nature. When making the decision to invite a new cat into your life, it’s important to figure out what you’re looking for. A variety of factors can influence the cat’s temperament and behaviors, including age, breed, gender, and more. Many people assume that getting a kitten is the best option, but in many cases, getting an adult cat can be the best choice. If you’re thinking about getting a cat, read our list to see if adopting an adult cat is the best option for you.

1. You know what you’re getting: When you adopt a kitten, you get to enjoy the excitement of having a cute baby cat in your home that you can raise yourself. The problem with this is that you just never know how the cat will act when it grows up, along with the time and energy that it takes to train a kitten. With an adult cat, you can identify the temperament that you’re looking for and choose your pet accordingly.

When you visit the cats at your selected shelter, you can usually easily identify the adult cats with high-energy, the lap-sitters, the snugglers, the loners, and any other temperament that you may be looking for. Cats can change temperament a bit between the shelter and your home, but you can usually get a good feel during your initial meeting for how the cat in question will act. Many of the workers in your selected shelter have already gotten to know the cats pretty well, so you can always ask them to help you find a kitty with the temperament that you’re looking for.

Child hand stroking head of white cat.2. Less training: When you adopt an adult cat, there’s a good chance that they’ve already spent a portion of their life in a home, so they already know lots of basic rules. Many adult cats are already fully litter-trained, so you won’t have to take the time to teach them how to go potty. Cats will always be curious, and especially so when you bring them into a new home, but many adult cats have already been trained to keep off of counters and to not scratch at furniture. With a kitten, it may be necessary for someone to be at home with the kitten for the first week depending on the size of your home and its potential dangers, which many people don’t have time for.

When adopting your adult cat, you’ll have the chance to get background information on your future pet, including their upbringing. Many times cat-owners have to surrender their pets to the shelter due to hard times, allergies, and a variety of other reasons. In this case, you would essentially be bringing a cat into your home without having to exert any training energy.

3. More cost-effective: Most shelters offer discounted rates to adopt adult cats. In many cases, kittens can cost more than double the price to adopt over adult cats. Kittens require a plethora of veterinarian visits, which may or may not have been taken care of before adoption. Most shelters automatically spay/neuter and vaccinate the pets that come into their custody, saving you lots of time and money. With kittens, they may have health ailments that don’t show up until they reach the one-year mark. With an adult cat, you’ll know what is going on with their health, and they’ll more likely have had all of their shots and necessary procedures taken care of already.

Two children hug their pet cat with the boy showering a loving kiss on its head.4. Calmer temperament: Almost all kittens tend to be high-energy, curious, and naughty, which can be great fun in certain situations. However, if you aren’t in the mood to get constantly clawed and stalked, you may want to skip the kitten step and go right to an adult cat. Many cats retain the playful demeanor that kittens have for their whole lives, but as adults, they tend to be calmer and have a better sense of boundaries. As you get to know your cat better, you’ll get a sense for their tolerance for playtime, for petting, and for affection.

Kittens are much less predictable, and need to learn how to calm down and what amount of rough play is appropriate. If you have children, especially young ones, an adult cat could be the perfect fit for your family. Many adult cats have already had experience with children, based on their previous home life. If this is a priority of yours, you can let the shelter workers know, and they’ll point you in the direction of the most family-friendly cats that are available.

5. Could be de-clawed: Lots of cat owners desire a de-clawed cat, but feel that the operation is inhumane or too expensive. Outdoor cats should not be declawed, because this disables them from fleeing from predators by climbing trees and defending themselves in the great outdoors. However, if you’re looking for an indoor cat, many times you can find an adult cat to adopt that has already been de-clawed, saving you the time, money, and ethical decisions that come with de-clawing a cat.

Adopting an already de-clawed adult cat is a great option for families with small children, as there will be no threat of the cat getting too aggressive with its claws and scratching the kids. You’ll just have to make sure that your kids know to not play too rough, because without claws, cats will go to biting when feeling annoyed or bothered. Another perk is that you won’t have to worry about the cat clawing at furniture, since it won’t have any claws to do so. Many adoptable cats are already either de-clawed on just their front paws, or both front and back paws.

6. No allergy surprises: Many times, first-time cat owners adopt a kitten, and have no issues with allergies. As the cat grows up, the makeup of their dander and saliva matures, and many people realize too late that they’re allergic to that particular cat. This can end up being very traumatic for the cat owner, since they then have to make the tough decision of keeping the cat or not.

Cat allergies are caused by the immune system overreacting to harmless things like cat dander, cat saliva, and cat urine. The body reacts to these things the same way that it would bacteria or a virus, causing an allergic reaction. By selecting an adult cat, you can tell as early as a few minutes in on your first encounter whether or not you’ll have allergies to the cat, saving you the time and heartbreak of late onset allergies. If you have had any allergy issues with cats in the past, looking into adopting an adult cat could be your best option before exploring hypoallergenic cats, as they are more expensive and sparse.

Cute ginger cat sleeps on warm knit sweater7. Needs a home more than a kitten: It is estimated that the majority of shelter cats are over 5 years old. Each cat that is in the shelter is at risk of euthanasia, with the exception of no-kill shelters. When you adopt a cat from a shelter, you are not only giving it a more comfortable living space, you are also saving it’s life. Kittens are quick to adopt out of shelters, whereas adult cats are much more likely to be overlooked. Most animals living in shelters are in immediate risk of being euthanized, and any feline you adopt will be so grateful for it.

If you’re thinking about adopting an adult cat, your local animal shelter will have great resources for you to get the process started. Keep an eye out for monthly specials on adult cat adoptions, as many shelters offer adoption fees as low as $5, in an effort to get as many cats adopted out as possible. Best of luck, and have fun with your new furry family member!

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