Should I adopt a kitten or a full grown cat?

Adult cats are much harder to find a home for. Hundreds of thousands of adult cats are euthanized yearly in animal shelters because homes can’t be found for them. During kitten season (in the spring and summer, especially), older cats are euthanized to make room for the kittens that are much easier to rehome.

An adult cat will spend its life being eternally grateful that you picked them. They’re desperate for attention and thankful they’re not languishing in a shelter anymore and that they’ll never be abandoned again.

Kittens are not recommended for children under five years of age. Kittens have not learned to retract their claws and can accidentally scratch when they play. When a rambunctious child won’t back off and leave the kitty alone, an adult cat can jump high to get away, hiss to warn, or swat with claws retracted. When a kitten gets overstimulated, they’ll bite, play attack, and wrestle.

Kittens are fragile and may accidentally be hurt by a young child, and a young child is more likely to be hurt by a kitten. Kittens are perfect for families with older, more responsible children.

Kittens aren’t kittens very long. They require constant supervision and are very energetic. Kittens unsupervised may climb your curtains, chew on your plants (which can be very dangerous for them), or chew your phone wires. Adult cats are more laid back and calm.

If you’re over 65, you probably want to consider an adult cat. Odds are the kitten will outlive you. Stray Haven has a Senior Cats for Senior Laps foster program that caters to clients over 65.

An adult cat has built up a stronger immune system, body system and organs. A kitten’s immune system is still immature and very fragile. A kitten may be more prone to illnesses and viruses. A kitten appearing fine one day can be sick the next day. The younger they are, the more at risk they are of getting sick. All of our kittens and adults are receive the FVRCP vaccine to help protect against illness.

Physical and personality characteristics in kittens can change. In the first year, a kitten’s face, eye color, color and length of fur can change. As a kitten matures, its true personality emerges. Whereas, with an adult cat, you know exactly what you’re getting because their personalities, eye color, coat, and body type are already fully developed. If you’re seeking certain personality traits in a cat, consider an older teenage kitten or an adult cat. A kitten’s personality is unpredictable as they grow.

At the time of adoption, adult cats are usually fully vaccinated. Kittens may not be old enough for their rabies shot and may just have their first or second distemper shot. There’s usually a series of three to four distemper shots for kittens. A kitten will have its first worming, but will need one or two more treatments. There will be the expense of follow-up vet appointments to cover the additional shots and worming for kittens. There’s a bigger financial commitment involved with a kitten during its first year. If you want a declawed cat, we may have an adult that is already declawed (we do not declaw our cats, but sometimes they come to us declawed).

Cats need companionship. However, most of us have to work for a living. If your cat is going to be left alone for long periods of time, we recommend a companion. Kittens that have a buddy won’t be as destructive and get in as much trouble when they have each other to play with. If two cats aren’t a possibility, we suggest you consider a teenager or adult. They acclimate better to being left alone.

Hopefully, this information helps you in your adoption decision.

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