Kitten Adoption or Adult Cat Adoption?

Kitten adoption and / or adult cat adoption is something many of you will have done already, or be thinking of doing. Whether to adopt a kitten or a fully grown cat is one of the first things you'll need to decide.

This page goes through the main advantages of adopting cats that are fully grown, and of adopting kittens. Some circumstances where one or the other would be more preferable are also looked at.

Adult Cat Adoption - Advantages

  • You'll be giving an animal that's much harder to re-home a chance of a new life and quite possibly be saving him or her from a death sentence. Sadly, thousands and thousands of adult cats are euthanized every year because homes can't be found for them. In Spring (kitten season) especially, older cats in shelters are sometimes euthanized to make way for the many kittens which are easier to re-home. For me, this is the strongest reason for adopting cats that are fully grown
  • Adult cats are calmer and less boisterous than kittens, so are less likely to wreck your house and destroy the peace!
  • Many older cats from shelters will have been spayed or neutered and may well have had their vaccinations
  • This may sound sentimental, but it's true - adult cats are so grateful for the chance of a new home (many languish in shelters for months before they're adopted) - that they quite often settle in more quickly than kittens

Kitten Adoption - Advantages

kitten adoption

  • This goes without saying really and doesn't need any further explanation - they are so cute and adorable!
  • You get to raise them and train them as you want - for example you can decide if you want them to go outdoors or stay inside. If you adopt an adult cat you may have to change some of its behavior to suit your lifestyle (or change your lifestyle to suit its behavior!)
  • Unfortunately many kittens are euthanized every year too because homes can't be found for them. Giving a kitten a home helps to reduce this number

Circumstances Where Adopting an Adult Cat is Preferable

  • If you're over 65, a kitten may outlive you, so you'd be better off with an older cat
  • If you like peace and quiet and don't relish the thought of parts of your home being destroyed, an adult cat is a better choice

  • picture of grey persian cat face

  • If you have young children (under about age 5 or 6) an adult cat is probably better, as young children are more likely to hurt kittens, albeit unintentionally
  • If you're getting a companion for an older adult cat another adult is often better, as they won't torment your existing cat the way a kitten will
  • If you're out a lot and can't give a kitten lots of attention an adult that's used to being left alone is probably a better choice

Circumstances Where Kitten Adoption is Preferable

  • You have the time and patience to look after them, train them and give them enough attention. Kittens are often good in households where there are older children (aged over 5 or 6) for this reason
  • You're getting the kitten as a companion for another kitten or for a young adult cat

Kitten adoption or adult cat adoption choices depend on a number of factors, but weighing up the pros and cons of each before you adopt will pay huge dividends in the long run.

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