.Why You Should Adopt An Older Cat
Most of the time, when people talk about getting a new cat, their first thought goes to an adorable little kitten.
If you are wanting to not deal with the kitten phase, the second most common is a 6 month-1 year old cat.
Rarely, the first thing people gravitate towards when they think of a cat is senior kitty. (They’re all kitties in my mind).
But there are plenty of reasons why you should at least consider adopting an adult or senior feline and not instantly fall for the appeal of a cute kitten.
Older Cats Are Cleaner
First, let’s start with one to really win you over on the older cats.
Kittens tend to be very energetic and play with not only toys but also inside their litter box. This means that they may kick litter out or run around their box like a racetrack while learning what the box is for, leaving the litter mess for you to clean up.
Most of the time, that energy burns off as they get older and cats get more particular about their litter box.
Adult cats are typically already used to their litter box and do not like to play in it after they have buried their waste. Sure, they may still track litter out of the box, but they are not as messy as their kitten counterparts.
And oftentimes, they are even better about covering up their messes after many months of practice.
Older cats also self-clean better than kittens. Kittens don’t lick themselves as much as adult cats do, so you may find yourself cleaning your kitten with baby wipes and fine-toothed combs to get debris off of them.
(The amount of times I have had to clean my kitties tails because they had poo on them. Too many to count).
Older cats do not typically need your help with regular grooming, unless they have long hair, because they will naturally keep themselves clean with their abrasive tongues.
Finally, older cats can be cleaner when it comes to foods.
Kittens, especially ones that are switching foods or are just weaned, are more likely to develop diarrhea than older cats. Kittens have dietary changes within the first couple of years of life that older cats do not typically experience. These dietary changes can cause some loose stools.
Loose stools usually mean more clean-up on both your kitten’s hind end and the litter box, as well as odors for you to manage.
They also can be messy eaters when it comes to their energy levels, so its on both ends. (Hehe, get it?!)
Older Cats Aren’t Teething
Like with humans, kittens have baby teeth. These baby teeth need to fall out before their adult teeth come in.
When the kittens are teething, there is a greater chance that they will chew on items like a human child does.
Wires, shoelaces, furniture, and more are all at risk for being chewed on. So, it should be expected that a kitten may cause some damage with their teeth.
Older cats, on the other hand, already have adult teeth and are no longer teething.
You Get What You’re Looking at With an Older Cat
One of the biggest comments I get from people who adopt kittens are their energy levels.
They have a hard time figuring out if their spunky personality is their age, or if that is truly who they are.
Older cats are finished growing when they are adopted, whereas kittens are still growing and changing.
So if you like your quite tempered cat at the shelter, chances are they will still be calm when they are in your home.
You may also get a surprise when it comes to the appearance of kittens. You could end up with a long-haired cat when you really wanted a short haired one. But if you adopt an older cat, you’ll be sure to know what you’re getting when it comes to their appearance.
Older Cats Cause Less Trouble
Just like human children, kittens tend to cause more trouble than adults.
Kittens are curious and mischievous and seem to get into things they shouldn’t, knock things off counter tops, eat things that aren’t edible, and exhaust you.
You have to kitten proof your home before you bring them home.
While it is still smart to pet proof your home before bringing any animal home, older cats require much less preparation.
Older cats tend to sleep more and don’t wear you out as much as a kitten does.
Older Cats Are Better for Children
The smaller something is, the more easily it can be broken by a child, and cats are no exception. Kittens are more fragile than an older cat.
Kittens can fall or be dropped, get stepped on accidentally, or squeezed too tightly in a hug. But older cats are sturdier, less breakable by children, and know how to get out of the way to avoid being stepped on.
Chances are, your older cat will tend to be more patient with toddlers and kids than a kitten. Kittens will take their rough housing as a means to play and can accidentally hurt your kid.
Older cats will often be more adept to being petted, something children want to do with a cat, and kittens tend to be too wiggly to want to sit still and be stroked.
Older Cats Need You
Finally and most importantly, all cats need homes.
If you still haven’t been convinced that adopting an older cat is a good idea, then keep in mind that you may be their last chance for a home.
Kittens are cute and get adopted very easily.
Older cats are less likely to be adopted. And they run the risk of living out their lives in a shelter or foster home. Worse, they can even being euthanized if they don’t get a home.
These sweet-tempered cats are absolutely perfect if you want a snuggle buddy to sit on the couch with. And older cats will not completely turn your life around.
Sadly, it also typically is never the fault of the adult cat for ending up without a family.
Sometimes elderly people need to live in nursing homes that don’t allow cats. Or the previous owners simply couldn’t afford to care for a pet. (Not going down that rabbit hole in this post…but be on the lookout).
Older stray cats may have never had a home to begin with and are worth taking a chance on, too.
You may have less time with them on this planet. But it doesn’t take a lifetime to impact their lives. And chances are, they will leave a pretty lasting impression on you as well.