Do I Have To Adopt A Cat Or Buy A Kitten?


Your decision as to whether you should rather have a kitten or an adult cat depends on various aspects. Both experiences can be enriching. A little research beforehand can help ensure that your new pet becomes a happy and well-integrated member of the family.

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether you should adopt an adult cat or a kitten. It’s important to research your options thoroughly and contact responsible breeders or shelters who can support you with information and advice.

A number of factors can influence your decision, such as whether you want a cat of a particular breed and whether you have the time to housetrain a kitten. Both experiences can be very enriching, but both are very different.


Adoption of an adult cat

Most people gravitate towards a kitten when looking to add a cat to their family, but adopting an adult cat offers a number of benefits. Animal shelters across the country are full of cats of all ages looking for homes, including some pedigree cats.

Advantages of adopting an adult cat

  • Giving a home to an adult cat is a responsible decision and can be very rewarding.
  • You can choose from a variety of cats of different looks, ages and temperaments.
  • The staff at the shelter know each cat well and can help you choose the right cat for you.
  • Adult cats usually already know how to use a litter box.
  • Adult cats may be quieter than kittens.
  • Shelter cats are usually treated for parasites, checked by a veterinarian and may be neutered and vaccinated before you take them home.
  • Behavioral traits and temperament are already developed in an adult cat, so you can find a pet that already exhibits desired traits.

Challenges of Adopting an Adult Cat

  • Many shelter cats have uncertain past histories and some may need special care to make them comfortable in their new homes.
  • An adult cat may already have bad habits that are difficult to change.
  • The critical phase of socialization in an adult cat is long past, but there is still room for behavior change.


Where can you adopt a cat?

There are a number of places where a cat can be adopted, but the most common choice is an animal shelter. When choosing an animal shelter, it’s important to ask many questions regarding policy, care, and hygiene procedures.

Another mark of a good shelter is that some effort is put into socializing the cats and getting them used to the normal aspects of family life.


Other places to save a cat:

  • Friends, neighbors or acquaintances may have cats that they can no longer care for.
  • Veterinarians near you. It’s worth asking your local vet, as they often take in abandoned cats and kittens.


Choosing a kitten

For many, the perfect cat means having a specific breed. Retrieving a kitten from a shelter rather than an adult cat will ensure you get what you desire.

There are many different breeds of cats, each with different physical and behavioral characteristics. Therefore, it is important to do your research and choose a breed that suits your lifestyle.

Most responsible breeders prefer not to leave their purebred kittens and mother until they are over 12 weeks of age. This ensures they are ready to separate and have been properly vaccinated. This period is also the most important period of socialization for kittens. It is therefore important to speak to the breeder and ask what measures have been taken to support the kitten’s development.

Kittens can also be purchased from an animal shelter. In these cases it is more difficult to be certain of their parentage. That being said, the shelter staff may be able to spot the kittens’ personality traits and help you choose the traits that would work best for your home environment. While they may be able to spot some distinctive traits in kittens, much is left to chance. However, as many fans of mixed breeds will tell you, that is part of their charm.


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