Adult cat vs kitten: things to consider when getting a cat

Have you decided you want a cat in your life? We already discussed good places to get a kitten, however, have you considered adopting an adult cat?

a woman with an adopted ginger adult cat
 Happy cat, happy owner.

There are several advantages to choosing an adult cat, as you will see in the list below. At the same time, getting a kitten is the obvious choice for most cat owners. Let’s find out which is better: getting a kitten or an adult cat.

  • Cuteness. We don’t need to convince you. Kittens are way cuter than adult cats. They play, they lump, they are curious about everything. Being cute is the most popular reason why people choose kittens over adult cats. We’re not implying that adult cats are not cute, or that cuteness is everything. No, no. Adult cats are too; besides, there’s one problem with kitten cuteness: they grow out of it rapidly.
  • Safety. Accidents are something we all want to avoid. Catproofing a house is something to scratch your head for. Tangled cords, ledges to fall from, household chemicals and other danger. While both adults and kittens require safety precautions, kittens get in trouble more easily. It’s not that bad, though. It’s still possible to kitten proof the house, just, it takes more work. You can read more about cat proofing your home here.
  • Introductions. Kittens accept rehoming more readily than adult cats. Also, if you have cats at home already, things will go smoother if you introduce them to a kitten. It is because kittens learn much faster, and they are more likely to explore their new territory despite being scared of it. At the same time, worry not if you must bring home an adult cat. Though it may take time for him to recognize you as a good person, it is possible to rehome them smoothly if you understand how. You can check our article about introducing a cat to his new home.
  • Time. Caring for a kitten takes time. People often tag cats as “low maintenance” pets. Though, partially true, it isn’t for kittens. They require a lot of attention, supervision, playing, mess cleaning, training and more. Are you up to it? Well, if all your family members work a full-time job, then probably an adult cat is a better choice.
  • Training. This coin has two sides. First, kittens are much easier to train because they learn so quickly. For example, litter training a kitten happens almost automatically, while adult cats require a huge effort if they haven’t been trained already. On the other hand, if the yare trained, you need to provide a litter box. If you are adopting a cat from a shelter, ask why he was brought in. If it was because of a behavior problem, it might be hard to correct.
  • What you see is what you get. Kittens are still developing, and it’s not easy to assess their temperament. If you are looking for an active cat, most kittens are active, and it’s not easy to foresee which of them will be lazy at adulthood. It’s also true for other stuff, and not only personality related. Looks may also develop over time, and if a specific pattern is essential for you, an adult cat would be a better choice. On the other hand, personality can be molded, to an extent. If you want your cat to be active, you can encourage him to be so. And, again, it’s much easier to shape a cat’s personality while he’s growing, rather than breaking the personality adult cat already has.
  • Expenses. In general, care for kittens cost more. There is a series of vaccinations and the food that kittens eat is slightly more expensive. However, we think the gap is not that large, and tables may turn at any time, since you can not predict unexpected expenses, like a chronic illness, a robbery by a veterinarian or similar.
  • Saving a life. Many might believe that adopting a cat saves a life. It does, but when you select an adult cat, it is more concrete. You see, a kitten in a shelter is almost guaranteed to be adopted. At the same time, adult cats can wait years and years for their owner and never live to be taken home. If you genuinely want to save a life and if it is the sole reason why you even are considering a cat, go for an adult cat.

We hope this article helped you to decide whether you should get an adult cat or a kitten. Remember, there’s no way to say that ones are better over the others, but it depends on your preferences and resources available. Both sides have advantages over the other side.

This article is a part of a series: how to care for your first cat.
Up next: How to choose a healthy kitten
Previous: At what age can you take a kitten home

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