By: Kim, Animal Care and Adoption Counselor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kitten season is upon us. For some, this is an exciting time of being able to have the pick of kittens of all colors, shapes, sizes and personalities. For shelter workers and volunteers alike, this is a taxing time. Our foster homes are clogged with kittens and mom cats (kittens cannot be spayed/neutered and adopted out until they are 2 pounds which typically occurs at around 8 weeks of age). But more importantly, adult cats tend to suffer during this time of year. Adoption rates for adult cats drop significantly during this difficult time of year. And on top of that, typically we have greater than normal rate of cat surrenders. This leads to filled cages and very little turnover on our adoption floor.
Here are my top 10 reasons to adopt an adult cat at this time of year:
1. Adult cats come with a known personality. This is the biggest and best selling point for an adult cat! Here at the MSPCA we take a detailed history on any owned adult cat that is surrendered to us. This means you can know things like where the cat likes to sleep, the cats favorite toys, and whether he or she is a good scratching post user.
2. Adult cats come with the majority of their shots. While kittens require multiple boosters of their FVRCP (distemper) vaccination and are too young to have received their rabies vaccination, our adult cats are all up to date on shots before their adoption, meaning that overall they require less immediate visits to the veterinarian.
3. Kitten personalities are unpredictable. While they’re young they may be the cuddliest or the most playful kitten in the litter, they don’t always turn out that way. We’ve seen plenty of kittens go from being super cuddle to very independent as they grow. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, if you were hoping for a cuddly lap cat, there’s no guarantee that your kitten will turn out that way. With an adult cat, you can choose the features of the cat that you are interested in.
4. Adult cats are less destructive. They won’t chew your power cord, or your favorite necklace, or the cord from the blinds.
5. Adult cats are typically less needy. They don’t make as big a mess – kittens are notorious for their messy litter box usage. And your adult cat won’t mind if you go to work for 12 hours a day, he or she will just need some food, water and some cuddles/pets when you get home. Meanwhile, your kitten may have destroyed half the house in your absence.
6. Adult cats are typically better matches for families with children. Children can rough house a lot with kittens, sometimes causing them injury. Also, all kittens go through a biting stage, which if not properly extinguished, can lead to a rough biting adult cat. Children are often not able or knowledgeable enough to know how to help a kitten learn not to bite.
7. Adult cats tend to be better matches for older folks. While kittens are cute, they tend to love to run under your feet and get in the way. Grandma or grandpa may be at risk of a fall with a young kitten in the house. Senior or older cats with mellow personalities make the best companions for older folks. These cats are happy basking in a window, curling up on your lap or enjoying television with you.
8. Adult cats typically are better to pair with your current adult cat. Kittens tend to annoy and irritate your already established mature cat.
9. Adult cats can live a long time. Many cats live to be 20+ years old, so adopting an adult cat still means you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your new family member.
10. Kittens are cute, but they all become adult cats! This time of year is very hard psychologically on our adult cats. The shelter is crowded with adult cats that, despite the very best efforts of our staff and volunteers to keep them happy and healthy, struggle mentally as they dwell in cages far longer than they should. And as they linger, their true personalities begin to fade, making them less and less likely to be noticed and adopted. You can change all that, you can come into our shelter, or any shelter, and give an adult cat a home so they don’t have to spend the summer sunshine and joy cooped up in a cage. So that they can shine.
If you’re looking for someone to adopt, meet Patches. She’s 10 years old, but you would NEVER know it. She’s so very young at heart. She purrs up a storm and loves to rub against you. She’s a lap cat to the extreme and a big cuddler. She has experience with mellow dogs and may be okay with a cat as well. She even plays with catnip mice! And best of all, you know exactly what her personality is going to be!
So come in today to meet Patches or any of our other amazing adult cats.