Thinking about adding a feline to your family? Adult cats have some awesome advantages, even though there’s no denying the draw of a kitten. In fact, research shows that kittens are adopted at a rate of 82 percent, while cats age 1.5 years and older have an adoption rate of just 60 percent nationwide. It’s time to even things out—after all, kittens grow up to be cats anyway! Here are seven reasons to adopt an adult cat:
1. Lower energy levels: An adult cat still needs playtime and entertainment, but it’s significantly less than the level of activity and supervision that a kitten demands. For busy professionals and families, a relaxed adult cat makes a good fit.
2. What you see is what you get: You can often get a better sense of an adult cat’s true personality. Want a lap cat? An independent cat? A playful cat? Look for an adult cat who is displaying these traits in the shelter. For the most part, kittens all have the same characteristics when they’re young. A kitten who snuggles now may grow out of cuddling, while an active, outgoing kitten may become a couch potato. It’s only as kittens grow into adults that we get a better sense of each feline’s unique purrsonality.
3. Maturity means more good habits: Adult cats have already developed their manners and are less likely to be destructive or disruptive than a kitten who’s still learning how to behave. Starting with an adult cat means less time spent training and more time to focus on loving your new companion!
4. Better bonding with existing pets: Older pets will have little patience for the chaos a kitten introduces into a home. An adult cat usually will transition more easily into a home where the other pets (cats or dogs) are also adults or seniors, particularly when the right introductory steps are taken (see pages 17-19 of our Cat Handbook).
5. Good choice for families with young children: Often, kittens are still learning good manners and have too much energy and play too rough for young kids. Since adult cats tend to be more mellow, there’s less potential for pain points when cats and kids are introduced properly (see page 16 of our Cat Handbook).
6. Still lots of love left to give: You might worry that adopting an older cat means less time for love, but cats are living longer than ever. Even if you adopt a much older cat, the average lifespan for an indoor cat is close to 16 years—and many cats live well past that. Of course, there’s no guarantee of how long a cat will live, but that’s just as true for kittens.
7. Feel extra-good about your decision. Every kitten and cat in a shelter deserves a home, but you might get a little extra boost of satisfaction when you adopt an older kitty. Since kittens are so much more likely to get adopted and find new homes fast, it’s especially gratifying and special to bring an older cat into your life.
Convinced that an adult cat is right for you? See which cats are currently available for adoption.