Should I adopt a cat or buy a kitten?
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding whether to adopt an adult cat or a kitten. What is important, is that you research your choices thoroughly and go to a responsible breeder or shelters that can offer you information, advice and support.
A number of things are likely to influence your decision, for example, if you want a particular breed of cat and whether you have time to house train a kitten. Both experiences can be rewarding but both are very different.
Adopting an adult cat
While most people think about getting a kitten when they decide to add a cat to their family, adopting an adult has a number of benefits. Shelters across the country are full of cats of all ages looking for new homes, some of which are pure breeds.
Pros to adopting an adult cat
Challenges with adopting an adult cat
Where to adopt a cat
There are a number of places you can go to adopt a cat, however the most common is a shelter. When choosing a shelter it is important to visit and ask plenty of questions about their policies, care and hygiene measures.
A good shelter will also have made an effort with any cats to socialise them and accustom them to the normal aspects of life in a family home.
Other places you may rescue a cat include:
Choosing a kitten
For many, the perfect cat means having a particular breed, and choosing to get a kitten rather than an adult cat from a shelter may be the best way to ensure you get what you want.
There are many different breeds of cat, all of which have their own distinct physical and behavioural characteristics. So it's important to do your research and choose a breed that suits your lifestyle.
Most responsible breeders prefer not to let their pedigree kittens leave home and their mother until they are over 12 weeks old so they can make sure they are ready for separation and have been properly vaccinated. The key socialisation period for kittens also happens in that time frame, so it’s crucial to talk to the breeder and ask what measures have been taken to support the kitten’s development.
Kittens may also be acquired from a shelter. In these cases it may be a little harder to be certain of their parentage. That being said, workers at the shelter may be able to recognise personality traits in the kittens and help you choose the one which will be best suited to your home environment. While they may be able to spot some defining characteristics in kittens, a lot may be up to chance, but as many fans of moggies will say, this is all part of their charm.
Pros to acquiring a kitten
Challenges acquiring a kitten
Where to acquire a kitten
There are a lot of places where you can acquire kittens, whether they are from a registered breeder, a shelter, or a family who have had an accidental litter. The important thing is to make sure the kittens and their mother are healthy and well looked after before you take one home.
It is strongly recommended that you go to a reputable breeder or seller. You may choose to ask your vet for advice about breeders or shelters in the local area.
Whether you choose a kitten or an adult cat, active research will help to ensure your pet will be happy with you and that you will be a caring, responsible owner.