Cat vs. Kitten
How much time will you have to devote to your new housemate? A kitten may be cute, but that cuteness comes with the need for a lot of supervision. Seriously. It’s like bringing a toddler into your home. A toddler with sharp claws, pointy teeth, and ninja skills. People associate chewing with puppies, but kittens can do some serious damage to furniture, clothing, and your ankles! I’ve talked to a lot of people who say their cat was such a sweet kitten but is now kind of a jerk. They fail to recognize that what you get out of an adult cat depends on what you put into a young kitten. If you are not prepared to spend some quality time parenting your furry toddler you might want to get a cat one-year-old or older.
Speaking of toddlers, do you have small children? If so, you seriously might want to consider an adult cat. Kittens can be over-stimulated by the active and loud nature of small children. They are also more fragile than adult cats and may be inadvertently injured by mishandling. There is also the issue of fear-based response by the kitten to the behavior of the child. You don’t want to put either a small kitten or a young child in the position of possibly being injured.
And yet…if you have the time and energy? Get the kitten. Get the kitten and be prepared for a wild ride. You will be both entertained and exasperated. If your kids have demonstrated their ability to be gentle and understanding of the needs of a kitten it can be a great opportunity for them to learn responsibility, not to mention experience the rewards of such efforts. The bond that can be generated between a young kitten and you will be one of the most special relationships you can have with a pet.
However, if you are looking for more of a companion, consider an adult cat. They are calmer, generally less likely to shred your couch (or your ankles), and are more independent. If you have a busy lifestyle or work long hours, they are more likely to thrive in their time alone. Setting them up with a friendly environment means they will be able to entertain themselves during your time away, while making sure you spend quality time with them when you are home will keep them from developing behavior issues associated with boredom.
Whether you end up with a kitten or an adult cat, remember that their personalities will mirror and represent your efforts and level of interaction. Cats have a certain level of independence, but still crave and deserve attention from their humans. Whichever age you end up with, with the right amount of time and energy you will be building a relationship with one of the most unique, interesting, and special creatures on this planet. Enjoy!
Caring for your new feline addition can be simple with the help of Guthrie Pet Hospital’s staff.