What are advantages or disadvantages to kitten vs. 3 yr old - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question What are advantages or disadvantages to kitten vs. 3 yr old

No animals or children at home. What would be the advantages or disadvantages to adopting a 10 wk, old kitten vs. a 2-3 yr. old cat?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 01:02 PM
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I've only had 2 cats in my life, both of whom we adopted as 2-year old adults. Having heard people talk about kittens here on the forum, it sounds like they're endlessly entertaining but a lot of work. People also emphasize the benefits of getting 2 kittens so they can play together, keep each other company, etc., moreso than older cats. If you want only one cat like we did, it's more feasible to adopt one who's been labeled a "must be an only" by the shelter, than to deal with 2 kittens. My Murphy is a "must be an only."

I love the fact that my 2-year olds were spayed/neutered, microchipped, and ready to go health-wise, and had personalities that the shelter workers could describe and would probably stay true once we got them home. Also, knowing that kittens are faster to be adopted than adults, I liked the idea of getting an adult out of a cage, which just breaks my heart to think about.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 01:11 PM
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Kittens are fun and cute. They're generally extremely adaptable, and they can fit into new surroundings pretty quickly. They are also a ton of work, though, and may become bored and destructive if they aren't given enough to do - so most people recommend getting kittens in pairs if you don't already have a pet in the home.

An adult cat may take more time to adjust, has a history and experiences already, and is likely to be more set in terms of habits and personality. That latter part can actually be an advantage too, though, because kittens sometimes grow up to be very different from what you'd expect, whereas it's easier to predict what an adult cat will be like in your home in the long-term. Adult cats generally have a lower energy level, and can be easier to entertain. They are much less work than babies, and sometimes (although I don't promise this) they seem to have more understanding that you rescued them.

I've done both. I adopted Zephyr as a kitten, and Maisie at age two. Both were ultimately positive experiences and I would recommend either way to others. It took a lot longer to bond with Maisie and make him feel secure (although I'm sure a lot of that was due to abuse/neglect in his past, not just his age) but having lived with them for years after adopting them, the bond is equal now, and I've always loved them both the same.

Really, you can't go wrong. Neither is better or worse, just different. At the end of the day, either way you'll have a cat who loves you.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 03:20 PM
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What are advantages or disadvantages to kitten vs. 3 yr old

I've only had 1 cat who I adopted at 11 weeks old. He's just about 1yr now.

I keep saying that if I were to adopt again, I'd wait until 1-2yrs because of all the craziness involved, but all of the work is already startling to get fuzzy, and all I can remember is the adorable stuff -- this must be how some people end up with a half dozen kids


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 04:04 PM
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What are advantages or disadvantages to kitten vs. 3 yr old

I agree 100% with Blakeney Green. I have experience in both topics with both of my cats. We adopted Whiskey first, she was supposedly 4 years old at the time. She was very, very skittish at first. She would hide in the drying machine, under the bed, in closets, etc. She would barely eat her food at first. Luckily, she was the only animal in the house, so there was no introducing her to anyone. She finally came around after a few weeks and is a VERY loving animal. however, there are many moments where she is still skittish, but overall she has adapted very well. She is a very calm natured cat. We have had no issues with her trying to scratch on the furniture.

A year and a half later, we adopted Toby. He was 14 weeks at the time. This was back in September. And I will tell you, he is absolutely adorable and fun 24/7....but much more work than Whiskey. He would try to scratch on the furniture (even with available scratch posts), so we had to work on breaking him out of that. He has an obsession with tearing up a whole roll of toilet paper, still to this day. He terrorizes our older cat, Whiskey. But, to be fair, she would run him under the couch when he was a little thing, so maybe, he's just getting her back.

However, I will say, I would do both all over again. My heart goes out to the older cats, because, I feel like most people want a cute kitten to begin with...I can't blame them, they are so cute! If it were me, and you plan on getting more than one cat one day, I would start with a kitten. There really is something special about raising an animal since they are tiny. I feel like Toby is more attached to me than Whiskey is. And then, if you ever want one more, try getting an older cat. I'm looking at adopting again in the spring time, not sure which I'll even do, but kittens can be a handful.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 05:21 PM
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The difference is like having a rambunctous toddler vs a mature 21 year old in the house. Older cats take a bit of extra time to adjust but will make up for it in loyalty and gratefullness plus you will be saving a life that most certainly might be more diffficult to adopt out.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 04:36 PM
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It's pretty much already been said. Kittens are adorable, wonderful, joyous little balls of fur and craziness. You'll have to teach them pretty much everything. They won't know not to jump on counters or climb your pant legs. They'll probably run headlong into a window or two and will need lots of exercise and play. They'll need your time.

Adult cats in theory know at least a little about the world and hopefully how to interact with people. They'll take a little time to settle into your particular house, but in general do best exploring on their own and will come to you when they want you. Much less of a time investment up front. As other have said, they also tend to "know" they were rescued, and are much harder to place than kittens.


It all depends on what you want, though if it's all the same to you, I'd nudge you in the direction of an adult cat, as I do a lot of shelter fostering they are the hardest to place and most likely to be euthanized in shelters.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 11:56 PM
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I got two kittens at the end of last summer and getting them as a pair did greatly reduce the amount of ankle attacks. They are still crazy and will knock anything that is breakable off of any surface, try to climb my curtains, attack the blinds, go after my plants (which are now all moved into one room with all my other cat-breakable objects ), and are generally crazy. They try to mouth on me but mostly scratch and bite the many toys they have.

We were looking into getting an adult cat when my parents came across a pregnant stray. Kittens are adorable, but they would NOT have been my choice. As I always tell people who want puppies, with a puppy you cannot be sure what the adult personality will be. With an adult you can have a much better idea of what you are getting, is this cat vocal, is he playful, is he a people-cat, a lap-cat, does he like dogs, is he a picky eater, are there serious dietary problems, etc. (maybe not all shelters will have such detailed info but cat foster parents would know all of those things!)
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, so I will be devoting my search to a kitty, not a kitten. LOL
lots of good advice.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyglitter View Post
Thanks guys, so I will be devoting my search to a kitty, not a kitten. LOL
lots of good advice.
A surrendered pet will normally have some sort of history, for example, temperment or issues may be mentioned. A stray has no known history. They may have been housepets left behind after a move or they may have been lost and not claimed. That's not to say that strays don't make wonderful pets, they can. Most of mine are adopted as previous strays with no known history. You just need to be mindful that it will be a learning curve for both of you. Best wishes! There are millions of great pets out there, you will find a wonderful companion I'm sure.

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