Adopting a Cat or Kitten

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Selecting the Right Cat or Kitten

Because selecting a cat or kitten can involve many factors, including the personal person or family, to the different ages, sizes, breeds and personalities of cats, I will try to put some factors to consider in the selection process.  I will also list my adoption criteria and the adoption form.

Adopting a Kitten

SINGLE KITTEN: Research and experience has shown that single kittens adopted into homes without other young cats frequently develop behavioral problems. This is because the kitten takes the biting behavior used when playing with their littermates and transfers this behavior to humans. To prevent these problems, and to encourage proper development of the kitten, we do not recommend single kittens under 16 weeks for homes that do not have another young cat. We encourage adopting 2 kittens if you do not have a young playmate for them.

KITTENS & CHILDREN: At eight weeks, a kitten weighs only 2 pounds or less and is still a baby. They do not have the coordination or knowledge it takes to interact with a small child. This could cause injury to the child or kitten. Because of this, we generally do not place kittens under 16 weeks old with families who have children under 6 years old. This also follows the recommendations of the ASPCA and HSUS.

Adopting an Adult

Adult cats are often overlooked but they provide many benefits that a crazy, active kitten cannot.  Think of these advantages to adopting an adult:

  • You know what you are getting in personality and size after they are grown and settled.
  • An adult will bond strongly with a new family just as much as a kitten.
  • A kitten will be an adult in just a few short months so you are not missing much in the long scheme of things since indoor cats typically live 15-20 years.
  • A kitten needs a lot more attention and play so is not a good choice for working people.
  • A kitten has a lot more energy and may break things, chew cords, dig in plants, and attack in the middle of the night.
  • An adult would be a much better choice if there is already an adult cat in the house as a kitten will want to play and jump on another cat.
  • An adult cat may be more tolerant of young children.
  • Kittens are all claws and teeth when playing and may hurt young children who try to hold them still.
  • Adult cats often lose their homes because of an owner dying or moving, or economic hardship and are looking for a loving bond again.    Kittens don't know a bond yet.
  • Sadly, adults are often overlooked and lose their lives in shelters because adopters don't give them a chance.   
  • And, not least, I hear a lot of people saying they want their children to grow up with a cat so want a kitten.  The truth is that a child will not remember if the cat was 8 weeks old or 2 years old when you get it. Children, like cats, love unconditionally.   I remember my first cat when I was a child, but I have no idea or recollection on the age of the cat when my parents got it but I loved it regardless. 



Generally, I look for indications that adopters are in a stable living situation. If you rent, I will want some proof that your landlord approves adopting the cat and you know if there will be a deposit required. I also do not adopt to students living in temporary housing. The highest concentration of stray cats in any town is always around universities because college students frequently adopt animals then leave them when they graduate or go home for the summer.

INDOOR-ONLY HOMES The normal life expectancy of an indoor only cat is 15 to 20 years. That figure drops to only 2-5 years for cats that are allowed to go outside unsupervised. Accordingly, I only adopt cats and kittens to indoor-only homes.

NO DECLAWING: I believe in the wealth of information that indicates cats frequently suffer long term problems after being surgically declawed. These problems include both behavioral and/or medical. I require that each adoptive person sign a contract that they will NOT surgically declaw any cat adopted from us. If you feel you MUST have a declawed cat, we will be happy to give you a call when we rescue a cat that is already declawed.