It’s the middle of winter right now, which marks the half-way point between kitten seasons. It’s rare to see litters of kittens at this time of year, mainly for the simple reason that more cats are staying warm indoors and there’s a lower chances of *ahem* procreation meetings…
It’s also peak adoption-application season. Lots of loving families look to welcome new cats into their fur-ever homes in the new year which is great news for our foster felines.
At the moment, at least half of our applications are for kittens or kitten pairs, and we’d like to (hopefully) convince some of our prospective adopters to consider adult cats as well!
1. You’re more likely to get a cat sooner
Kitten Season 2017 will last from around late April – late September, depending on the weather. We don’t expect to see many (if any at all) litters before mid-April, which means a long wait if you’re sure a kitten is the only choice for you.
At any one time, we can have upwards of 25 families waiting for kittens. Although we don’t have an official waiting list (as we just don’t have the volunteers available to manage one), we try to prioritise rehoming on a first-come, first-serve basis if multiple suitable and loving homes are available.
This means that a loving family who applies today could end up waiting until May to adopt from us.
2. Adult cats are a lot sturdier
Cats are incredible animals, we meet mind-boggling felines almost weekly who have survived car accidents, great falls and unfortunately neglect, before shaking it off and becoming patient, loving creatures.
Kittens on the other hand are fragile. This means they do not make good pets for small children, crowded homes or with those who might be unsteady on their feet.
Kittens are also clumsier and have less self-control and awareness, so can find themselves underfoot surprisingly easily.
3. Lower chance of stinky accidents!
Cats are very clean animals, and generally very quick to become litter trained. Kittens are more likely than adult cats to pee and poop in the ‘wrong’ place, especially in first few weeks of moving away from mum to their fur-ever home.
Misplaced cat mess and young children can make for a particularly bad combination, as both seem to be found in the last place you’d expect to look.
4. Cats are not kittens for long
The young kitten stage lasts for about 9 months, and that’s including the first 2 months where they are still with mum. After this very short period of time, you’ll enjoy as many as 20 years of love and affection from an adult cat.
We think it’s a real shame that so many people discount adult cats as they’ve missed the relatively short (but particularly cute) early months. We often have many cats who are passed over despite having well over a decade of love to give.
5. With adult cats, you generally know what you’re getting
Contrary to many beliefs, raising a kitten in a certain environment (e.g. with children or other animals) does not guarantee they will thrive in it. Many factors from their biology to experiences you can’t control shape cats into the adults they become.
Our incredible volunteer fosterers spend weeks or months getting to know each of their felines. Sometimes this means managing behavioural challenges and coaxing out their best traits, other times it means just spending a little time with an already fabulous cat.
By the time a foster cat is added to our website and shared on Facebook, we have a pretty good picture of their personality. We know which confident cats would love a human-kitten brood, and which aloof pusses might never be a lap cat.
With kittens, it’s nearly impossible to tell how they will behave in 5 years time. So, if you have a specific quality in mind for your cat, you can be a lot more certain of finding it in an adult cat.
6. You can help a cat who has probably waited a lot longer for a home
Our adult foster cats can be with us for anywhere between 2 weeks and 9 months. At the time of writing this, our longest foster resident Smudge is enjoying his 240th day in foster (just under 8 months).
Smudge is somewhat typical for a long stay. There’s nothing wrong with him, he’s healthy, friendly and as far as we know, would be ok with sensible children and other animals.
However, he is approaching middle age and he is black, two qualities which seem to turn adopters away without even a smooch goodbye. Smudge is currently being home checked, so hopefully he will get his happy ending soon!
7. Adult cats bond just as closely
Dogs are a man’s best friend. We cat people have to earn our pets’ love with patience, affection and yes, food. Cats can quickly bond with the ones they find deserving at any age, with love that we think is just impossible to match.
We hope we’ve helped convince you to consider adopting an adult cat. These beautiful animals have so much love to give, even if they are past the ultra-cute stage!
We took two adult cats, one still quite young , around a year old and the other around 6 years old when urgent (within 48hours) foster carers were called for . Neither of these two lads were in peak condition, dry coarse coats, a bit thin, the elder was a bit scabby as he had probably been a bit of a scrapper in the past, his ears were ragged round the edges and he had a scar across his nose. You couldn’t describe either as handsome. Both were quite nervous and the younger one spent the first week behind the bed head in the spare room! We hadn’t planned to adopt as we had an elderly Springer and we were not too sure how he would cope with the new arrivals but they all seemed to get on. More than two years later … yes of course we adopted them… we have two gloriously healthy, playfull and handsome fluffy cats who have repaid us with at least as much love as we have given them. From personal experience I cannot recommend adopting an older cat too highly, the satisfaction of seeing the transformation in ‘our boys’ has been immeasurable.