Adopting a second hand cat

Love is Better the Second Time Around!
A word from Scoots: Although we often focus on saving kittens and getting them happy and healthy, our work is most rewarding when we're able to place an adult cat in a loving home. Rescue workers at shelters and other humane organizations like ours all over the world will agree. I know, I know. But kittens are so cute! They're just babies! Believe me. Just like human babies, they're not all bundles of joy.

The Right Match for you and your family
Many teenage (six months to a year) and adult cats (1 year or older) have been abandoned, neglected, abused, or dumped at the shelter to find themselves in a terrifying, lonely new world. They have often withstood hunger, pain, illness and fear to overcome the odds and survive. They are supremely deserving--and appreciative--of a second chance at life. More often than not, these cats have been dumped because they were no longer convenient for their owners, or their owners decided to move into a new home which will not accept animals. Very seldom are these animals discarded due to personality problems or bad behavior. Remember that cats can live up to 20 years or more--and very actively at that--so even a kitty older than 5 still has most of a lifetime ahead of her. This is another issue which needs serious planning. Are you ready to take on a 20 year responsibility?

If not, a cat which has 5, 10 or 15 more years ahead of them, is a more responsible choice. If you have been planning to adopt a kitten, ask yourself what's important to you or your family in a new pet. Our adult cats would like you to keep the following things in mind:

If you want a cat with a certain kind of personality, you’re better off adopting one of us adults. We have all grown into our personalities, which we’ll have forever, but with a kitten who may be cute now, he or she may mature into a totally different kind of cat! Many people feel that by adopting a kitten, they will be able to "mold" it into certain behavior or that he/she will be more affectionate. 

For instance, lots of adopters come to us for a kitten because they have a dog, and want to "raise" the kitten to be best friends with it. The truth is, some kittens are destined to be cats who don't like dogs--or possibly even other cats. Just like people, we are finding that cats are born with certain personality traits that are unavoidable regardless of a kitten's environment during formative months. However, many of our adult cats have lived successfully with dogs in their previous or foster homes. The dog-buddy scenario is just an example...but you get the point!

Now, don't forget: All those tiny kittens will, in less than a year, be just as big as us. In the meantime, they’ll go through destructive, awkward teenage months. Kittens are a lot like children, and need to be watched very carefully so they stay out of trouble. Kittens can easily gets stuck behind washers or stoves, they like to chew on electrical cords and test out their claws on your nice furniture, carpets, and lovely drapes. Most adult cats no longer have any major behavioral problems, and are much quicker learners (unlike those bratty rebels) when it comes to the house rules.

If you have children under the age of 7, it is far safer for them to adopt an adult cat. Kittens are easily frightened and do not always know what's appropriate, and can bite or scratch on instinct without meaning to hurt a child. Also, kittens raised by children often become skittish and less affectionate. Again, to be sure that you're bringing home a good-natured, outgoing, friendly cat to be your child's companion for the next 15 to 20 years, your better bet is an adult!

If you already have an adult cat and are looking for a companion for it, keep in mind that many older cats get annoyed and overwhelmed by a kitten's high energy level. A cat that is around the same age--or a little older--usually makes for a much happier match.

I'm Honeybear and I'm up for adoption - but need a patient home and to be the only pet!  Come see me in the Adopt Me GalleryAnd that's my pitch for adopting an adult kitty. We urge you--wherever you live--to visit your local city shelter, humane society, or rescue organization and take some time to get to know their slightly older residents. Adopting a rescued cat gives you awesome kharma. Adopting a rescued ADULT cat gives you awesome kharma for life...we can make sure of that. Trust me. I'm a feline, and with 9 lives we've got pull!

Donations to Kitten Rescue are tax-deductible and receipts are available upon request.