Old cat or kitten?

Since our well-loved cat Bimbo died last year we’ve been thinking of getting another. There’s no question it will be a rescue cat, as all ours have been. But now my mother is in favour of getting an older cat rather than a kitten.

I know older rescue cats are in need of homes and I’m sure they would have a nice life with us. But, well, it’s not a kitten. It won’t have known us all its life and we won’t have known it. It might be like having a lodger rather than a member of the family.

[sub]I want a kitten.[/sub]

There are many kittens in need of homes as well. You can’t go wrong in providing a loving home for an animal in need, regardless of age.

Well, look at the pros and cons:

Kitten: They’re so awfully damn cute.

The animal spends its whole life, for all intents and purposes, with you. You are the alphamale/mommy/big cheese right from the get-go. You might even get to still be the boss when the cat reaches the rarified age of, oh, two. (Though I wouldn’t count on it much.)

For the same reason, you get to work on eliminating “bad” behaviors when the cat’s still young enough for it to become habit. (No scratching the furniture, no biting the humans, that kinda thing.)

Adult Cat: Generally, the cat’s litterbox trained before you come on the scene. A big plus.

You’re doing the animal a big favor, as (sorry, no cite) for the most part, kittens get adopted a whole lot more than adults from shelters.

An adult cat, by the time you adopt it has, again generally, given up its crack/speed habit, and will refrain from tear-assing around the house at supersonic speeds. Indeed, if it ain’t mealtime, you may need to check for a pulse every so often, just for reassurance.
So, well… hell, get one o’ each. That’ll work. :wink:

[sub]Oswald… Ozzie… Hey, Oz? Fatass! Get off my foot, I can’t feel it! Great, I get pins and needles for ten minutes, and he begs for a treat. No, fool, this is gum. No you can’t have any. Remove your head from my mouth, please, you feline pain-in-the-ass.

I love my cats, really.[/sub]

I have a spare kitty, he will grow up to look exactly like Bimbo, and I called him Bilbo, talk about freaky coincidence or what.

He is vaccinated against everything that he can be, but he has not yet been neutered, I plan on that sometime later this month.

He’s around five months old, and was feral, so he is still a bit timid but he is coming around slowly, oh and he is litter trained.

He is playful, chases shoelaces and rabbits foot mice around, if you leave a stack of papers around he likes to rummage and spread them about the house.

I you want him then let me know, I’m off work next week and can drop him off at some place where we could meet.

A Cat CasDave Exchange! How exciting!

(Frannie, I think you should name him after me.)

Well, casdave may have your answer. But otherwise, I vote for an older cat. I got Higgins as an adult cat and you have never seen a more affectionate cat. Granted, he doesn’t seem to be bonded with me any more than he is bonded with any human who steps into my door (he loves EVERYONE).

Kittens are cute but they are a lot of work. Plus they go through this period at about 3-4 months where THEY DON’T SLEEP! At least not through the night. And they’re so annoying at that age because everything is a plaything and they won’t GIVE UP. Sometimes I think I’d rather have a newborn baby in the house than a kitten at that age.

It’s a whole lot harder to find homes for older cats. People want kittens because kittens are adorable. I’ve had several over the years. But I’d go for an adult cat. I’m in the middle of trying to find my 8-year-old cat a new home, due to circumstances totally beyond my control, and he’s a sweetie. Plus he doesn’t have the kitten crazies.

Kittens ARE cute, though. Awww…

I am in favor of older cats. I have three cats, two raised from kittenhood and one who wandered in off the street one day and insisted on being adopted. The ones we raised from babyhood take us for granted, dammit. They know they’ll always be fed and cared for and loved. The stray boy WORKS for it (even though he doesn’t have to.)

The only trouble with cats is that they start off as annoying kittens. It’s a wonder anyone lets them live long enough to grow into the sensible pets they later become.

My boys (littermates, now almost 13 years old) didn’t let me sleep through the night for almost the entire first year that I had them. I used to lock them in the furnace room sometimes, if I could catch them. Lousy bastards. Next time I will probably go to a shelter and get a young adult cat, but a I dunno - kittens are indeed irresistable.

Go to the humane society and see who wants to come home with you.

Mine is going thru that now. Plus I just found out that he’s some kind of gigantic mutant breed that won’t mature until he’s 5 YEARS OLD! and continue growing the whole time!

Personally, I think you should adopt Casdave’s cat. I have three cats, two I’ve had since kittens, and one I rescued when she was about a year old (The owner said she was a year old - he swore, but my vet said more like 9 months). And Abby is just as dear to me as the cats I raised from kittenhood - maybe even more so because I know she had it a little rough before I took her in. She wasn’t abused, just neglected and misunderstood. Locked in a bathroom, not spayed, put outside while in heat, when I got her she was skinny and very afraid of everything.

Now she is my baby, and a very good cat. Kittens are cute, but if you like sleeping, forget it. I wasn’t ready for the paranoia I felt when I got my kitten Hanna last August - I hadn’t had a kitten since Bo (he’s 13 years old now) and I was the biggest worry wart on the planet - I was so afraid the kitten would get hurt, or eat something she shouldn’t, or not get over the respitory infection she had when I found her…with an adult, you might not have to worry so much.

We got our very first cat as a 1 1/2 year old, and once she got used to us, she was (and still is) an absolute sweetie.

I know I’m anthropomorphizing like crazy, but she always seemed grateful that we took her in, and didn’t give her away (she had two different homes before we took her).

I personally like the idea of taking an older cat that would have a lower chance of being adopted. And casdave’s cat sounds very nice, too.

I got my beast from a Cat Adoption Center when he was 1 1/2. He chose me. There was a second floor of a home that was full of “adult/teen” cats, and he came up to me in a very friendly manner and didn’t bite.

I’d grab casdave’s, or at least see if Bilbo likes you. A slightly older cat may be more discerning in who they like, kittens are just so excitable they’ll be happy to see ANYONE. You can get a sense of the cat’s personality when they are a little older.

The problem is that it seems that about 75% of the felines there wanted to come home with me.

However, last time I was in the market for a new kitten, I adopted a young cat…she just told me that I was her mom, and that it was about time I showed up to take her home. She loves everybody, but she regards me as her very own person. She’s usually in the same room as I am. If I get up and go to another room, she goes with me.

I don’t know how many homes Sapphire had, but she DOES seem grateful to be here. She needs a person to look after, and I’m home nearly all the time (I’ve been out of the house for about five hours this week, for example). She gets along superbly with the other cat. I love to watch them take turns washing each other’s ears. Cats need cat buddies, in order to have clean ears.

Casdave, it’s a long way to drive. Are you sure? I’ll email you.

As for kittens - I want the work of a kitten! I want a furball tearing round my house! Rar! Kitten!

But then again, I would also like to give a home to a sensible older cat who probably doesn’t have as much chance of being adopted as a kitten. I’m a sucker for an underdog. Or undercat, as it were.

I, too, vote for an “older” cat. All of our animals have been rescues, too - but it seems like the “older” animals know you saved their life (which, IMHO, makes them more affectionate).

My vet told me that with proper medical care and good food, etc. any cat today should live between 15-20 years! So even if you get an “older” cat, you will have LOTS of wonderful years ahead. :slight_smile:

Next time I talk my husband into a cat I will get a grown cat. See, two years ago I talked him into a kitten. He was very cute, yes. But he turned out to be EVIL. I mean, attacked my children evil. Scar over my son’s eye evil. We were about to take him to a shelter when he got sick and died very suddenly.

I’d much rather get a cat that is grown enough that I will know what his personality is like before I adopt him.

I adopted Feather from the shelter when she was about 6 months old. I think that is the perfect age for adopting cats - she was old enough not to be a complete pain, but still young enough that she had lots of energy and playfulness. I would say that her personality was pretty much developed at 6 months - I haven’t had any surprises from her at all. She is completely bonded to me - she has to lie on my stomach every night before going to sleep, and follows me from room to room. She’s usually sleeping in her little kitty bed beside the computer when I’m online.

How about one of each? They’ll keep each other company, the young’un will bring the kitten out of the older and the mature one will be a steadying influence on the younger.

Anthropomorphisizing or not, the older animals my family has taken in always seemed to realize they’d had it rough in the past and life was much better since we adopted them. I don’t believe it’s so outrageous to think the little guys are sharp enough to notice a change like street-to-shelter-to-home and then remember it for a good long time.