Pros & cons of adopting an adult cat (rather than a kitten)

(70 Posts)
zonedout Mon 12-Nov-12 21:14:54

Please smile

Hello zone. I have always adopted an older cat. The reasons I can think of-

Rescues are full of older cats overlooked due to the cute kittens.
It will be neutered, chipped etc.
It will be litter trained.

The 3 older cats I have had have just slotted in IYKWIM. They stay indoors for 3-4 weeks then you can let them outdoors. They are calmer. smile

I have never actually had a kitten so may be missing out though...

tribpot Mon 12-Nov-12 21:23:54

We adopted an adult cat (she was 2). Cats Protection wanted us to have an adult because ds was then five, and they don't like to place kittens with young children if they can avoid.

I was very pleased to have a cat who was already litter trained and had gone through the 'mad charging about in the middle of the night' phase (she still does that, but like a teenager has her own key to the door and so lets herself in when she's ready for a kip!).

I think Cats Protection find it harder to re-home cats (and ours is a black cat too, so very hard for them to place). She is not hugely affectionate, won't sit on a lap or anything, but she has been a blessing to us.

Con - well, you miss the super-cute kitten phase, and of course as an adult rescue she is the one who went through something bad which led to her leaving her first home and living rough with her litter. She gets away with murder though as DH is convinced she has PTSD or something! (She doesn't at all).

Forgot to say there's a pic on my profile. Not bad for an older rescue cat. grin

tribpot Mon 12-Nov-12 21:35:13

Gorgeous, Sparklingbrook!

She has the loveliest nature tribpot. She likes to go out and about but loves to come in for cuddles.

Snazzyfeelingfestive Mon 12-Nov-12 21:39:13

I adopted three adult cats before getting kittens. Kittens are a pleasure all of their own smile but the adult cats were all great, litter trained already, neutered already, streetwise and friendly. My 3 were all happy to be lapcats and give and receive fuss. Very self-sufficient. All an absolute pleasure and the last one was great with my young DS, bless his furry cotton socks.

The one thing you might also want to consider is getting a pair. My kittens are really cute in the way they curl up together, play etc - my adult cats would never do that because they weren't siblings and/or hadn't grown up together. If you got an adult pair from a shelter (sometimes sibs or bonded pairs end up there) you could get some of the benefits of that relationship.

zonedout Mon 12-Nov-12 21:39:14

Thank you both for your answers smile

Sparkling, he/she is absolutely adorable grin <not helping my cat broodiness one bit>

I had originally intended to adopt a kitten but on my initial visit to my local cats protection a 2 1/2 year old black boy made me fall in love with him. I went back to see him again today and he proceeded to spend 45 minutes lying on his back for tummy strokes the damn floozy

I also have quite young children so yes, probably better than a young scratchy kitten. He came from a very sad background sad

Oh zone he sounds great. 2 1/2 is no age at all. How old are your DC? Have you had a home check yet?

Thanks for the compliments I will tell her, but she knows she's fabulous. grin

zonedout Mon 12-Nov-12 21:42:36

Ah, interesting point Snazzy. I love the idea of a pair of kittens, think it would prevent future arguments amongst be particularly nice for my ds's but also slightly nervous about having 3 animals to take care of (we have a dog and hope to always have!)

MinkyWinky Mon 12-Nov-12 21:43:49

I've never had a kitten, but we recently adopted a two year old and a three year old. Their characters have both evolved over the six months they've lived with us and they're are lovely and affectionate in different ways.

Pros - you don't have to train them, if you get them from a rescue centre , they'll be neutered, vaccinated etc. Cons - you may not know their history, so you don't know why they react in certain ways, but that's probably true for all catssmile

Sparkling cat only eats Felix as Good as it Looks. I couldn't imagine paying for twice the amount. Or insurance, boosters, cattery bills etc. shock

tribpot Mon 12-Nov-12 21:47:52

zoned - your cat has chosen you. There is nothing you can do about it now!

zonedout Mon 12-Nov-12 21:49:03

Yes, he is still extremely young. My ds's are almost 7 and 4. They have grown up with dogs and are extremely good with animals. I haven't had my home check (although apparently they could arrange everything the same day) as I am waiting for my ds2's allergy test on Thursday. blush I know I have got slightly ahead of myself here blush but just wanted to do a bit of groundwork. Actually ds2 has never shown any indication of being allergic to cats (we are frequent visitors to houses with cats) but as he has asthma I wanted to make sure to prevent any potential heartbreak... Feel a bit stupid getting so ahead of myself...

MinkyWinky Mon 12-Nov-12 21:49:04

You may as well give up - your cat has chosen yousmile

Well it all sounds perfect to me. I hope the allergy test turns out ok and you will be buying cat beds and ping pong balls very shortly. smile

zonedout Mon 12-Nov-12 21:53:23


Fingers crossed we will get the go ahead with ds's test on Thursday and then yes, I realise I have been reserved grin

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 12-Nov-12 22:18:02

You have been chosen.

We went to a cat show recently where one of the adult cats kept poking his paw through the cage to hold DH's hand. DH would have paid large amounts of money and swapped me for that cat at that moment in time.

My dh is allergic to cats but as long as he washes his hands after fuss all is ok, the cat was on his lap tonight and he's ok. DH is ok too. grin

Black cats are lovely.

zonedout Tue 13-Nov-12 06:32:06

grin @ fluffycloud.

Black cats are rather wonderful, aren't they? Not sure why they get so overlooked. Well, this boy made sure he didn't get overlooked!

<tries desperately to not get too excited>

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 13-Nov-12 09:24:37

Too late!

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Tue 13-Nov-12 09:44:44

I adopted two cats, 12 years ago now. They were 2 or so, all litter trained hard work all done. To me working full time it made no sense getting a kitty. As I write this 1 of them is curled up on my lap, they are my best buddies. Obviously you get all the love with a kitten, but my cats seems grateful I chose them, they've never showed any behaviour problems, a 100% toilet record. All the hard work is done and still young enough.

zonedout Tue 13-Nov-12 10:52:17

Thank you, cantbelieve.

So that's it. My mind is fully made up. Roll on Thursday and keeping everything crossed that we can give a home to that lovely black 2 year old and nobody beats me to it

SparkyTGD Tue 13-Nov-12 10:58:25

Great, I'd definitely recommend a rescue cat too.

I see Sparkling is here showing off again grin

I also have a gorgeous 1yr old rescue cat, she's part maine coon, very relaxed & slotted in perfectly with us, we needed a confident cat with DS & his friends barging about and dog.

DS also asthmatic but no problems AFAIK.

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 11:01:26

Our cat has been a joy. He walked in off the street last Christmas, battered and thin. Although he had a microchip, the addresses registered all denied knowledge of him so he became ours. The only disadvantage is not knowing his exact age- he is a relatively young cat, at least three years but not possible to estimate any closer.

He is litter trained, truly appreciates our indulgent home and only gets upset if he gets hungry when he charges about. We wonder whether he has vestigial anxieties about being stray and starving.....

He is my fourth rescue/stray cat in the course of my life....And I've never had a bad experience with these cats., Shelter staff get to know them very well, all their foibles...

zonedout Tue 13-Nov-12 11:04:01

Ah, thanks sparky. Any photos of yours? grin

I have a similar requirement, 2 ds's barging about and dog!

Did you get your ds allergy tested first or did you just go for it?

zonedout Tue 13-Nov-12 11:05:07

He sounds lovely (and very lucky) mignonette.

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 11:23:14


He is lovely- black and white British longhair type. We could knit a new cat every day from the shed fur but never mind.

He sat on my lap for the first time this summer, on the day my Father died and I had returned home exhausted from nursing him in his final days. He is a bit of a thug to other cats near our home-Think he has extra reason to feel territorial having been a stray! He raises the fur between his shoulder blades making him look like a Hyena when he has to run through the dining room to the kitchen because for some reason he is scared of this room-they are bizarre little creatures.....

Tis MN rules that photos of cats are put on profiles everyone. grin

zonedout Tue 13-Nov-12 12:14:51

Mignonette, how wonderful that he was there for you at what must have been a truly horrendous time. What an amazing cat, to sense you really needed him that day. grin at his fear of the dining room. Funny old creature!

Sparkling, agreed grin <goes off to think of ways we can make this an MN law)

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 12:21:55

It is weird how cats sense these things- I was truly an empty shell of a woman that afternoon and he just draped himself around my neck. And from that day on he has hardly been off a lap even when they are strangers to him.

My last cat was such a softy he would cling onto my lap when I stood up and would jump on before I had even finished sitting down.

My cat doesn't like walking through doors- he leaps through them like a lamb by springing upwards on all four legs then running very very fast. I wonder what has happened to him in the past.....

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 12:27:37
zonedout Tue 13-Nov-12 12:33:53

My heart is melting. He is gorgeous. His face in that first one <need a heart emoticon>

Poor baby though, can't stand to think what some (or actually many) animals suffer. sad

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 13-Nov-12 12:34:19

we adopted a beautiful 6 year old Siamese 2 years ago. We are so glad...I wanted a kitten but the cat home said that they needed homes for adults more....he's stunning and so well behaved. He loves us.

He sleeps with us every night under the duvet

SparkyTGD Tue 13-Nov-12 13:04:49

mignon he is very sweet.

My cat is quite like the Maine Coon thats in one of the pics on your pinterest board. This could have been taken of her.

Will try to find a real pic for my profile.

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 13:29:22

I love Siamese, MrsCantSayAnything- my first cat as a child was a Siamese/Burmese male given to us by the breeder because the mother kept mating with the Burmese resulting in kittens that had no re-sale value sad...

My BF has a Maine Coon, Sparky. Produces a sharp exhalation of air when he jumps on my because he is so huge!

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 13-Nov-12 14:34:45

Siamese are surprisingly weighty too...ov not so much as a Maine Coone but you DO know about it when the cat decides that you're prey an pounces on you as you sleep.

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 14:37:07

Yes, especially when they wail like a banshee as they jump on you. I had an operatic Siamese/Burmese. He sang for his supper. Developed Dementia and had to be put to sleep as he became so confused.

I will grieve for my gone cats forever.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 13-Nov-12 14:38:41

sad What signs do cats give of dementia?

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 14:41:57

Confusion. Mood changes. Aggression and inappropriate behaviour such as toiletting in odd places (middle of living room floor then getting distressed and trying to eat it).

It is heartbreaking to see such elegant and dignified animals behaving this way as they know there is something going wrong but are helpless to understand.

mignonette Wed 14-Nov-12 08:08:22

We found Thomas's body this morning. He looked perfect so we do not know what happened. I saw his body in the distance on a piece of derelict land last night but DH assured me it was a plastic bag! I got out the binoculars at first light today and sadly it was my cat.....We had to break in the gates to get him.

We are beyond devastated. He was my pride and joy. My father died recently and this is all too much....

Goodbye Thomas-

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 14-Nov-12 08:13:54

I'm so very sorry for you and your poor Thomas. He was a handsome chap.

I am so sorry mignonette. I have experienced the same thing. My beloved Coco went missing on the Saturday. A neighbour found her body on the Wednesday, not a mark on her. We knew she had a heart murmur so wondered if it could have been related.

Try hard to take comfort that he has been found, and you aren't searching and worrying and wondering. x

mignonette Wed 14-Nov-12 09:01:31

At least he is not trapped or suffering. But the fact hat he was visible all night from our bedroom window and may have been able to see his home and not get to it.

I am torturing myself at the moment. I guess it will pass. So sorry too about your cat, Sparkling. We love our cats so much don't we? Thomas was so happy to have a home, he was playing all Sunday evening with his catnip Kong under the kitchen table so will bury him with that.

SparkyTGD Wed 14-Nov-12 10:23:36

I'm so sorry mignonette, about your cat & your dad sad

Try not to torture yourself, it might have been something very sudden, and it sounds like he was really loved in the time he was with you.

zonedout Wed 14-Nov-12 10:51:20

Oh mignonette, I am so very very sorry sad

My heart aches for you, I understand the awful pain of losing an adored pet.

I hope you will, in time, be able to take comfort from the fact that he had such happy times with you and you with him.

So sorry. Thinking of you.

tribpot Wed 14-Nov-12 19:18:58

So sorry, mignonette.

mignonette Thu 15-Nov-12 11:39:17

Am taking all his belongings-scratch posts, flea treatment, boxes of food, cuddle blankets, bowls, Kongs etc to the cat shelter today. They are pleased to have them but will not be looking at any cats. I need to concentrate on my Thomas and decide whether \i really want another cat near the rat run road i live on although DH is certain Thomas was not run over. He snored very badly and had stertorous breathing after eating so maybe there was a cardio pulmonary issue. When he arrived as a stray we had him checked and the Vet noticed a bit of a noisy lung but otherwise he was sound. Being a stray he was an unknown quantity.

I have to tell myself it was quick otherwise will drive myself mad with guilt that i wasn't with him and his body was left all alone all night

SparkyTGD Thu 15-Nov-12 12:24:41

Wouldn't advise giving away all his belongings mignonette although that is how you feel at the moment.

My previous 2 cats had to be pts, both very old, one was kidney failure about 3 yrs ago, the other same at the beginning of this year. The day after I bundled/bagged up all the blankets/beds & put them in the garage as I didn't feel I could look at them.

Both times, about a month later I took them out to wash them & it was comforting to still have them. My new cat happily sits on them/uses them.

mignonette Thu 15-Nov-12 16:42:23

I have taken your advice and kept his toys etc, Sparky. You are wise and right. But I took the unopened food, the flea treatment and cat treats to the shelter. I also gave a donation too but avoided looking at any cats....I'm vacillating about getting another cat eventually. I was adamant yesterday, never again, cannot take the pain but I hate not having a cat about. Thomas completed our home in immeasurable ways. His presence was such a huge one.

Viviennemary Thu 15-Nov-12 16:49:44

Well it will be litter trained hopefully for a start. And as other's have said older cats are overlooked because people want the cute kittens.

mignonette Thu 15-Nov-12 17:08:33

If I get another cat I am going to focus upon the older cats over 10. Give them some good years...

SparkyTGD Thu 15-Nov-12 17:25:22

I couldn't be without a cat, when we had a gap from previous one we needed it because she had been a lot of work (overactive thyroid & then kidney failure). A sweet cat but always difficult, soiling issues for the whole of her 15 or so years <groan>

She was the reason I chose a rescue cat over a kitten, I felt that with a rescue cat you'll get a bit of a heads-up on what they are like.

Pleased you changed your mind about the toys/blankets mignonette, when I got my old cats ones out for the new cat & they still smelt of the old cat (wee & all) it made me smile because it was 'her' smell (never thought I'd feel that way about cat wee!) and reminded me of her.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 15-Nov-12 17:29:19

mignoette, you could have an indoor only cat next time.

AfishhCalledElvira Thu 15-Nov-12 17:38:24

I have 2 black rescue cats-the first one was rehomed as part of a pair but sadly his brother died about 2 years later from an illness. To keep him company we then adopted a 6 month old who is completely crazy!!! He's now 2 years old and still mad. Note to self- in future do not get the asbo cat climbing up the sides of the cage!! I was very glad not to have to litter train either of them as the younger one keeps us all on our toes even as an adult cat (jumps out at the kids and karate kicks us for fun!

Go for it- black cats show up their hair nearly so much on furniture too! grin

mignonette Thu 15-Nov-12 19:44:57

Thomas was a black and white semi long hair so his fur showed up on have enough of it laying around to knit myself another Thomas!

AfishhCalledElvira Thu 15-Nov-12 20:55:38

I meant black cats don't show as much! My mum has 2 very white fluffy cats and I don't dare sit down anywhere if wearing usual work attire!

zonedout Thu 15-Nov-12 22:29:47

mignonette, still thinking about you and your lovely Thomas.

Today is the 6th anniversary of losing my first wonderful girl dog. I still miss her desperately but the pain isn't as raw.

Anyway, thought I'd check back in with my good news - ds2 tested all clear for cats (and dogs) today grin

Off to the rescue centre I go then...

zonedout Fri 16-Nov-12 14:24:20

He's mine grin

Went in to reserve him this morning, he will be coming home with me tomorrow afternoon grin

Thank you for all of your advice, knowledgable litter tray people. I'm sure I'll be back for more once he's home.

Yay!!! How exciting. grin

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 16-Nov-12 15:14:03

I bet you could burst with excitement.

I am glad you gave an older cat a chance. He's obviously decided he likes the look of you and can train you up to his standards.

mignonette Fri 16-Nov-12 15:49:47


Am awaiting photographs of your new feline family member. So pleased you have taken the plunge. I took so much pride in the fact that I had given a stray cat a good home and that Thomas became the Princeling of the house.

I am finding it very hard first thing in the morning especially, coming down to an empty space on the chair, no cat sitting patiently by his bowl, emitting the tiniest of meows if I did not proceed directly to his food cupboard. I keep waking in the night, painfully aware that my feet are not being pinned down by the weight of a very heavy cat and aware that I can now move my feet and legs with impunity because there will be no more 'gentle' nips if I dare to move when he has made himself so comfortable....

I cannot bring myself to wipe away his little muddy paw prints from my back door nor clean the kitchen window which he used to climb in and out of and left little tufts of white fur gathered around the window fastening-his fur got everywhere.....

The pain I feel has shocked me. I really really loved my cat.

zonedout Fri 16-Nov-12 21:31:32

Oh mignonette, I am so so sorry. It has been clear all the way through the thread how much you loved Thomas and how very very special he was to you. The hole he has left must be enormous. I am truly sorry. As a fellow animal lover who has felt the sheer raw grief of losing an adored pet, I am sat here with tears in my eyes for you. Thomas's story will always stay with me, somehow he has become part of the story of the cat I am about to adopt. I will treasure him all the more, having had the reminder of how very fragile life is and how we never know what might be waiting for us around the corner. Thinking of you.

mignonette Fri 16-Nov-12 21:38:45

Thank you ZonedOut

Having others recognise Thomas's importance to us really helps. Knowing that our devastation is recognised and not belittled really helps. Too many people would say "It's just a cat".

They are never 'just' cats, or any other pet for that matter. we had an amazing Hamster called Rocky who's cage could barely contain the sheer size of his 'personality'. I still think of him 8 years later....

Thomas was such a comfort to me when my father died this Summer and the first time he deigned to sit on my lap was the day of Dad's death. I came home after being awake for 34 hours, sank into the chair and Thomas leapt up and wrapped himself around me. He was company in a way that Humans cannot be, much as I love my DH and children! He was funny, and mad as a fish and so totally his 'own man-cat'. Such a funny mixture of swaggering braveness and timidity.

Enjoy your new cat, Zonedout and thank you for taking in a rescue pet. The pride I felt in providing a princely life to Thomas will hopefully provide some comfort to me over the coming months...

zonedout Sun 18-Nov-12 14:44:17

He's here grin

I collected him yesterday and he spent the rest of the day hiding under the bed of his allocated 'safe' room (as per Cats Protection's instructions).

He came straight out to see me this morning when I came in with his breakfast (he likes his food, is apparently massively overweight so I have to have him on a strict diet, poor baby sad) and he came to me for some very purry cuddles smile. He is still hiding a fair bit but coming out for some lovely strokes and tummy rubs too.

Will gradually introduce him to the rest of the house this week and then to my dear old dog (fingers crossed for that one!)

Mignonette, I am thinking of you.

Fab. smile The hiding will soon be a thing of the past.

mignonette Sun 18-Nov-12 16:16:32


How exciting smile. Food will be a very useful familiarisation tool seeing as he is obviously food-led! Am looking forward to continued updates.

Still having unpredictable outbursts of tears alongside the more predictable times such as seeing the bare space by the door where his bowl and mat used to be. Trying to stop myself dwelling on fact that he was laying undiscovered all afternoon and night; nothing I can do about that now. The cat shelter were lovely when I took an enormous bag stuffed full of his cat treats, mat and bowl, scratch posts, food and flea treatments as I'd cried the whole journey there and looked pretty blotchy upon arrival. Have kept his fleece, blanket and toys.

zonedout Sun 18-Nov-12 16:32:03

sad oh Mignonette. How wonderful that you are being so kind and helping other cats even during your own grief. I know it's very easy to say but please try not to beat yourself up. There was nothing you could have done. You gave Thomas everything, you gave him so much love and I have absolutely no doubt he knew that.

mignonette Sun 18-Nov-12 16:39:25

Thank you. I'm considering going to the shelter for a few hours each week. They want people to sit with cats to help maintain their socialisation-you sit with them and read a book, play with them etc.

I'm not considering getting another cat yet as it would not be fair and DH is adamant that he cannot countenance the anxiety it would generate regarding it's well being for now. But I do need to do something and having taken sick leave from work as I'm not doing so good at the moment, it would maybe help.

Think Thomas had a vestigial memory of being hungry and stray because he would get quite distressed when he was hungry-in the middle of the night he'd clump about trying to get our attention even though he'd been fed properly earlier. I usually left a little dry food out for him but sometimes he just seemed to panic. He never stayed outside for more than 45 minutes or so before coming back in to 'check' all was well. He always came running when I called. That is why I knew he was gone after only an hour and a half of no sign of him.

zonedout Sun 18-Nov-12 16:50:49

That sounds like a wonderful thing to do smile. I do find that sometimes to do something very 'giving' when times are crap can almost provide a little relief from one's own pain (if that makes any sense at all blush), not to mention provide some much needed attention for the cats. I'm sorry you are struggling so much. it sounds as though you have had such an awful lot to deal with sad

The more I hear about Thomas, the more wonderful he sounded. I will be very lucky if my new boy turns out half as lovely.

mignonette Sun 18-Nov-12 17:45:52

Yes you have hit the nail on the head; helping does help relieve the pain and will hopefully help what I know is unwarranted guilt to dissipate. The shelter are cool about it, they know I am not using them as personal therapy and that any commitment will be a long term one. I may end up fostering older cats one day. Maybe Spring time.

It has shocked me how much this has dragged me down to the bottom of what I think I can cope with. I didn't wail like this when my Father died but in a funny way I find it hard to miss him because we were never close and with him living most of the year abroad, you cannot miss what you did not have. I guess I grieve over his suffering, his early death and the loss my stepm/ his wife has to endure. With my cat, he was ssuch a companion, such a funny contradictory fellow (like most cats are) and he was present, you know?

I'm sure your new cat will be a wonderful unique little fellow- they are all so different in their 'cat-ness'

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