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Should I adopt a kitten or an adult cat?

Kittens really require companionship, and preferably a cat close to their own age, to play with. If you have no other cats, consider getting two kittens so they can tire each other out without resorting to using your precious household objects to amuse themselves. Besides-- nothing is cuter than two kitty friends cuddled together. Also keep in mind that a cat will live 15 to 20 years, which is quite a long time.

Cute as they are with all their antics, kittens are also playful when you want to sleep.
And like all baby animals, they are teething and will chew on shoes, the corners of books, ear lobes, carpet tassels, electrical cords, drapery strings, and your plants.
And--just as you are less likely than a 2 year old human to go around town with chocolate goo smeared on your face, likewise adult cats are also more adept at personal hygiene than kittens. :-)

If you already have an elderly cat, the kitten will be more likely to consider your furniture more amusing than playing with the elder cat, so consider getting another older cat.
There will be some adjustment time (just like us adults, we need time to adjust to 'sharing' ) but they will be happier with another sensible adult than a crazy kitten!

A young adult cat may be the perfect solution for a home with smaller children.
Little kids can be too rough with kittens, because they don't understand that kittens, for all their rough and tumble, can be very fragile.
Also kittens don't understand that their tiny sharp claws hurt a LOT, and may inadvertently frighten children who are scratched.
Young adult cats (ages 1 - 4 have all the playfulness of kittens but are also happy to settle in when you read a book or the newspaper.

Adult cats are great for working singles or couples who need to leave a cat unattended during the day.
Kittens can become bored and mischievous when left home alone day after day.
Consider a pair of cats to keep each other company when you go away for the weekend.

Older kitties are beyond the leg and curtain climbing stage.
They have well established hygienic habits, and (if you get one from a shelter) will already be neutered.
Older kitties are happy just to be lap cats, and you'll find, other than the occasional catnip mouse or string chase, their days of rampaging around the house and shredding the toilet paper are gone.

Senior cats are a good choice for seniors, especially those who live alone, who want companionship but anticipate major life changes in the next 10-20 years.
Many senior citizens greatly benefit from the company of a pet but avoid animal companionship because they worry "what would happen to my pet if something happens to me?".

You'll often find older cats in shelters because their human companions have moved in with another family member or into assisted living, and no other alternative was found for a perfectly lovable kitty.
Often these cats will be quite devoted to their humans--they appreciate the good things in life.
Older cats don't ask for much – just a warm place to sleep, good meals, and plenty of love!!
Both senior and cat benefit from a loving companion.
Plus-- most senior cats have a reduced adoption fee!!