Thursday, December 1, 2011

What About Me?

Remember the kitten I am fostering? Well, the super cute yet super messy Archie (SURPRISE! IT'S A BOY!) got me thinking about the great debate on whether people should adopt a kitten (under 1 yr) or an adult (1 yr +). Let me present a case for the older category. Kittens sure are cute! They are also messy, high energy, and their personalities haven't quite formed yet. They want to climb drapes, scratch (mark) their territories and use your couch as an Indy 500 race track at all hours of the night. Did I mention the chewing on everything as their teeth develop? However, adult cats can still be playful, loving, calm and grateful for being in their "fur-ever" homes. These lovely older cats were given up for no fault of their own. Most of the time, they were given up because of owner illness, divorce, death, they wandered too far from home and weren't micro-chipped, and even the occasional overly nervous new parents of human babies (as crazy as that sounds). Here are talking points to encourage older (even more shy) cat adoptions:
1) Older cats are usually litter box trained. Adult cats don’t play in their box as much and understand the true purpose so will usually cooperate with your efforts to keep theirs tidy.
2) You avoid most of the emotional turmoil of being worried that you are going to step on the tiny moving fur-balls in the middle of the night since they haven't learned the meaning of personal space.
3) Since you didn’t raise the cat, you don’t have to take responsibility for the cat’s shortcomings. Instead, you can blame the former owner and play the role of saint for tolerating their antics.
4) Older cats generally are more quiet and sensible than kittens and generally need less supervision. Instead of becoming bored and needing to let off steam in your absence they are more likely to doze, leaving your furnishings, drapes, etc. intact.
5) An older cat is fully grown so you can see what you are taking on - large, medium, small, long-haired, semi-long haired or short-haired, placid or active. The cat's previous owner or shelter volunteers will provide details of its character, allowing you to select a cat that suits your own needs and lifestyle.
6) As cats grow older, they are more home-oriented and settled. If you enjoy pampering your cats, an older cat will be much more appreciative of this attention than a kitten. Cats are at their most companionable in later years.
7) You’re saving a life - The simple fact of the matter is that older cats are harder to adopt out, because people naturally gravitate toward the kittens in all their over-the-top cuteness. It is unfair to these cats that have already lost their homes should live out the rest of their years in a shelter, even one as nice as KSC where the volunteers love and coddle them as if they were their own, this is no replacement for a real home with a human to call their own.
8) Less of a commitment - When adopting a kitten, few people consider that this feline will be a part of their lives for possibly 16 to even 20 years. Adult cats aren’t at a shelter because they are defective or worn out. They may have simply outlived their former owners or been unable to join them at a hospital, nursing home, or new apartment.
9) Kittens are like human babies: everything goes in their mouths. Whether teething or just exploring bits of the world around them, kittens can be destructive little bundles of fur. Adult cats typically chew less, if at all because they tend to save their energy for more important activities, like window squirrel/bird hunting.
10) It might be their last chance. Separated from their loved ones, surrounded by other strange cats, confused and sometimes frightened, many are emotionally devastated by their misfortune. Kittens will always be popular, but for the abandoned, forgotten, and heartbroken adult cats, you just might be their last chance to have the love and warmth of a home where they can live out their years in comfort. When cared for properly, cats can live well into their late teens or early twenties. Typically, they will remain active and playful throughout most of their lives. Some may need a little extra patience while adjusting to a new home, but once they feel safe and secure again, most will give you years of faithful companionship and unconditional love.

King Street Cats has a special spotlight on "What About Me" cats this December. These cats are sweet, loving, adorable, adult-like and looking for a special person to cuddle up with during these chilly nights. Please consider opening up your hearts and home to an older or more overlooked cat.

What About Me TM is an ongoing campaign of King Street Cats focused on helping ALL of our kitties find homes.


Melissa Murphy said...

Thanks KSC for continuing to highlight the special cats. As "mom" to a very shy cat, I can tell you what a joy it is when they finally start to trust you. Little Mei went from being semi-feral/untouchable to now jumping up on the sofa beside me to insist on getting her snuggle in.

RandomlySpeaking said...

Those are the most satisfying moments! Thanks for sharing, Melissa!