Why a Kitten Rather Than A Cat?
Kittens are adorable, hard work, entertaining, often destructive, and usually delightful. It is a joy to own one at least once in your life. Many people take on older cats, often because there are many more of them needing a good home than kittens, find homes more easily because of their appeal. It is hard work – they keep you on your toes like any baby or toddler. Indeed, many people taking on a kitten for the first time after many years of owning adult cats comment that they had forgotten what hard work it is!
Some aspects of your personality may also affect the type of kitten you choose, or should choose, and the lifestyle you will have with it, such as whether it goes outside or stays indoors.
Are you patient?
Kittens do require patience, and if you are taking on a long-haired cat you may have to spend a great deal of time grooming – Persians especially will not be able to look after their coats on their own.
Are you house-proud – do you mind accidents, scratched furniture or wallpaper, hair on the furniture, litter boxes, etc.?
Tales of kittens climbing up curtains are based on truth -they may well shin up anything they can and in the process knock off ornaments or pull down curtains that are not securely fixed! Remember when you had children or friends visiting with children and put all the valuables away? Time to do it again. Cats do shed hair, and longAÃ¯Â¿Â½haired cats shed a lot of it.
Are you overprotective?
Some people could not bear to take on a cat and then let it face the risks of going outside. They may want to keep it indoors – but there are things to consider if taking this option, both at the outset and as it grows.
What sort of owner will you be? What do you want from your cat? Do you want a close relationship, or are you happy to live with it and respect it for its independence? Owners can be dissatisfied with their cat because they have unrealistic expectations of how it might live with them or because the cat does not fit what they want. One such story was told to me recently by a member of a rescue organization. A very nice lady came in and adopted a beautiful tortoiseshell-and-white cat. She brought it back the next day because, as an artist, she could not cope with the fact that the markings on its legs were not symmetrical – she had even considered coloring it in! Suggestions by staff that she could use artistic license when she was painting it fell on deaf ears!
OK, self-analysis finished – you have thought it through and are ready to choose your kitten. It may have seemed a little labored but, if a dog is for life, then a cat is for even longer! Many cats live for fourteen years and upward, so they are potentially with you for a long time, sometimes longer than children. What are the choices available to you?