We are all familiar with the four seasons that usher in different weather and mark the passing of time. The other, more difficult to spot season happening all around you right now is kitten season. From the onset of spring through early fall, thousands of kittens will be pouring into shelters rain or shine: It is a tsunami of kittens.While nothing makes a heart melt like a teeny fluffy kitten face, these adorable babies overcrowd shelters, compete for resources and attention, and make it difficult for homeless adult cats to find homes of their own. Adopting a kitten may be the right choice for some, but there are ample benefits to consider when you include more mature cats in your adoption equation.
When you meet an adult cat (8 months and older), you are able to get an understanding of its temperament and personality — adults cats know who they are. Of course, kittens are aww-inducing, but it is impossible to know what the future holds as far as their disposition and habits.
As volunteers involved in animal rescue, The Dancing Cat focuses on supporting wonderful adoptions. Before you adopt, it is good practice to identify the traits that really matter to you in a feline companion, and then find a cat that suits you. Do you work a lot and need an independent cat? Is an active, playful, robust cat the right fit for your family? Is a Netflix-binging partner your ideal feline friend? An adult cat has already developed her character and can better demonstrate who she is when you meet her.
Rescuing an adult cat is incredibly rewarding; you are giving a second chance to an animal that is waiting for the love and kindness you can offer and it deserves. Adult cats are not lost causes incapable of forming bonds — totally the opposite in fact. Most adult cats end up in shelters due to life circumstances experienced by previous owners (housing or financial issues, allergies, death in the family, etc.) that resulted in the cats being surrendered or left homeless to fend for themselves on the street.
When cared for properly by a loving family, cats can live well into their late teens, and sometimes early 20s. 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.
If you are not sure about adopting an adult cat, why not consider fostering? Being a foster parent through a rescue organization is the perfect opportunity to experience the joy of caring for and bonding with an adult cat while being guided and supported by experienced volunteers. All supplies and veterinary costs are covered by the rescue organization while you provide a loving and safe space for a previously homeless cat to thrive. You can even foster if you have existing pets in the home, you just need a room or area where you can keep your foster cat separated. Don’t pass up an opportunity to save a life thinking someone else may heed the call — foster parents are desperately needed in every Bay Area city.
Don’t just take our word for it; spend an hour with adoptable adult cats at The Dancing Cat and find out firsthand what these fabulous felines have to offer. The Dancing Cat’s cage-free environment provides previously homeless adult cats a place to wander and play. Given a chance for their authentic kitty natures to emerge, these adoptable adult cats enjoy the company of cat lovers while they wait to find their wonderful forever homes. All cats, regardless of age, deserve a chance to be safe, loved and cared for.
Are you a San Francisco Bay area cat behaviorist, cat consultant, or cat expert who would like to contribute to this column, Kitty Corner? Send email to Editor@BayWoof.com.
Main article photo by: Photo by Jevtic-istock