Friday, 30 November 2018 14:27

Porky & Buddy Column: Get A Kitten or An Adult Cat?

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Dear Porky & Buddy: I am getting ready to adopt a feline friend for the first time and my kids saw a kitten on Petfinder.com and want me to adopt a kitten.

I was thinking about adopting an adult cat, especially since my kids are a little rambunctious, to put it politely, but it’s also important to me that they bond with our new pet. What do you think? Signed, Alan


Dear Alan,

We think that no self-respecting parent would allow a child unsupervised time on Petfinder.com. As much as we love Petfinder.com, you were asking for trouble. So it’s time to be the adult and set the rules, based on the facts.

Kittens, like kids, can be a royal pain. They tend to be very energetic and messy. They play, not only with toys but also inside their litter box, leaving the litter mess for you to clean up. Adult cats use the litter box for what it is intended for, not as a sand box, and they are simply not as messy as their kitten counterparts.

Kittens, especially ones that are switching foods or are just weaned, are more likely to develop diarrhea than older cats. Loose stools usually mean more clean-up on both your kitten's hind-end and the litter box, as well as odors for you to manage. Medicating a kitten with diarrhea can also be messy. If you are already dealing with a bunch of messy kids, do you want to add frequent litter box cleaning to your schedule?

Just like human children, kittens tend to cause more trouble than adults. Kittens are curious and mischievous and seem to get into things they shouldn't, knock things off counter tops, eat things that aren't edible, chew on things that you need. Older cats can also be curious and playful, but they are not as likely to be jerks.

Speaking of jerks, kittens are, because of their small and fragile bodies, also more vulnerable to the mindless carelessness of children. They can be dropped, get stepped on accidentally, or be squeezed too tightly in a hug. We’re not saying your kids would do any of these things deliberately, but you mentioned that they are “rambunctious.” Older cats are less breakable by children and know how to get out of the way to avoid disaster. Plus, older cats will often be more accepting of being petted by kids, while a kitten will just wiggle away. While a kitten may seem like a toy to your kids, an older cat is more likely to seem like a companion. And that’s what you are looking for, right?

If you still haven’t convinced your kids that adopting an older cat is a better idea, then how about convincing them to be heroes? Adopting an older cat can save that cat’s life because shelters have a harder time finding homes for older cats. What could be better for a child than to be a hero?

We invite you to come to our Photo with Santa event on Saturday December 1st, 2018. Bring your family and pets for a photo for only $5.00. We will send you a digital copy for your convenience! Please bring your animal on a leash or in a carrier and provide rabies information.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Located at 29 West Seneca Street, Oswego, New York Phone: (315) 207-1070 Email: [email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org Instagram: @oswego_humane

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