One of the best things our family decided to do was to take in an adult cat named Chloe. Growing up around cats, I have experienced my fair share of kittens... but also have fond memories of an adult cat we adopted, when I was in high school, named Leo.
Leo was a very friendly, soft and snuggly cat who entered my life as a confident adult. There were no shredded items or tiny paws snagging my ankles at every turn. He arrived and then promptly took a center position on the couch and our laps.
Though kittens are adorable, with my own young children I didn't want to deal with the boundless energy of a tiny terror, sharp little milk teeth and litter box training. No, I opted to take on an mature cat and it is a decision I have never regretted. You could say that Chloe and I have provided each other a mutually beneficial good life.
In my experience, kittens are often impulsive decisions. Based on looks and tugging at heartstrings, kittens come home and are flexible enough to take on a new family and experiences. The truth is, the patience a kitten would require is currently being sucked up entirely by my 3 young children. Adult cats require more forethought and planning, but also come with great benefits.
- Mature cats do not demand as much time as raising a kitten
- Already litter box trained
- Often spayed, neutered and fully vaccinated
- You know what to expect in the way of temperament, size, coat, etc.
- Are a better fit for children and older adults
I have compiled a list of 10 essential items to get you started and prepared for your new friend. Believe me, your new cat will thank you.
First lets look at the general items you will need.
- Carrier or travel box for vet visits and coming home. An older cat will require more vet visits and having a carrier will make travel easier and safer. Make sure it is well ventilated and your pet may appreciate being able to see you there.
- Identification. You can find an I.D. engraver in most large pet stores and there is even one in my local Walmart. Make sure there is a way to contact you if your pet becomes lost or injured. A newly adopted pet may wander off before they become accustomed to their new home. I like to keep an extra I.D. handy because cats have a talent for slipping out of their collars.
- Brush or Grooming Supplies. Depending on your cat's coat, you may want to get a grooming glove or brushes to keep your pet's coat at its best.
- Treats. Treats are a great ice breaker with a new pet and a great way to build trust. I also keep some handy for Chloe when I want to introduce a new peice of cat furniture or entice her into her carrier.
- Flea & Tick Prevention. Growing up we used flea collars, but now I use an easy treatment to keep parasites away. It only needs to be reapplied every few months. This helps to keep fleas down on my indoor/outdoor cat as well as in my carpet.
Then you will need to make arrangements for a cat box. I like to find an out of the way place to put my cat's litter box but that is also well ventilated. It needs to also be in an area where I will remember to keep it scooped and changed. For us, the laundry room was the perfect place for these items.
6. Litter Box. This should be clean and free of scratches that can harbor smells and bacteria. I like to change the box itself once a year.
7. Cat Litter. There are so many choices out there for litter - clumping, scented, all natural...your choice.
Not essential, but an item I have grown to enjoy is a Litter Genie. This has helped keep the litter box cleaner and has cut back on the indoor cat smell.
8. A Safe Place. We put up a bed and the blanket she came with to create a safe area with familiar smells. The window also lets in enough light that she can warm up on Winter mornings.
And then, last but not least, you need a place for fresh, clean water and food.
9. Food & Water Dishes. I prefer a self-waterer and gravity style feeder since we are busy and I don't want Chloe to run out of food. She doesn't have a problem with overeating so this has worked best for us.
10. The Right Food. I chose GOODLIFE™ dry cat food Indoor Recipefor Chloe because she primarily lives indoors. It is available in my local Walmart and reasonably priced. Chloe enjoys the taste and I appreciate that chicken is the first ingredient on the bag.
There are 3 different recipes, Indoor Recipe, Real Chicken Recipe and Real Salmon Recipe, all available at Walmart. Chloe spends much of her day inside, enjoying the good life, so the indoor recipe made the most sense for her. The protein contect is a little lower (but, she isn't as active, either) and it contains added fiber to help control hairballs. That is really important when you have a long haired cat.
None of the GOODLIFE™ brand recipes contain corn, soy or wheat. Either chicken or salmon top the list of ingredients. Yes, its a grain free cat food option. You can get nutrition information, see how other leading brands stack up and even score a $1 off cat food coupon for GOODLIFE™ Cat food on the brand site.
If adopting a cat is in your future, give adopting a mature cat some thought. Ask around because a cat you know may need a new home.
How did we find Chloe? After posting a humorous "Cat Wanted" letter on Facebook, a old high school classmate responded by saying that her growing family had one too many cats. Over a direct message photo of Chloe, we knew we had found our cat. She has proven that mature cats have just as much love to offer a new family as a kitten.
I would even say, she has more.
Do you have cats? Have you ever adopted an adult cat?