Give your cat a nose-to-tail exam, making sure that its ears and teeth are clean and odorless, fur is free of parasites, skin is lump- and bump-free, and weight has remained stable.read more
When I first found my cat, Earl Gray, he was around 3 years old. That was 13 years ago.
Now at age 16, Earl has slowed down. He still loves to cuddle, and he wakes me up every morning by purring loudly and gently head-butting my face. It’s my signal to get up, turn on the bathroom faucet (Earl only drinks from the faucet), wait for him while he drinks, clean his litter box and serve him breakfast. It’s our routine.
We all associate kittens with playfulness, but the kitten in Earl comes out every once in a while. He races up and down the stairs and then he rests for a while, which means I can rest too.
Having an older cat definitely has its perks. Here are the top five benefits of adopting an older cat:
1. They are mellower than kittens. They are also more appreciative of being adopted.
2. What you see is what you get. They are grown and their personalities are fully developed.
3. They aren’t troublemakers. Kittens are more daring than cats, so they get into more trouble. They will eat things they shouldn’t, such as electrical cords or papers. Kittens also tend to fall from high places more often than cats, and they’re more likely to get injured.
4. You don’t have to train them. Cats spend a good portion of their lives grooming themselves. Kittens are just developing this skill, and they tend to miss the litter box more often than older cats.5. They’re better to have around children. When we have playdates at my house, most of the kids get excited when they spot Earl. They’re often loud and they tend to rush up to him. A cat knows to get out of the way, whereas a curious kitten can get harmed.
Michele C. Hollow is a journalist and an author who specializes in writing about animal welfare. Her blog, Pet News and Views, covers pet care, wildlife, and people who work with and on the behalf of animals.
Cats reach full skeletal development when they are this old: