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posted: 10/10/2013 10:52 AM

Advantages to adopting an older kitten are numerous

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  • Honey, a 4-year-old female, is seeking a forever home.

      Honey, a 4-year-old female, is seeking a forever home.
    Courtesy of The Buddy Foundation

  • Rascal is a very sweet, black-and-white, 4-year-old female with beautiful hazel eyes, sure to melt your heart. She loves attention and is waiting patiently for a loving owner to pet her for hours. Rascal is best friends with Sly and gets along well with other cats.

      Rascal is a very sweet, black-and-white, 4-year-old female with beautiful hazel eyes, sure to melt your heart. She loves attention and is waiting patiently for a loving owner to pet her for hours. Rascal is best friends with Sly and gets along well with other cats.
    Courtesy of The Buddy Foundation

  • Sly is a very sweet and handsome 6-year-old, domestic shorthair, gray, tabby cat. He loves people and is a lap cat who loves to be petted. He is waiting for you to take him home. Sly is best friends with Rascal and plays well with other cats.

      Sly is a very sweet and handsome 6-year-old, domestic shorthair, gray, tabby cat. He loves people and is a lap cat who loves to be petted. He is waiting for you to take him home. Sly is best friends with Rascal and plays well with other cats.
    Courtesy of The Buddy Foundation

 
By Mary Hayashi
The Buddy Beat

Who can resist the charm, antics and cuddliness of a kitten that is between 2 and 3 months old? Even people who do not share their lives with a companion animal cannot deny the irresistibility of a tiny kitten.

A younger kitten, though adorable, may not suit the needs of a particular household for numerous reasons.

Training and supervision of a smaller kitten is a much more rigorous task compared to teaching a larger kitten or adult cat. This translates into many more hours of time and patience.

Choosing a pet that suits your lifestyle is a difficult decision, not without sacrifice. The sacrifice should be made by us, rather than at the expense of the animal -- we need to recognize our limitation.

The fragile size of the smaller kitten can also become an issue if the household has a good amount of foot traffic from children and visitors. It is easy to accidentally step on a kitten as it darts across a room, unexpectedly, from a secret hiding place.

A young kitten's favorite hiding places often put them in constant peril. Their small size allows them access to danger from behind the washer, dryer, refrigerator and other appliances.

If there is a gap between the wall and appliance, a kitten will find it and either crawl up into the motor area of the machine or will be tempted to chew on the coils behind the machine. Suddenly, we are alerted to the kitten's plight by high-pitched meows of terror.

All of these perils are minimized with a larger kitten or cat. As curious as they are, and as hard as they try to crawl behind dangerous places, usually their increased size precludes them from serious harm. They simply no longer fit in a lot of the notorious dangerous places.

Please consult with your veterinarian regarding the definition of a kitten. A kitten is loosely defined as a young cat, under 12 months old. A kitten 7 months old plays just as readily as a kitten 3 months old, but with several advantages.

An older kitten has begun the fine-tuning process of perfecting playing skills. The play is amusing for the spectator at this age because the kitten is just beginning to adjust to the added limb length, the additional weight and its larger paws.

The kitten delights in each new discovery it learns about itself and its increased size. Often times at this stage of growth, the jumping an playing are miscalculated, which adds to the entertainment appeal. An older kitten's personality shines through this clumsy, learning playtime.

An additional advantage to adopting an older kitten is knowing what you see is what you get. You don't have to wait to learn your kitten's personality or disposition and hope for the best.

A tiny kitten will always have a home. Won't you consider adopting an older kitten that will be just as playful, cuddly, loving and entertaining as its smaller counterpart. If you are interested in one of our larger kittens or young cats, call The Buddy Foundation at (847) 290-5606.

• The Buddy Foundation is a nonprofit (501c3), all volunteer, no-kill animal shelter dedicated to the welfare of stray, abused and abandoned cats and dogs. Call (847) 290-5806 or visit thebuddyfoundation.org.

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