5 Reasons to Adopt an Adult Cat


Making the decision to adopt a cat is the beginning of an exciting journey. And for each adopter, the journey is a little different. Today in our Adoption Tails Series, we will see how one adopter turned to searching online for her perfect furry friend – and searched specifically for an adult cat.

But before we get to Karen’s adoption story, here are some reasons to consider adopting an adult cat.

tortie cat

5 Reasons to Adopt an Adult Cat

  1. Adult cats have just as much love to give as a kitten. And they are also still playful.
  2. They have developed into their personalities, so adult cats are easier to match with an adopter who is looking for a specific trait or personality.
  3. Although they still need ample love and attention (as all cats need), adult cats usually require less attention than a kitten.
  4. Well cared for cats can live up to 15 years or longer. So by adopting an adult cat, you still have many years with them.
  5. Adult cats generally wait longer in shelters and rescues to be adopted.

Karen’s Search Begins

After volunteering at her local humane society, Karen knew that she wanted to adopt a cat instead of going to a pet store. She also knew that she didn’t want a kitten because they are easier to adopt out and she preferred to rescue an adult cat.

In the midst of moving from Central California to Southern California, Karen knew there were a lot of shelters and rescues to choose from. So, instead of going rescue-by-rescue, Karen turned to PetFinder.org once she was settled into her new home.

At PetFinder, Karen set her search criteria to “adult” and watched the results flow in. She loved how there were so many rescue groups who had pictures online, and she found a lot of adult cats to choose from. Karen did consider visiting a couple of adoption centers as well, but she came across one particular cat who stole her heart before that could happen.

tortie cat

How Joon Became a Pumpkin

Joon was an adult, female tortie cat who had been on the “kill list” at a Los Angeles shelter. But lucky for Joon, a cat rescue stepped in just in time and rescued her from the shelter. And even luckier for Joon, Karen had her heart set on the female cat as soon as she saw her online.

Karen set up a time to meet Joon, who was being fostered by the rescue group. When she arrived at the foster’s house, Karen loved the adult cat immediately. Joon was a bit shy at first, but she then curled up in Karen’s lap, sealing the deal.

Karen adopted Joon on Halloween in 2013 and fittingly renamed her Pumpkin.

When asked about her favorite thing about Pumpkin, Karen says “when she comes up to my head and either lies down on my pillow or my arm and snuggles. She wants me to pet her and keep her warm.”

It sounds like Pumpkin knows she’s found the perfect forever home. And now, over three years later, Pumpkin happily runs the house.

tortie cat playing


Have you ever adopted an adult cat? What made you do so?

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50 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Adopt an Adult Cat

  1. Our Miri Billie Joe was an older cat when we adopted her. In her case her human, an elderly lady, sadly had to go into a nursing home and couldn’t take her pets. She had three cats all of which eventually found homes. Our Miri Billie Joe was the last one left. When we went to see her she was all by herself in an empty house. The old lady’s son-in-law didn’t particularly like cats and was glad to see her go.

    She’s a wonderful warm and loving kitty. So glad that we took her into our home.

  2. Hooray for Karen and Pumpkin! We love a match made in heaven. Seamus was two when we all were adopted, and in the past, our pet parents adopted a kitty who was seven. Thanks for telling everyone how great adult cats are!

  3. My adult cat came in through my terrace when I went out to water the plants there. She had run away from a home where the lady had left her without food for six months. she expected the cat to catch mice to survive. she hopped from terrace to terrace till she ran into my house. she is a grey cat and the friendliest and most tender of all my five cats!

    1. Aww, it sounds like she ended up on the perfect terrace when she ran into your house! I’m glad she found you.

  4. I think adult cats just make more sense for people of a certain age to adopt anyway. My husband is just over 70 and I’m about to turn 70 and making a commitment to care for a kitten who may live 17+ years is tough and we WANT to be totally committed. Adult cat would be ideal……….we just aren’t QUITE ready to adopt after Sammy’s passing though – need a tiny bit more time…………….

    Love, Pam

    1. Big hugs to you and your husband. I understand – and know the perfect cat will come along when you’re ready.

  5. Pumpkin is beautiful! Truly beautiful! Bear was already 8 months old when I found him … but he acted like a kitten for the first couple years. Some times I miss seeing him as a tiny kitten … but the rewards are just the same. Even more in some respects, because I truly had to earn his trust and love … he wasn’t socialized to humans in the time frame most experts will tell you is the most critical.

  6. Pumpkin is a beauty, I am glad she was rescued. Almost every cat I have ever had was adopted as an adult with the exception of 3.

  7. My son adopted an adult cat that became my cat when he had to move back home. Sam was adorable! The first week with us he was really depressed so I sat with him and encouraged him to join me while I watched TV for quiet time. Very quickly we bonded and as soon as I would sit down, even if he was sitting on my son’s lap, he ran straight for my lap. All I had to do was gently tap my leg and Sam came running! Sadly Sam passed away no long after he came to live with us, but I will always remember him as a very special kitty.

  8. Hooray for Pumpkin AND for Karen. I was adopted as an adult cat, My age was given as anything from 7 months to 3 years. My peeps are elderly and didn’t want a kitten because they didn’t have that much time to devote to playing with one. They also knew that kittens are easier to adopt out. They got me and 11 years later, I’m still as playful as a kitten.

  9. Snoops here – I was kicked out of my home when I got pregnant. I found a good spot behind the rescue center to have my kittens. It took me a while to fully trust my forever home parents, but now it’s pawsome.

  10. Pumpkin is a lucky girl to get a second chance. When we adopted Wizard, we went to the shelter(pound) and looked at all the kitties. The one we liked was not you up for adoption. They keep them for a week hoping their families will come for them. So we looked at a couple more. We ask for one older kitty who had lost her family and no one wanted to take her on, but she would not come out of her cage. So we ask to see out third choice. They took us to a visiting room and turned him loose. He walked to Dad and and allowed him to pick him up. He loved on Dad till Dad put him down. He walked past Mom and ignored her! He went back to the shelter person. Then back to Dad! Dad put him in Mom’s lap and told him he needed to suck up to her cause she would be the constant in his life. He allowed Mom to hold him and pet him. When he came home he was an only cat. Mom would come home from work and lie down on the couch and Wizard would step up on the couch and stretch out beside her! The first night, he slept between the pillows on the bed. That was always his spot! They thought he was around 2 and was fully intact. His eye lashed on one eye rolled in and had to be surgically corrected.

  11. Pumpkin is too beautiful for words! What a special love story. I’ve always adopted adult cats; actually never had a kitten! Sashi and Tara were 9 and 7 respectively, and Truffles and Mudpie were both 2.

  12. Lexy was almost two when I adopted her. For her companion, I was specifically looking for an adult cat. But then I met Lola, who I thought was a year but was really only seven months old. I always advocate for people to adopt an older cat.

  13. Of the… million? (8, I think)… cats I’ve adopted over my life, 5 have been adults: I found Boo at the shelter when I was there for some other business. She was due to be euthanized that night so I threw a fit, had her put on hold, and came back for her the next day. Skritches was found in the road, hit by a car with only facial injuries (broken jaws and detached retinas)… several thousand dollars (literally) of recovery later, she was mine. AdamCat showed up one night while I was looking for Moshi. He showed up more & more and eventually moved in… which was fine except that he and Moshi used to have “spray” battles… each marking & re=marked territory… and Adam’s spray is freakishly intense (even the vet thinks so). Princess Cuddlebutt also just showed up one day and stuck around for the free food. A neighbor and I guessed her to be 6-months and were sort of battling over who would take her – till PCB, aka “La Terrorista” demonstrated her psycho personality and the neighbor said, “she’s yours!” When I took her to the vet, she turned out to be 5 YEARS old. I’m currently attempting to tame a stray, semi-wild, male cat who looks to be about 8yrs old.

    I want to adopt a male senior with disabilities – but have to recognize it’s just not realistic given the chaos of my current household (5 cats, 4 of which hate all the rest) and pending layoff (no money for vet bills).

      1. it was more about how cute she was… a very deceitful appearance of innocence – plus she was on the small side! but now she’s so fat that the doc wants her on a diet.

  14. Stevie was already grown when I adopted him and I could not have asked for a better cat. He was a companion for my slightly older cat Oliver so I thought an adult would be best and it was definitely the right decision.

  15. Pumpkin is so beautiful, no wonder you fell in love with her. If I am ever in the position to adopt another cat it will definitely be an older one.

  16. Love love LOVE this! I am so happy for Karen and Pumpkin! I wish more people would consider adopting older cats. They have so much to give. I have adopted older cats and of course, Miss Ruby was an older dog adoption. My favorite senior cat adoption story is Cleo. We brought her home as a foster hospice cat. She was 13 and in kidney failure and the shelter vet thought she was near the end. Believe it or not, she perked up at our house and lived several more years! A home can work magic!

  17. Beautiful! Hooray for Karen and Pumpkin!

    We’ve always adopted very adult kitties, and they’ve always been amazing members of our little family. :)

  18. Reason #6 You know what bad habits you’re getting with an adult cat! I got my cats as rescue kittens and only later realized that one will chew through every cord in the house if you let him… We now have the computers, TV, chargers, printer, etc in a separate room that he’s not allowed to go in.

  19. Pumpkin is so beautiful! I love her markings. I’m so glad she was taken off of that kill list. Adult cats are pawsome. I think that some people would be better off adopting an adult cat versus a kitten. Kittens are a lot of work! They aren’t always the best mix for young kids either. Adult cats are lot more mellow and in control of their teeth and claws.

  20. MOL…we love it! In the end we all rule the house, I think we’re good in that, don’t we Pumpkin…MOL :D Yes, we would adopt an adult cat, not only because they deserve a happy home, but also because they are as cute as the youngsters. Good Luck Pawkisses to Pumpkin and Karen and all the other amazing kitties in the world :) <3

  21. Those are all great reasons to adopt an adult cat! Devi joined our household as an adult. Sphynx don’t often end up in shelters or rescues, at least here in Canada (there are sadly more in rescues in the US), and our dad is sadly very allergic to furred cats, but fortunately not to Sphynx. Anyhow, Devi was a rescue in need of a new home and was only located a couple of hours from us, so she joined our family when she was 4. While she can be a pain in the butt at times, she is generally a good sister, and we love her.

  22. What a happy story!
    I made a mini poster to hang on the wall at PAWS. It’s a nice picture of Buddy (who’s 12) and the caption reads, “Too old to climb the curtains, but young enough to climb on your lap”.
    xxoo
    Maggie

  23. Great story – and so important to remind others about adopting older cats–i adopted my very own tortie –Amarula as an adult and I could not have been happier!

  24. What a wonderfully sweet story! We are so glad that Pumpkin’s mom adopted her. She is absolutely adorable – we can understand why her mom fell in love with her right away! We have adopted adult cats before. Sassy was the oldest – she was about 2-3 years old when we rescued her off the streets. Sophie and Caster were about a year old when we adopted them. Delilah and Sampson were the only true baby kittens we adopted.

Any thoughts to share?