Kitten Season Starts Soon, But Don’t Forget Older Cats

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on February 25, 2020

When thoughts of growing your family by four little paws first arise, dreams of fluffy kittens fill our minds. How could they not? With tiny mews and playful antics, kittens cause cat lovers to melt. And once kitten season begins and the shelters fill, these sweet babies often overshadow the adult cats in need of homes too.

Cat mating season runs from spring to late fall and with the gestational period for cat mothers running around 9 weeks, animal shelters expect to see the first wave of kittens in May. From there, volunteering and fostering attentions turn to kitten care. It’s a scramble to help newborn and older kittens found in the wild or on the streets.  And when the kittens are ready to be adopted, it’s the little cuties that go first, leaving adult and senior cats waiting longer to find their new families.

But many of them never do.


Using the database of adoptable pets on Petfinder, analytics done by discovered “baby cats are much more likely to get adopted than adults.” The rate of adoption in kittens runs around 80% while only 60% of older cats find their forever homes.


Highlighting the Older Cats in Shelters

Animal rescue groups and shelters are working their hardest to put older cats front and center. By holding events aimed at spotlighting older cats and offering incentives, rescue workers and volunteers are doing everything they can because they know every kitty matters, from fat kittens to lazy seniors.


Regarding an event with the purpose of finding homes for older cats, Estrella Cervantes, the in-take supervisor at the Southern Oregon Humane Society reported, “During kitten season, everyone tends to be drawn towards the kittens and our adult cats will sit here a little longer so we’re just trying to find a way to promote and let people know that an adult cat might be the best fit for your home.”

And this is a great step as many people don’t realize an older cat might indeed be better for their home.


The benefits of adopting an older cat are plenty and here are just a few:

  • Older cats aren’t as messy as kittens
  • They have better manners
  • Already litter trained
  • You have an idea of their personality
  • Adult cats and children are usually a better match

And above all else, older cats still love cuddles and they still want to play.


Next time you’re at the shelter, whether adopting or volunteering, remember older cats need love too!

Feature Image: @veenie_gram/Instagram & @cliftoncats/Instagram

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog