He leaped out of the cage and grabbed me around the shoulders. My shock quickly turned into amazement. He hadn’t sunk his claws into me! My thought was, “This cat definitely knows good manners. Somebody has worked with him.” I looked at the ticket on the cage door. It read, “Morgan, male, age 14.”

Age 14? I hesitated. That was pretty old. I put him back in the cage and walked around the shelter, looking the other cats over. There were many nice ones, as well as a few kittens.

But my mind kept going back to Morgan, and I realized that, in fact, I had bonded with him. Fourteen years notwithstanding, we had become buddies.


One of the saddest things you’ll see in Animal Shelters is the number of older cats waiting for adoption. By and large, people are looking for kittens.

The older cats languish, many from happy homes where they were loved and cared for, but brought into the shelter for some reason known only to the owner and the cat.

Many people, who don’t like older cats, like kittens. Kittens are cute, cuddly, and funny. They make pleasing pets ? but lose their “playfulness” when they grow up, and with it the “love” of their owners.

Somebody said that the mark of a true cat lover is to desire to have grown cats over kittens.


Many people don’t think through the consequences of adopting a kitten, or of taking one or two kittens from the litter a friend is trying to get rid of, or bringing into your home one left on your doorstep.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you adopt a kitten:

1. Taking care of themselves. Kittens are pretty marginal in being able to take care of themselves, especially when it comes to using a litter box. Do you have time to house train your kitten?

2. Young children. Do you have young children in the house? A child of 2 or 3 may inadvertently kill a kitten. Older children need to be taught how to play with them and need to be closely supervised.

3. Other pets. Are you bringing a kitten home to a household with other, older pets? Make certain you have the time to spend introducing and acclimating your pets to the kitten (and vice versa)

4. House dangers. Is there anything dangerous in your house that could harm a kitten? If you are not home during the day, have you made sure your kitten is safe while unsupervised?

5. Adoptions other than from an animal shelter. .If you are adopting a kitten from a friend, or taking one from a mother cat’s litter, are you prepared to neuter or spay the kitten and give her the vaccinations she needs?

6. Vaccinations. A kitten receives all of her vaccinations over a period of time. You should make sure you have the time and interest to get her the full regimen.


Somebody said cats are like shoes: one size doesn’t fit all. Still there are some arguably general reasons for adopting a mature cat over a kitten:

1. An older cat is easier to take care of. In fact, to a great extent, an older cat pretty much can take care of itself. Great for the working person who can’t be home during the day.

2. Older cats are generally calmer than younger ones, and adapt more easily to a new environment.

3. Older cats usually come with their vaccinations and spaying or neutering. A kitten, even adopted from a shelter will need a series of vaccinations.

4. Older cats are better with small children than a kitten is. Better to get an older animal that can defend itself.

5. Older cats are usually housebroken. You’ll have to train a kitten.

6. Older cats can feed and take care of themselves whereas a kitten may need your help ? not good for a busy working person.

7. An older cat can “hold its own” against the other family pets (like the dog) better than a kitten can. Unless you’re there to defend it, certain life situations aren’t good for a new kitten.

8. Older cats can better handle a move if you relocate your household. The only thing you have to make sure of is that your cat recognizes your new location as “its den” and doesn’t try to return to your old place.

9. And finally ? older cats catch mice. In these days of smarter mice that avoid all known mousetraps, a mature cat can be invaluable.


Well, his name was “Morgan”, but I renamed him “Tab” because he had the typical marks of a Tabby. Tab and I eventually learned to respect each other, and he ? although a tough old alley cat ? eventually enjoyed sitting in my lap having his battered ears stroked.

He lived five more years, and died at the ripe age of 19. During that time he was my companion during two years of unemployment, providing plenty of understanding, comfort, and love.

One day he definitely “earned his keep”. I found a dead rat in the living room, its neck bitten almost in half. The rat was almost as big as Tab was, but he’d wrestled it down and killed it.

So much for adopting kittens. I’d rather take a tough old alley cat any day of the week.

About The Author

John Young is a writer and a cat lover, having owned one cat or another since he was four, and that was over 57 years ago. He is the author of the E-book: “Your New Cat’s First 24 Hours”, http://www.yourcatsecrets.com.

Finding good homes for cats and kittens can be a difficult task.

Giving them away from a cardboard box in your supermarket’s parking lot is not considered finding a good home! You need to make sure that the adopters are willing to make the commitment to care for a cat for the next twenty years.

Did you ever wonder what happened to them after they were taken away?

To be honest, not everyone who adopts one of your sweet little kittens or puppies is being totally honest with you when they say the animal will have a good home.

Giving away any animal. whether it be an adult or a baby, without screening the potential adopter and without charging some sort of good faith fee can put your animal in dangers that you never would have considered.

There are people who make their living by go around picking up these “Free To a Good Home” animals and sell them to labs for medical research. You don’t want to know what happens to them there. They will even bring kids with them so you believe they are a happy family looking for a little kitten

Free animals are also taken for sacrifice, they are used for bait to train attack dogs, they are even used for food for snakes. By just giving them away, you are basically saying that these animals have no value at all.

By putting a set price on them you are making it less desirable for these people as you are eating up their profit.

If you don’t feel right about asking a price for a kitten, you can request that a donation be made to your favorite charity or local animal shelter.

You’ve cared enough about this animal to find it a good home, that entitles you to a donation, or to asking for one for your chosen charity.

How To Find Potential Good Homes For Your Kittens

* Place posters in your local veterinarian’s office, or humane society or animal shelter if they will allow it….always ask first.

* Be careful about putting an ad in the paper. At the very least – do not put a “free kittens or puppies to good homes” ad in the paper.

Here are some of the people that might answer those ads:

Third-class dealers who sell the cats or puppies for about 30 dollars a piece to labs that perform medical experiments on them.

Although animal labs typically get their “subjects” from breeders (and some breeders make a lot of money selling kittens and puppies and other animals to labs), some protocols also call for an “unknown” group of animals, to be used as a control group in the experiment.

You may also get a visit from a fighting dog trainer. Sadly, some dog owners train their dogs to be killers by using live animals as targets.

Then, there are the just plain mean people who abound. Of course, none of these types of “adopters” will identify the true nature of their interest.

* Talk to trusted family members and close trusted friends who are interested in adopting the kittens or puppies. Preferably you want them to live with someone whom you would trust with your own pet, and who has had pets before. Granted, this isn’t always possible.

Once You Get A Contact

Screen adopters carefully! Grill them all you want. See if they’ve had pets before. Find out why they want a new pet. Ask for identification and get an address. If at all possible, try to visit their home to observe the condition, particularly of other animals in the house.

You can draw up a small contract – it is legally binding, in fact (although enforcing it may be a problem.) You can call a shelter, rescue group, or breeder organization for guidelines. In writing, the adopter should commit to the following:

They will spay or neuter the kitten

They will give the kitten proper veterinary care – yearly exams, vaccinations, and visits to examine suspected health problems

The adopter will make the pet a member of the family. That means a companion FOR LIFE.

“Red flags” to watch for. These certainly aren’t automatic disqualifications, but they do merit additional investigation.

Many young kids in the house Frequent traveling or business trips

A small apartment that already has other animals

College students living on campus

Military families

Sadly, the latter two categories contribute heavily to the feral cat colonies that abound college campuses and military bases, because of their transient nature.

Don’t be shy about requesting a follow up visit or three.

Screen people very carefully over the phone and check all references before allowing them to come to your home to see the animal. The best reference is one from a veterinarian. It’s very easy for a person to list their friends, who may not be honest, as references. A veterinary reference is the best way to check the person you are dealing with.

Don’t hesitate to say “no” to someone who doesn’t “feel right,” even after they have visited the pet. If no is difficult to say, tell them that other interested people are coming later, and you’ll call them.

You should ideally leave time to visit the home of the new owner before giving up your pet; this allows you to see the pet’s new surroundings and to see if the person in fact resides at the address given.


About The Author

Anita Hampton http://www.eliminatecatodour.com

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