Kittens or Cats: What’s Best for Your Golden Years?

Many cat owners will tell you that owning a feline friend during your golden years makes life that much brighter. Some of the benefits of owning these furry friends are that they lower stress and anxiety, offer companionship, and are generally low maintenance pets. So, when choosing between kittens or cats, which should you choose? We are here to help you figure it out. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of kittens vs. cats!

Pros and Cons of Kittens

Pro #1: Kittens are Cute

Let’s get straight to it. Kittens make the cutest pets! With their big, round eyes, furry little bellies, and cute slight squeaking sound when they talk. Raising a kitten is memorable; you will never forget when they were that small and get to watch them grow up. The time they are a kitten is only a fraction of their existence, so enjoy it!

Pro #2: Kittens are Playful

Unlike most older cats, kittens are playful and full of energy. They love playing with toys and running around. You can throw your kitten a ball, dangle a feather above its head or chase it around. The kitten will love it! If you are looking for a feline friend in the playful time of his life, then a kitten is for you!

Pro #3: You Will Have More Time with a Kitten

If you get a kitten, that most likely means you will be a part of its whole life. You get to watch them grow from a spunky little kitten to a grown cool cat. Raising a kitten means you get to be with your feline companion during those years when they are the healthiest, too. Owning a kitten during your retirement can fill your days up with lots of love and spontaneous moments. Cats live to be about 15 years on average, so if you want as much time with your pet as possible, a kitten is a great choice.

Con #1: Kittens Can Be Destructive

Kittens are known to be destructive. More likely than not, a kitten will damage or destroy something that you own. Kittens are inclined to explore the world around them, and with their sharp teeth and claws that could end up very messy.

Con #2: You Have to Watch Your Kitten

Since kittens can be destructive, you must keep a watchful eye on them. If you are the type of person that is always out and about and cannot stay home for a bit with your kitten while they mature, then a kitten may not be for you. They do not remain in their kitten stage forever but keeping an eye on them during this phase of their lives is necessary.

Con #3: You Have to Train Your Kitten

We wish we could tell you that adopting a kitten is all fun and cuddles, but by now, you can probably imagine that owning a kitten can be hard work. In addition to keeping a watchful eye on them, you will have to train your kitten to behave the way you want them to. Training a kitten is not nearly as extreme as training a puppy, but it is essential to make sure your kitten is behaving.

Pros and Cons of Cats

Pro #1: The Cat is Out of the Bag

When you adopt or purchase a cat, you know what you are getting. You will understand the cat’s personality, how big they will get, and how they will react to things. You can interact with an adult cat for a bit at a shelter and know whether they will be a lap cat or an independent cat.

Pro #2: Adult Cats are Trained

Unlike kittens, adult cats are trained and are less likely to be destructive. There is a much less chance of them destroying your furniture or climbing up on your shelves to knock something down. Starting with an adult cat whose temperament you already know and get along with will set you up for success.

Pro #3: You Could Be Saving a Cat’s Life

When you adopt an adult cat, you could be saving their life. They could also be saving yours, as according to multiple studies, owning a cat can benefit your mental health. Depending on shelters, some only keep specific amounts of cats for a particular time before being euthanized. If you can save just one cat’s life, it is a compassionate and rewarding thing to do.

Con #1: Adult Cats May Have Emotional Baggage

Adult cats have already experienced a good chunk of their life. Some parts of their life may have emotional baggage that you were not a part of. Whether they were living in a shelter or with a previous owner, they can experience abuse or neglect, making them lose their trust in humans.

Con #2: Adult Cats May Be Set in Their Ways

When you adopt an adult cat, one benefit is that they are most likely already trained. But a disadvantage to that is they could be too set in their ways. They may have a strong preference to do things a certain way or eat a particular food. Even if the cat seems too stuck in their ways or habits, patience and requiring some time for them to adjust to their new life is critical.

Con #3: Not as Playful

Adult cats do not have as much energy or playfulness as kittens do. They have passed the active, energetic part of their life and may be a bit lazier. They will prefer to be inside lounging around instead of being active.


Overall, choosing between a kitten or cat has its pros and cons. The best way to figure out which is best for your golden years is to balance the pros vs. the cons of both. If the cons outweigh the pros, you should not go for that option. If you live a busy lifestyle or travel a lot, you may want a feline companion that you do not need to keep your eye on as much such as an adult cat. If you like staying at home and do not mind a little bundle of energy and developing a bond with your kitten from a young age, then a kitten could be for you!

We hope this puts the difference between kittens and cats into perspective for you when deciding what to choose to make the most of your golden years!