If you started your search to adopt in the Winter, you may be wondering, why it’s so hard to find kittens?
We are located in Minnesota where there are harsh winters and hot hot summers. This creates what we call "kitten season" to occur. For Minnesota, this means from Spring to Fall (mating time) - there is an abundance of kittens being born and flowing into rescues and shelters. On the other hand, the more southern states with their year-round warmer climate have a continuous supply of homeless kittens all year long. While stray and feral cats can and will breed during any season, kittens born in Winter and even during hot Summers are less likely to thrive or survive due to the harsh cold or intense heat. If you have found kittens, please visit our Stray Kittens page for next steps!
So if Spring through Fall in Minnesota is when rescues find themselves managing the highest volume of newborn kittens - when is the best time to look to adopt a tiny tiger or two?
Newborn kittens need their mother’s milk for the first 4-5 weeks of life. Her milk provides them with important antibodies, nutrition and immune support. Between 4-8 weeks of age, kittens start learning to eat traditional cat food, use the litter box, clean themselves and how to be a cat! Birth to 8 weeks is a critical time for a kitten to be with their littermates and their mother as humans cannot replace the nutrition, immune defense and social learning they will receive from their fellow cats. Once a kitten has reached 8 weeks of age - you will see most rescues and shelters make them available for adoption!
Often at the beginning of kitten season, kittens are adopted quickly and may seem hard to find! Pent up demand for kittens is always high when they aren't as readily available over the Winter months. In the Spring, it's best to be prepared that it may take the rescue groups a little longer to process all the applications they receive for one tiny available kitten. As wonderful and exciting as bringing a new kitten home is, try to remain patient with the adoption process. Every shelter and rescue works as quickly as they possibly can to place kittens in furever homes. Even more importantly, there will be more waves of kittens well into the Summer and Fall - so don't worry. You WILL find your match. in the meantime, practicing patience may also play in your favor when you bring those new furballs home. You’ll need that extra patience with all of that mischievous energy.
If you are looking outside of a rescue or shelter to adopt a kitten, please refer to this handy kitten aging chart. Kittens under the age of 8 weeks are too young to be on their own. If you bring a kitten under 8 weeks home, you may find yourself managing 24 hour care, as kittens who are too young to be on their own can struggle behaviorally and medically in a new world without their mother.
It is also important to note that kittens are not always the right fit for every home. Wonderful adult cats who are just as full of energy, life, adorableness and love and are often passed over for their tiny counterparts. Always remember, the difference between a kitten and an adult is about 6 months. Here are some things to consider that might indicate an adult is a better fit for your home.
Kittens are young and full of energy! You’ll likely find them bouncing off the walls and swinging from the chandeliers. They require a lot more playtime and interaction before they will settle in to take a nap with you. If you are looking for a furr-end who will kick back with you at the end of a long day, an adult will be a great choice!
Have young children or a dog at home?
Finding an adult cat who has experience with and/or likes kids/dogs can eliminate a lot of the stress of adding a new pet to your family. Kittens are small and may resemble a squirrel or toy to a dog. Kittens are also very busy. Those tiny nails and teeth are quickly put to use when a small child wants to hold and cuddle a kitten who only wants to play. This can create an unsafe environment for your new pet and your existing family members. Look for an adult who’s had experience playing with dogs or is able to stand their ground to teach a dog appropriate play. Talk to your children about proper handling too. Kittens go through a teething period just like human children do! This means lots of play bites while learning to be a cat and with those kitten teeth, they may not be the ideal choice for young children in the home. There are plenty of mature cats out there who would LOVE a home with kids to love!
Adult cats are pretty self-sufficient! They spend much of their time sleeping, grooming or eating. With the abundance of energy generated by a kitten, you'll be required to constantly keep a mindful eye on them to prevent mischief. Adopting an adult means more time enjoying your cat's company and less tim worrying about what they may be doing when you aren’t looking.
Looking for an only pet?
It is important for kittens to grow up with other cats/kittens to learn appropriate behavior. Biting, kicking, pouncing and wrestling are all instinctive behaviors requiring an appropriate outlet. The best way to burn a kittens excess energy and to teach them proper behavior is to learn from another companion cat. Often a single kitten will play too rough with their fur-less humans as they look for ways to express these behaviors. Biting may be cute when small, but as they grow, biting behavior will be much less desirable. As a cat's personality develops, we learn who wants to live in a home with other animals and who would rather be an only pet. Choosing an adult or older kitten will ensure you adopt a cat who will gladly be the sole ruler of your home!
Kittens are all undeniably cute! However, it can be more of a mystery as to what the cute little fur-ball may grow into. Some traits are taught to kittens through socialization while other traits are simply hard wired in. The truth is - you won’t really get to know a cat’s true personality until they are fully-grown. When you meet our adults, what you see is much closer to what you will get! We spend time getting to know our foster cat likes and dislikes making it a lot easier for us to help find you your purr-fect match!
CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE ON SENIOR CATS!