Kitten Or Adult Cat?

August 11, 2016

Although it is general knowledge that kittens are simply young cats, many individuals are unable to tell the difference between a kitten and a cat’s personality traits, as well as their needs when it comes to being taken care of. This article aims to portray the key differences between a kitten and an adult cat.

By definition, cats are small, domesticated animals. They are carnivorous and have soft fur, retractable claws, and a short snout. Kittens are young cats, and although they do grow up to become cats, they are very different from cats at this stage. Kittens are considered to be cats after a period of eight to nine months, or whenever physical growth slows to a stop.

Kittens Or Adult Cat

3 cute little kittens having a photo sho0t.

Kittens, unlike cats, are unable to urinate and defecate for the first few weeks after their birth without stimulation (usually) given by their mothers. In addition, they are also unable to regulate their body temperatures, and as such, require their mothers to keep them warm. After eight to ten days after birth, kittens are able to open their eyes, but have poorly developed retinas.

Kittens are quite active and will require training. When it comes to small children, cats are preferred over kittens as kittens have the tendency to scratch and/or bite whenever they feel threatened or scared. Kittens will also demand more attention from their owners, and will need to be under constant supervision. Cats, on the other hand, are considerably more mellow and patient, and will do fine if left at home alone for short periods of time.

There are major differences when it comes to their diets. Kittens will require their mothers’ milk until they are weaned off of it (after three to four weeks) as the milk contains essential antibodies. After, kittens are subjected to a high-calorie diet that is also high in protein. Cats are carnivores, and if allowed, they will hunt and eat small animals and birds. Contrary to kittens, cats require a diet that is low in calorie, although they will still require high-protein foods. Cats will also require lots of water in their diets.

Adult Cat Or Kitten

A bored looking cat sitting on its favorite chair.

When it comes to settling into a new home, cats are able to settle down faster and will prove to be better pets as they are not as demanding as kittens are. As such, cats are the preferred choice when it comes to adopting/purchasing a feline as a pet. Cats will also get along better with existing household pets, although they may exhibit territorial behavior.

If an individual is considering getting a feline, the above points should be taken into consideration when deciding between a full-grown cat and a kitten. Kittens will require training as well as considerably more time and energy, whereas a cat will likely come trained. While kittens are still developing basic skills, cats will have already grown into their unique sets of characteristics and behaviors. Depending on each individual, raising a cat or a kitten will have different impacts. With adequate knowledge of the difference between cats and kittens, one would have an easy time deciding between raising a kitten or adult cat, and/or raising kittens alongside cats.

Image Credit
Photo by Mathias Erhart - CC BY-SA 2.0 and Random_fotos - CC BY-SA 2.0

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More information here. does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help cat owners better understand their pet cats. However, the content on this site is not substitute for veterinary guidance.

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