Ah, who can resist the charms of a kitten? Don’t those giant ears and sparkling blue eyes make you feel all gooey? Who doesn’t melt at the sound of those tiny meow-squeaks? When you’re considering cat adoption, how could you not fall in love with a little slip of a kitten curled up in the crook of your elbow, purring loudly enough to rattle the windows?
But I’ll warn you: As soon as you get home with your baby (or babies, because you probably won’t be able to leave the shelter with just one), you’ll find that all that cuteness and charm was merely an act, and you’ll learn the truth about living with kittens. Here are just some of the horrors with which you’ll have to contend — eight reasons not to adopt a kitten.
1. They’re always underfoot
Are you really looking forward to a life of tripping over kittens who magically appear in front of you? Or maybe you’d prefer stepping on one of those cute little darlings as they dart in front of you while you walk to the kitchen.
2. If they’re not underfoot, they’re in your face
You don’t really need to check your email, do you? You weren’t going to eat that food you keep trying to put in your mouth, right? Climactic scene of a movie? Tough luck, because Baby wants a kiss and he doesn’t care what you’re trying to do!
3. They’re constantly trying to strangle or electrocute themselves
It doesn’t matter how many cord protectors you use or how far out of reach (hah!) you stow the curtain cords: Kittens will find a way.
4. They practice random acts of vandalism
There’s nothing quite like waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of your favorite collectibles hitting the floor and shattering into smithereens. When Sin├®ad and Siouxsie were kittens, one of them chewed my mouse cord in half — vandalism and attempted self-electrocution at the same time!
5. They think everything is a toy
Your fingers. Your feet. Your shoelaces. Your knitting needles. Your yarn. Your bills. Your glasses. Your keys. Your jewelry. Your tender parts. Oh yeah, and things that actually are toys, too.
6. They’ll eat anything, even if it could kill them
Kittens haven’t learned to have the discerning palate of their elders. They’ll gladly scarf up chocolate, string, plastic bags, onion dip, plants — you name it, they’ll eat it.
7. They actually do require training
Kittens don’t come magically knowing where they’re supposed to poop, scratch, and eat. They certainly don’t know that the counter is not a place for cats or why it’s not OK to climb Grandma’s pants. You have to provide them with acceptable choices and help them understand why it’s so awesome to use them.
8. You never know how they’re going to turn out
Is your cute, delicate little darling going to turn into a 20-pound behemoth? Hard to say, unless you’re sure who both parents are. Is your sweet little baby going to turn into the feline version of Cujo once she hits puberty? Who knows? Environment plays a big part in personality development, but so does genetics.
Take it from me: Spare yourself the agony of living with a kitten. The next time you go to the shelter, check out the adult cats instead: They already know their manners, their personalities are fully formed, and since a well-cared-for cat can live 18 or 19 years — or even longer — you and your feline friend will have many wonderful years to share. Not only that, but she’ll be ever so grateful to have a forever home because she remembers what it’s like to be without one.
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