How Old Do You Have to Be to Adopt a Cat?

Posted on
June 4, 2022
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Do you want that fluffy friend in your home that purrs when you walk in and meows when they’re happy? If that’s the case, now is the perfect time to get one since June is adopt a cat month! But, if you’re wondering how old you have to be to adopt a cat, or if you’re capable of giving the pet an amazing life, this is the blog for you! 

Age Requirement for Cat Adoption

The general adoption minimum age to adopt a cat is 18-21 years old, depending on the shelter or organization selling them. For these shelters, you typically have to be this age to complete an application, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to adopt just because you meet the age requirement. There are a lot of steps you’ll have to go through after this application, which will require some time and patience. 

A woman holding a cat 
It takes some time to adopt your new best friend. 

Even though you’re allowed to adopt a cat starting between the ages of 18 and 21, you may want to consider the costs and commitments that you’ll have when you adopt a kitten or cat. Costs can include: 

  • Vet Visits. If your animal ever eats something they shouldn’t have or needs surgery, you’ll want to make sure you have some money set aside for vet bills since anything could happen when owning a pet! 
  • Adoption fees. Although each adoption place is different, you’ll want to set aside some extra money in case there are other fees (like small application fees) that come along with the pet. 
  • Food and Treats. You’ll probably want to have a certain amount of money set aside for food and treats since it could be a monthly or yearly payment depending on how much food you get at a time. You could also think about buying cat food in bulk to save some money as well, especially if you have more than one cat. 
  • Litter and litter box. These are a necessity for any cat owner and it’s a great idea to buy cat litter in bulk since you’ll always need it. 
  • Travel Carrier. You’ll need one of these to bring the cat home and to the vet for any necessary visits. 
  • Toys/cat tree. Cats love to play and are very playful pets in general, you’ll need to get a variety of toys and possibly a cat tree for them to relax and climb in from time to time! 
  • Bed. A cat bed can make for a comfy sleeping area for your pet to nap in. 
  • Collar and pet tag. This is if you have an outdoor cat since they can sometimes wander and end up in other people’s yards, this will make sure they can get home safely. 
Cat laying on a bed near a fire. 
You need to make sure you are financially stable enough to support a pet cat. 

Considerations When Planning to Adopt 

Make sure you consider everything when deciding 

If you do end up deciding to adopt a cat, and you’re between the ages of 18-21, you’ll also want to consider some things which include:

  • Where you’ll keep the cat. If you’re still living at home, you’ll want to make sure your parents know about the pet and ask them if it’s okay to keep it there. You also may want to have a space in your room for the cat if your family doesn’t want it to sleep anywhere else in the house. 
  • How long it’ll live. Typically an average cat lives from 12-18 years which is a long-term commitment. If you decide you have to bring the animal to college too after adopting it, you need to make sure you have enough time for it and that it’ll be comfortable in a dorm room! Cats live a lot longer than a small pet like a hamster so if it’s too much of a commitment, you can always try and get one after college! 
  • Busy jobs or classes. If you’re always out of your dorm room or house, you may want to consider a different pet. These animals love attention even though they may be considered independent creatures. They’ll also need you to feed them every day and will get used to a schedule, which they’ll want to stick by. Like any animal, they still need you to survive and thrive while living with you! 

If you have all of these factors settled, then it’s the perfect time to adopt a forever friend! 

A cat sitting on a bed. 
A cat is a long-term commitment so you’ll want to make sure you have that time for them. 

Why You May Want To Consider Adopting at an Older Age 

As a lot of people may know, cats live a long time meaning that you’ll need to take them everywhere you go and care for them during their years of living. If you adopt one when you’re in college, you’ll likely have it during important moments in your life like new relationships, marriages, and kids. And since you’ll be going through all of these changes, you don’t want to forget about your feline during them! But even if you go through changes like having children while owning the cat, the kids can learn important life skills by helping take care of the pet too! For example, kids can learn the importance of caring for something and even make new friends during it! 

Getting a cat when you have a stable life is something you should consider since you most likely won’t have too many changes the cat will have to go through with you. Having a stable income would be great as well since you’ll never have to worry about costs or care for your beloved pet. 

Either way, adopting a cat is a great idea for anyone who’s looking for one since they are independent, quiet, and long-lasting friends! Now is your time during adopt a cat month too, go head down to your local shelter and help a furry friend find their loving home today! Just remember you have to be older than 18-21 at most places to even adopt! 

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Posted on
June 4, 2022
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