Adults vs. Youngsters:
Sure kittens and puppies are adorable but they can cause some real frustrations while growing up. Puppies must be thoroughly socialized to as many different people, places, things and noises as possible within the first five months of life. If canines are not socialized early enough in their lives they become fearful and most serious behavior problems stem from fear. Puppies must be taken to training classes at an early age (12 weeks) so they develop proper
habits and get supervised play with their peers. Puppies must be housetrained and supervised 100% of the time until they are trustworthy adults.
Don't think you are off the hook with kittens either. Kittens also need to be socialized. They
need plenty of playtime with you and with strangers as well. Kittens will scratch on the furniture, may taste test every plant in the household and knock things off the counter to name only a few problems. Kittens are easier to housetrain than most puppies but they also can have problems in this area; especially if you are not committed to keeping their litterbox clean and in a quiet, easily accessible location within your household.
Both puppies and kittens are troublesome; chewing, scratching, and vocalizing. This is part of their developmental process. Be ready to commit extra time, patience and love to these youngsters. If your commitment to supervision, socialization and gentle, humane guidance and training is high, the payoff can be great. But just remember that your pet will be an adult for a far longer time than a cute, adorable youngster. If you don't like the adult version for some reason (too much hair, too aloof, too whatever) than don't get a puppy or kitten just because it is
sooooo cute now.
Adults on the other hand generally housetrain quickly as they have the physical capacity to hold off elimination for longer periods. Adults two years and older generally have outgrown chewing and other destructive behavior. However, they also may come with existing behavior problems such as separation anxiety, scratching on
furniture, spraying or escape behaviors. Temperament is harder to mold with adults. If an adult animal you are looking at is shy, chances are he will remain shy unless you enlist the help of a professional who can work with you on positive behavior modification.