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If you need 10.9 or higher then you do not have much option. I do not know how amenable Apple is to installing what they consider to be retired operating systems if you walk into a store. Presumably if they wanted to make it easy to get these older systems they would leave them up for download, and you need to have compelling reason to not go for the 'newest' and 'best'.
Whatsapp For Mac 10.8.5
Whatsapp Download For Mac Os 10.8.5
Yes, any new system, particularly one that is 3 upgrades higher than the one you have, is going to place more demands on the resources. You can try doing things such as installing a faster drive and more RAM if you consider that economical for your computer. There's also options such as installing 10.11 to an external drive and booting from that when you need to use El Capitan but otherwise run 10.8. A lot of the specific recommendations really depend upon the details.