Why You Should Consider Adopting an Older Cat

Senior cats are loving and their personalities are set.

If you are thinking about adopting a cat, it might be worth considering looking for a senior cat. Senior cats are generally considered to be those that over about seven years of age. They can be great additions to your family.

Benefits of Adopting Senior Cats

Here are some of the reasons adopting an older cat can be a good idea:

  • Their personalities are already set. When you adopt a kitten, they have a lot of maturing to do, and it can be hard to tell exactly what their personality is going to be like when they're older. However, if you spend some time with a senior cat, visiting with them and seeing how they act, there shouldn't be too many surprises once you get them home. Their personality is already developed, and you should be able to get a good deal of information about what it is by visiting them at the shelter. It's ideal if you can spend some time in a small room together, allowing the cat to get used to you a bit in order to see how she acts because, of course, she might not act the same inside of the cage as she would otherwise.
  • You know how big they are going to get. When you adopt an older cat, you will be able to see what size they are and get an idea for how much food they're going to eat per day based on what they've been eating in the shelter. With a kitten, there can be some uncertainty as to how much food you're going to need, what size litter box the cat is going to end up needing, sizes required for collars and harnesses, and you will probably need different amounts and sizes of these things as the kitten ages. But when you adopt an adult or senior cat, those things will already be set, and you can get all of your supplies and know how much food and litter you are going to need.
  • You'll skip the kitten phase. Kittens are delightful and can be a real joy to have in your home, but there are certain situations where you might not wish to have all that kitten energy. If you don't have a lot of time to spend at home, you have small children or older people in the home who might not do well with a kitten, or you simply wish to have a feline companion that's a bit more laid-back, an older cat is the way to go. A senior cat is also less likely to get in trouble by chewing on things, pulling things over onto themselves, or eating things they shouldn't.
  • Older cats are often at higher risk of euthanasia in shelters. When you adopt a senior cat from a shelter, you might be saving his life. Kittens are adopted faster from shelters, and even young adult cats are adopted more readily than seniors.

Things to Keep in Mind When You Adopt an Older Cat

When you bring an older cat into your home, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Visit the veterinarian right away for some baseline lab work and a thorough examination. Your older cat may be more likely than a kitten to have some pre-existing medical conditions, so visiting the veterinarian right away is important to find and begin treating those. Your veterinarian can also tell you the best diet choice for your cat and give you other information specific to older cats.
  • Get some good brushes and nail trimmers. Older cats may be a little less inclined to keep themselves as well-groomed as younger cats. You may need to brush your older cat more often than you would a younger cat and trim his claws more often, too.
  • Prepare for playtime. Your older cat still needs to have daily interactive play to remain happy and healthy. As a senior, those playtimes might be shorter, but they're still necessary for good mental health and to keep your senior cat moving and discourage weight gain. Get some wand toys, and set aside at least 10 minutes a day to play with your new cat. If she's been in the shelter for a long time or hasn't previously been played with a lot, you may need to go slowly and tempt her into playing at first.
  • Fill your home with cozy cat beds. Your new senior cat might have arthritis or other aches and pains. Be sure you have a number of cozy cat beds that she can recline in and that will help cushion her joints.

Adopting a senior cat is a wonderful way to not only fill your home with more love and joy but also to brighten the life of an older cat that might otherwise not find a good home.

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