There is nothing cuter than a kitten, which makes kittens much more adoptable at shelters than grown cats. And cats older than three years become increasingly difficult to adopt out. You are older yourself now, perhaps on your own, and would really like a companion animal. But face it, do you want to make what will likely be a fifteen-year commitment to a pet? Is that fair to you? Is it fair to your family who may have to adopt or find a home for your pet? And is it fair to the animal?
Jane Harrell, writing for Pet Finder, asks if you have considered adopting an older cat. Giving an older cat a safe home, some dignity, and some love in its last years will be rewarding for you and for your new companion.
Harrell suggests ten reasons why senior cats make great pets:
- When senior cats are adopted, they seem to understand that they’ve been rescued, and are all the more thankful for it.
- A senior cat’s personality has already developed, so you’ll know if he or she is a good fit for your family.
- You can teach an old cat new tricks (I do every day with my own cats!): Senior cats have the attention span and impulse control that makes them easier to train than their youthful counterparts.
- A senior cat may very well already know basic household etiquette (like not attacking your feet at night) anyway!
- In particular, senior cats are often already litter trained and are less likely to “forget” where the box is.
- A senior cat won’t grow any larger, so you’ll know exactly how much cat you’re getting.
- Senior cats are often content to just relax in your company, unlike younger cats, who may get into mischief because they’re bored.
- Speaking of relaxing, senior cats make great napping buddies.
- Senior cats often know that scratching posts (not furniture) are for scratching and toys (not hands or feet) are for biting.
- Senior cats are some of the hardest to find homes for — so when you adopt a senior cat, you’re truly saving a life.
Of course, there are important considerations before adopting older cats. Are you financially situated to care for it? Are you physically able to care for it? Can you find the right cat for your lifestyle? Talk to your local vet and your local animal shelter. You can likely find your purrfect match.
In Sun City Carolina Lakes, you can contact LASS – The Lancaster Animal Shelter Supporters – for more information about adopting or fostering cats. Below are two older cats (Scarlet and Smokey) at the Lancaster Animal Shelter waiting for adoption. Both have been neutered and have all shots.
Featured image by Yerlin Matu. Imbedded photo by Alex Perez.