Why Senior Cats Make Amazing Pets
Written by Reanne Rodrigues
Looking for a lazy nap companion? A playful, toy-loving hunter? Or a pet that loves children and other animals? An adult cat can be all this and more.
I met a lovely seven-pound, a ten-year-old senior cat named Toots last week. Toots was adopted by my friend Jane after many months of being overlooked by other adopters due to her age. Jane, however, just couldn’t resist Toots’ delightful purring and endearing sneer (due to an extracted tooth). It was the best decision Jane ever made. Toots is super friendly, very easy to care for, and even endures the dog’s kisses. But most of all, she makes Jane incredibly happy.
Toots’ adoption story isn’t uncommon. Many people who visit shelters usually gravitate towards playful kittens due to common misconceptions that senior cats are less healthy, less friendly, or harder to train. But age is not a determining factor in a cat’s affection or ability to develop new relationships. Because adopting older cats is so crucial to saving their lives, here are four benefits you need to know and share:
- Predictable personalities: Adult cat personalities are more established than kittens. This makes them more predictable and easily adaptive, which means they may settle more quickly into your home. The staff at the shelter will also be able to determine how well the cat will fit into your family and routine. Typically, you can expect to find an older cat that’ll understand people and environments better, is more tolerant of young children and other animals, and is often independent enough not to need constant interaction or entertainment.
- Low-maintenance: Mature felines might be as low-maintenance as your house plant. Okay, that may be a stretch. But compared to the adorable little disasters that have yet to learn basic household etiquette, senior cats are a lot quieter, have made their truce with toes and fingers, and are more interested in cuddling or basking in the sunshine than clambering in the curtain rail. Bonus: They also make great nap buddies!
- Litter and scratch post trained: Older cats are already litter trained so you won’t have to scoop up unpleasant surprises around the house. They also groom themselves better than kittens and are more accustomed to using a scratching post vs your couch or worse, your hands.
- You’re not just rescuing a cat. You’re restarting a life: Adopting an older cat who may not get another chance at finding a home is a truly rewarding experience. They still have years of love to give, and you’ll find that they’re just as loving, loyal, and charming as kittens.
So the next time you’re at a cat shelter, ask yourself if your needs could be best met by an older cat. And if so, how wonderful it is that you were both in the same shelter at the same time, just waiting to become friends forever.
Reanne Rodrigues is owned by her cat, loved by all dogs, writes about both, and still longs for a parrot.
Edited by Alexis Meehan