Thursday, November 12, 2015

9 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Cat

One of my passions is helping senior and/or special needs cats find forever homes.  This passion became even stronger after my experience with Jewel.  Though she only lived with me for a few years, I wouldn't trade that time for anything.  She was a very special senior girl who taught me a lot about life and love, and I will always be thankful to her for that.

If you're thinking about adding a cat to your family, please consider adopting a senior kitty.  Here are just a few reasons adopting a senior cat is a great idea.

A brown and white cat. The image says, "9 Great Reasons to Adopt a Senior Cat."

1.. You Know What You're Going to Get: Kittens are so adorable, but you really don't know what they will be like when they grow up.  A kitten's personality hasn't had time to develop yet.  Older kitties have developed personalities, so you can be confident that what you see is what you'll get.

For instance, I know that because Inga loves to be held and sit in laps at the shelter, she'll most likely love attention and lap time when someone takes her home.

Additionally, an adult cat is full-grown.  You'll know just how big your kitty will ever be and what he looks like.

2. They're Easier to Train: A senior cat will already know how to use her litter box.  However, if you'd like to explore clicker training with your cat, a senior has a longer attention span and better impulse control than a kitten, making her easier to train, according to Petfinder.

3. Seniors Understand Basic Household Rules: Most senior kitties already understand basic household rules like scratching on a post instead of your furniture, using his litter box, and not biting your toes at night (Carmine did this all the time when he was a kitten!).

Brown tabby cat.
4. They're Calmer: Of course there are exceptions to this statement, but in general, senior cats tend to be content relaxing near you, in a comfortable bed, or on a windowsill.  Young kitties tend to get into more mischief, requiring more supervision from you.  When Carmine was a kitten, I had to pull him off my curtains regularly, for instance.

That doesn't mean a senior doesn't have energy, though!  Many of the older cats I know really enjoy playing with wand toys or catnip mice.

5. Older Cats are Better for Children: Kids can be rough with kittens and cats.  They may mean no harm, but kittens are much more likely to get hurt than senior cats are.  A senior may also be more tolerant of children.

6. They Don't "Litter" as Much as Kittens: As a kitten, Carmine loved to sleep in his litter box.  At the time, I didn't know a lot about cats, so I thought this behavior was rather odd.  It turns out, many kittens love to hang out in, sleep in, and play in their litter boxes.  Some kittens even enjoy a fun little game called "poo hockey" where they remove a solid piece of waste from the box and bat it around the floor until it inevitably gets lose under a piece of furniture.  Most older cats only go to the bathroom in their litter boxes and don't enjoy playing poo hockey.

Gray tabby cat.
7. Senior Cats Make Great Companions for Senior Citizens: Some senior citizens may be hesitant to adopt a kitty because they are afraid the cat will outlive them.  Senior cats make the perfect companions for these individuals.  Additionally, adult cats are typically more mellow and require less supervision than kittens.  They are generally happy to keep you company while you read a book or watch television.  Bringing a cat into a senior citizen's life may greatly improve her quality of life.

8. They Make Great Companions for Adult Cats: If you already have an adult cat in your home, adopting another older cat may be better than adopting a kitten.  Adult cats can become annoyed and stressed out by kitten antics.

9. They Tend to Get Passed Over: Unfortunately, many senior cats get passed over at shelters and rescues.  Many older cats wind up at the shelter when their owners are not able to care for them anymore, move into assisted living or a nursing home, or have passed away.  I believe that senior kitties understand the gift you're giving them when you adopt them from a shelter.  Senior kitties are at high risk of being euthanized at kill shelters, so when you adopt an older cat, you truly are saving a life.

Have you ever adopted a senior cat?


  1. Senior kitties rock and are so filled with love.

  2. I love this posting....everything you say about senior cats is true..and I will add, that a senior cat from a shelter is likely to be more appreciative of a good home--she knows a bit about life. thanks for shining the spotlight on the golden oldies!

  3. Wonderful reasons! I hope this makes people consider older kitties!

  4. what a great post....we love the idea of matching seniors with seniors.

  5. Great post ! Those are all wonderful reasons ! Purrs

  6. I don't know about the calmer part - Binga is pretty crazy still at 15! But overall, these are all great reasons to adopt an older kitty.

  7. Buddy came into our home when he was 8. That is not that old but he was sure older than me and Toby. He has been a great cat and the whole family love him. If we had room Dad would take in a few more seniors

  8. This was an excellent post. Our local no-kill shelter actually has a special program for seniors to adopt a senior kitty. Definitely a win-win for cat and human. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  9. Mommy was looking for an older cat before she adopted me, but I came along and adopted her. One day she wants to adopt a senior.

  10. Pawsum posty. Sissy be "older" and we fink she's purrfect.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

  11. Seniors cats needing homes break my heart the most because I know they had a home and most likely lost it because the owner passed or went into a nursing home. Spooky is a senior, we adopted him 2 years ago, but he was a neighbor's cat for over 12 years before then.

  12. Senior cats are totally pawsome! I can't believe that my Cinco will be moving into that category soon (he'll be 10 in January). You are so right about poo hockey! Kittens do love to do that.