Adopting an older cat can bring a lot of joy to your household. If you see a senior cat in a rescue or shelter, it's usually because something happened outside of his control. Most older cats just want to find a loving and safe home again. Here are seven reasons why bringing home an older cat can be such a blessing.
1. Older Cats Need Less Supervision
Sure, kittens are cute, but they need a lot of supervision. They get into a lot of things, and they're more delicate. You'll need to offer more patience with them as they grow up, and you will need to provide more toys and distractions to keep them occupied. Adult cats provide so many advantages that you might want to consider adopting an older cat.1 Older cats are more emotionally mature and are more independent. They know how to occupy themselves while you're at work. They also won't get into "trouble" like kittens typically do.
2. They Cause Less Mess and Want to Snuggle More
Kittens learn by engaging with their environment. If they are are not constantly supervised, it can lead to destruction in your home. As they explore their world, they can chew up your stuff (just like puppies!), claw your furniture, and run around crazily, which could lead to broken items. Adult cats are mature, and their play is calmer and not as hyperactive. Of course, even a calmer adult cat needs lots of attention, exercise, and playtime. They just tend to be a little more mellow about it all.
As an added bonus, an older cat is more likely to want to curl up with you when you go to bed or when you're relaxing on the couch after a long day.
3. You Know an Older Cat's Quirks
A cat's personality forms while they are kittens, so it can be quite the guessing game to know what kind of adult cat you'll have. When you adopt a kitten, you have to navigate their stages of development. When you adopt an adult cat, it's like you're meeting a new friend. The shelter or rescue you adopt from can tell you many things about her personality. Maybe she has a specific litter aversion or she's scared of thunder. Maybe she needs a lot of high spaces like window perches and cat trees to feel safe. Talk to the shelter or rescue to learn more about your potential cat. You can also talk to the cat's veterinarian and find out any health issues or special needs she may have.
4. You'll Know if the Cat Gets Along with Kids or Dogs
With an older cat, you can learn his preferences before you bring him home. This way, you know ahead of time if he'll mesh with your other household members. Ask the rescue or shelter if he's good with children, dogs, or other cats. Ask if he gets along with men and women just the same. If you're interested in volunteering with pet therapy services, you can ask if the cat is comfortable with strangers.
5. Adult Cats Need a Forever Home Too
About 3.2 million cats enter shelters in the United States every year.2 Adopting an adult cat from a shelter or rescue is a fantastic opportunity to give one a loving home. Animal shelters have limited resources, so when the shelter is full, they can't take in other deserving pets. When you adopt a cat through a rescue, your cat will already be vetted and spayed or neutered, so you won't have the additional expense like you would with a kitten. And often, your adoption fees help the shelter rescue more cats.
6. You Might Relate to Each Other
Senior cats that need a new home have been through a lot. You might have been through a lot too. Sometimes adopting a senior cat is healing because you can relate to each other. Together, you can heal from the past and get ready for a future of love and adventure.
7. Getting Your Home Ready for an Adult Cat Is Fun
Getting your home ready for an older cat is a lot of fun. Pick out a comfy cat bed, a cat condo, a scratching post, and lots of toys with catnip. If he's a senior cat with sore joints, you might want to buy little stairs that he can climb to get into your bed at night.
You also want to set up Comfort Zone Calming Diffusers in different parts of the home. They release odorless, drug-free scents that mimic the natural pheromones that tell your cat he's safe and secure.
Older cats need extra love because they've been through a lot to find you. With a little time together, you and your new kitty will have a close bond, and you'll be forever friends.
1. CatTime. "Kittens Versus Adult Cats: How to Choose Which Is Right for You." CatTime.com, https://cattime.com/cat-facts/405-kittens-vs-dot-cats-how-to-choose.
2. ASPCA. "Pet Statistics." aspca.com, https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics.