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The Benefits of Adopting a Senior Cat
Often overlooked in local shelters and rescue groups, senior cats get a bad rap. They are passed over as potential adopters pay greater attention to cuter kittens nearby. Some senior cats in no-kill facilities are destined to spend the rest of their lives inside of a cage. So, when you enter the cat room of a local shelter, look first at the older cats generally sitting quietly in the back of their cages. They are the ones most in need of a home, but through time have just given up finding someone to take them into their heart. But, they are not lost causes.
When do you adopt an older cat?
When you have small children in the house (toddlers) or are expecting a baby. Contrary to the popular myth, cats do not harm babies. They can even soothe them when they are fussy or they can’t fall asleep. Older cats are more laid-back to the high-energy of a toddler who wants to pet kitty, or fold back his ears or pull his tail.
If you have a rambunctious kitten bouncing off the walls at home and you want another kitten for him to play with, consider instead a senior cat. An older cat can supply a steady paw and a calming influence. A senior cat will also take a firm stand to the kitten’s biting and clawing and at the same time teaching the kitten what is not acceptable. They are also great litter pan trainers!
When you think about that kitten at home and all the laughter she brought to you since her arrival, be sure to also remember; the shredded drapes, the spots on the carpet where she clawed her way to Kitty Nirvana. Remember the day she launched herself airborne and latched onto the middle of your back. Were you laughing then? An older cat offers a more sedate presence as well as becoming the first real teacher your kitten encounters.
Are you a senior citizen and simply want company and comfort? Adopt an older cat. He/she will be so grateful to get out of that cage or crowded environment that after a short period of adjustment, you will find yourself with a new lap buddy. It has been proven repeatedly that owning a cat improves health, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. Some kittens cause stress just by being a kitten. Older cats adapt much easier in the home. Kittens get under-foot; older cats just get out of the way. Kittens love to chew things- (oxygen tubing is a favorite in our home). Even after getting hit with a burst of air from the hole, the kitten will often return to investigate this new “prey.” Sadly, the older cats abandoned in shelters are often declawed. If you have fragile skin or an auto-immune disease this cat would fit purr-fectly into your home.
Are you still undecided?
Pros and Cons of Adopting a senior cat:
How Old is to Old?
Depending on your circumstances more than the cat’s age take a look at your lifestyle and see how the cat fits into your program. If you are going to be away from home for extended periods of time and older cat is a wise choice. When you are given time to have one-on-one contact with the cat ask the attendant to help you examine the mouth. Look for healthy, white teeth, pink robust gums. Steer clear of cats who have ulcers in their mouths, debilitating gum disease or pale, washed-out gums.
Examine the eyes, are they clear and focused? Is the third eyelid showing? Any discharge showing from the nose or eyes? Is the fur thick and bushy for long haired cats, on short haired cats does it look oily and messy? An oily coat generally means a health issue brewing. A cat is considered a senior at 7 years old. However; thanks to advancements in veterinary health and nutrition, cats are living longer than ever before.