Adopt an older cat


You’ve finally made the decision to adopt a cat, you’ve dreamt about it for quite some time. Visualising your cute new little kitten playing around the floor and looking up at you with those big baby blues. What could possibly go wrong, after all it’s only a tiny kitten. But have your really thought about how much time, effort and trouble a kitten really is. A kitten is packed full of energy and curiosity and will cry for attention, scratch the furniture, bite and urinate everywhere until it is litter box trained, and will run around the house getting into all sorts of scrapes and trouble. And it’s up to you to look after them 24/7. If you’ve got the time and dedication to look after a kitten, great, but if not, why not think about adopting an adult cat.

A lot of potential adopters seem to think of an adult cat as second best, as if they are defective or worn out like a second hand car. That’s just not the case. Most adult cats have found themselves in animal shelters from no fault of their own. They may have out lived their owner, their owners may have moved to somewhere that doesn’t allow pets, become lost or someone in the family may have become allergic to them. The reasons are far to numerous to list them all. The cats themselves are perfectly healthy animals, bristling with fun and energy and simply looking for a caring loving home.

Adopting an adult cat has many advantages. Remember an older cat has already developed its personality. So you will know what kind of pet they will be and whether or not they will suit your family. Many people go for the cute little kitten; only to find out that they grow into a very shy and non-playful cat that likes to spend all it’s time away from the family. That’s fine if that’s what you want, but too many people decide that this is not for them and returns the cat to the shelter. Rejection is a very harsh punishment for the cat just because you didn’t take the time to think about what sort of cat would be the right pet for your family.

An older cat will also be less demanding of your time than a kitten and will require less supervision, well after the first few weeks anyway. They will be able to spend time alone when you are out of the house without getting into too much trouble and hopefully will already be litter trained.

There are also many benefits for older owners in adopting an adult cat. Adult cats are much calmer and more likely to want to spend some quiet time sitting on your lap for strokes and purring. Studies have shown that cats can have a real health benefit for humans in reducing their stress levels and blood pressure. I can’t image an energetic curious kitten being as good for your stress levels somehow.

Many worry about health problems and vet bills for the older cat. Usually when you are adopting a cat from an animal shelter they will be able to let you know if the cat has any underlining medical conditions and what it is likely to cost. Many will even provide you with free medical treatment for your cat if they over 10 years old as an incentive for more of the older cats to be re-homed.

Cats can live well into their late teens and even early twenties with all the advances in food nutrition and medical treatments. So that 12 year old cat waiting in the animal shelter for a good home is still a good bet and will still be able to provide you with many years of fun and love. Our own cat is now 14 years old and still behaves like a playful youngster and keeps us entertained for hours.

It can be a very rewarding experience to adopt an older cat, not only because of the pleasure they will give you over the years but also in the knowledge that you have provided a loving home for what was probably a very frightened and confused cat, who had no idea why he had lost his family.
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