Bring Home an Older Cat for Adopt a Senior Pet Month

November 17th 2019

Most people who consider adding a cat to their household will automatically start looking at kittens. And, why not? They are super adorable! However, there are a couple of reasons why you may consider adopting an older cat instead:

  1. Older cats are cleaner – they are already litterbox trained. Kittens also tend to play in their litterboxes occasionally, kicking sand about. Kittens are also more likely to develop cases of diarrhea as their intestinal tract grows and adapts to new foods.
  2. Older cats are better self-cleaners. Kittens do not groom themselves as often as older cats and, unless they have long hair, older cats will often require less grooming from you as an owner.
  3. Older cats already have all their teeth – kittens chew and teeth on anything they can find; wires, shoelaces, furniture, your hands. Until they have lost their deciduous teeth and they have all of their adult teeth, they are likely to cause some damage.
  4. As much as we do not like bringing up the cost of things, it is an important factor to consider. Most adult cats have had all of their immunizations, have been sterilized and dewormed, and are less destructive to your furniture. There are some shelters that offer free or reduced cost adoptions for older cats too, making it significantly cheaper to adopt an older cat than a kitten.
  5. As kittens are growing, their appearance and personality can change, whereas with an older cat, you get what you see.
  6. Kittens can be pretty destructive! While their play antics are super cute to watch, it may be at the cost of a vase or those curtains you love. Kittens are very energetic and playful, charging around rooms, onto countertops, skidding around the corners, and, of course, chewing wires and shoelaces. Older cats tend to be more sedate. They play, but intermittently, and they will not tire you out. They also tend to be far less destructive. They are calm, wise and experienced.
  7. Older cats are better for children. While it is extremely important to teach your children how to handle animals gently, it helps if the animal is tolerant and sturdy. Children have not developed all of their fine motor skills yet and may be rougher than they think. Older cats tend to tolerate soft petting and if the child gets a little rough, would rather move away than bite (but may bite if they cannot get away). Kittens love to play and are very wriggly, but play can be very rough especially for a young child’s soft skin. Kittens are also more vulnerable to getting hurt if they are accidentally squished, trodden on or dropped.
  8. Older cats need you! They are not adopted as easily as kittens because they don’t have the “cuteness factor”. But kittens aren’t kittens forever. Most of the time it’s at no fault of the older cat that it doesn’t have a home. Many belonged to elderly people that had to go live in nursing homes, or families where one member developed allergies or asthma, or families that could no longer afford to care for the cat. They may never have had a home to begin with and have been strays. It is an unfortunate fact of life that older cats often see out the rest of their lives in the shelter or have to be euthanized because nobody is willing to give them a home.
  9. There is a downside to adopting an older cat – you will have less time with your pet, depending on how old it is when you take it home. Spend as much quality time as you can and enjoy every moment! You will always have the comforting knowledge that you were able to offer that animal a loving home when most others would not.
 If you have adopted a senior pet and have any questions or concerns, call our clinic at (403) 615-8016 to book an appointment with our vets. We provide nutritional guidance and proactive senior pet wellness plans because, just like you, we want our aging pets to have the best life possible. 

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