To be responsible for somebody else’s life is a big step to take. But don’t fret; 68% of US households have taken the plunge which accounts for 85 million families taking in pets for companionship.
47.1 million of that number have taken in cats as pets. They are given as pets to their children or simply as a companion when they get home from work.
Although an alarming rate of 6-8 million dogs and cats that can be adopted are being euthanized due to the shortage of homes and that around 71% of cats that are put into shelters are a part of that number.
It is often disheartening but you can help save a life by adopting a senior cat.
When Does A Cat Reach Old Age?
Cat age is a bit hard to determine as there are a lot of suggested ways to pinpoint how old your feline may be. You can check its choppers as teeth grow out of the cats’ jaws depending on how old the cat is. The more teeth it has, the older your cat may be.
The eyes can also be a way to narrow down how old a cat is. If you observe that your cat’s eyes are cloudier than before, then your cat may be older than it looks.
Try to see if your cat has not been cleaning itself as often as before. It might be getting too big for comfort or if it has lost a spring in its step or when it jumps. It might be a sign of arthritis or it might just be a sign of old age.
Check as well if it has not been using the litter box. It’s a sign that there may be something wrong with your pet which can also help you narrow down its age.
Why Get A Senior Cat Then? Why Not A Kitten?
A senior cat knows what it should do
With adopting a senior cat, you are assured that they would have the disposition and manners that kittens wouldn’t have. This is especially helpful if you’re just renting an apartment. When you get a senior cat, you know your deposit’s safe and sound.
Senior cats also know where to “do the deed”. If not, they can learn fast where the litter box is. This will save you time and energy from cleaning up after them. If you plan to get a kitty after, your senior cat will be the one to teach it what to do.
You look smarter with a cat
There were actual studies done to compare cat owners to dog owners. This included a group of professionals who own cats and work a lot of hours. Dogs love attention, which wouldn’t work for career-minded people. It was also found out that cats and dogs pair up differently with people; dogs are more suitable for outdoorsy individuals and cats were paired more with introverts.
With a senior cat, you can be assured that once you sit down with a good book, it’ll find warmth in your lap and stay there. Even if you are an extrovert, it will find ways to amuse you, or let you amuse yourself with other things.
They’re great with kids
To get a kitten is the first choice some owners go for when they go to a pet store and shop around. This is because they can train cats and get to watch how they grow up.
Now, what if you’re just a new family and your wife just gave birth to a baby? You can’t train a kitten that quickly where it can tolerate anything that your baby will do to it and we all know the randomness of a baby’s actions.
When getting a senior cat, it can tolerate a baby’s pinch or a sudden pull on its tail. If worse comes to worst, your cat usually knows that it can just walk away. Senior cats can still be trained as their mindset is at a point that makes them easier to teach.
Senior cats are the best nap buddies
We all know how cats love to sleep most of the day; more so when they age. When they were younger, they may have slept half of the day away. The moment you see your cat sleeping most of the day, and you don’t see anything wrong with how it moves, eats or plays, then your cat may have reached seniority.
Your cat requires lesser attention once it reaches its senior year especially if you like your sleep time. Since it also eats less, the chances of you being nudged to wake you up and feed it will be lesser. More nap time for you!
They can still put on their game faces
Cats are predators so despite their ages, a senior cat can still engage in play activities. Their interests can still be piqued by a wandering red dot or a stray ball of string. They will climb to wherever they are most comfortable and play with their other pet siblings. Especially if you have a cat condo, it’s an avenue of mazes and platforms where they can chase each other around.
There are toys that you can purchase as well from the pet stores, from wands to puzzles that they can get treats out of. Senior cats not only need to be exercised through play but through mind games as well.
They won’t ask too much of your attention
Cats have a different personality compared to dogs. When dogs hunt, they exert a lot of energy just to run after their prey. This is obvious when dogs do tricks for treats; they like to work for their food.
When cats hunt smaller prey, they need little energy for the task. The end result is they don’t need to stock up on food. As they also sleep most of the day away, this also gives them the energy they need to play when they want.
A senior cat increases this benefit twofold as it’ll want less of your attention. Just sleeping beside you will suffice, but playing with it will still be fun. As long as the feeding and drinking bowl is full, cats are good.
Adopting a senior cat is cheaper than buying a kitten
If you adopt a senior cat at a lesser price, some people might think that you’ve gotten the worse of the lot. This is not true. The price is not a gauge to know if you got a good one or not. As senior cats are difficult to get homes, some rescue shelters often give discounted amounts to people who adopt them like an incentive. Shelters would always provide well-detailed information about the senior cats so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
There have been discussions on the need to discount adoption prices for senior cats and it does help for senior cats to get adopted and have a good life while they can.
They will love you for life
Senior cats would have had the longest stay in rescue shelters. So if you adopt one, they would have an inkling that they have been adopted; so once the process is complete, it’ll definitely show you its appreciation by being a wonderful companion for you. It will appreciate and love you for the rest of its life.
To Adopt Or Not To Adopt?
The question right now is if you’re willing to let in a pet in your life. Once you adopt a senior cat, it would understand that you have brought it to a good place. No matter how short or long it will live with you, remember that you have once saved a life.