We know it’s hard—nearly impossible—to walk passed the mewing, wide-eyed kittens at your local shelter. But an older cat can be just as cute and cuddly as a kitten—and almost none of the trouble.
If you’re looking to adopt the purrfect companion, here are some good reasons to consider a senior cat.
Cats are living longer and healthier lives
Great news for the millions of cat lovers out there: cats are living longer than ever. Preventative health care like vaccinations, spaying and neutering, medication, as well as better quality food and safer environments, are extending the healthy years of a cat’s life and delaying the inevitable. According to one authority, domestic cat lifespans in the US have increased by a full year in the last decade or so.
Older cats are more predictable
Kittens are wonderful, crazy balls of energy, and raising them is often described as harrowing. Of course, you are rewarded with the loving comfort of a furry companion, but what if you could have that benefit without the stress?
Instead of expending enormous amounts of time and energy teaching (read: policing) your kitten as it learns what to do, how to do it, and what not to do, you could be relaxing with an experienced, wise, old cat.
Senior cats will know how to care for themselves, how to live inside a home, and may have already spent several of their lives learning important lessons about what to avoid. Moreover, a senior cat’s personality has already developed, which means you can tell immediately who will make a good fit for you and your home.
You save a life and become their world
When a senior cat is adopted, you can just sense its joy and appreciation. The kitty probably lived with people like you in a house like yours for most of its life, but had to leave for some reason. By adopting an older cat, you’re taking it out of its small shelter dwelling and giving it back a sense of home and security with a caring companion.
In addition, shelters find it more difficult to adopt out older pets. When you adopt a senior cat, you really are saving a life and allowing the shelter space to save the next cat in need of a temporary home. Expect many appreciative cuddles and head rubs.
They’re ready to chill out
Senior cats have done most of their bouncing around and knocking things down in their earlier years. Now, they’re pretty content to just chill out.
You don’t have to worry as much about them getting stuck in tight spaces or ingesting something and endangering their health. All they want to do is sleep most of the day, so make cozy spaces available, invite them onto your lap, and make sure that sunny spot in front of the window is clear.
Older cats are deep sleepers
Kittens are babies after all, which means waking during the night and early morning, and disrupting your sleep. You might have to wake up several times before your alarm clock goes off to make sure your kitten isn’t getting into trouble. In contrast, senior cats sleep longer, more deeply, and more often, which means you get more beauty rest, too.
Senior cats have simpler needs
If you work a lot, it can be tough to find enough time to care for a kitten. A senior cat, however, doesn’t require the level of supervision a kitten does.
That doesn’t mean you can ignore your newly-adopted senior cat. Having simpler needs means that you can get your work done without feeling like you’re neglecting your pet, while your senior cat sleeps the day away. Then, when you get home, your feline companion will be ready to cuddle and help you decompress.
Wise old cats have learned where (not) to scratch
It may seem trivial, but this one difference can save you a lot of time and money. It’s likely that a senior cat will already know not to scratch the furniture and to use a scratching post, instead. Kittens, however, do not know the difference yet. So, if you want to preserve your furniture—you know, the chair legs, back of the couch, armrests, and also your bedding, the molding, and carpeting—then adopt an older, wiser cat.
Older cats might be less prone to run off
Cats, young and old, are prone to wandering from home. Since your older cat is probably lazing about in some cozy spot appreciating your companionship, you won’t have to worry as much about launching a search party for your runaway senior cat. A microchip can help to further instill a sense of security. Ask the shelter or vet to check if your senior cat is microchipped and if not, getting one is easy.
What are you waiting for?
There you have it; how to get all the cuteness and cuddles of a furbaby without all of the chaos and craziness of a kitten. How can you not want a senior cat? Even if you’re new to the feline world, a senior cat is the perfect introduction. They may have more mileage, but they offer unconditional love and loyal companionship.