A pet can be great company for people of any age and any walk of life, but cats seem to have the personalities and temperaments that could make adopting a moggie a golden choice for a senior in their golden years.
Senior citizens and senior cats can make for a great combination, enhancing both mental and physical wellbeing.
Improved mood: Senior citizens can suffer from loneliness. Unable to leave the house as much as they were once able, perhaps having had their family move away or their spouse has passed away, isolation and depression can set in. Cats can provide much-needed affection, companionship, and enjoyment for their senior owner. A cat can provide a sense of purpose and responsibility which can lift any feelings of loneliness and depression.
Improved Health: Compared to other household pets, cats comparatively need less care but do still need care nonetheless. In doing so, cats can provide routine and movement that a senior citizen may not otherwise have, thus providing added exercise and mental stimulation.
Senior Citizens, Senior Cats: Why Not A Kitten?
Whilst kittens can be fun, cute and provide much entertainment, a kitten will invariably take more work than most older cats. Adult animals have fewer training needs or demands for adaptation when moving into a new home.
Kittens can also be very busy creatures – loving to climb, play, run, scratch and chase; often getting underfoot which can be a hazard for any senior with mobility or sight issues. By comparison, a more well adjusted and older cat is generally happier to spend a lot of time sleeping – often in bed or next to their owner, which can provide a sense of contentment and company. A senior cat can also have a more reasonable appetite than kittens, are more happy to be left at home alone for longer periods of time and are usually litter trained, which will suit an elderly owner more. Whilst an adult or senior cat is more relaxed, they do still love interactive play, however, playing with cats usually requires less input and does not necessarily require mobility like it would with a dog for example.
Things Of Note When Considering a Senior Citizen and a Senior Cat
- Consider that a senior citizen may have to move into a living facility in time and that the facility may not allow pets. Cats can live as long as 20 years so think about the impact that this disruption could have on the cat and the upset this could cause the senior.
- Be aware of individual temperament: you will need a tranquil, laid-back adult cat with minimal medical needs.
- Be sure to check in on the cat and their new owner once an ideal match has been found. Seniors may not have access to getting around as easily so offer a helping hand in terms of medical check-ups, food purchasing, and flea treatments.
Senior cats and senior citizens can make a great pairing, but sadly older animals are often less wanted and are frequently overlooked as a pet choice – but senior cats need homes too and a fellow human senior can make for the purrrrfect match!
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