It's Adopt a Senior Pet Month! It's an important month that helps remind us that older kitties are in need of love, too.
Cats aren’t like cartons of milk at the grocery store: They don’t have a sell-by date. In fact, it should be said that cats, like a good wine, only get better with age. And yet, day after day, many older cats find themselves passed over for kittens simply because they look too old or boring.
But adult cats are just as deserving of our love as kittens are, and in fact, may be more in need of it. Kittens often get adopted within a few days of arriving at the shelter, while adult cats are left to spend weeks, even months in their cages, waiting to get a second chance at life.
We’re not going to lie: There are few things in the world harder to resist than a kitten. But senior cats have a lot more to offer than you might think.
You Know What You're Getting
With adult and senior cats, you can feel confident that the picture matches the actual size; there are no surprises in store when you get them home. Unlike kittens, adult cats don’t get any bigger and won’t outgrow your home, so you know what you’re in for. Not to say big kitties don’t deserve love, but they’re not for everyone!
Adult cats have developed a more established personality that isn’t likely to change. This can make them ideal candidates for owners who want a cat to match their own tempo and personality. It can also make them easier to introduce into households with other cats or even dogs, especially if they come from a background with those animals. Shelter staff can help give insight into a cat’s history and the lifestyle that he or she may be best suited for. Some cats may be more patient than others with new friends!
They're Still Playful
While adult cats are often less rambunctious, this doesn’t mean they’re any less fun! They are still full of energy and life. It might take some experimenting to find out which toy they like the best and the best way to get them to play; do they prefer a more lowkey catnip mouse? Or a feather wand they can swat at without having to move too much? Once you find out what toys your senior kitties like, you’ll find that older cats can keep up with the fastest of kittens.
They're More Easygoing
Older cats can be less demanding and may be a better fit for people who work long hours or those who aren’t exactly kittens themselves anymore. Adult cats can spend hours by themselves, perfectly content napping the day away until you get home. Or if your life is a bit slower-paced, they make excellent nap buddies for that midday siesta.
Kittens, on the other hand, require a lot more stimulation and attention. If left alone, they often cause chaos. It can be difficult to keep up a trailblazing kitten! And if they don’t expend that youthful energy during the day, kittens can keep you up all hours of the night, looking for toes to nibble.
Senior Cats Know Their Manners
Kittens also have a lot of learning to do about the “do’s and don’ts” of cathood that older cats have already mastered: like the art of grooming, proper litter box etiquette and that the hand that feeds is not for biting!
They're Much Cleaner
While we joke that cats think they’re gods, it is often said that cleanliness is close to godliness. And older cats are fastidious groomers with an eye for keeping themselves neat and tidy. Kittens tend to be messier and too caught up in their play to clean themselves.
They've Got Good Etiquette
Our more mature kitties also tend to be well-trained in the ways of the litter box and know it’s strictly business. After all, they’ve had years to work on their techniques (and aim). Caught up in the youthful spirit of play, kittens might think of their litter box as a playground and have tons of fun digging for “buried treasure.” You might find yourself really hoping that it’s mud they tracked all over the house. Oh, please be mud.
They've Got a Lot To Give
Many people think that if they adopt an older cat, they’ll get less time to spend with their pet. However, given proper care and love, cats have an average lifespan of 12 to 18 years. And it isn’t uncommon for indoor cats to live 20 years, even more! Per the Guinness World Records, the oldest cat lived to be 38 years old! That’s a wonderfully long time to spend with your companion, especially knowing you gave them a warm, happy home.
Above all, by adopting an adult cat you know that you’ve given them the second chance at the happily ever after that every cat, young and old, deserves.
Do you have a senior cat of your own at home? Here are tips on caring for senior cats and spoiling them ... (even more than you already do!)