Age Is Just A Number

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Published on July 14, 2010 with No Comments

by Dorothy Ripperdan

Many people come to shelters to adopt a cat or kitten for their family or themselves. Too often they don’t even stop to look at the wonderful senior or adult cats.  This results in the many senior/older cats that have been at the Independent Cat Society for several years. It is also why many of them will never find a home in their lifetime.  But what are the reasons people choose to pass up these wonderful cats?

People feel that a cat that is eight years or older will not live very long and it is so hard to lose a family pet.  Any time you adopt an animal, there is no guarantee.  Like people, things happen, even to the young ones.  With today’s veterinary care and the availability of better foods and medicines, many felines live well into their late teens and 20’s and they can live quite robust lives.  But the best reward, think of the happiness you gave that senior cat during its golden years. 

Another reason some people will not consider an older cat is because of a special diet or a simple medication. Neither may be costly, but the thought of treating them differently or giving them a little more care than the average pet is more than they want to do.  How sad! Personally speaking, I have three senior cats and two of them, that I adopted, require special low cost meds and the little time and money it costs to care for them is repaid to me thousandfold by the love they give back to me for choosing them to come into my home. 

A senior cat may not be chosen for a family pet because it isn’t playful enough.  At the ICS we have many adult/senior cats that still love to play with the laser lights and catnip toys just as much as the young ones do.  Some of them may tire out a little sooner than the younger cats, but think of it this way… that might not be a bad thing!  Exercise is also good for them and helps them to live a little longer, richer life.  When they do tire out, they might just want to curl up in your lap and purr up a storm to show their appreciation and love for time you have spent playing with them.

There are many reasons to adopt a senior or adult cat.  An adult cat is less likely to be rowdy or to take dangerous risks like a young kitten.  They are less likely to have the desire to go on a trek up your drapes or to swat at your pet fish.  A senior or adult cat’s personality is well-established so you pretty well know the temperament of the cat you are getting.  Your new senior or adult cat will fit in well in any environment because it doesn’t take much to get it accustomed to the “new”.  If you already have an older cat or dog, a senior cat playmate won’t be as taxing to your existing pet.  An older cat is easier to take care of than a young kitten because they can take care of themselves.  They are great for the working person who can’t be home during the day as they do not need to be entertained.

Perhaps the most important and best reason to adopt an adult or senior cat is because they need and deserve a good home.  Statistics show the odds of them getting a good home are not in their favor.  Know that when you adopt a senior or adult cat you are not just getting a long-term friend, you are also saving a life as many shelters put the senior cats to sleep before their time has actually come.  Although you might not share your home with a senior cat as long as a kitten, your household will still be blessed with a special connection.

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