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Adopting a Senior Cat

Hints & Tips

There is the stigma that taking on a senior cat is not a great idea, as more often than not people believe that the older the cat, the more problems it may have, especially if it has been taken into a rescue centre.

This is not always the case, plus the cat will have had excellent care whilst in the centre, meaning that even if they have been subjected to a hard life, they will have had time to re-adjust to a loving and healthy routine. As with most animals, senior cats simply crave love and attention from their owner - which you will be happy to provide!

On average cats have a longer lifespan than dogs, so don't be put off by the age of your senior cat. There will be many years left in him/her to provide you both with happiness, love and laughter.

Why should I adopt an older cat? Here are just some of the reasons?

  • A cat's personality is already determined by that age, so there is more chance of you finding the right cat to suit you and your family.
  • Training is already complete and less supervision is required.
  • Playtime is usually at a minimum, so your older cat will be simply requiring love, food and a warm home.
  • Adult cats from a rescue will be neutered, litter trained, and calmer than a youngster
  • Due to the more mature/relaxed
  • Cats regularly live into their late teens these days, so most seniors will have many years of life and love to give
  • A senior cat is less likely to cause havoc by climbing up curtains, routing through bins or breaking ornaments.

Points to consider

Although there are many benefits to adopting or taking on an older cat, there are also some points worthwhile considering before you do;

Why do you want a cat?

Owning a cat can be very rewarding and they provide love, friendship, and often support for families and those living alone alike. They are great with children and can bring a family together.

Do you want a cat for cuddles, if so it is worthwhile specifying. Some cats prefer outdoor life and will only come back at meal times. Will this satisfy you?


Where you live and where your house is situated will have a big effect on the cat suitable for you. If you live in a flat for example, you will need to ensure that you get a cat used to indoor living. Likewise, if you live in a rural setting or farm, nearby other cats, you need to consider if your cat will feel safe.

Do you have small children? Consider whether or not the senior cat you are getting can cope with small children and their inquisitiveness around the home. Often children will want to play and they may not be aware of the cats emotions and signals. If you are bringing a senior cat into the home, make sure they like people/children and also, make sure that your children are taught to understand when to allow the cat some space.

Do you have the time?

Do you work shifts, 9-5, run a business from home? Regardless of your career choice, it is worthwhile seriously considering if you have the time to look after and love a senior cat. Cats can adapt to most lifestyles, however you will need to pick your cat carefully. You may also need to consider getting 2 cats at the same time, this way they will each have a playmate if you are out of the home for long periods on a regular basis.

If you holiday a lot over the course of the year, can you provide the care for your senior cat, through pet sitters or catteries?

Have you got another pet?

Having another pet within the home can hinder you when taking on a senior cat. However it can also be a positive thing as long as the pets are matched up well. Make sure that when choosing your cat, you specify that you do have another pet at home.


Cats, like any pet do not always come cheap! Make sure that you are aware of the financials involved in having a cat in the home. Can you afford the cost of feeding, vets bills, vaccinations, worming, senior cat insurance and catteries. Also can you afford to replace furniture or clothing that may get damaged if you cat were to have a playful afternoon whilst your not in?

There are also set up costs to consider such as: litter tray, installation of cat flap, scratching posts, bedding, food bowls, grooming equipment and toys! It may all add up to more than you think.