If you are considering adding a cat to your house, you may have automatically found yourself looking at cute, cuddly kittens. There is no denying that they are adorable! However, kittens aren’t the only cats searching for their perfect forever home. In fact, there are many incredible older cats that will live out the rest of their days in a shelter or rescue for no other reason than their age. That’s why I am going to take a moment today to focus on the importance of senior cat adoption!
According to Humane Canada, Canadian shelters took in more than 81,000 cats in 2018 alone. It’s a staggering number and a reflection of just how important the work of animal shelters and rescues across the country continues to be today.
Many of these cats will go on to find their forever home while others will live out their remaining days in a shelter or foster home.
What decides which cats are adopted? There are several factors, but one big consideration is their age.
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Cute, cuddly kittens are often the fastest to be adopted, while senior cats are often overlooked.
These sweet older cats have so much love to give.
I will admit, we adopted both of our cats at a young age. Jinx was just a baby needing additional care due to her age while Pippen was 9 months old.
However, as they have both grown older, we have had the opportunity to see the incredible cats that they have both become.
At this point, our sweet girl Pippen is 13 years old and still a loving and playful companion.
As the old saying goes, age is just a number and Pippen is a perfect example of just how true that is!
5 Benefits of Senior Cat Adoption
While kittens are cute, they are also a lot of work. They are high-energy, playful, and mischievous, getting into anything and everything that they can get their little paws on.
This means that you will have to do more work to kitten-proof your home and keep them safe.
On the other hand, a senior cat has already been through their ‘crazy kitten phase’ and is often more concerned with finding a quieter, stable place to live out the rest of their lives.
They often sleep more and may even be more affectionate.
You Know Their Quirks and Personality
When you adopt a senior cat, they are already familiar with who they are and what they like which means that what you see is what you get.
You can find out from the rescue or shelter whether they are comfortable with dogs or children, if they are more energetic or more laid back, if they have a more dominant personality and more.
Kittens are still learning and developing, making it all a guessing game.
They are Cleaner Housemates
With their curious and energetic personalities and their need to learn by engaging directly with their environment, kittens tend to leave a path of destruction in their wake.
This includes broken or chewed-up belongings, litter flung all over the house, and more.
Depending on the age of the kitten that you are considering, there may also be some messes and accidents as you work through the process of litter training.
Additionally, many kittens are still learning how to navigate the basics, like food dishes, knocking their food all over the place during mealtimes.
Senior cats aren’t perfect, by any means, but they are usually less messy and destructive.
Senior Cat Adoption Means Saving a Life (and They Know it)
This may sound a little ‘out there’ to many of you, but if you know, you know…
Senior cats tend to have a better understanding of their situation and the fact that you have rescued them and given them a better life.
They are grateful for what you have done, and this can quickly lead to a close bond built on their true appreciation.
Be An Inspiration to Others
Not only will your decision to foster or adopt a senior cat make a difference in the life of the cat that has come into your home, but it can inspire others to make the same decision.
Your friends and family will have the opportunity to follow your journey and see how much joy it brings you.
In the future, when they are ready to bring a cat into their own home, this can inspire them to also consider senior cat adoption.
Active on social media? You will never know how many people you may be inspiring!
Silver Whiskers Foster Program
I recently learned about an amazing program being run right here in Ontario, Canada by a local organization called Street Cats Rescue.
The Silver Whiskers Foster Program is focused on creating a mutually beneficial situation for cats and their fosters.
The program pairs senior cats with elderly individuals in a permanent foster home arrangement.
This means that the cats that otherwise would have lived their lives in a shelter will live out the remainder of their days in a loving home, giving their love and affection to someone that is also in need of companionship.
At the same time, the cats are considered fosters meaning that the rescue is responsible for costs such as their veterinary care and any special foods that they may require.
The pilot program started with two sweet senior cats, 18-year-old Roxy and 17-year-old Lakeside Lady, both of which were placed with loving foster parents.
Street Cats Rescue is now looking to expand on this effort; however, it will depend on their ability to cover the program’s costs.
This program has the potential to help many more!
If you are inspired by their efforts to make a difference for the senior cats in their care, consider donating to help keep this program running.
Other Ways You Can Help
Are you looking for other ways that you can make a difference for senior cats in your area?
If you aren’t able to foster or adopt and this time and prefer to keep your support local, there are many ways that you can still help.
Contact your local cat shelter or rescue organization to discuss any programs that they may have.
Many shelters will be open to the possibility of people donating towards the adoption fee of a senior cat to increase their chances of finding their forever home.
Additionally, you can volunteer at the shelter, donate much-needed pet supplies, and help to share the word about senior cats that are currently on the search for that perfect family.
Cat Parents – I would love to hear all your stories about senior cat adoption and the joy that your senior cats have brought into your life in the comments below!