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Adopting an Older Cat

 by jaime on 20 Aug 2014 |
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If you're thinking about adopting a new cat, have you considered taking home an older cat to become your new forever friend. While many people feel that they may only have a few good years left with an adult cat, don't forget that many cats can live well into their teens or twenties, so you'll have plenty of many happy, healthy years together. People also worry that an adult cat must have many behavioural issues, but usually it's because of the previous owners that a cat ends up in a shelter.

As you can imagine, many people opt to adopt cute, playful kittens, but there are many benefits to choosing an adult cat.

Benefits to adopting an older cat:

  • If you work full-time or lead a busy lifestyle, an older cat is perfect because they tend to be more independent and are quite happy to spend time home alone.
  • Are often already litter-box trained. However be prepared for some mishaps, which is a common occurrence when introduced to new and unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Adult cats are less boisterous so are a great option for families with children or seniors.
  • Adult cats are usually less maintenance.
  • Their personalities are already developed, so you will know what you're getting.
  • Older cats tend to get on well with your existing pets.
  • Usually you'll get to know the full history of the cat, including its medical history.

Some things to remember:

  • At the rescue shelter, be open about your lifestyle and home life so you can be recommended cats that would suit your life perfectly.
  • Your potential new cat could've been mistreated by a previous owner so be prepared to take on the extra baggage, which will require extra patience.
  • Some older cats are set in their ways, so before you take them home make sure you are compatible.
  • If the cat you are set on was abandoned or is a stray – it won't be possible to know its full medical history, so make sure it gets a thorough medical examination – either by your own vet or at the rescue shelter.

Bringing your new cat home:

  • Before bringing your new cat home, make sure you've bought all the supplies you need in advance.
  • Get your cat micro-chipped and a collar with your details on it in case they become lost.
  • Set up a private room, preferably away from high-traffic areas so your cat can get used to their new strange environment in their own time. Make sure there is food and water bowls, a litter tray and plenty of toys for them to play with.
  • Keep them on a structured routine – this will greatly help them to settle in to their surrounds.
  • Don't bombard your new friend too much. Give them plenty of space and be patient – let them get familiar with their new home in their own time.
  • After this initial period, start to introduce your cat to other members of your house – including other cats, if you have them.
  • During the first week, visit the vet to get them checked over.

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