Cat lovers who want a new furry family member often turn to kittens for companionship. It’s hard to resist kittens, with their tiny paws and fuzzy bodies that fit in the palm of your hand. Kittens deserve a loving home, but so do the senior cats that often get overlooked.
Kittens get so much attention, prospective pet parents don’t stop to consider all the love they could experience with a senior cat. Plus, older felines come with some perks you won’t find in a kitten. Here are the top reasons to consider adopting a senior cat.
- They’re already house trained: Adopting a kitten requires a lot of time and patience as they learn the house rules. Kittens often forget where the litter box is located, leaving owners little accidents to clean up around the house. Kittens will also sharpen their claws on furniture before they learn to use the scratching post. Senior cats already know how to use the litter box and scratching post, especially if they had a previous owner. Since they know the rules, senior cats tend to be lower maintenance than kittens and require less supervision.
- They have a predictable temperament: A cat’s personality can evolve within their first couple years of life. Pet parents are often surprised when their kitten develops entirely different behaviors as an adult. By contrast, senior cats have fully developed personalities prior to adoption. Their temperaments are a lot more predictable, which makes it easier to find a cat whose personality meshes well with yours. Shelter staff are better able to inform you about the cat’s behavioral quirks. What you see is what you get with senior cats!
- They’ve mellowed out: Senior cats are a great fit for older adults and those with a more laidback lifestyle. Kittens are bouncing off the walls with energy, and their curiosity about the world often leads them into trouble. Unlike kittens, senior cats have learned to avoid dangerous situations and won’t attack household objects in an attempt to burn off excess energy. Senior cats sleep most of the day, so they’re more willing to sit still and cuddle on the couch.
- They’re cleaner than kittens: Kittens have much to learn about the world, including how to bathe themselves. Kittens don’t know how to keep their coats clean, which means it’s the pet parent’s job to remove debris and matted hair. They might find it very entertaining to play in the litter box, leaving litter (and sometimes their waste) strewn across the floor. Besides the occasional brushing, senior cats don’t need help maintaining their coat. Senior cats have also outgrown most unwanted behaviors like kicking litter out of the box.
- They are done teething: Kittens will chew on pretty much anything to get rid of their baby teeth. Wires, shoes and furniture are common targets for a kitten’s chewing habit. Not only does teething damage your belongings, kittens might tear off pieces that can become choking hazards or intestinal blockages. Senior cats have all their adult teeth, so you won’t have to worry about the cat’s safety or damage to your possessions. Once they’re done teething, cats don’t have the urge to chew everything in sight.
- They’re less likely to get adopted: Future owners looking for a cat tend to gravitate towards the adorable kittens. People usually find them cuter than senior cats, and kittens will spend many more years with their new pet parents. As a result, many senior cats spend their whole lives in shelters, rescues and foster homes. Senior cats also have a much greater risk of being put down to create space for more animals. You could be a senior cat’s last chance at finding a forever home!
- They might appreciate you more: After spending most of their lives in a shelter, senior cats understand what an honor it is to get chosen by a new human companion. They’ve lived in shelters long enough to see other cats come and go. Plenty of people have passed them by, and all they want is to go home with a loving pet parent. When you adopt a senior cat, they will express a level of appreciation that comes with being overlooked their whole life.
The list of reasons to adopt a senior cat doesn’t end here. Pet parents who welcome a senior cat into their home are constantly discovering new reasons to love their feline companions. Seniors deserve love just as much as their kitten counterparts, and they will reciprocate that love more than you could’ve ever expected.