Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Senior Cats Deserve Homes Too

You can't argue the fact, there isn't anything much cuter than a kitten. It's no wonder the demand for them is high. Walk into any pet store (on second thought, please don't ever buy a pet from one!) or shelter, and most people are looking for the kittens, but senior cats deserve homes too!

They're sought after because they're adorable, but people don't think ahead. If that's the only reason you're getting a kitten, stop right there. Kittens grow up, and if you don't care for grown up cats, then don't get the kitten.

Let's not forget how mischievous kittens are. They're full of energy so they tear around the house, climb up the curtains, claw their way up the front of the couch, and use your screen door as a climbing wall. They also get into a lot of trouble.

Don't kid yourself into thinking this phase passes quickly, because it doesn't. What started out as cute, may quickly become hellish for some.

Now let's consider the advantages of adopting a senior cat.

A senior cat is considered to be 7+, which is still young. Barring serious illness or injury, most can easily live to 16, with some living well into their 20s.

An adult cat's personality is already formed, so you can choose one that will best fit into your life, and lifestyle.

It's hard to say what a kitten will look like when he grows up, but there are no surprises with a grown up one. So if looks are important to you, pick one that catches your eye, but make sure his personality fits as well!

Don't assume cats in shelters are defective. There are many reasons for them being there, and they include: someone wasn't happy their kitten became a cat; outlived their owner and no friend or family member stepped forward; owner moved and couldn't bring the cat; family member had allergies no one knew about, and if you can believe it - they didn't match the carpet or decor (that excuse is a lot more common than you would think).

While there are still many rambunctious and high energy senior cats, many are lower maintenance and less demanding. Again, pick the one with the energy level you can handle.

When you get home after work, it's less likely to have been "redecorated" while you were gone.

An older cat will already be fixed, and litter trained.

If you already have an older cat and you're looking for a companion, a calm older cat may be less stressful for him to adapt to.

An older cat is more likely to just snuggle with you in bed, than use your stomach as a springboard. Having said that, my 14 year old still uses mine to get from the bed to the dresser.

If you have children, an older cat may be best. Kittens can be too delicate for kids' handling, not to mention they dig their claws into bare skin a lot, and could hurt them. You wouldn't want your child to become afraid because of that experience. Find one that is used to being around children, since not all cats like them.

Older cats don't automatically mean lots of vet bills. Young cats can be struck by illness as well.

Adopting an older pet one will teach your kids, and those around you, about compassion, and that no matter what age, life is precious.

For those cats that end up in kill facilities, their chances of remaining alive for long, are not very good. For those lucky enough to find their way into a no kill facility, a cage may be the last home they'll ever know.

When it's time for you to adopt your next, or first cat, please remember that senior cats deserve homes too! You'll be saving a life, and in return you will be adding plenty of love to your life, and life to your home.

I am a Pet Care Consultant, offering help on issues such as: deciding on the best pet to suit your lifestyle, behaviour and training issues, caring for them in their senior years, grief support and everything in between. In addition to the advice you will find on my website, I offer a personalised consultancy service via Skype, email, telephone, or in person if you're in my area. To contact me, or for more helpful tips

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