What to Expect When You Adopt a Senior Cat

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You're passionate about adopting a senior cat from an animal shelter or someone who can't care for it anymore. After all, while kittens are cute, they are very adoptable, and you want to make sure that a mature cat gets lots of love too.

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However, before you go all in, you'll want to know what to expect when adopting an older cat. Then, you can be sure that you're making the right decision and that you have the resources to properly care for it.

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Why adopt a senior cat?

You love cats, no matter how old or young they are. If you adopt a new senior cat — which is between 11 and 14 years of age — you'll be giving them a forever home where they can live out the rest of their years in peace. This is a much better scenario than living in an animal shelter or going from foster home to foster home, which can be rough.

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Adopting a mature cat comes with many benefits, aside from knowing that you're giving them a loving home. Cat owners may notice that senior cats don't need as much supervision. Also, unlike a kitten, they should know how to use a litter box, unless they have some mental or physical health issues going on.

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Your senior feline may also be better trained than a younger cat and only need a few toys and a scratching post to feel stimulated. They could also cuddle more and show you lots of love since they could have been deprived of a loving home for a long time. You also may not need to switch up their cat food, whereas with a kitten or an adult cat, it could take time to figure out what they like.

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What to expect when bringing your older cat home

When you bring your senior cat home, they may adjust well to your home and know how to use the litter box, want to eat the cat food, and be lower maintenance than a kitten.

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However, keep in mind that they might also experience some health problems and have issues adjusting to their new environment. Your cat might need to go to the veterinarian more often, require prescription medicine, or even need surgery, especially if they have been neglected. Your medical bills for your older cat could be higher than those for a younger cat.

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If you are passionate about adopting a senior cat, there are ways to make the transition from the animal shelter to your home easier. Here's where to start.

Get a cat bed

Your cat needs a place to relax, especially if you have another cat or animal or people in your home. Put a cat bed in a quiet part of the house where your senior cat can go if they are scared or anxious, or if they just need a breather from all the noise.

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Show them lots of love

As much as you can, show your cat you care about them. If your new pet went through the cat adoption process, this means they may not have been shown a lot of love and care. Perhaps they were shuffled around from home to home or shelter to shelter. Give your cat attention by cuddling them, rubbing them, and interacting with them throughout your day.

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Play with them

If your older cat is able, play with them using their favorite cat toys, such as a toy where you can hide catnip that they have to find. Ensuring they get playtime will keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated.

Invest in a cat tree and scratching post

Cats typically love climbing cat trees and using scratching posts. If your older cat is physically well enough to use these items, then buy them and place them in an accessible part of your home.

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In summary

A senior cat could be more or less work depending on the cat you adopt. While you may pay higher medical bills, it could be worth it. If you provide your cat with a loving home where they can live out their golden years, you'll be sure to contribute to their overall well-being and make them a happy cat.

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