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Adopting a senior cat can be a rewarding experience for many reasons. Not only do senior cats bring a wealth of love and companionship to their new families, but they also come with the added benefit of already being fully grown and trained. While it can be exciting to bring a new kitten into your home, it’s important to remember that adopting a senior cat has its own unique set of benefits.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about adopting a senior cat, from finding the right match to preparing your home and caring for your new furry friend. Whether you’re an experienced cat owner or a first-time adopter, these tips will help you provide the best possible home for your senior cat.
Adopting a senior cat – finding your new friend
There are a number of ways to find a senior cat to adopt. One common place to look is at animal shelters and local rescue organizations. These organizations typically have a variety of cats available for adoption, including seniors. It’s usually worth calling around to a few different organizations to see what cats they have available and to learn more about their adoption process. Some organizations will let you walk in and take home that cat the same day, others might require a more extensive vetting process for potential adopters.
You can also try searching online pet adoption listings, such as on websites like Petfinder or through social media groups devoted to animal adoption. You’ll find many senior cats are available for adoption by looking in these places.
When starting the process to adopt a senior cat, there are a few things you should be considering. First, decide on the energy level of the cat you want. Senior cats can vary in their activity levels, and some will be more energetic and playful than others. Consider whether you want a cat that is more laid-back or one that is more active. The adoption team should be familiar with each cat’s activity level and can match you with cats that will fit your home and lifestyle.
It’s a good idea to think about the personality of the cat you want. Some senior cats may be more laid-back and affectionate, while others may be more independent and aloof. Think about the sort of relationship you want with your cat and express that to the adoption team. If you want a cat that’s very cuddly and sweet, you’d probably be disappointed if you came home with a cat that doesn’t like being held.
Finally, consider the health of the senior cat you are considering adopting. Some senior cats may have special medical needs (uch as medications, special diets, or complicated medical care) that you should be prepared to manage. Make sure to ask about the cat’s health history and any ongoing medical needs before making a decision to adopt a specific cat. Not all seniors have health issues, but many do, so it’s an important detail to consider before adopting.
You’ll also want to take into consideration the health of the senior cat you are considering adopting. Some senior cats have special medical needs (such as medications, special diets, or complicated medical care) that you should be prepared to manage. Make sure to ask about the cat’s health history and about ongoing medical needs before making a decision to adopt a specific cat. Not all seniors have health issues, but many do, so it’s an important detail to consider before adopting.
Preparing your home for a senior cat
So you’ve adopted a new cat, congratulations! Before you bring your new cat home, it’s important to make sure that your home is set up to accommodate their needs. Senior cats often have different requirements than kittens, so it’s important to be prepared and make your home a comfortable place for them.
One of the first things to consider is giving your cats access to high places. Senior cats are often not as agile as younger cats, so it may be helpful to install ramps or steps to help them access high places like windowsills or cat trees. This can provide a safe and comfortable place for them to relax and entertain themselves by watching squirrels and birds.
It’s also a good idea to provide a comfortable bed for your senior cat. This can be as simple as a cozy blanket or as elaborate as a heated bed. Just be sure to choose a spot that is easily accessible and away from drafts. Not all cats like sleeping on human beds, so giving them their own space can make them more comfortable.
In addition to making these modifications, it’s important to ensure that your home is safe. Remove any potentially hazardous items, such as cleaning chemicals or small objects that the cat could swallow, and be sure to properly secure any windows or screens to prevent escapes. If you have plants, you’ll want to do research on each plant in your home and make sure it’s not toxic for your cats. Aside from safety, you’ll want to protect your own possessions from a potentially curious cat. For example, remove things away from the sides of tables that your cat might be tempted to knock over, and put away things like phone chargers your senior cat might be tempted to chew on.
By making these small adjustments, you can create a safe and comfortable environment for you and your cat to live together.
Responsibilities after adopting a senior cat
Caring for a senior cat requires a bit of extra attention and an understanding of their specific needs as compared to kittens or younger cats. Senior cats often have different dietary and exercise needs than other cats, and they may also require more frequent visits to the vet for checkups or testing (especially if they’re on medication).
One of the most important things to consider when caring for a senior cat is the quality of their diet. As cats age, their metabolism slows down and they may need to eat fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. It’s a good idea to consult with your vet and determine the best diet for your cat’s needs. They might recommend a specific senior cat food or suggest that you feed your cat smaller and more frequent meals.
Exercise is also important for senior cats, even if they are less active than they were in their younger years. Encourage your senior cat get up and move around by providing toys and scratching posts, or consider taking them on walks outside on a leash. If you notice your cat is having issues moving around, you might want to ask your vet about arthritis treatment for cats. Despite what others might say, most senior cats WANT to play! They just can’t do it as easily as they used to. Medications like adequan and supplements like Cosequin can help improve your cat’s joints and decrease pain.
Regular visits to the veterinarian are also crucial for senior cats. As cats age, they are more prone to health issues, such as kidney disease and dental problems. Regular check-ups with the veterinarian can help catch these issues early and get your cat the necessary treatment. Vets often recommend cats 9 years and older start seeing them once every six months rather than once every two years.
Finally, it’s important to make sure that your cat has a comfortable and stress-free environment. This can include providing them with a quiet place to rest away from other pets or children, as well as plenty of love and affection. By meeting their physical and emotional needs, you can help your senior cat live a longer and happier life.
Adopting a senior cat can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. Older cats can bring a wealth of love and companionship to their new families, and they come with the added benefit of already being fully grown and trained. While caring for a senior cat may require a bit of extra attention and understanding, the rewards are nearly always well worth it.
If you’re considering adopting an older cat, there are many options available to you, including animal shelters, rescue organizations, and online listings. Before you bring home your cat though, it’s important to do your research and choose the right senior cat for your home, taking into account their size, energy level, personality, and health needs.
In addition, preparing your home for a senior cat is also crucial. This includes making modifications to accommodate their needs, such as installing ramps or steps for access to high places and providing a quiet and cozy sleeping area. It’s also important to ensure that your home is safe by removing hazards and properly securing windows and screens.
Caring for a senior cat involves meeting their specific needs, including their diet, exercise, and medical care. Regular visits to the vet are important for catching any potential health issues early, and providing a comfortable and stress-free environment is crucial for your cat’s well-being.
If you’re ready to take on the challenge of adopting a senior cat, you’ll be rewarded with a lifetime of love and companionship. Consider giving a senior cat the chance to join your family and enjoy their golden years in a loving home.