How To Prepare When Adopting a Senior Cat
Senior cats frequently end up at shelters, and one of the common reasons is their owners may have died and left no one to take care of them.
Another reason is that they may be given up for adoption because the owners are looking for a younger pet.
Senior cats make excellent housemates for everyone—empty-nesters, young singles, and of course, senior owners.
If you’re looking at adopting a new pet, consider giving a senior cat a second chance at their fur-ever home.
In this post, we’ll give you insights on how to prepare when adopting a senior cat.
Senior Cat Adoption 101
Typically, a cat becomes an adult kitty at seven years of age.
At this age, they are mature adults, and when they reach ten years, they are deemed to be senior cats.
How much is the Adoption Cost?
The cost of adopting a senior feline varies from shelter to shelter.
Cats in shelters typically undergo tests or exams for leukaemia, rabies, distemper, worms, and fleas or ticks.
More often than not, shelters also neuter cats to prevent unnecessary pregnancy.
Expect the adoption fee from animal shelters to be in the range of $25 to $300.
The cost would largely depend on the tests done, and if the cat had a previous owner, it is highly likely that your expenses wouldn’t be as high.
Benefits of Senior Cat Adoption
The fact that an older cat is likely already familiar with specific fundamental guidelines for coexisting with other animals and new owners makes them the perfect companion.
Older cats tend to be less aggressive and laid back than their younger kitten counterparts.
Some elderly cats are skilled at catching mice and can quickly dispatch uninvited visitors.
Older cats are also more likely to have undergone spaying and neutering and be accustomed to living inside the house.
Here are just some of the benefits of adopting a senior cat:
- They are most likely already litter-trained.
- They may already have some basic house manners.
- They are calmer and are perfect cuddle fluffy friends.
- Older cats reached their emotional maturity and are less needy.
- You don’t need to monitor older kitties as they won’t be as curious as their younger counterparts.
- You won’t worry too much about furniture destruction.
- Senior cats often sleep.
Tips for Adopting a Senior Cat
An older cat would often need a couple of days to a few weeks to get used to their new loving home.
They'll probably be so happy to be in a genuine home with toys and a bed, especially if you got them from a shelter.
If this is the case, warming up may not take them very long.
On the other hand, if they moved in straight from their prior residence, they might not completely get that this is their new home and be perplexed about being rehoused.
Your new kitty may need more time in this setting to adjust and warm up to their surroundings.
Here are the tried and tested tips for preparing for your new companion:1. Before bringing your Fluffy Friend home
Shop for general pet supplies first, then check out items specifically for senior pets.
Set up a little room with a comfy cat bed, some food and water bowls, a litter box, a scratching post, and some toys.
Make sure that the litter boxes are nearby.
Your older animal is basically like your grandparents.
You wouldn’t expect them to travel a long way just to do their business, so give them easy access to all their needs.
2. Wellness check
Going to the doctor for veterinary care before introducing your older feline to other pets would be best.
You can also ask the shelter for the most recent health problems, exams, or checks your new pet underwent.
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, older pets require at least one annual health examination, but it would be best to have them checked every six months.
Your veterinarian will probably recommend a geriatric blood panel.
To ensure your new senior cat receives a healthy diet during their golden years, talk about the most recommended nutrition with your vet.
If your new friend has medical conditions like joint pains or mobility issues, it would be best to buy an orthopaedic pillow to help with pain management.
3. The first few days
When you get home, leave your older kitty alone in the area you prepared.
Give your new cat time to acclimate to the new surroundings and the unfamiliar and unexpected sounds and smells by leaving them alone for a few hours.
New calming blankets can be a warm and inviting comfort.
The best way to strengthen your bond with your cat is through food.
Your senior cat will come to know you as a reliable source of security if you feed them during the first few days.
Additionally, you can devise a unique signal to alert them to feeding time, such as calling their name, tapping their food bowl, or whistling.
Regularly provide ample amounts of water.
Your feline companion's need for water will rise as kidney function begins to decline with age.
Offering canned food, various bowl sizes, flowing as opposed to still water, and cold as opposed to warm water can encourage your elder kitty to drink more water.4. Introducing your new pet to children or other pets
Don't introduce your new elder fluffy friend to your other pets or kids right away.
Nobody should be rushing to introduce your kitty to other family members because your new pet needs to get used to their new surroundings.
An older cat could be more resistant to change because of their established habits.
If you’re introducing your elder cat to a dog, it’s a good idea to confine either the dog or the cat during the initial meeting.
This way, your new pet won't feel threatened by the dog, who might act overly eager to meet the newcomer.
You can subtly introduce your new cat to other family members by letting him smell their belongings.
5. Do regular litter cleaning
Make sure your older shelter cat is aware of the location of their litter box and that it is spacious enough and filled with litter for them to use comfortably.
Remove clumps frequently throughout the day, and see whether they prefer a particular brand of litter.
Cats' coats lose density with age, becoming less shiny, more prone to matting, and producing more dander.
Their skin ages more delicately and grows thinner.
They might not be able to groom themselves properly because they're in pain from arthritis.
Create a bonding activity that your cat enjoys, like brushing.
Preparing a lint brush to remove all the excess hair after your grooming sessions is always good.
Age causes a cat's nails to thicken and become more brittle.
While providing scratching posts is vital, you shouldn't expect that their nails will take care of themselves.
Establish a routine; you can do the nail cutting at home or go to the groomer.
7. Pet Camera
You can observe your pet while you're away and communicate with it using a pet camera.
It will let you watch your cat's adaptation to the new surroundings.
You can also use the two-way audio system to communicate with them.
8. Be observant
Senior cats, like people, frequently experience hearing loss and vision problems.
If they are asleep and you enter the room unexpectedly, you don't want them to get startled.
You can lessen your pet's distress if you don't move furnishings, especially if you think the kitty has vision issues.
Additionally, adjust your behavior when you approach if your cat has hearing difficulties.
Turn on a lamp or walk more firmly so your feline feels the vibrations as you come.
9. Give your Fluffy Friend attention
Your responsibility will be to continue playing and petting older cats as they yearn for your attention and affection.
If you have a more hectic lifestyle, you can be sure that they’ll be waiting for you.
Cats will want to be warmer around the house as they age, so you may need to accommodate their special needs.
Additionally, they could require assistance going to their preferred eating, sleeping, or bathroom locations.
In the final years of their lives, give your senior animals as much attention and love as possible.
10. Be patient
The adjustment time will be easier for you and your elder feline if you have lots of love and patience.
For a smooth transition, do lots and lots of research!
Related: How to Introduce Cats to Dogs
Final Thoughts on Adopting a Senior Cat
Older cats make great pets because they're more responsible than young animals, have a great deal of love to give, and get along well with both people and other pet companions.
Adopting an elderly cat is a great way to improve your life since you'll have the companionship of a loyal animal that won't ever forget your generosity.
We can’t really think of other reasons not to adopt a senior cat.
While adopting a new pet from your local animal shelter is exciting, people should also consider senior kitty adoptions.
Not only are you giving senior cats the love and safe space they deserve, but you’re also giving them a chance to be taken good care of during their old age.
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