Why Adopt an Older Cat?
If you’re thinking of rehoming a cat, don’t automatically opt for the usual cute, fluffy kitten. Although we all love these tiny bundles of fun, there are so many benefits to adopting an older cat that many have never considered. A more senior cat may very well be a better fit for a busy lifestyle and will come home with an established, unique personality already fully formed.
In shelters, black cats take around 13% longer to find a new home than other cats. It isn’t fully understood why this is the case, but the statistics speak for themselves: cats that are black in colour are less likely to find their forever home.
Here’s just some of the exclusive benefits that come with adopting an older cat, and why black cat adoption could be so much more rewarding for owners looking to rehome a pet.
Why adopt an older cat?
Just like humans, cats take some time to establish their personality: their likes and dislikes, particular behaviours, preferred routine and adorable character quirks. When adopting a kitten, it will take over a year for the full strength of their personality to shine through. After all, they need to get through those troublesome teenage ‘years’ too!
A shelter will be able to tell you all about the personality of their senior residents. Finding the right fit for your own family and lifestyle will become so much easier when adopting an older cat, as both parties already know what they want out of the relationship.
Kittens make adorable mistakes all the time and we love them for it! But, if you’re more house-proud than the average cat owner, or own items that need preserving or protecting, then adopting an older cat may be for you.
Senior cats got all of that curtain-climbing, wall-scratching energy out of their system years ago. Older cats prefer a room with a view, to an obstacle course of ornaments and are naturally less disruptive than kittens. Of course, accidents can still happen, but with older cats you’re more likely to find a calmer senior citizen that is more inclined to bask in the sunshine than clamber the curtain rail.
Older cats have lived life and come home to you with a wealth of experience already learned! There won’t be any messy accidents as you tackle the task of toilet training, and your pet may even have picked up some pretty nifty skills along the way!
Training kittens and young cats is notoriously difficult—much harder than their canine counterparts. When adopting an older cat, all of the basic life skills and essential training will have been taken care of.
Less daily demands
There are so many common misconceptions about older animals. Although senior pets do prefer a much quieter lifestyle, they aren’t necessarily shy cats. With naturally less energy in their later years, senior cats spend large parts of the day conserving their energy rather than expending it. Although it’s still important to keep seniors cats active and limber with regular playtime, they don’t require anywhere near as much daily exercise as younger cats.
For prospective owners wondering why adopt an older cat? Think carefully about your daily schedule. If you have a busy lifestyle with not much time to spare, adopting an older cat might be a great fit for you. You can snuggle up with a senior cat on the evenings, but won’t need to dedicate large portions of time every day to playing games.
It isn’t just older cats that struggle to find a forever home. Naturally shy cats are less inclined to shine in an environment where multiple animals are competing for attention, and so often suffer when it comes to finding a new home.
Think about the right personality fit for you. A shy cat probably won’t suit a large, busy family with young children, but if you’re a shy person yourself, why not consider rehoming a shy cat? Animals with a more reticent personality still love their owners, they’re just not so quick to make a first impression. Their hard-won love will be so much more worth it in the long-term, when you are the only person whose lap they want to sit on. How’s that for a forever bond?
National black cat day
Black cats take 13% longer to be rehomed than any other coloured cat. It might be surprising to learn this, given how often we see gorgeous black cats around our neighbourhoods. The problem has become so bad that a National Black Cat Day has been created. The day aims to raise awareness and celebrate these fantastic animals that deserve a loving home just as much as any other coloured kitty!
Just for the record, black cats are not the following: unlucky, the pets of witches or bad for photographs.
Black cat adoption can help to dispel the myths surrounding these amazing cats. Make a difference!
The sunset years
When older cats find themselves in a shelter, it really is their last chance for love. Competing against cute kittens and colourful adult cats can be difficult when you’re in the sunset years, but this doesn’t mean that senior cats are any less brilliant!
The benefits of adopting an older cat, a shy cat or a black cat are different to choosing a kitten. You may find an even better fit for your family and lifestyle in these often forgotten felines. Think carefully about adopting a cat: you could make an even more rewarding choice after a little extra consideration.
If you’re thinking about getting a cat, check out our new cat guide so you’ll be prepared for your new arrival.