The Animal Protective Foundation is thrilled to announce that beginning Friday, February 23, 2018, for a limited time only, adoption fees for all cats age 8 years and older will be waived courtesy of our very special and caring friends, Evelyn and Marc Gutchell. Why adopt a senior cat you ask? Well, allow Evelyn to tell you in her own words…
Old Friends are the Best Friends
by Evelyn Gutchell
Seniors tend to be more settled and are usually calmer, even if they are still pretty active. Older cats will still enjoy interactive playtime with you but you won’t have to drive yourself crazy with lengthy toy sessions or fishing pole antics—a little at a time will keep them happy and healthy.
Better social skills are an added benefit with older cats and they may have more experience with children or other pets. Older cats are less likely to grab at curious little hands with the tiny razor-like claws of a kitten. They can be more patient. Of course, the individual personality of the cat matters and not every senior will want to live with an active family.
Old guys are not going to be chasing your shoelaces as if they were snakes or scaling the heights of curtains, countertops, or dining tables. They don’t grab your slippers while you climb the stairs or cross the room. They tend to know to retract their claws around hands. I have found that my old friends also don’t tend to use their claws destructively on furniture or fabrics. They still require a good scratching post and nail trimming, but they are less obsessed with leaving their mark on surfaces with their claws than a younger cat is.
My favorite thing about older kitties is their tendency to want to be present with you. They enjoy your company and tend to be more affectionate than younger, more independent cats. Instead of always checking out their territory, an older guy is more likely to want to just settle in by your side. Think more love, less craziness.
But what about illness and not having them around as long as a kitten? Seniors may require some extra medical expenditures as they age. Unlike young cats, older cats are less able to hide it when they are feeling ill so you are more able to react quickly to help them. On the other hand, young pets swallow all sorts of objects and can get into all kinds of trouble requiring extra medical care, so I believe it balances out. As for length of time with them, I have learned that every moment is precious with these older guys and so is every life. Just as with people, young pets can get sick and pass away and the length of our little friends’ lives is not guaranteed, no matter the age at which we adopt them.
When it comes to cats, most people come into the shelter looking for kittens or maybe a 1 to 2 year old cat. The allure of a young cat is easy to see. What should not be overlooked is the perhaps not-so-obvious appeal of the senior kitty. Why would anyone choose an older cat when faced with the adorable antics of a kitten? Since older cats have for many years been my favorite age group and are my pet of choice, please allow me to sing their too-often unsung praises.
The biggest advantage to adopting a senior cat is that you can better tell the personality of the cat you are considering. Is he a lap cat or more independent? Does she need a quiet home or would she thrive in a busy household? The answer is much more obvious with older kitties.
Why adopt a senior cat?
All in all, the time we are given with our pets is a gift. I have had months with some of my kitties and years with others and I wouldn’t trade a second of any of it. What is so remarkable is that a senior, once settled into your family and home, seems to have always been there with you. To an older cat, the years before you met them matter much less than you might think—to them, you are their family.
When you think about it—companionship, comfort, affection, friendship, love—these things are timeless and ageless. Senior cats, like all of us, don’t stop needing them just because they’ve grown older.