So, you want to bring a new cat into your home! Whether it’s your first kitty or you’ve been a cat owner for years, consider visiting your local animal shelter or rescue and helping out one of the millions of cats that end up in shelters every year. Once you get there, take a minute to think about the kind of kitty you’d like to take home.
Your first instinct might tell you to snap up an adorably bouncy kitten, but have you ever considered bringing home a senior feline? You may not know it yet, but an older cat adoption could be just what you need. We’re clearing up the misconception that these animals are “damaged” or somehow not great pets. Here are some common myths about senior cats.
They All Have Health Issues
As people get older, they can develop health problems such as heart disease or cancer. The same is true of cats, but you shouldn’t assume that every older kitty is automatically sick. Thinner skin, a weaker immune system, and brittle claws are all normal signs of aging in cats. Given a proper diet, necessary checkups, and regular exercise, your senior cat can maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle.
Older Cats Are Mean
Aging cats can display slight changes in personality or behavior, resulting in symptoms like disorientation. This is another natural sign of aging, and can also happen in humans—think of it as your grandparents getting a little forgetful in old age. Older cats can be the same loving animals they were as kittens! But sudden mood changes could signal a real issue. If a cat is aggressive or “mean,” she’s probably uncomfortable or in pain, and you should take a trip to the vet to determine the source of the problem.
Senior Felines Can’t Be Anesthetized
Any cat can have a negative reaction to anesthesia, regardless of age, but the chances of this happening are relatively slim. Your vet will probably agree that any procedures requiring anesthetic—such as tumor removal or dental treatments—are worth the risk.
They Make Messes
No one wants to come home to a wet spot in the middle of their floor—but don’t assume that that’s what you’re getting with a senior cat! Incontinence can be a result of aging, but it can also be caused by a number of other issues, such as obesity. You might even discover that your cat is making a mess in the house because the litter box is too tall for her to get into comfortably! You can also talk to the shelter about her urinary habits beforehand if you’re especially worried about bringing home a cat with bladder issues.
Senior Cats Aren’t Fun Like Kittens
An older cat may move a little slower than a hyper kitten, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less fun! Adult and senior felines can bring you just as much joy as a newborn, and usually without the need for litter box training. All healthy felines need regular exercise, playtime, and attention, so you’ll still be able to spend plenty of time with your furry friend.
All Old Cats Have a Poor Quality of Life
Kittens become cats quickly, but then things start to move more slowly. A cat is considered a senior between seven and ten years of age, and some people hesitate to adopt these older friends because of that designation—but cats can actually live for decades! As long as they’re not in pain and retain relatively good mobility, your cat can maintain a good quality of life and stick by your side for years to come.
They Can’t Adapt to Change
Ever heard the saying, “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well, it turns out that you can, and the same goes for cats! Older felines, particularly those who have spent their whole lives in one home, may seem set in their ways at first. They might be skittish when you greet them in a shelter, but look at things from their perspective—the shelter may be a new, scary place for them, and you’re about to take them to another unknown place. Once you give your new cat time to settle in and adjust to his surroundings, you may find a friendly, eager cat underneath all that shyness!
Support Your Senior Cat with Wapiti
Taking on an older cat can sometimes be a challenge, but you’ll find it a worthwhile one. Help maintain your senior’s health with Wapiti Labs’ Revitalize, created for cats in their second stage of life. Each of our natural supplements is specially formulated to support a key factor of your pet’s health, and we look forward to supporting your furry companions at every point in their lives!