Owning a Cat

Why cats make great pets for seniors


Cats can be the best companions for seniors. If you have difficulty walking or getting outside much, a cat makes a great companion. Many love staying indoors and adult cats enjoy sitting on laps and looking out windows. They don’t need outdoor exercise or walking the way dogs do.  They also don’t need lots of training and attention. 



Great household pets 

Cats are regal house pets and easy to deal with. They are one of the most preferred human companions. Cats were first domesticated about 5,000 years ago. Farmers welcomed them because they drove away the rodents and other pests. To this day, cats are popular household pets. You don’t have to have bags of grain lying around to enjoy a cat’s warmth and love. They are independent creatures and so easy for seniors to care for. 


Good behavior

Cats fit well in small apartments. Unlike dogs who need regular walking and exercise, cats climb. They can get plenty of exercise in small spaces and use a litter box.  You can’t just open a back door in an apartment and let the dog out.  Cats are also generally quieter. Apartment neighbors will not be friendly to you in the morning if your dog has been barking all night.  Cats are often not even noticed by neighbors at all. 


Relaxing effects

Cats reduced stress levels, ease depression and lower blood pressure. Loneliness contributes to dementia.  Cats will listen to any conversation and are warm and affectionate.  They don’t take the place of human company but they are great at filling in the lonely spaces. 

Pet cats can show you lovely gestures of gratefulness, sleep on your lap or keep you company when you are alone. Well-groomed cats are cuddly and provide the touch we all need at all ages.  



Cat tricks

Cats are enterprising creatures. Sit quietly on the sofa and just look at them.  You’ll have hours of entertainment watching them play.  The reason they are so popular on the internet is because they are so cute. They open doors, get through small spaces and can fight forever with a paper bag.  They can be your most loyal friend. They provide unconditional affection and companionship. If you have no one to talk to, your cat will hang on every word.  Don’t you love that they don’t argue or butt in? 

Cats are sensitive to stress levels of humans and offer comfort.  Cats often sense illness and will stay to you if you become ill.  If your cat is becoming a mother hen, a visit to the doctor might be in order.  



Cats rarely have bad scents. They are generally clean. They know how to groom themselves, except for long- haired breeds. Most cats are quiet in nature. Some cat breeds like Siamese are popular for being talkative. But the majority of the cats are fairly conservative. 


Going Away

Going to visit the grandkids?  Planning a cruise?  Medical issues? Cats are easy to board or get care for. Most family and friends don’t mind stopping in every now and then to check up on your cat.  Felines are independent creatures by nature. They don’t need you to play with them when you are tired or on the mend. Whether you get a sitter or board your pet, you will come back to a happy camper.  


Small space

If you have limited space, you don’t need to worry. Cats like smaller environments. By being territorial in nature, a tiny dwelling place is sufficient to live for them.  They love to sit in boxes or on empty bookshelves.  Their natural instict is to find a small space to hide in.  


Cats can get plenty of exercise playing in the house.  Seniors with limited mobility can still play with a cat by using an interactive toy. Many pet toys have attached rods and cords. This makes it easy for you to sit in a chair and keep your cat jumping around.  Cats love to chase yarn, play with a paper bag and jump for the feathers at the end of flexible stick. There are also wonderful cat toys that keep a cat busy on their own moving balls around in a circle.  You don’t have to be able to jog for miles to keep your cat active and fit. 




Before a senior to adopts a cat, you have to prepare everything to ensure the well-being of the pet. Make sure you understand everything required.  Never surprise mom or dad with a cat to raise without warning.  Make sure they are ready for the task. 

senior-woman-cat-2.2Adopting a kitten is a long term commitment for anyone.  Even more so for a senior.  Many cats are displaced when seniors move to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. An older cat can give many years of love without worry about the cat’s future. 

Kittens can be fun but these tiny babies are not recommended for seniors. Kittens are very demanding and need a lot of effort to keep them on track and train.  They are more vulnerable to dangerous situations and need regular feedings and water.   A kitten is also more active than an adult cat.  It can cause possible accidents for their owners by getting underfoot. They are harder to see and can cause accidents like tripping or falling.



Take it easy

Finding the right breed of cat for a senior is like choosing the right partner in life. It takes time and effort to look for the perfect match. Each cat has its own temperament, trait and physical make-up. If necessary, go over how to budget for supplies and feed the pet. Ensure the senior cat parent can scoop the litter box or refill the water bowl with fresh water.



Monetary and social responsibility 

Senior cat owners need to be able to shoulder the financial responsibility of a pet.  They need to provide routine veterinary care for their pets and handle emergency situations.  Often family members or friends can accept this responsibility.   The benefits of seniors having a pet for company are many. Most of the time caring for a cat is manageable.  It’s hard to get a cat into a carrier and into the car for anyone.  It is particularly difficult for some seniors.  

Too hard to bend to take care of the litter box and clean around the food area?  Ask someone to help or pay someone to help you with cat chores.  There are so few, many people will help for free. 


Some vets make house calls.  Find one who does if it’s too hard to bring your cat in for treatment. Ask the veterinary office to send reminders to the home and any other relatives who help. This way check-ups and regular treatments that can prevent later problems won’t be missed. 

When you visit the vet ask him to check the cat for any lumps, bumps, bruises. It is easy to overlook things and cats can’t tell us when they are hurting.   Ask for help for grooming, trimming or giving medication. It’s hard for some seniors to trim claws or bathe their cat.  Although cats usually groom themselves, it’s ok to have a service do it once in a while.  

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