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Old 12-18-2013, 08:50 AM
 
Location: New Albany, IN
832 posts, read 1,312,606 times
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I might be getting a cat for Christmas! Really it just means my husband is going to give me another chance to have a cat after "devil cat" three years ago.

I plan to adopt from the county animal shelter. We do not have any pets whatsoever. I have my eye on a 10-year old orange male cat in honor of my cherished childhood cat who was orange and lived to be 17. I think the older cat would be better than getting a kitten because he would be calm and lie around more. Plus I think orange cats are more friendly than others (I am totally biased to them can't you tell).

Are older cats more of a hassle because of health problems? Do they need special food and treatment? Do they have a harder time adjusting to a new home?

If I don't get this particular cat I'll probably look for another senior cat. Probably like with dogs they get overlooked because a family wants a youngster instead.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
12,966 posts, read 24,000,274 times
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Adopting a senior cat is a great idea! I have a senior cat, and he doesn't have health problems, or require any special food or treatment. He was an abandoned cat that adopted me, and had no trouble adjusting to being an indoor cat.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:14 AM
 
4,787 posts, read 8,752,051 times
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I would certainly adopt a senior- in fact I have several times. Ten is not that old for a cat anyway. As you have no other pets, he should fit in easily. Just give him time to adjust. He may walk in likes he owns the place or he may need a number of weeks to settle in. But he will.

If he comes to you with no health problems, it should be a long time before he develops any age associated concerns. Go for it.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,929,204 times
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Felines don't get a pass from health issues and special needs as they age. All adopting a kitten does is delay that inevitability for a few years. And life has its ways of being unpredictable. My Weasie (RIP) made it well into her twentieth year before succumbing to untreatable cancer. Other than a supplement for alleviating arthritis symptoms (and antibiotics for a single UTI and for healing from a couple of accidental injuries in her youth) I never had to shell out any money for medications. Nor did she ever need to undergo surgery beyond dubiously necessary dental extractions. You might also luck out in that regard.

I've never personally been in an adoption situation involving a truly "senior" cat. But during childhood my family took in "Mame," who I believe was about two years old and whose owner was "moving out of town and couldn't take her." Before her former human's car had even turned the corner, Mame was sprawled on the living-room rug purring as we kids excitedly petted her. She took to us "just like that." Many years later, in 2012, a stray who I named "Blaliko" for her coat started showing up for hand-outs and - after quite a few months of trying - she made me hers. But once I'd earned her trust and she'd allowed me to let her in the house there was no turning back. Blaliko was full-grown when she first happened onto my property, but appeared young so was likely no more than a year or two old. No matter.

A former neighbor, bereft of feline companionship for several months, once found out from friends of friends of friends that someone had to enter a nursing home and relinquish their four-year-old "Jasmine." She reported the day after bringing Jasmine to live with her that she'd "settled right in." Two relocations later, they're still a happily and warmly bonded pair.

FWIW.

"Good tidings" to you for looking to make an older feline part of your home. One of my childhood cats was a "red tabby," a good guy.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:58 AM
 
2,890 posts, read 5,152,172 times
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My cat is over 20! So the senior cat you are planning to adopt is still a young whipper-snapper!

Age has little to do with the ability to adapt.

Our boy eats canned food, pate style, no-fish. He also gets water mixed in to ensure he stays hydrated.
The only issue with a senior cat is to stay current on wellness exams, including blood-work. That way you can head off potential problems.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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I think it's great that you want to adopt a "mature" adult cat--go for it! As with any newly adopted cat, of course have him checked over at your vet's just in case. Get bloodwork done so you have a baseline for the future.

IMO you should feed him a diet of wet food (canned or raw) only. It's healthier and will help him better maintain a proper weight.

Keep us posted!
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,678,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayah(812) View Post
I might be getting a cat for Christmas! Really it just means my husband is going to give me another chance to have a cat after "devil cat" three years ago.
We just adopted two new ones as well. I was planning to wait until after holiday but the shelter told us they'd be better off in the house. They were in there for about 6 months. That was 2 weeks ago though when we met them. If you're going to have a big holiday celebration and at this juncture, I would at least wait until after that to bring home a new pet. If it's just a quiet day at home or even away (as long as not multiple days away), it shouldn't matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayah(812) View Post
I plan to adopt from the county animal shelter. We do not have any pets whatsoever. I have my eye on a 10-year old orange male cat in honor of my cherished childhood cat who was orange and lived to be 17. I think the older cat would be better than getting a kitten because he would be calm and lie around more. Plus I think orange cats are more friendly than others (I am totally biased to them can't you tell).
Hey, you like what you like. Ours are black. I had no particular attachment to that color but my SO had always wanted a black cat. So there you go. They are 4 1/2 years old and it's been fun for several days. These guys are somewhat calm but not entirely! They are litter mates and do a fair bit of playing together. But yes the older the cat typically the calmer and more mellow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayah(812) View Post
Are older cats more of a hassle because of health problems? Do they need special food and treatment? Do they have a harder time adjusting to a new home?
Not necessarily any of those. Depends upon the cat. We once took in a 13-year-old cat from a work colleague who could no longer care for her. There was a fairly long period of adjustment, although we did not follow quite the regimen we are doing now with the latest additions. She eventually was very loving, a very calm cat, and lived with us for about 4 years. A 10-year-old cat shouldn't really need any special food or treatment. At some point there might be various age-related changes, such as reduced jumping ability, reduced hearing or vision, and yes perhaps other health problems. But unless he has current known health issues there's nothing special to do. Older cats are often quite loving as new adoptions.

Best adjustment even with no other pets in house is confinement in one room for a while, then gradual introduction to more space. What we are doing for example is keeping the cats confined to a bedroom while we are not home and while we are sleeping. (Note, not the bedroom we are sleeping in, heh.) When we are home, they get some extra room now, into the hallway (gate installed at the open end), into the bathroom, and most recently a little bit into the sleeping bedroom if one of us happens to be in there (otherwise that door gets closed). We're at almost 2 weeks and fully expect them to still be mainly in the small bedroom until past the first of the year. Exactly how long depends upon their reactions to having more space and so forth. And even once that's over we expect that room might be somewhat of a cat room at times. We'll leave the litter box in there and so forth. That said, more likely the dining room will be more attractive to them ultimately because of the HUGE cat TV in there (6ft sliding glass door with patio and bird feeders outside, could be endless entertainment for them).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayah(812) View Post
If I don't get this particular cat I'll probably look for another senior cat. Probably like with dogs they get overlooked because a family wants a youngster instead.
It's a great thing to do, rescue a senior cat. I tend to agree that more people will be inclined to look at a younger cat or a cute kitten. So you'll be giving a home to a cat who may otherwise have less of a chance of being adopted.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:16 PM
 
Location: NH and lovin' it!
1,780 posts, read 3,285,500 times
Reputation: 1313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayah(812) View Post
I might be getting a cat for Christmas! Really it just means my husband is going to give me another chance to have a cat after "devil cat" three years ago.

I plan to adopt from the county animal shelter. We do not have any pets whatsoever. I have my eye on a 10-year old orange male cat in honor of my cherished childhood cat who was orange and lived to be 17. I think the older cat would be better than getting a kitten because he would be calm and lie around more. Plus I think orange cats are more friendly than others (I am totally biased to them can't you tell).

Are older cats more of a hassle because of health problems? Do they need special food and treatment? Do they have a harder time adjusting to a new home?

If I don't get this particular cat I'll probably look for another senior cat. Probably like with dogs they get overlooked because a family wants a youngster instead.
Good for you for wanting to adopt an older cat. I think you are correct in thinking they get overlooked.

I'm going to do the same thing when the time comes; Scooter is 15 and still going strong, so it might be a while. He's still healthy, and the only special things he needs are adult cat food with hairball control and a soft place to sleep.

It probably depends on the individual cat on whether he/she will settle in, but given time it should work out.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
15,556 posts, read 9,642,463 times
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My one Son adopted a 3 year old cat and she is terrific. He kept going back to the shelter that had her and playing with her a few times to see if they were a good match and she was. Adult cats get passed over more than the cute little kittens, so it really is nice to give one of them a good home.

The only downside is that you are not going to have them as long as if you adopted a kitten or young cat, and, like older people, some health issues can come up. But Chewy is 10 and he is like a kitten energywise. My last two cats lived to be 17, so they do tend to live a long time.

I just went to the local Pet Supermarket to pick up some stuff, and there were some really great adult cats waiting for new homes. I felt especially bad for one, the sign said her adoptive Mom had passed away and she was left all alone. Broke my heart, and if we didn't already have 3 I would have taken her in.

Don

This is the kitty my Son adopted.

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Old 12-18-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Northern Illinois
2,189 posts, read 3,408,554 times
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Age is but a number!!! As long as he/she has been checked and is healthy - there's your answer. You're right - the older ones do get passed by lots of times because most folks want kittens - high energy, playful, etc. Older cats can be playful and have an energy level that is more consistent with a "mature" owner who may not have children in the household and is looking for a snuggle bunny companion to snuggle with and read a book, or take a nap, or just hang out with. When you get your baby and take him/her in for a meet and greet with your vet you can discuss his diet needs - there are many options available for senior kitties. I love the gingers as well - I currently have 3 in our house - all are short haired and green eyed and since I was a former natural redhead in my younger years - I have a leaning towards them too!!! Don't worry that he's 10 - tomorrow is promised to no one. Heck, he/she may be looking back at you and thinking - geez, isn't she a little long in the tooth to be taking on a little kitten like me??? Go for it!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!
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