In praise of senior cats

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November is Adopt-a-Senior Pet month. If you’re looking to add a new feline family member, don’t overlook the joys of adopting an older cat. Jane Harrell, executive producer at Petfinder.com, lists 10 reasons senior cats rule, and I agree with all of them. With a senior cat, you know what you’re going to get: the cat’s personality is already formed, so you’ll have a better idea of how she’ll fit into your family. Senior cats are usually already trained in the ways of living with humans. They’re purr-fect if you’re looking for a snuggle buddy. And most importantly, since senior cats are often the last to get adopted, you’ll literally be saving a life when you adopt one of these mature felines.

My own experience of adopting an older cat came with Buckley, who was most likely somewhere between eight and ten years old when I fell in love with her.   Even though she was only with me for three short years, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a single moment.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to three senior torties from around the country who are looking for their forever homes to live out their golden years.

Velvet pictured in the photo at the top of this post, is 8 years old. Her owner died, and there was noone else to care for this beautiful girl. Velvet gets easily stressed by new situations, but once she warms up to someone, she loves to be brushed and petted and gives head butts.  She also likes her independence. Velvet was adopted once, but was returned to the shelter. This lovely lady still has a lot of love to give to someone. She is available for adoption from the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown, MD. For more information, please view Velvet’s Petfinder profile.

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Queenie is about 9 years old. She was adopted out by the New Rochelle, NY Humane Society several years ago, and was subsequently returned after her family brought home a dog. This beautiful tortie girl with her gorgeous green eyes is much better suited for a life full of warm laps, sunny windowsills, and cozy couches than life in a shelter. For more information, please view Queenie’s Petfinder profile.

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At 6 years old, Isis is barely a senior. This little girl looks like she needs to grow into her tag! She would love to find someone special she can purr and cuddle with. She gets along with other cats and is very well mannered (no climbing the drapes!). She is available for adoption from Sun Cities 4 Paws Rescue in Youngstown, AZ. For more information, please visit Isis’ Petfinder profile.

Have you ever adopted a senior cat? Please share your story!

33 Comments on In praise of senior cats

  1. Audrey Albert
    July 7, 2015 at 4:06 pm (2 years ago)

    For those of you considering a “senior” cat of 8 or 9 years, just know there may be many more years in that kity. I have had Sunshine noe 20 of her 23 years of age, Winston I got when he wasn’t quite 4 weeks old. He is now almost 21. My other two sbilings came to me as tiny kittens I bottle fed. They are now 13 and going strong! Don’t be afraid of seniors, they are great!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 8, 2015 at 6:13 am (2 years ago)

      Wow, 21 and 23? That’s amazing, Audrey!

      Reply
  2. Susan
    November 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm (4 years ago)

    I just adopted a senior one week ago that could have been one of your featured seniors. Gizmo is a 14-year-old torti who was left at our local shelter by her previous owner. When I first saw her, my house was full with my own four dogs and four cats and a foster momma dog with four puppies. The momma and her four puppies found their forever homes, but Gizmo was still at the shelter. At 14, she didn’t seem to get much attention and I knew it was only a matter of time until she would be euthanized. I brought her home to her new siblings: 15-year-old Bonnie, 14-year old Ferdinand, 4-year-old Happy, and 1-year-old Mojo. They are all rescue kitties. Gizmo ignores the dogs. She still has a few hisses for the other cats, but enjoys sleeping in the same room in her bed or on a human bed. She also enjoys sitting on the sink while my husband shaves. She is such a loving girl and deserves to have a home of her own.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for adopting Gizmo, Susan!

      Reply
  3. Randi Greene
    November 18, 2012 at 1:46 am (4 years ago)

    I haven’t adopted a senior cat but I have 3. Dumbo will be 15 in January. She adopted me in early 1998. Oreo will be 15 in March. Dumbo adopted here when she was 6 weeks old. Jet came along in 2002 as a tiny kitten born to a cat whose owner thought he had a boy until she had kittens under his neighbor’s trailer. I have had all 3 since they were tiny. We have been though a lot together and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it (except for the horrible day when Oreo’s tail got caught in a door and 4 inches of it had to be amputated). They are so much a part of me now that it’s hard to think of them being gone. They bring me just as much joy as they did when they were babies exploring their world. They mostly sit around now and don’t play much. Occasionally one gets mad at a dog but that’s the most excitement we have around here. Oreo is showing her age more than the other two and it’s breaking my heart. She is still very loving and super friendly though. And LOVES her McDonald’s fries as much as she did when she first stole one as a tiny kitten. I absolutely adore my senior cats.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 18, 2012 at 7:48 am (4 years ago)

      Living with senior cats does bring bittersweet moments. Randi. Oreo’s McDonald’s fries addiction made me smile.

      Reply
  4. Missy
    November 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm (4 years ago)

    My Cyd kitty lived 20 years! Best friend I’ve ever had!!!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm (4 years ago)

      20 years! That’s wonderful, Missy!

      Reply
  5. Pam
    November 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm (4 years ago)

    I can’t believe that Queenie was returned “after the family brought home a dog.” Very sad. May she adopt the loving and committed people she deserves!

    Reply
  6. henry
    November 15, 2012 at 2:26 am (4 years ago)

    i have four cats, one of which is now a 22-year-old senior … she was 7 when i got her. she has survived cancer (and follow-up chemo for over a year), a few dentals, a brief moment of hyperthyroidism (which disappeared as i was making the appointment for the radiotherapy), and the indignity of vet visits and occasional meds … all this time later she’s napping on a cushion next to me in the kitchen waiting for me to stop typing so i’m gonna do that right now.

    Reply
  7. Veronica
    November 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm (4 years ago)

    Very encouraged by everyone’s stories. I have 9 seniors ranging in age from 10-17 and a newbie who is 1 but she’s FIV +. Dealing with peeing/anxiety issues, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease…..
    but they are all loves and when I see them draped all over the house sleeping in the sun, it’s worth it. I just lost my 9 yr old Zoey to a rabies firbrosarcoma in August. She was one of the 3 cats who came into a local shelter. The 13 yr old male was FIV+ and Zoey (7) and Trini (8) were negative.
    All three were scheduled to be put down even the girls because they had been exposed to FIV even though they were negative.
    The shelter called us and I fostered all 3. Puff the 13 yr old male found a home and passed earlier this year after a happy 2 years with his new owner (who by the way has adopted another FIV cat)
    No one was interested in Zoey at the adoption clinics and Trini was returned after being adopted out. After 4 months, I decided the girls would stay with me. Then last year Zoey developed the fibrosarcoma. We had a good remaining year together.
    I will always adopts senior cats and encourage others to adopt senior cats and dogs. It can be a lot of work but people just don’t know the love and friendship they are missing out on.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for all you do for cats, Veronica! I’m so sorry about Zoey.

      Reply
  8. Bernadette
    November 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm (4 years ago)

    Let’s hear it for the senior kitties! I’m a big fan as well.

    Reply
  9. Jaimie L
    November 14, 2012 at 11:53 am (4 years ago)

    My daughter and I were adopted by a senior kitty about 5 years ago. I don’t know what happened to her previous family, but she was clearly used to the best canned kitty food and curling up on soft beds. She just showed up on our porch one day and demanded to be let in.

    After searching for her previous family got us nowhere, we decided she could keep us. We named her Kagome, and estimate she’s in her mid teens now, and there is something so regal about senior cats, but without the silly aloofness of some younger cats. When Kagome wants warmth, my lap is where she wants to be. When she wants to be petted, she’ll come bap my arm lightly with one of her huge paws (she’s a Maine Coon) until I get with the program. If she’s hungry, she’ll scream at me until I get the message. She’s a lady who knows what she wants.

    My daughter (17) got hit by a car in September, and she was in bad shape there for awhile. Kagome was by her side night and day, offering companionship and love. My daughter is now a month post-op (her knee was destroyed in the accident), and Kagome is starting to challenge her to walk more. I truly believe that Kagome’s love and companionship are the main thing that has helped my daughter recover much quicker than the doctors thought possible.

    Adopting a senior cat isn’t just a great thing for you to do, it’s going to change your life for the better, and in ways you will never see coming.

    Reply
    • Karen Lucas
      November 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm (4 years ago)

      After our original cats except one had all died, we began to rescue cats. We got Jane at age 5 from a rescue group after she had been abandoned in a trailer home when her owner went to a nursing home. She was a companion to our dear old cat Jenny who had been so lonely after her 3 brothers all died. At Christmas 2010 we adopted Chloe and Zoey who had been turned into the SPCA at age 14. I knew no one would want to adopt them so we adopted them sight unseen. Jane was not too happy but Jenny didn’t mind. At Christmas 2011 we adopted Henry, who was 10, from a high kill shelter as Jenny had died the previous October at 16+ and who had been with us since she was 4 months old. Henry is a very big, kind of aggressive kitty who proceeded to jump on all the girls after a long period of introduction, so he lives in his own room and takes turns having the run of the house. Chloe died this last July of lung cancer but she had a good 18 months with us and we loved her dearly. Zoey just died of intestinal lymphoma last month and we miss her tremendously. So now we have Jane, who is 8 and Henry, who is almost 11. Adopting older cats is such a blessing because they have so much love to give and because they have not always had a lot of love and it is wonderful to know that no matter what they endured before they came to you, they had love and good food and great comfort for whatever time they have left.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        November 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm (4 years ago)

        Karen, bless you for giving all these seniors a chance at a happy life!

        Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm (4 years ago)

      Your story brought tears to my eyes, Jaimie. Kagome sounds like an amazing cat. There’s no doubt in my mind that he played an important role in your daughter’s recovery. All my best to all of you!

      Reply
  10. Jill Ingram
    November 14, 2012 at 11:45 am (4 years ago)

    Hello Jackson, Glad to see your posts. I currently have (3) cats. They are all rescues and now are ages 12, 7 & 7. For the last month I have fostered (4) kittens for our local shelter. You forget how full of energy and trouble those little ones can be. FUN but it will be nice to turn them back for their adoption process to be completed. Somebody had abandoned a litter of (7). Glad that I could help with these boys! At times I also volunteer at offsite places to keep the older cats socialized. They are so sweet and wanting of a permanent home. My (3) do not want any additional cats. My (2) boys start to fight when a 4th cat is introduced. THANKS for all that you do to help out with our feline friends!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm (4 years ago)

      Actually, Jackson only shared my post, Jill – this is not his site. I could see where your three seniors were less than thrilled with the addition of the foster kittens! 🙂

      Reply
      • Jill Ingram
        November 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm (4 years ago)

        OOOOPS, I still get mistaken on the FACEBOOK posts. Thanks for your response and bless you for your love of our KITTY PALS. Senior and all others. I try my best to help out in some fashion and not have more than (3) cats. Otherwise, it is too much for me to provide a quality environment for them.

        Reply
  11. Mandi
    November 14, 2012 at 11:42 am (4 years ago)

    I just rescued a senior cat this past weekend. Max was estimated at 12+ years. He was a stray, and was to be euthanized last Friday Nov. 9. Many people rallied together in Canada and the USA, and saved Max’s life. He has only been in my home for a few days, but I can already see that he is a well-mannered boy. He loves to be brushed, and purrs constantly. He seems to be very good with other cats. My other two rescued cats can’t wait to meet him. I am so glad that I found Max, and happy that I can provide a retirement home for this great guy. You can read all about the events leading up to his rescue, and watch a video of meeting Miracle Max in the shelter here: http://www.sparklecat.com/diary/rescue-across-borders

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh, I saw the story of Max’s rescue on Sparkle’s blog, Mandi! Thank you for giving this guy a second chance at life.

      Reply
      • Mandi
        November 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm (4 years ago)

        It has been my pleasure 🙂

        Reply
  12. Laurel
    November 14, 2012 at 11:41 am (4 years ago)

    A year ago, my friend had neighbors who abandoned their kitty when they lost their house. The kitty was roaming the neighborhood for about 3 weeks when my friend asked me if I would be interested in another kitty. 8 year old Tippi came to live with me and I learned she had some serious health challenges. She had a condition know as stomatitis. My wonderful vet and I did everything to try and calm her mouth, a few extractions, antibiotics, steroids, but she continued to suffer. Finally, we had to pull all but her front teeth, and she is so much happier! She is a beautiful little lady and I have enjoyed having her snuggle and purr in my lap. I often wonder what a fate she would have had if she hadn’t come to live with me – how lucky I am that she came into my life!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm (4 years ago)

      Sounds like the two of you were meant to be together, Laurel. Buckley had stomatitis, too, and once all her teeth were pulled, she did really well.

      Reply
  13. HollyAnne
    November 14, 2012 at 11:40 am (4 years ago)

    I just adopted Lucky in June. Lucky is 13. The pet store I work at hosts a couple off site guests of the local animal rescue. Lucky was one of them back in February. He got adopted, but got returned after a month because he was “too much work”. He’s a lovely gray long haired boy, allergic to fleas, and requires a quality diet or he gets skin issues. He has been no work at all for me, he loves being groomed. Anyway – I couldn’t resist him when he appeared as our guest for the second time. I brought him home. And this IS his furever home, even though he’s been more of a challenge to integrate into my multicat home (Lucky makes 9) than I anticipated. He’s a bit stiff, and can be very cranky with the young kitties, but I love him and he’ll have a patch of sun, a warm bed (a piece of mine usually) and a full bowl for as long as I have him with me. Which I hope will be a long time! (I had cats that lived over 20, I’m hoping for the same for Lucky.)

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm (4 years ago)

      Lucky is very fortunate that you found him, HollyAnne!

      Reply
  14. Kelsey
    November 14, 2012 at 11:36 am (4 years ago)

    I have adopted adult/senior cats on 4 separate occasions. My first was after my husband and I got a kitten (who is a wacko, totally the least well behaved of our animals!) and a pup; Shorty was 8, and was only with us 6 too-short months, but I wouldn’t have traded those 6 months for anything. Next we got a 4yo, Roxy, who is just an absolute joy! She was very depressed at the cat center and all the kittens around her got homes while she waited for 8 months… she’s happy and bouncy in our home. Third, Daisy, was an 8yo cat who was dropped at my vet’s for euthanization after her family got tired of her. The vet didn’t euthanize her and she’s really come out of her shell and now adores us. Fourth came the neighbor’s cat, who didn’t like his house and instead moved into ours without a glance back. We later found that the neighbors were preparing to move and were going to take him to a shelter – at age 13! We’re so thankful to have all of them in our lives, our beds, and our laps. Each is very different, but all wonderful, and it has been rewarding to watch them adjust and grow with us. I will ALWAYS and ONLY adopt adult/senior cats in the future!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing your seniors with us, Kelsey!

      Reply
  15. Laura K
    November 14, 2012 at 10:33 am (4 years ago)

    I fostered a 10 year old Persian mix and knew within 2 days he was staying with us. He’s now 14 and in renal failure and I’ve never once second guessed his adoption. Every cat deserves a home with soft warm places to sleep and lots of love.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for giving your boy a second chance, Laura. All my best to him for many more years with you.

      Reply
  16. daisy-bates
    November 14, 2012 at 4:16 am (4 years ago)

    I just want to add my own praise for adopting an older cat: I’ve done it twice.
    Otis was at least 8 years when he joined our family and he brought love, fun and unimaginable loyalty with him. Due to his past of abuse and cruelty he had several health issues but enjoyed a happy life ending with 21 years.
    Now we live together with Gary, who was abandoned after 12 years with his former human companion. He had lost his faith in humans but bonded with me rather quickly. Just today he “survived” a medical check at the vet, hiding his head in my armpit. He is close to 19 years now and purring most hours of the day.

    Please – give an elderly cat a home. They are so adorable personality and will give you all they have!

    Daisy-Bates and Gary

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing your story, Daisy. Otis sounds like he was a wonderful boy, and Gary sounds like he’s following in Otis’ paws!

      Reply

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