As they say - there's life in the old cat yet!
At our rescue centre we always have a selection of older cats available for re homing. I suspect that we are not unique in this respect and it is such a shame as they are all too often overlooked but have so much to offer prospective new owners.
Since cats often live well into their late teens (and beyond) it is important that their age is not equated with that of our canine pets. A cat that is say 10, for example, can be viewed as only just passed middle age. We regularly get phone calls from people interested in taking a cat from us who say that they don’t want an old cat. When pressed, their idea of old is often anything over the age of five or six!
We see older cats as having several key benefits in terms of re homing. We generally have a more comprehensive medical history for them, with fewer surprises showing up at our vet checks.
There is a greater likelihood that they have been neutered and microchipped and that significant medical issues have been dealt with. In addition there is often a better understanding of any behavioural issues the cat may have, their personalities having been formed already. In this way we are able to pass on, to prospective new owners, a more accurate description of the cat’s nature.
Clearly it is an enormous stereotype to say that the older a cat gets the quieter it will be. We have given up trying to fully understand the minds of our feline residents but in general this would be the case. The desire for comfort gradually replaces the need to spend nights out on the tiles; making mature cats a safer bet for those people looking for more of a companion around the home. Also it is less likely that the cat will want to use the home as some kind of an assault course; potentially saving a fortune on furniture, curtains and soft-furnishings.
Older cats are generally already housetrained which is an important consideration to many.
If you are needing to leave a cat in the house regularly, for work etc, a mature cat may well be able to cope better with being left on their own. Again this is an important point to bear in mind when looking to take on a cat into your home.
So please think carefully about the older cats that Rescue centres have - a10 year old could only be mid way through it’s life.