why adopting older cats rock
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Why Adopting Older Cats Rock

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

Here’s why adopting older cats rock. November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month and a holiday close to my heart.

My old cat Merlin was a spokes cat for adopt a senior pet many years ago and older cats remain my thing.


adopt a senior pet month cat

First things first: What exactly is an older or senior cat? And what’s the human equivalent?

Comparing a cat’s age to that of a human is not as straightforward as a simple multiplication or division. See our cat vs. human age chart. Cats age at different rates during their lives, and the rate of aging changes as they grow. However, a rough guideline can help us make a general comparison between cat and human ages. Keep in mind that these age ranges are approximate. The ASPCA has determined a senior cat as any cat over the age of 7 but that view is changing as cats live longer.

    1. Mature Cat (7-10 Years):
      • Cat’s Age: 7-10 years
      • Human Age Equivalent: This stage is roughly equivalent to middle age in humans, ranging from late 30s to 50s.
    2. Senior Cat (11-14 Years):
      • Cat’s Age: 11-14 years
      • Human Age Equivalent: A senior cat can be compared to a human in their late 50s to early 70s.
    3. Geriatric Cat (15+ Years):
      • Cat’s Age: 15 years and older
      • Human Age Equivalent: A geriatric cat’s age is roughly equivalent to a human over 70 years old, with some reaching their 90s or even over 100.
odin's 13th cat birthday

Please don’t make assumptions about older cats.

For instance, my cat Odin is 13 and ridiculously fit. His vet says he’s like a young adult. My cat Merlin stayed youthful until 21. My cat Nou Nou was a very old girl at 9. Every cat is different.

Why adopting older cats rock

In the world of cat behavior, one truth remains timeless: every cat, regardless of age, has a unique story to tell. While the playful antics of kittens often steal the spotlight, the joys of adopting senior cats are a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.


  1. Maturity Brings Serenity: Senior cats exude a sense of calm and serenity. Unlike their younger counterparts or kittenhood, they have outgrown their wild, hyperactive phases, making them perfect for those seeking a more relaxed and peaceful coexistence. Their tranquil presence can be a soothing balm for the soul.
  2. Established Personalities: One of the joys of adopting senior cats is that their personalities are well-defined. What you see is what you get. There are no surprises or sudden behavioral shifts. This makes it easier to choose a cat whose temperament aligns with your own.
  3. Lifelong Companionship: Senior cats, despite their age, can offer years of love and companionship. They may have faced adversity, but their ability to adapt and love anew is truly inspiring. Their gratitude for a second chance at happiness is evident in the bond they form with their human companions.
  4. Shorter Commitment: With lifespans now into the 20s, adopting a kitten is a very long commitment. It’s something to consider for those of retirement age.
  5. Saving Lives and Finding Fulfillment: Adopting a senior cat can be a profound act of compassion. Most older shelter cats are less adopted, and your choice to adopt can make a world of difference in their lives. The sense of fulfillment that comes from offering a senior cat a comfortable, loving retirement is immeasurable.
  6. Catitude with Wisdom:Senior cats possess a unique “catitude” that comes with wisdom and experience. Their quirks and idiosyncrasies are part of their charm, and getting to know them is like unraveling a beautiful mystery.
  7. No Surprises: Kittens may outgrow behaviors, but with senior cats, what you see is often what you get. They are already litter box trained. Their habits and personalities are already established, making it easier to find a cat whose character matches your own.

Senior cats are older feline companion who has entered the later stages of life. Understanding the unique characteristics and needs of senior cats is essential for providing them with the care and love they deserve in their golden years. These cats may have a history and wisdom that enriches the bond you share, making the decision to adopt a senior cat a rewarding and compassionate choice.


why adopting older cats rock


Those are the positives but there are other important characteristics and considerations:

  1. Physical Changes: Senior cats often exhibit physical changes associated with aging. These may include a decrease in muscle mass, joint stiffness, and a reduction in activity levels. Their fur may also show signs of graying, and may require more grooming.
  2. Health Considerations: Senior cats are more prone to age-related health concerns, such as arthritis, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease. Regular veterinary check-ups become crucial during this stage of life to monitor and manage these conditions effectively.
  3. Behavior and Personality: As cats age, their behavior and personality can evolve. They may become more mellow and affectionate or, in some cases, more reserved. Understanding and adapting to these changes is key to building a strong bond with your senior cat.
  4. Nutritional Needs: Senior cats often require adjustments in their diet to accommodate their changing nutritional needs. Specialized senior cat food can help address age-related issues, such as maintaining a healthy weight and supporting joint health.
  5. Emotional Well-being: Older cats may have experienced life changes, such as the loss of a previous owner or home. This can affect their emotional well-being, and providing a stable and loving environment is essential to their happiness and contentment.
  6. Lifespan: While the lifespan of a cat varies widely based on genetics, care, and health, senior cats are considered in the later stages of their lives, and their time with you is precious. Your role in ensuring their comfort, health, and happiness is pivotal.

Is it worth it?

As someone who has adopted many older and even geriatric cats like dear Clyde at age 16, I’d say YES, 100%!


The joys of adopting senior cats extend far beyond the initial cuddles and purrs. These elegant feline companions bring wisdom, serenity, and enduring love into our lives. I encourage everyone to consider the immeasurable rewards that come from embracing the unique beauty of senior cats. The choice to adopt a senior cat is a decision filled with love, compassion, and a lifetime of memorable moments.


As you may know, since a year ago, Odin is our only cat. My husband and I have paid two visits to our local ASPCA shelter recently and plan a third visit soon to see a senior cat age 13.

For the longest time, I wasn’t ready and we seriously considered no more pets, ever. But you know what they say: Never say never.


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