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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mature Cat (7-10 Years):
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.