In praise of the older cat
I am sure everyone is aware that we are all living longer these days. But have you noticed that cats are, too? It is not unusual for cats to reach 20 nowadays, and a 13 year old is usually still very sprightly. One 16 year old feline of my acquaintance regularly brings home his trophy mice, and a 20 year old undertakes a daily constitutional and welcomes any visitors that come to the house.
Sadly though, when an older cat needs re-homing, there is very little chance of us being able to find a new owner. Folk often think they won’t have the cat for long if they adopt it at 13 or 15, but this could be very far from the truth. The second myth is that all older cats have huge vet bills. Well, some may, it is true. But an older cat adopted from us will have had a full health check, including full dental work, and will be up for re-homing in the usual way only if the vet has given it a clear bill of health. In cases where an older cat does need on-going medication or treatment, we can often arrange to foot these bills, and can also organise transport to get the cat to the vet.
So we are looking for folk to take on our older cats. The rewards are immense. Older cats tend to stay home more, they like to sit on laps more, they have clean habits, tend to live in harmony with other cats and are happier to be left alone to sleep for parts of the day when people need to be out. Their time spent chasing moths and clawing up the carpets will be limited, but they will enjoy basking in the sunshine and sharing the garden chair on lazy Sunday afternoons. And they have usually developed a healthy fear of crossing busy roads.
So our plea is – don’t ignore our senior felines, and encourage your friends to consider adopting an oldster cat. We all need some tlc in our later years, and cats really do repay their owners for the love and care they receive.