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Adopting an older cat

Molly still playful at age 17Many people come to us looking for a kitten. Whilst we almost always have kittens awaiting good homes, there are many more older cats available which can make fine companions.

Older cats have many advantages over kittens:

An older cat's personality is already known. You will, for instance, know if the older cat is a hunter or a lap cat.

The older cat will be much more placid than a kitten, and is therefore a much better choice if you have fragile ornaments and fixtures around your home, or if you are an older person.

If you are older, the fact that a kitten may live beyond your ability to cope with it may also be a consideration. At Cats Protection Orkney, we often take-in cats from individuals going into residential care.

Older cats are often more interactive with their owners and seek a slower, mostly indoor lifestyle – they tend to be better at providing companionship than younger cats, which is important to many owners.

Finally, by taking an older cat that might well otherwise have stayed with us for years, you are freeing-up resources that can be used to foster and re-home many kittens. Taking an older cat and giving it a loving home has many times the value of adopting a kitten. Whilst we endeavour to give the older cats in our custody as much time and attention as we can, it is obviously not the same as having a proper home.

As cats get older they can suffer from certain health problems; but by and large to a far lesser extent than humans. You may need to get an older cat's claws clipped a couple of times a year and an annual dental check-up is a good idea. Special diets are now available to enhance elder cats' mobility and quality of life, but many cats live long and happy lives without them. Younger cats on the other hand are far more prone to getting into scrapes of one sort or another – sometimes with expensive consequences.


Here are some older cats that are in desperate need of a loving home.