When adding a cat to your family, you might consider adopting an older one, rather than getting a kitten. This is a lovely gesture that can give cats who might have been unwanted or abandoned another chance of happiness.
However, if you’re going to do this, there are a few things you need to know first. After all, it would help to go into the adoption fully prepared, so you don’t encounter any nasty surprises down the road.
Try To Give Them Some Space
When you bring home a new pet, it can be tempting to give them loads of attention. It may be worth holding off on this when you bring home a senior cat, though.
They will have a new environment to familiarise themselves with, so it’s best to leave them to their own devices. They’re not a kitten, so unless the shelter says otherwise, you should be able to leave them be without them getting into mischief. As long as they’ve got all the essential resources, they’ll gradually adjust to the change.
Sooner or later, they’ll find their way to you, and that’s when you can start giving them lots of attention. If you do things this way, you’ll likely develop a stronger bond with them, which is obviously great for both you and your new cat.
Make Your Introductions Gradual
Depending on your family’s size, there may be quite a few people eager to meet your new cat. As great as that is, though, you might not want to rush into the introductions. That’s especially the case if you have any excitable members in the family, i.e. small children and other pets.
Cats are usually quite solitary creatures, so too much attention in a new environment might be overwhelming. Young kids and other animals may not understand this, which is why it’s best to keep them apart at first. If you don’t wish to be that restrictive, then you could try to at least monitor and limit the activity these family members spend with the cat. That way, you can check to see whether or not they’re helping or hindering your new pet’s ability to settle in. Once more time has passed, and the cat is used to their new environment, you could consider relaxing these limitations.
Insurance Could Be Useful
It often helps to protect the most valuable things in your life with insurance. That way, should anything happen to them, you can at least cover some of the financial losses that occur. When you’re looking for insurance for an older cat, if they are over a certain age, you may find it difficult to find cover.
It can also be useful to have pet insurance, so you’re not out of pocket should you need to pay for vet bills. Senior cats are vulnerable to many health problems, so if you adopt one, the right insurance could be of great financial aid. Though you should be aware, as your cat gets older the cost of their insurance will go up.
If you’re concerned about cat insurance cost and want to know how much is cat insurance, you might find more information through Everypaw. They offer new policies for cats up to the age of ten and have Max Benefit, Time Limited, and Lifetime options for cats, with different benefit values depending on the cover the cover level. Having something like this in place may help put your mind at ease, especially if your senior cat becomes a regular at the vet.
Take Note Of Their Behaviour
You probably can’t spend every day of your life watching your senior cat to see whether their behaviour is odd or not. However, it could be beneficial to familiarise yourself with any routines they might have. That way, you’ll be more likely to know if something is off.
Many cats have a tendency to hide that they’re ill, which means you could miss the signs if you’re not aware of their normal behaviour. These are the things you’ll want to look out for when you bring your cat home, so you can identify whether or not anything changes.
Given the health problems that senior cats can be prone to, as mentioned above, there’s obviously a risk of adopting one as your pet. However, as long as you understand their behaviour, you at least may be able to seek help quickly is you sense something isn’t right.
Prepare For Grumpiness
If you choose to adopt a senior cat over a kitten, then you already know their energy levels are likely to be lower. However, increased tiredness isn’t the only difference you’ll find in an older pet. General grumpiness is also quite common, thanks to sight and hearing deterioration, as well as the increase in sleeping. That means you might need to tread carefully around your cat, especially if they’re quick to get grumpy.
This doesn’t mean that senior cats are ferocious and won’t show you and your family much affection as a pet. You should just try to be aware that this kind of behaviour is usually more common than in kittens.
By adopting a senior cat, you give them an opportunity to spend their remaining years in a loving home. That’s definitely something to be admired. Just keep these tips in mind before you make your final decision, so you are as prepared as possible for your new pet.