Monday, December 13, 2010

Adopt an Older Cat

My late cat, Cake.
In September, my husband told me he was ready for another cat. We had to put our beloved senior cat to sleep in the spring. Devastated at that time, Nik told me “no more cats.” But after a few months he missed the purrs and antics of a cat, so he changed his mind.

I pounced on this opportunity and rushed to the Ottawa Humane Society's Adoption Centre. I knew exactly what I wanted: a quiet, indoor-only cat; friendly with a big purr; and had lived with other pets (we have two dogs).

I turned my attention to the older cats. Don’t get me wrong, I love kittens! But the benefits of adopting an older cat are many.

Older cats are usually victims of unfortunate circumstances
Most older cats arrive at the OHS because of owner allergies, a move into pet-unfriendly housing, divorce, illness, or an unexpected death. They aren’t defective or worn-out: their families simply aren’t capable of keeping them anymore.

What you see is what you get
With an adult cat you get to see the cat for who it is. If you like to know what you’re getting yourself into, an older cat is a safe bet.

Lessons already learned
Adult cats already know their limits, and know that climbing on top of the book-case to check out a vase is a really, really bad idea.

Energy Levels
Adult cats sleep more, play less, and are happy to hang out with you in front of the TV. And they certainly are less likely to bite your toes through the blanket in the middle of the night.

Financial Benefits
Most of the older cats at the OHS have had dentistry. This costs about $500 - $800 at a vet clinic, so it’s nice to have it done already and not have to worry about that financial expense. As well, if you prefer declawed cats, you can usually find an adult cat who has already had this surgery.

I ended up adopting Pie (pictured above), an 8 year old cat who had previously lived with an animal hoarder. He had dentistry done at the shelter (three teeth pulled!) and has extra toes. He settled into our home quickly: he loves to help me read a book, and on sunny days he lounges in the sunshine. He has picked out a corner of the bed to sleep on at night. My vet said I picked the perfect cat! My husband agrees.

For the abandoned, forgotten, and heartbroken adult cats, you just might be their best chance to have the love and warmth of a home where they can live out their years in comfort. Please consider adopting an older cat. You can see photos and profiles of all the cats currently waiting for new homes on our website, at

When cared for properly, cats can live well into their late teens, and sometimes into their early twenties. Typically, they will remain active and playful throughout most of their lives. Some may need a little extra patience while adjusting to a new home, but once they feel safe and secure again, most will give you years of faithful companionship and unconditional love. Just like my Pie.

~Michelle at the OHS

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