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Are Cats Good Pets For Seniors?

Giving stray cats a home and companionship to the family that adopts them!

According to the ASPCA 3.2 million cats can be found in shelters every year and of these, about 860,000 are euthanized annually. Adopting a cat not only helps one of these many animals, looking for a home but also opens a space for shelters and rescue groups to take in another cat. Also, owning a cat, or any pet you adopt from a shelter, has been shown to have positive effects on humans’ ability to cope with stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness1. Taking a cat home from a shelter can improve your sense of happiness and general well-being. Cats in many shelters interact with their caretakers and volunteers every day, and these people really get to know their personalities. Particularly with adult cats, you can find a companion with the type of temperament you’re looking for. You could find a playful, active cat or a calmer feline who prefers cuddling and a quieter environment. so on that note i decided to do something really wonderful for my neighbours,

I’m blessed with absolutely wonderful neighbours – a senior couple who have been retired for several years. They have full lives, but their kids and grandkids are spread across the country. Because they missed having a loved one to spoil and fuss over, they were recently talking about adopting a cat.

Because of their age, they wanted to know if cats are good for seniors.

I wanted to do a good thing for them as they have always helped me babysit my kids when I went off to work. I decided to do some research about cats (and I did get them one as they really wanted one), why people consider them to be good companions and the different types of cats and the best ones that my senior neighbours will like as well. This also gave this cat I found at a shelter a home as well as a family who needed her as well.

I found that cats really do make great pets and companions for the elderly. Cats are low maintenance and have fewer medication issues than dogs. They are predictable and very happy indoors. another interesting thing found out was that bonding with a pet also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, which helps senior owners stay healthier, wow that indeed was an insight I didn't know and what a huge difference that will make to my sweet neighbours.

What Are The Best Cats For Seniors?

I found out that although there are certain breeds that have characteristics that would be beneficial for senior owners, many mixed-breed cats can also make for wonderful pets. I found that there are many breeds out there that can make for good companions but am going to talk about 2 breeds that make nearly perfect pets for seniors:

1. Main Coons

I have to start with one of the cats we grow up with in the house as kids and I still have one as an adult. Why? because I can personally vouch for what a terrific companion Maine Coons make.

Our female, Zozo was the sweetest, the most laid-back cat you could ever imagine (that’s her in the image at the top). Generally speaking, Maine Coons have wonderful, unique personalities and are usually very loving. Maine Coons vibe very well with all types and sizes of humans, pets, and circumstances. Maine Coons are comfortable with familiar people, but also strangers, holding and cuddling with them, giving them attention and love.

Our cat Zozo purrs like an outboard motor, loves to cuddle, and doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her body. She even carries on meowing conversations with us, although she isn’t talkative enough that she drives us crazy. This wonderful personality trait makes Maine Coon cats well-suited as therapy cats! For many seniors, this can be a wonderful comfort. One drawback to the Maine Coon breed is that they are large cats. Cleo weighed about 16 pounds at one point. They also need frequent brushing to keep their silky fur from getting matted. If a senior adopts a Maine Coon, though, they’ll have a loving, devoted buddy.

2. Ragdolls

This is the breed that my neighbours ended up adopting. Maggie is as sweet as our Cleo and just as friendly. I take care of her when our neighbours are travelling and she’s very affectionate. Ragdolls are laid back, too. They are also long-haired, which means they need frequent brushing or their coats will mat. Ragdolls are a larger breed, so they may be difficult for a weaker senior to handle.

3. Persians

Persians are another friendly, laid-back cat breed. This is the breed that has that cute, smashed in nose. They love to snuggle with their owners and like a calm environment. Like all long-haired cats, however, Persians need regular brushing to avoid getting matted.

Pros Of Owning A Cat

First, as the mom of two feline fur babies, let me say that cats own you – not the other way around! Our cats are seniors themselves. They rule the house and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

1. Great to de-stress with

When I come home after a long work day and the stress of fighting the endless traffic in our large city, I can count on a cat to jump up into my lap and soothe my stress with a few purrs.

2. Cats are also very low maintenance.

An elderly person doesn’t have to worry about walking them, bathing them or taking them to the groomers, which is one of the hassles that come with owning a dog.

So I eventually got a cat for my sweet neighbours and taking into consideration they are seniors I always made sure I was around to help them maintain their pet. Cats, particularly older, calmer cats, can provide loving companionship to older adults. They’re easy to care for, and you can find one at a shelter that matches your lifestyle with some helpful advice from the shelter staff and volunteers.


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