Cats can be the “purr-fect” companion for a lonely senior, offering companionship, love, and a whole host of health benefits. Studies show that seniors with cats tend to be more social, more active and less depressed than those without pets. They tend to get up, talk and smile more often when a cat is around. Cats don’t require a lot of care, but they need enough to help keep an older adult more active, both physically and mentally – although seniors with impaired mobility can still interact with kitty fishing poles or laser pointers. Research suggests that seniors with feline companions tend to enjoy longer and happier lives.
However, adopting a cat is a big commitment, and it is important to select the right breed and age of cat that will work for your situation. Take some time to consider the thoughts and questions below.
How many years can you commit to caring for your cat?
Cats can live for up to 15-20 years. Identify someone who will be able to adopt the cat down the line, should it be needed. Adopting an older cat works well for many seniors. It’s a shorter overall time commitment, and an adult or senior cat is usually calmer and less demanding energetically. Regardless of age, be sure to look for a cat who is friendly and healthy.
Would your ideal cat be cuddly, playful or a little more independent?
Maybe you would prefer a little bit of each. Read up on different breeds, or get to know an individual cat before adopting it.
How much energy and activity are you up for?
Many older adults opt for a mellow cat over a boisterous one. Both breed and age play a part in energy level, so consider these options carefully. Most kittens are very active and playful, but some breeds calm down sooner than others.
What will happen with the cat when you’re not around?
Neighbors, family or friends may be able to help out during a vacation or unexpected absence. Many seniors make arrangements for elder care services to help care for their cat on occasion, and they may be able to help out during a vacation, an emergency trip out of town or a hospitalization.
Will grandchildren be spending time around the cat?
If kids will be around often, think about a kitty that will take them in stride.
Good Breeds of Cats for Seniors
Birman cats are affectionate, intelligent and gentle. They like to play, but enjoy calm time, too.
Known for its loving and laid back personality, the ragdoll makes a great companion for seniors.
- British Shorthair
Often called the teddy bear of kitties, the good-natured british shorthairs tend to be happy and independent.
- Russian Blue
A quiet, loving cat, Russian blues likes to be near people, but don’t tend to get into too much trouble.
The quiet, calm Persian cat is gentle and affectionate, and bonds well with people (although they find boisterous youngsters to be a bit much for their liking).
Elder Care Services can Help with Pet Care
Don’t let the fear of being able to meet the daily needs of a cat automatically prevent you from adopting a feline companion. Elder care services offer pet care, along with many other services designed to reduce hardships on seniors and enable them to live their best life.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Galt, CA please contact the caring staff at Aging Assistant today. (916) 897-4752