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Adopting A Senior Cat

October 17 2022

Did you know that senior cats often have a very hard time getting adopted? Kittens often find loving homes very quickly, but older pets can languish in shelters for weeks or even months. If you’re considering adopting a new feline friend, why not give a senior kitty a great retirement? A Champaign, IL vet discusses adopting older cats below.

Benefits Of Senior Cats

Senior cats actually have some wonderful qualities. For one thing, Fluffy will probably spend most of her time sleeping. She won’t be as feisty or destructive as a baby furball, and she won’t need as many toys. Older pets also tend to be very calm and lovable. Your fuzzy friend may just want to snuggle up on your lap or curl up beside you as you watch TV! Plus, because kitties in their golden years don’t have as much time left as kittens, adopting one isn’t as long of a commitment. Finally, you may also save money on both adoption fees and veterinary care costs. Most adoptable senior cats have already been fixed. And, because they’re harder to find homes for, shelters often offer them at lower rates.


Do you have other pets? Take introductions slowly. First impressions are a big deal to our feline buddies! You’ll also need to consider your other furry buddies before adopting an older cat. If you have a young, boisterous puppy, little Fido may be too much for Fluffy.

Helping Fluffy Settle

Going to a new home can be scary and stressful for our furry friends. Fluffy will also need some time to recuperate from the stress of being in a shelter. If you have a big family, a large house, and/or other pets, your new kitty may be a bit overwhelmed. Offer her a quiet, comfy place to settle in. A spare bedroom is perfect. Set Fluffy up in there, and slowly let her explore.


Keep Fluffy’s age in mind when shopping. You can find, toys, treats, litterboxes, and even furniture made just for older kitties. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Purrs And Snuggles

Our feline pals are of course adorable as kitties, but they also make charming elders. You may find that Fluffy very quickly melts your heart. Senior cat purrs are really very special!

Our Advice on Adopting A Senior Cat in 2024

Why do senior cats often have a hard time getting adopted?

Senior cats often face challenges in getting adopted due to common misconceptions about their age and health. Many potential adopters prefer kittens for their energy and longer lifespan, overlooking the benefits that older cats offer. Senior cats are perceived as less playful and having potential health issues, which can lead to higher medical costs. Additionally, the emotional commitment to an older pet, who may have fewer years left, can deter some people. Despite these challenges, senior cats can provide a calm, loving presence and are typically less demanding than younger animals.

What are the common health issues to be aware of when adopting a senior cat?

When adopting a senior cat, be aware of common health issues such as dental disease, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, arthritis, and vision or hearing impairments. These conditions can affect their quality of life but are often manageable with proper veterinary care. Regular check-ups and tailored care plans are crucial for maintaining their health and well-being. As a veterinary clinic based in Urbana, IL, we’re dedicated to providing top-notch care for senior cats. We encourage adopters of older felines to visit us for a comprehensive health assessment and personalized advice.

How can you help your senior cat maintain a healthy weight and stay active?

To help your senior cat maintain a healthy weight and stay active, provide a balanced diet formulated specifically for older cats, which supports their metabolic needs while managing calorie intake. Encourage regular, gentle play to stimulate physical and mental health, using age-appropriate toys that accommodate any mobility limitations. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor weight and address any underlying health issues. Creating a comfortable environment with easy access to resources can also promote activity. Adjustments may include softer bedding for arthritic joints and low-entry litter boxes.

What are the signs that a senior cat may be experiencing pain or discomfort?

Signs that a senior cat may be experiencing pain or discomfort include decreased activity or mobility, difficulty jumping or climbing, changes in grooming habits leading to a unkempt coat, increased vocalization, changes in litter box habits, loss of appetite, and noticeable changes in behavior or temperament, such as increased irritability or withdrawal from social interactions. They may also show reluctance to be touched in areas that may be painful. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to diagnose and manage pain in senior cats effectively.

How can you help your senior cat cope with age-related cognitive decline or dementia?

To help a senior cat cope with cognitive decline or dementia, maintain a consistent routine to provide a sense of security. Create a comfortable, safe environment by keeping essentials like food, water, and litter boxes easily accessible. Engage them in gentle, stimulating activities to promote mental agility. Consider dietary supplements or specialized diets recommended by your veterinarian to support cognitive health. Regular veterinary visits are essential to monitor their condition and adjust care as needed. Providing extra patience, love, and attention can also significantly enhance their quality of life.

As your Urbana, IL animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care. Contact us anytime!

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