Need a friend? How about a Cat Companion?
An adult cat companion is a good friend for an elderly person for a variety of reasons. Cats can live indoors or outdoors, or both. If a senior is homebound, a cat can fit into an indoor-only lifestyle easily. If the senior is able to sit on a porch or go for a walk, a cat is often willing to fit in to whatever the senior’s activity level is. An adult cat can be a favorite companion to elderly people. Cats, in their own way, are caregivers too.
Kittens are fun and cute, but an adult cat may be more appropriate for the lifestyle and activities of seniors. Adult cats are fairly independent creatures. With a clean litter pan and a food bowl tended by their senior companion, an adult cat can offer company, affection, and attention to seniors. Seniors are able to sit and to entertain a cat with just a string, a ball, or a cat toy. Older cats enjoy napping; they like quiet times, just sitting and being stroked. Cats do communicate with their voice and actions; some like more “conversation” than others, just like seniors. Cats are interesting, and just imagine the stories that a senior could tell about the things that the cat did today!
An adult cat will have an established “personality,” and a senior will need to consider how a new cat will adjust to changes in the environment, especially when other pets are there. Each pet will need his own “space,” his own food bowl, litter pan etc., with supervised interactions until each one is comfortable with a newcomer. Plan to have your cat spayed or neutered, and to get any vaccinations needed.
Unfortunately, there are many cats waiting in shelters, and many who are abandoned as strays. Millions of cats are euthanized every year at shelters because they were not adopted. Adopting just one cat will save it from being hungry, sick, and homeless on the streets or being euthanized because no one gave it a forever home.
If you are a senior seeking a cat companion, realize that every pet will require medical care, food, and cleaning. If you are a caregiver, then realize that a senior might require help in affording pet care or in taking care of the cat. Nevertheless, an adult cat can offer so much to a senior as a loving companion. From my own life experiences, I can certainly declare that cats have been like family to us and to our elderly family members.
October 29 is National Cat Day, and it’s a great time to appreciate cat companions for seniors.