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How the Experts Adopt an Old Cat

For reasons ranging from tragic to beyond senseless, many wonderful older adult cats become available for adoption through shelters and rescue organizations around the country.

Unfortunately, they are often passed over in favor of kittens and younger adults, and the reason we hear most often is that I will not have her very long. As someone who has adopted older animals, I have a few thoughts about that.

The cold, hard truth is that we never know how long we will have anyone. Kittens die. Young adults die. And yes, old cats die too. But if we shy away because cats do not live forever and losing one is painful, we would never have the pleasure of feline companionship at all.

An older adult cat in reasonably good health may be with you for more than a decade. She will be past the crazies of kitten hood. She is what she is and you can see whether she is a big cat or small, longhaired or shorthaired.

You can tell a lot about her personality before you adopt her. She has the special dignity that comes to a cat who knows what life is about. And she needs you as much as you need her.

However, your older cat came to be with you as a kitten many years ago or as a senior adoptee and it is hope that you have a journey ahead of many years together. And it is also hoped that this guide will help to make your journey smooth.

A healthful diet is fundamental to your senior cat's well being and longevity. Good food supports her immune system, helping her to fend off infectious disease. Good food also helps to maintain the proper functioning of your cat's organs, her muscles and other supportive tissues, her sensory organs and her mind.

Poor food, in contrast, will do nothing to promote longevity and may contribute to a variety of health and behavior problems.

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