A beautiful senior kitizenI’ve used the term ‘pre-loved’ because it’s becoming increasingly popular here in the UK to describe (usually) an item that has been used somewhere else.  Many charity shops (known as thrift shops in the US) come under the term ‘pre-loved’ because whatever the item is for sale – be it a piece of clothing, books, CDs or DVDs, furniture or even vinyl,  – was once loved and is now up to be loved again.

Last month Jennifer Pulling wrote about ‘The joy of older cats’.  One of the Daily Mews subscribers, Mike Kolonel, in Canada told me that at the EVCA shelter where he volunteers, they’ve always had a problem finding homes for senior cats.  However, since they’ve started promoting on their Facebook page, there has been some improvement with more adoptions.  Of his own two cats, Bandit and Dreidel, Bandit is a Senior Kitizen at 15 years of age while Dreidel is still a young whippersnapper who’ll be 4 in July.

He also adds that most people want a young cat, preferably a kitten, because they can envision many years ahead, sharing happy times with the cat as he grows up.

As Jennifer said in her piece, a kitten may be the most adorable thing in creation, and may be suitable for a young family, an older, more ‘mature’ cat would suit someone who lives on their own perhaps.  Or an older couple who couldn’t cope with the bouncy nature of a kitten, climbing the wall paper and abseiling down the curtains.  (Charlie)

Many care facilities in the UK allow older cats; these may be from 5 – 10 years upwards as their quiet, calm presence is what the residents can cope with.  An older cat is more dignified in his demeanour and sitting on an elderly resident’s lap for a while is soothing and beneficial.  

So, if you’re looking for a cat to join you, take into consideration that many older cats are surrendered for a variety of reasons – none of which is their fault.  It could be that their carer has passed away or had to move into a care facility and either they don’t have any family nearby who could adopt the cat, or there are no family members.  It could be that a younger cat has been brought into the household and the older cat doesn’t get on with it.  Rather than rehome the newest member, the older cat – that has only known this lifestyle – is often unceremoniously and quite callously, either dumped and left to fend for himself, or taken to a rescue centre with a convoluted story to excuse why the family are relinquishing him.

Whatever reason the poor cat – some as old as 17 or 18 years of age – suddenly find themselves on the scrap heap of life, unwanted and unloved.  Older cats are set in their ways.  Much like old people are.  They like their food at certain times of the day, may prefer a particular type of litter (I am talking about older cats now – not older people!) and they may like to nap most of the day – this bit can apply to older people!  If you’re very blessed, they may seek you out for a cuddle, but it will always be on their terms.

So, before you pass that older cat by, sitting forlornly at the back of the pen in the rescue or rehoming centre, do give them consideration.  They may be forlorn because all they’ve known has suddenly been taken away from them.  They are probably totally and utterly bewildered at why they’re not at home, in their familiar surroundings with the person or people they love.  They don’t know why they’re in this new place with unfamiliar smells and sounds.  They don’t know what they’ve done to be in this situation.

The sad fact is that for many of these beautiful, serene, older cats, they may never find a new home for their final years.  They may never know love and warmth again and because of space limitations, these beautiful creatures may be given the death sentence – why? Because they’re old and unwanted. 

If you’re looking for a feline friend, and you’re not in the first bloom of life yourself, maybe you’re retired and just want a quiet, dignified companion, look no further than a senior kitizen.  They deserve a second chance; they deserve to spend their final years knowing love again and you never know – when love blossoms a second time around, it often rejuvenates a tired, worn out soul, and you may be blessed with several more years of feline purring, raspy licks, and gentle head butts.  Isn’t that worth going the extra mile to save a senior’s life??

Write and tell us here at The Daily Mews Office about the senior kitizens in your life and home.  



A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.