Elderly Cat

Older cats 'left on the shelf' in adoption centres

Older cats in rescue shelters can take three times longer to find a home than kittens, says Cats Protection.

Research by the charity found that over a five-year period, senior and elderly cats (over 11 years) took 3.1 times longer to home than young cats.

Cats Protection recently launched a special appeal on behalf of three mature females at its adoption centre in Downham Market, Norfolk.

Cat sunbathing

“Everyone loves kittens but I find myself attracted to the mature cats,” said Jessica Hatcher, rehoming and welfare assistant at the Norfolk centre. “They can be so loving and you just feel that they have lived a little.

“I don’t consider these three golden girls to be old, they’re in their prime. They are affectionate and they seem so knowing when you look in their eyes. If they could speak, they’d have stories to tell, I’m sure.”

Adopters shouldn’t be put off choosing a more mature cat, the charity said. Many cats live long, happy lives, thanks to improvements in veterinary care, and it’s not uncommon for a cat to reach 18 years or older in good health.

They can also have a calmer temperament, which will suit many homes.

While most senior cats don’t require major changes, a few simple adaptations can help them live a healthy and comfortable life, such as providing food little and often and giving them a warm blanket to sleep on.

At Petwise we offer cat insurance policies exclusively for cats aged seven years and older, giving customers the confidence to take on an older or rescue cat without concerns over age-related illnesses or diseases.