Adopting Older Cats: Special Considerations

So, you have decided to adopt an older cat. Congratulations! There are many reasons why people should adopt adult cats, including the fact that they are less likely to get adopted (and therefore, more likely to be euthanized), they are calmer, and often more cuddly! Although adopting an adult cat can be considerably easier than adopting a kitten, there are still specific considerations you need to take into account when adopting an adult kitty.

One thing to consider is if you have children or other pets in your home. If you do, then it would be best to get a younger adult cat, one who is less than seven years old. Once a kitty hits seven, they are considered senior, and although a great companion for those of us who want lap cats, the kitty may not like the energy and aggressiveness that comes with younger children.

An older cat will likely need time to adjust to his new surroundings. He will likely hide for a while. My kitty, Winnie, was adopted when he was around ten, he hid for a year! This is, of course, not normal, he was a very scared and skittish kitty, but most older cats will have to go through an adjustment period. Don’t expect them to jump on your lap on the first day.

Make sure you show them around. When you first bring the kitty home, introduce him to the water and food bowls, as well as the litter box. After you have showed him these essential things, allow him to explore on his own, and likely hide for a bit. If they know that you are the one who is feeding them, then they will love you!

Make sure to find out what type of litter the cat is used to, as well as what type of food it has been eating. Even if these are not your preferred brands, use them when the kitty is first in your home to ease the transition and slowly switch to your preferred brand of cat food and litter. Even if the kitty is used to a very cheap food, it will irritate her stomach to switch to anything else quickly- even something much more nutritious.

Be sure to bring your new cat to the vet as soon as possible. This is especially true if you are unsure how old the cat is (like I was with Winnie), if he has had health problems in the past, or if he is over seven years old. Make sure the vet does a full screening including blood tests.


  1. I will adopt 2 adult cats later this year.

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