Things to Consider Before Adopting an Older Cat

So, you’ve decided to bring a shelter cat home. Adopting a cat from a rescue centre or shelter can be a very rewarding experience, and there is definitely no shortage of cats looking for their forever loving home. You can find kittens in shelters, but most of the time you will be adopting an adult cat. It’s a very satisfying experience that will bring you a lot of joy, but it’s worth keeping in mind that bringing an adult cat home is very different to getting a kitten, and there are a few things that you will need to make sure you are prepared. An older cat will likely already have made up their mind when it comes to various preferences and will likely have habits that you’ll need to be ready to accommodate. We’ve put together some top tips to keep in mind when you bring home an older cat. 

#1. Benefits of Adopting an Adult Cat:

There are many benefits to consider when it comes to adopting an adult cat, and most cats are considered to be adult at the age of around one-year-old. At this point, they are entering the prime stage of their life which lasts until they are around seven-years-old when they begin to wind down a little bit in their old age. One of the main advantages of getting an older cat is that you won’t need to spend time on things such as litter training; many cats will simply need to be shown where their litter tray or box is, and they can figure out the rest. Plus, your adult cat will be a little more worldly-wise and is likely to require less supervision than a kitten. When adopting, a grown-up cat is more likely to already have an established personality, which can make it easier to choose the perfect pet for you. 

#2. Bringing Your Cat Home:

Whether you are re-homing your adult cat from a shelter or are taking him in from a previous owner, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have everything he will need ready to settle into his new home. Make sure that you have all the necessary items on hand such as a food and water bowl, a litter tray or box, a scratching post, cat carrier, toys, treats and grooming supplies. It might be worth asking the shelter or the previous owner if you can take some of the items that your new cat is already used to using, as this may help them to feel safer and better settle into their new place. For example, if your new cat recognises the scent of their bed or a toy it can be easier for them to adjust to their new surroundings. 

#3. Established Habits:

It’s worth noting that unlike kittens who are just exploring the world for the first time and figuring out their preferences, an adult cat is likely to have already decided what they like – whether they are an outdoor or indoor cat, which food they prefer, and where they like to sleep, for example. Let your new cat lead when it comes to this; don’t go for a cat that enjoys being outdoors if you are only able to have an indoor cat and vice versa. It can be incredibly difficult for you to try and get a cat to change her ways, and it can be distressing for the cat as well. It’s also a wise idea to speak to the shelter or the previous owner regarding the type of food that your new cat is used to and try to stick to the same brand wherever possible. You can try your cat on a different type of food but you will soon know if it’s not for them. 

#4. Cat Insurance:

If your new cat is in a healthy and happy condition, then you should have no issues getting pet insurance cover for them. Pet Insurance helps to cover the cost of any unexpected veterinary treatment that your cat might need in the future. And, along with providing cover for the treatment of illnesses and health conditions, Pet insurance may also cover you if your cat is involved in an accident, offer you a reward to find them if they get lost, or in the event of your cat being put to sleep help with cremation or burial costs. One of the downfalls to getting insurance for an older cat is that they are more likely to have a pre-existing health condition, which can make it more difficult to get a policy. Check out Everypaw for more information on cat insurance, including multi-pet discount if you insure more than one pet. 

#5. Microchipping and Vet Visits:

If you are getting your new cat from a shelter then it’s likely that they will require you to pay for a veterinary check-up, flea and worming treatment, and a change of microchip to your details before you will be able to take your new cat home. However, if you are getting your cat from a previous owner, then you will probably be required to arrange all of this yourself. Even if you are getting an older cat, it’s a wise idea to book them in for a full health check-up with the vet; this also gives you the chance to register them with your regular vet and make sure that their booster vaccinations are up to date. Even if you’re not planning on letting your cat outside, getting him microchipped or having a current microchip updated to your details is essential for making sure it’s easier to get your cat back to you if they go missing. 

Getting an older cat can be a very rewarding experience for the whole family, but there are some extra considerations to keep in mind to make sure that your new furry friend is happy in their new home.