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Adopting an older cat


There may come a time in your life when you feel like something, or someone is missing. Perhaps you’re lonely and want some company in the evenings, or maybe your children are pleading to get a furry friend to play with. Cats make great family pets or solo companions and are therefore a great option.

Many people would choose to adopt a kitten – but in fact, there are many reasons for choosing to an adopt an adult cat. Whiskas looks at the benefits of adopting an older cat…

Rehoming an older cat

There are lots of cats in rescue charities and rehoming centres looking for a loving home. Kittens are adopted extremely quickly, but senior cats can take longer to rehome. However, older cats can make fantastic companions.

Benefits of adopting older cats

There are numerous pros to adopting senior cats. To start, older cats have generally already learned certain behaviours, such as litter or toilet training.

If you’re after a pet with a calm temperament, older cats fit the bill. They won’t be as energetic as young cats. Adult cats are happy to sleep up to 18 hours a day and do not demand as much attention, making them easier to care for.

Finally, if you know exactly what character you want your cat to have, choosing an older cat will ensure you get the right match, as their character and temperament will already be fully developed.

Who can adopt an older cat?

In theory, older cats suit anyone. They are ideal for elderly people as they don’t need to be played with as much. They also suit families with young children, as they are less fragile than kittens and are often used to being handled. When rehoming a cat to a house with children, it is important that the rescue charity help advise which cat would best suit interaction with children.

As older cats need less supervision, they are great for those who have a busy lifestyle and are only home in the evenings.

How to prepare for adopting an older cat

If you’re preparing for the arrival of a new family member, there are several things you’ll need.

You should make sure a litter tray is easily accessible, as well as stools or boxes to help your cat onto sofas or beds. All cats love to climb, providing raised areas for them to safely climb can provide much needed comfort for a cat wishing to settle into a new environment, observing from a safe viewing platform.

Ensure you have a cat food specially formulated for the life stage and the life cycle of the cat. Whiskas offers cat food for all the different life stages of an adult cat, including 1+ years, 7+ years and 11+ years. Whiskas senior cat food is packed with all the essential nutrients and vitamins your cat will need and comes in a variety of delicious flavours.

When your cat arrives, give them plenty of time and space to explore their new surroundings. Be patient – if they hide for the first day or so that’s completely normal. Don’t crowd the new cat and limit the number of visitors to keep stress at a minimum. If you have young children, explain to them that they must be patient while the cat adjusts to its new home – and try to keep other pets out of the way to begin with. Finally, ensure you register your new cat with a local vet and take them for regular check-ups.

It can be incredibly rewarding to rehome an adult cat and give them the life that would not have been possible without you. The most important thing is to provide older cats with all the love, care and attention they need to enjoy a happy, healthy life. 

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