CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, talks about how seniors benefit from cats and how to best care for them.
Q: My Dad, a senior citizen, wants to adopt a cat. Any suggestions?
A: I think that’s wonderful. Seniors can definitely benefit from living with a cat. It can give them someone to look after and provide an affectionate and grateful companion. I remember a friend’s father was living on his own and was very lonely. He eventually adopted a senior cat named Buddy and the two became fast friends. I always thought they brought out the best in each other and was very happy he decided to adopt a feline companion.
Here are a few suggestions:An older cat is better for a senior. Kittens are adorable but they are non-stop energy and get into everything — particularly breakables. They also require some extra training in the beginning with their litterbox and more.If bending down to clean a litterbox is troublesome, get a long handled stainless steel slotted spoon for easier scooping.Short-haired cats are easier to groom.Please keep cats indoors. Outdoor cats can bring parasites into the house — trouble for all.Place cat food and water bowls on a raised platform, found in pet stores, to makes it easier for a senior kitty to use and a senior owner to reach.If your cat gets underfoot, buy a collar with a bell so you always know where he is.Make a list of friends, relatives and neighbors who can be called in an emergency. If cat care becomes difficult, some cities have volunteer agencies that will visit people with pets. Call your local Humane Society or Services for the Aged.
As always I welcome your stories and comments.
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