Adopting older cat

(58 Posts)

Hello all

As some of you know we lost our lovely elderly tom last weekend. We were planning to adopt eventually, but a friend has asked us to take her beautiful 12-year-old. He's an absolute darling, but is very stressed due to a new baby and the utterly vile neighbours bastards who have been bullying him.

He's been very well looked after and my friend is gutted to be losing him - he's her furbaby sad

Can anyone give me advice about adopting? All my cats have been from kittens.

cozietoesie Fri 11-Oct-13 22:01:30


Due to circumstances, I gave a home to Seniorboy when he was 13. He took about 3-4 weeks to adjust properly being an older Siamese who was desperately bonded to my Mum but when he did, he capitulated completely and is now completely sociable - in fact more so than he ever was with her.

He's been a joy ever since and is now 18 nearly 19. He's always been a housecat (which suits - I work from home and we have a big old house where he can cavort) and is extremely happy I think. (He's snoring on his electric blanket right now.)

Health wise he's been OK - a little bit of arthritis in the last year, for which he gets meds, but other than that nothing apart from annual MOTs and shots. I couldn't get any sort of reasonable insurance for him but he hasn't really needed anything. Lucky, I guess.

I'd go for it. Oldies are quieter than kittens but are loving and stately - great companions.


cozietoesie Fri 11-Oct-13 22:16:45

Sorry - I forgot. He needed a dental procedure when he was 16 but that was mainly due to non-attendance at the vet when he was with my Mum. (His mouth was quite horrible according to recent vets.) The boy you're thinking of might not have such problems although teeth are always a potential problem with older cats.

(Having said which, The Lodger had to have a dental procedure when he was in residence although he was only 3 - misformed teeth. Not much cheaper than Seniorboy.)

Thanks cozie. I'm so angry at the neighbours for chasing him, and my friend is heartbroken. He'll have a very loving home here and we're surrounded by lovely cat people.

cozietoesie Fri 11-Oct-13 22:32:04

Is that neighbours as in humans or neighbours as in cats?

Human neighbours. They're absolute scumbags and this isn't the first time they've given her shit sad

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 11-Oct-13 22:51:47

Take him because then your friend can still see him.

I never know how on earth anyone can set out to hurt an animal. They are indeed scum bags..

timtam23 Fri 11-Oct-13 23:02:27

That's lovely that you've offered to take him in Sunshine

Until recently I had 2 old cats - now down to 1 sad and we really had no problems with their health at all until the last 12-18 months (when they were 16 or 17) so you may well have quite a few years with a perfectly healthy cat

The problems we had were overactive thyroid, arthritis, kidney failure and high blood pressure (causing blindness)

Good luck

cozietoesie Fri 11-Oct-13 23:02:45

Achhh. Take him right away - no need for him to spend any longer with potential threat than he has to.

Good luck with him - I'm sure you won't regret it. (And as if to emphasize that point, Seniorboy has now left his blanket having decided that it's time for love ! A purring monster is all over me.)


Thanks everyone. We lost our 19 year old last weekend to heart failure, he was adorable. I wouldn't ordinarily have adopted so soon but I know this lovely tom.

And my friend is welcome here anytime she likes for cuddles smile

cozietoesie Fri 11-Oct-13 23:28:00


TheMoonInJune Sat 12-Oct-13 18:06:45

I adopted an old man from a rescue centre and to be honest I probably wouldn't get a kitten again. My ginger boy is NO trouble. Just eats and sleeps and purrs - one of the nicest cats I've ever had.

timtam23 Sat 12-Oct-13 21:13:25

We were "chosen" by a very young stray kitten so had no choice in the matter smile but had that not happened, I would have waited until both of my 2 oldies had died, then adopted an older cat again because I don't like to think about them being overlooked in rescues. I also like to have a cat which has slowed down a bit, the mad kitten stage is tiring me out!

Obviously we will need pictures smile

Of course smile

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sat 12-Oct-13 21:57:26

DH adopted a senior kitty (9) some years ago, brought her into our relationship, and she was adorable. Much calmer than a kitten, no bad habits, and loved her cuddles. It broke our hearts when she eventually had to be put down (at age 15). That's the only problem with adopting an older cat, is the chance they'll develop major health problems earlier on in the relationship.

However, you never know. Our young "replacement" cat (not that you can ever truly replace them, but the cat we got after she died) also had to be put down, at the age of 2. We assumed that because she was young, we wouldn't have any major health problems to worry about for a good decade or more, but we were wrong. I guess you just have to go in with your eyes open, knowing you can't predict how many years you'll get with them.

I'm really sorry about you losing your other kitty last weekend. That's heartbreaking.

cozietoesie Sat 12-Oct-13 22:38:58

No - you never know. Umpty posters come on to this board with young cats who are having to be put to sleep due to bad illness or have had fatal accidents. Plenty other posters have oldies who are still going pretty strong.

You just have to enjoy however long you get - and hope that they do the same.

Friends lost their beautiful 2-year-old queen to heart failure. I'm grateful that Oscar got to 19 before his kicked in.

Lovely boy is here tonight - he's still half-hiding under the sofa bed in the spare room, but is tucking in to roast chicken and has said hello. Phew smile

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:50:40

That's lovely news, no more scumbag neighbours to chase him.

I adopted a pair of old girls from the CPL 7 years ago, aged 9 & 13. They were/are lovely cats, the older one lived until 18 and was lovely, dead soft and very chilled. The younger one is now 16 and still going strong, though she sleeps a lot more now.

If you know this cat is a lovely cat then I think that's more important than her age.

I've said this before but worth repeating. I've taken on lots of cats in their 20s and they all lived a happy life for a good while longer. I even adopted one that was 25 and she lived for a year.

I also persuaded a friend of mine to adopt a pair of old cats. They came in to the rescue when their owner died, with all their papers going back to the 1980s. One was 23 and one 25 and they both lived, happily and healthily, for another two years.

So 12 is barely middle-aged ...

cozietoesie Tue 15-Oct-13 21:12:01



All we need now is the picture.

cozietoesie Tue 15-Oct-13 21:14:22

PS - is your friend on the phone every 20 minutes or is she managing to restrain herself?


SuperiorCat Tue 15-Oct-13 21:19:52

sad for your friend but grin for you.

I've known cats live until they're 20. Our cat moved herself in aged around 11 and 4 years later rules the roost. We just enjoy and love her as much as we can for as long as we can.

cozietoesie Tue 15-Oct-13 21:26:16

Well no-one in the family thought that Seniorboy would survive my Mum's death. Then they didn't think he would survive the journey to live with me. Then they didn't think he'd survive his first northern winter. Then......Then.....Then....

And six years later he's still here doing pretty OK and living the life of Riley.


eggyhead Tue 15-Oct-13 22:11:01

I'm pleased to hear you took him.

Our chap spent 10 months in the rescue centre before we found each other. He was 7 with a few medical problems and not many teeth. He's 10 now and very settled. No medical problems since. He'll probably live until he's 20. It's a very stress free life here!

I've set up a FB group for my friend so am giving her updates. I think he's on our bed, he's subdued a vicious plate of chicken and has had some chicken.

I have a photo of him that was taken a while ago (he's been so stressed he looks a bit like a plucked chicken) that I'll post smile

cozietoesie Tue 15-Oct-13 22:58:50

Shall you let him sleep on/in the bed tonight?


PS - has he used his tray yet? (Always anxiety-making that, even with a grown cat.)

Hi cozie I'd love for him to sleep with us tonight. But he hasn't used the tray yet...

There's a picture on my profile in the 'Roberto' gallery. He was enjoying his new sheepskin bed - which he now hates because he's a cat. You can't really see from the pic but he's a big lad, weighs about 5kg but very fit. And purry, despite being a bit scared.

cozietoesie Tue 15-Oct-13 23:06:24

Ah well. Maybe when the lights go low. Did you get a wee bit of his former (clean) litter to sprinkle on top to guide his keen nose?

He hasn't used litter recently, so sadly not. I'm expecting there may be an accident or two but he does know how to use a tray so...

He's come down for fuss earlier but run upstairs because the dishwasher scared him. He's under our bed with his second bowl of chicken. smile

cozietoesie Tue 15-Oct-13 23:24:32

Hopefully he'll remember - they usually do. (But some of them can be quite sensitive about using it in private without being watched.)

I'd normally be thinking about lifting him into it and holding his paws to do a gentle paw scratch or two but that might be counter productive if he's still a scared boy at the moment. (Huge amounts of chicken notwithstanding.)

Good luck - I hope not too many accidents to face tomorrow morning.

Litter tray has been used smile and he's on the bed. I hope he'll stay there for a bit of tonight at least.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 01:49:00

Yay! Good lad. I reckon he'll stay there for a bit at least. Looking forward to your news in the morning.


Fluffycloudland77 Wed 16-Oct-13 07:28:46

I can't open your profile to see the pictures.

SuperiorCat Wed 16-Oct-13 08:06:36

Well done SunshineSuperNova cat!

I can't see your profile

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 08:08:18

Me neither. I thought last night that it might have been site lag but still no go this morning.

Sunshine - did you save the changes, make photos public and all those good things?


Hello all, I've just changed the privacy settings so you should be able to see it now. The black cat is Roberto (who's currently on the bed after having a good breakfast) and the tabby is my late Oscar.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 11:44:11

Saw the pic. (There's just one.) He looks like a happy boy.

Where did he sleep last night?

He slept on the bed for a while smile I think he was spooked by a noise as when we woke up he was under the bed.

He's just scoffed a second bowl of tinned food and is grooming (appropriately, not stress related). We've had a chat and some cuddles.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 12:28:20


He seems happy enough then?

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 16-Oct-13 13:01:05

Lovely looking cat, he looks very relaxed there.

The pic is from his original home before the bullying started. He's been so stressed he's been over-grooming so looks a bit naked in patches and is a shadow of his former self. Poor lovely boy.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 13:23:54

You've got quite a difficult one ahead of you, I'm afraid. Your friend will likely be pretty conflicted in that she'll want her baby to be well and happy - but maybe not to become too bonded to you etc.

How good a friend is she?

ZebraOwl Wed 16-Oct-13 13:34:09

He looks gorgeous in that pic & it sounds like he's settling in well, yay!

She's a very old friend cozie and we're very close. I was in two minds about saying yes because of that possible issue. We'll have to see how it goes.

I've put his old bedding under our bed and he's been fast asleep for 3 hours - I think it's the first proper sleep he's had since he got here, he's looked a bit tense before.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 16:07:07

Aww - a good sleep will make a lot of difference to him. It may be the first proper sleep he's had for a long time let alone since he came to you.

I guess you'll just have to remember to lard your conversations with your friend (and FB posts) with occasional - 'He's happy although I think he's missing his real Mum'. (Without explanation of why you think he's missing her.) That should hopefully help.

He asked me for a tummy rub earlier smile

He seems to be settling in okay which is great. I've just spent hours crying about my old boy (having him here is lovely, but sad too) and my friend does not seem to be speaking to me at the moment.

cozietoesie Sat 19-Oct-13 13:36:22

Is she 'not speaking to you' or simply hasn't been in contact? (If you know.)

Ignoring my messages and putting me off when it comes to meeting / calling. I think she thinks it's all sunshine and rainbows here, while she's in misery.

I'm feeling a bit sensitive I think so could be reading things wrong, at least I hope so. I find having another cat here much more emotional than I thought.

cozietoesie Sat 19-Oct-13 13:51:22

It was bound to be emotional, Yes.

I had thought your friend might have some problems. (There's the added complication that cat issues might have been masking stresses with the new baby and with the cat problem now 'sorted', there's no longer an excuse for dealing with other things. But that's for another board, I think.)

She's an old, old friend and probably going through a rough spot. If you're feeling low about your old cat, she'll be feeling just as rough.

Personally, I'd keep on dropping her regular emails of cat progress (with pics). Not effusive, just matter of fact and being sure to let her know - as you would - that you're there for her for other things. Say once a week.

Very difficult for you, Sunshine.

Thanks cozie, much appreciated. smile

cozietoesie Sat 19-Oct-13 14:15:22

Kittens take up so much attention that you often simply don't have time to feel low - but an older cat, even one with his own problems, is a different matter. It should work out though.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sat 19-Oct-13 18:50:10

Oh dear, I'm sorry it's getting stressful with your friend, and I'm sorry you're finding it emotional having another cat in your house. Totally and absolutely normal, though, both those things. You feel how you feel, and that's okay.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 19-Oct-13 18:57:03

If its a strong friendship it ought to survive, you haven't kidnapped her cat she can't provide a safe environment for him at the moment.

She would feel much, much worse if he had been harmed by the scum bag neighbours.

We had a good chat tonight smile and we're good, which is a huge relief. Thank you x

cozietoesie Sat 19-Oct-13 21:39:34

I'm pleased for you both.


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