Any advice about adopting an older cat?

(32 Posts)
SilverBirchWithout Tue 19-Apr-16 20:10:36

We had our dear old boy pts last December. He was 'the love of my love' a beautiful and affectionate Burmilla, he'd had a number of chronic health problems over the past couple of years (diabetes and bronchitis) so it wasn't unexpected, but as you can imagine it was very painful to let him go.

We are only just starting to feel ready to think about filling the cat shaped hole he has left and are seriously considering adopting an older or even elderly cat. For a number of reasons we think this would work for us and we obviously have the experience and to some degree financial security to not be phased by any health problems of an older cat.

I suspect our local sanctuaries will be pleased to have someone looking for an older cat (or even two together) and I know we will be smitten with anyone who needs a loving home.
But is there anything we need to consider (having only had kittens in the past) that we may not have though about?
Do older cats find it easy to adjust to new human's and a new home? Any tips for making that transition easier?
Is there anything we should be cautious about?

We don't have any children at home anymore, and I work part-time with a lot of flexibility. We have a garden, although not on a road, we are in a village with a fast B road quite near. (Where we have lost 2 cats a number of years ago, which is why we think an older less adventurous cat may be safer).

cozietoesie Tue 19-Apr-16 20:16:55

What sort of age range were you thinking of? (People's definition of 'older' can vary tremendously.)

smile

Roseberrry Tue 19-Apr-16 20:19:50

Most cats I know that are past 7 are happy to sleep most of the day, I think as long as you have lots of comfy places to kip and supply nice food they will love you smile

SilverBirchWithout Tue 19-Apr-16 20:23:42

Over 8 at least, ideally just over 10. But we would happily consider an elderly lady/chap over 14 to give a cosy home to for their twilight years.

Roseberrry Tue 19-Apr-16 20:28:23

Please consider a black cat, they're already overlooked even when they're not elderly. It's a lovely thing you're doing btw.

cozietoesie Tue 19-Apr-16 20:32:56

I'll lay my cards on the table here - my own boy came to me at about 14. (He's now over 21.) He's a joy to have around still - occasionally a little quirky but then he's real elderly now so, I reckon, entitled.

If you're prepared for possible medical expenses - my own lad has severe arthritis now and is on meds for it - then I would say that finding the cat that's waiting for you is almost more important than considering their age. smile

cozietoesie Tue 19-Apr-16 20:46:43

PS - have you thought about contacting the breed club in case they should know of a cat who might need a good home?

SilverBirchWithout Tue 19-Apr-16 20:46:58

We do have an open mind about colour. A generally friendly nature,with a bit of character, who sometimes a fuss are our only pre-requisites.

As I mentioned we can finance smaller regular medical expenses, but would need to consider taking out medical insurance for any major expenses. Is it easy to find insurance for the first time for older cats (we obviously wouldn't expect any existing conditions to be covered)?

cozietoesie Tue 19-Apr-16 20:59:30

I don't know how easy it is, I fear. We didn't expect Seniorboy to make 15 so didn't even try. (We've been pretty lucky all told, the arthritis meds being regular but reasonably modest expenditure up until very recently. We just pay - you do, don't you, when it's a member of the family.)

Mind you, he eats better than we do! grin

cozietoesie Tue 19-Apr-16 21:04:19

I'm sure I've posted this before but the oldest Siamese I ever saw up for rehoming was a 19 year old chap whose owner had just died (from what I learned. ) An occasional and sad feature of life for cats.

He was on the website for only a couple of days before being rehomed for his sunset time, if I recall. smile

SilverBirchWithout Tue 19-Apr-16 21:05:10

cozie we haven't thought about contacting the breed club, that's quite a good idea.

We would have another Burmilla at the drop of a hat, they are an ideal breed. Our dear chap was our first pedigree, we got him because of our fears about the road in our village and couldn't face losing another cat on the road. We knew orientals tend to be home bodies, although actually in his younger years he was a good hunter, he fortunately never went in the direction of the road, preferring to go over to the fields at the rear of us.

However we are a little reluctant to consider another Burmilla as it would feel that we are trying to replace him in some way iykwim?

We may move in 5 or 6 years time and look for a more cat-safe road outlook, so could then consider a younger cat again when the time was appropriate in the future.

Actually the more we think about it, the more advantages there are with older cats and we both like the idea of giving a forever home to some chap/gal who may be overlooked by others for adoption.

tippytap Tue 19-Apr-16 21:07:04

If you get a 'free' months insurance via the rescue centre, the insurance companies company will renew after the month, if there is no break in cover.

I'd recommend pet plan lifetime cover.

It's a lovely thing you want to do smile

cozietoesie Tue 19-Apr-16 21:07:51

I should probably have said - my own old boy is a Siamese. An oriental of some sort sounds like your sort of cat.

SilverBirchWithout Tue 19-Apr-16 21:37:40

tippy that's handy to know.

SilverBirchWithout Tue 19-Apr-16 22:03:14

I've just managed to get an online quote from Petplan for a fictitious 10 year old cat, so that is reassuring.

I may phone them in the next few days to check they don't have an upper age limit.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 19-Apr-16 22:25:12

We switched Harry from Animal Friends to Petplan a couple of years ago and he's around 11 now. The only thing I would say is the excess is now higher (£115) and we have to pay 20% of a claim. We've just made a series of claims that have come to over £2,000 and Petplan paid without a problem. Our vet has been dealing directly with Petplan and we've paid the 20% afterwards.

SilverBirchWithout Tue 19-Apr-16 22:52:31

We were with Directline for our old boy, and over the years probably claimed in excess of £8,000 for his various problems. Although they never quibbled the premiums ended up quite high (over £30 a month) they would take sometimes up to 3-4 months to settle claims so I wouldn't recommend them.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 19-Apr-16 23:05:01

We pay around £22 a month for Harry at the moment. Petplan have been very prompt and paid within a couple of days of receiving the claim from the vet. Beware of any insurers underwritten by RSA as it seems that, if a pet has to be referred, there is a very short list of specialists that they will cover and, if you use a different one, there is an extra £200 to pay on top of the excess.

NunoBettencourt Tue 19-Apr-16 23:11:04

What about a permanent fostering of an older cat? Some rescues will pay vet bills if you do this .

SilverBirchWithout Tue 19-Apr-16 23:35:59

Nuno I had consideredq that may be possible for a pre-existing condition.

In some ways, I would be reluctant to take a charity's hard-earned money if we could afford to look after minor chronic conditions. We have been used to paying for some of old boy's treatments (diabetic food, as the insurance only covered insulin and needles) so we are used to it.

But it certainly is a useful option to consider and bear in mind if we are are concerned about what how we are committing ourselves if the cat in question has complex needs.

pambeesley Tue 19-Apr-16 23:49:49

We took on 2 older Cats last year. Hard to rehome as they needed to go together and were nearly 11.

They are the love of my life but we can't get them insured and they are costly but hey ho!

SilverBirchWithout Wed 20-Apr-16 00:17:48

How lovely. Did they settle in quickly?

EnjoyTheSimpleThingsInLife Thu 21-Apr-16 12:48:27

Hi OP, just wanted to say I think it's lovely what you are planning on doing smile

We re-homed a beautiful 10-year old cat a few weeks ago (her owner was too poorly to look after her)

I have got two 10 month old kittens (& two young kids as well) and she has settled in really well with us. For the first week she kept hiding and was very wary of us (to be expected) but since then she has definitely come out of her shell!

She is more like a kitten than a 10 year old, so don't expect to be getting a less adventurous one, your cat may be a live-wire like ours grin

Good luck with whatever you decide, I'm sure you will give them a loving home

PolterGoose Thu 21-Apr-16 18:22:55

PolterCat was nearly 9 when we adopted him, nearly 14 now, and is quite wonderful smile

He is still very playful and a lot of fun. His hunting has slowed down the last year or so.

LanaorAna1 Thu 21-Apr-16 18:27:45

Mr My Cory the fat tabby came to me when he was 6 or 7. He is a complete joy, and was super-frisky at first. He still is, at 13, esp when he fancies a snack or a cuddle.

Older cats are the best - so loving and full of energy, some of them.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now