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Would I be foolish to adopt a 10 year old cat?

40 replies

cece · 01/09/2012 13:54

We have been to cat rescue place this mornning and we have seen a gorgeous, enormous tom cat. He seems gentle and placid. However he is 9 or 10 years old and used to live with an elederly man who has since died.

The rescue place seemed happy that he would get on with my young family. We have him on reserve whilst we think about it. DH is worried about vet bills, as he is an older cat. My view is that you get those whatever the age of the cat, but I can see his point.

Anyone adopted an older cat and lived to regret it?

OP posts:
Lonecatwithkitten · 01/09/2012 14:38

The definitions for age boundaries in cats have changed recently they are considered middle aged till 13years now, older cat to 15 and only after 15 are they geriatric.
The vast majority of 10 to 15 year old cats are completely healthy. A younger cat is far more likely to go out have fights and get hit by a car running up vets bills that way.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed · 01/09/2012 15:22

I was going to say the same as LoneCat about younger cats - they are more likely to get into fights and difficult situations. Older cats tend to be more sensible while still being healthy and active.

arfur · 01/09/2012 15:35

Slightly different perspective from me but hopefully helpful! Last year I had to rehome my dads cat after him and his wife died. None of the family could have her as we all have cats/dogs/small kids of our own and she is very timid. So timid that I only briefly glimpsed her once during the three months I was clearing the house. A neighbour was feeding her and barely saw her also. No animal shelter would take her and believe me I called over 20 in my area and hers. Eventually following ads everywhere I had a call from a lady who wanted her, they had no pets or kids so seemed perfect - I was overjoyed! I had to borrow a trap to catch her from Cats Protection but eventually I did and took her to her new owners. She was very thin and had an ear infection which eventually was treated after they had gained her trust. I call them occasionally to see how shes doing and shes settled beautifully and they are so happy they have her and were genuinely really pleased to help me. Sorry to blither on but I wanted to say how much harder it is to rehome an older cat so if you want him I say go for it - you wont regret it!

VintageEbony · 01/09/2012 15:47

Go for it, I took on my grans 13/14yo rescue so didn't know real age cat last year, she had undiagnosed cancer so some vet bills but not many and not expensive even with x-ray and meds, less than £200. She the cat was so lovely, content, happy just to have a knee, food etc and didn't have half the madness of a younger cat.

I've just taken in a young stray and with checks, neutering, foods he's already cost a bit and I expect, due to crazy climbing/nuttiness he'll cost more all round.

cozietoesie · 01/09/2012 15:53

Slightly skewed perspective here cece because I got my lovely current boy when he was 13. (He's now nearly 18.) He's had a whale of a last 5 years - as have I - and he really hasn't cost me anything more in vets bills than a younger cat would have. Had to have some dental work done (but so did a young cat who was with me at the time) and in the last few months has developed a bit of arthritis which needs some meds - but nothing more; apart from normal check ups, flea and worm treatments etc which a cat would need at any age.

It's really luck of the draw. If you see the various threads on this page, you'll see that plenty of people have younger cats who need the vet just as much if not more than older ones.

I'd go for it. You'll make an elderly chap very happy because many people won't take on older cats. He'll likely be a bit more inclined to doze in the sun than a very young cat but that's no bad thing in my book, especially when you have a young family underfoot.


gindrinker · 01/09/2012 16:09

Do it. We adopted Gincat earlier this year. She's between 6-8 (no one knows) and she is happy and relaxed. She's not a baby so settled in and had taken over within about a week.
A dog owning friend wondered why we'd take on a potentially elderly creature - he didn't realise moggies out live pedigree dogs by a decade.

cozietoesie · 01/09/2012 16:40

And remember - cats don't drink (with the possible exception of Gincat Grin), smoke or eat chocolate, ice-cream or fries. Cat year for human year, they're often in better shape than their owners!


Fluffycloudland77 · 01/09/2012 16:50

Do it, our cat cost a fortune when he was a kitten, seriously I could have bought him twice over with neutering, jabs, falling off conservatories, out of trees, eating poison berries..

All things that older cats have learnt not to do.

RedwingS · 01/09/2012 17:14

I would do it. A ten year old cat is sensible and easy-going compared to a kitten or a young cat. It can be hard to find homes for older cats (and in this context, older is anything older than a 1 year old, really), so it will be lovely for him. You'll make him very happy.

cece · 01/09/2012 17:21

He was so sweet and loved having his chin tickled. He was also nuzzling up against DHs leg whilst he stood and talked to the lady.

He is enormous as well, really big boned (not fat).

Now to convince DH. Thank you.

OP posts:
alistron1 · 01/09/2012 21:06

Awww, go for it! We were adopted by a 7 year old stray. He died last year at 15. He was a wonderful cat and companion and coped with our 4 kids. I love kittens/young cats - but you can't beat the majesty and knowingness of a mature kitty.

Gay40 · 01/09/2012 21:10

Do it. Plenty of people take kittens. This middle aged guy will give you several years of love xx

alistron1 · 01/09/2012 21:16

And our old cat cost peanuts compared to our kitten in terms of vets bills.

sashh · 02/09/2012 05:30

The thing about young cats is that they get old, so the vets bills are the same, in fact can be more for a younger cat with a death wish.

He sounds perfect, give him a home.

TirednessKills · 02/09/2012 13:50

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gay40 · 02/09/2012 13:59

Some vets have a scheme linked with rescues that help with medical bills for older animals - I think it is to reassure people like your DH who are understandably concerned for unknown expenses with an older animal. A small pay monthly fee and then all the treatment in. It means you don't get stuck with a big bill if your cat does need anything - not the same as pet insurance which doesn't cover animals over 10 anyway?
Worth asking if your vet or a vet in your area does this.
And we want to see pics of him too

bigwombat · 02/09/2012 14:08

We adopted our cat when she was 9. She is lovely, affectionate and sensible, and great with dd2 who has SN. She tolerates having her fur stroked in all the wrong directions by dd, and that's with being a tortie (normally very feisty)! Had to have a lot of teeth out when we first got her, but after that no huge costs.

Cailleach · 02/09/2012 18:50

My previous cat was 11 when I adopted him from a work colleague who'd got divorced and couldn't have him in her new flat.

I took him on knowing he'd got a heart murmur and asthma, as my colleague was really worried no-one would adopt him from a rescue, or that a rescue would have him put down to his health issues.

He didn't cost me much over the next six years - about £20 a year for his steroids and he once got pneumonia and had to be kept at the vets overnight for IV antibiotics - but even that was only about £100 total.

He died at 17/18 when he was PTS following a bowel cancer diagnosis. Even his xrays etc for that didn't cost a huge sum, nor did his euthanasia.

My sister's cat is now 14 and has cost her zilch in the last few years. I had a cat that lived to 26 when I was younger and he cost us nothing at all, vetwise, his entire life!

I say go for it. He sounds a nice lad and he'll be grateful for a decent home.



cozietoesie · 02/09/2012 18:52

26? Blimey!

LackaDAISYcal · 02/09/2012 19:22

My mum's cat lived till she was 22, so you could have a good few years with him if that was a concern.

Re his health, he will have had a thorough check up from the rescue centre vet so any immediate health issue should be apparent.

I would love to take in an older cat, but we live too close to a main road for the local rescue centres :(

Musomathsci · 02/09/2012 19:29

He sounds really lovely. I doubt you would regret taking him on. Sounds like he chose you too!

DameEnidSpink · 02/09/2012 23:49

Our mog moved herself in at the age of 11 - she's brought nothing but joy to our lives.

LaurieFairyCake · 03/09/2012 00:08

I adopted a friends 2 older cats 5 years ago - I already had an insured cat and dog but was unable to get insurance for the older ones.

One is hyperthyroid and costs £30 per month for tablets - there were also two lots of blood tests at £280 plus in 3 months and every 3 months til death another blood test at £80 to check levels - without the blood tests every 3 months he won't prescribe the medication - I think this is wrong, it should be my call as the medication keeps her alive.

The second cat cost £2000 4 months ago as he had crystals in his urethra - required catheter and hospitalisation for 4 days. If I hadn't he would have died.

Lovely cats, love them to bits - but they have cost our entire years disposable income this year and our summer holiday as we couldn't afford it.

cozietoesie · 03/09/2012 08:05

Sorry you had to use your disposable income Sad - but I think what I was talking about earlier was luck of the draw.

I had a boy years ago who developed kidney disease at 12 and died at 13 - but I happen to know that his grandfather died at 3.

A more recent boy keeled over dead one morning at 8.

My current senior boy - who we all thought was a right namby pamby when he lived with my Mum - is still going strong at close on 18 which is good going in anyone's book.

Sure there are some things which are more age related - arthritis (which my current boy has but isn't expensive to control) and tooth trouble (which my vet says is the fastest growing cause of difficulties she sees at her surgery, particularly among younger cats.) Even there, though, I had a young lodger with me last year (2 years old) who required a dental procedure, at broadly the same time as my old boy, to correct tooth malformation which would eventually have led to serious problems.

If you read the threads on these pages, you'll see plenty of people who have young cats which have required expensive procedures and meds, plenty of people with elderly cats who are robust and healthy and everything in between.

My instinct tells me that if a cat has made it to, say, 9 or 10 in good health they've likely got a robust constitution and a bit of nouse and are good for a decent bit longer. Maybe that's wishful thinking, I don't know. I certainly like the attitude and panache of older cats and would never block out a cat on age related grounds alone.

NPPF · 03/09/2012 10:45

My boy is 15 and going strong. He had a blocked bladder a few years ago but apart from that, nothing. (touch wood)

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