When anyone goes to a shelter to adopt a pet, invariably, they look at the young kittens. After all, they are playful, full of energy, and will be able to spend their whole lives with a human. Many shelters are overrun with young kittens because owners don’t spay and neuter cats and don’t have space for all the extra kittens. Yet another group of cats is slowly overtaking the number of kittens at the animal shelter; senior cats. According to the ASPCA, There are many misconceptions about adopting an older cat. People think that kittens and younger cats will be healthier and provide better companionship. Kittens are energetic, cute little fluff balls that, despite any destructive shenanigans, seem like the best thing on four paws.
Yet, their personalities are not fully developed, so who you think you are taking home from the shelter and who you get may very well be two different cats. Senior cats do not have those problems. Although they might be scared or unsure when you first meet them, their personality will shine through and stay consistent. Additionally, older cats are more likely to settle into a home more quickly because they’ve already seen so many sights and sounds they are not easily fazed. Unlike their kitten counterparts, older cats are not going to need constant supervision. Additionally, many of these cats are surrenders, so the shelter will likely have more information about them. Plus, you have the added karma points of giving a loving cat a happy home in its later years.
Sammy spent many of his cat years with a loving owner. However, as he got older, so did she, and eventually, his owner had to go to an assisted living facility. Sammy arrived at Cincinnati’s Kitty City days before his birthday. So, the shelter decided to throw him a gigantic celebration to ease the transition and hopefully find him a wonderful home where he could live out the rest of his nine lives peacefully. Sammy was a standout, the only senior cat in the shelter, so he was already in danger of being overlooked. The shelter pulled out all the stops, decored his cage, made him a kitty cake, and posted everything on Social Media, hoping someone would fall in love with him the way they did. According to Cleveland 19, they even asked someone living in the city of Cincinnati to please adopt him.
All that Glitters
Sammy’s birthday photos included a sweet face wearing a tiny sparkly cowboy hat that matched his gingham checked collar. The shelter decorated his cage with streamers and even made him a pet-friendly cake. The post went viral. According to City Beat, Community Relations manager Ray Anderson told them that the staff was the ones who decided to celebrate Sammy’s birthday. During the surrender, they learned that it was coming up. Additionally, he said that cases of seniors having to surrender their cats happen often. Sammy’s wish was probably to find a new loving home because someone wanted to adopt him the next day. Most senior cats spend a long time in shelters, but Sammy was only there a week; nineteen must be his lucky number.
When his new fur mama came to the shelter, she brought him a new hat. She told the shelter she wanted to adopt an older cat because they are the ones who need good homes and are less likely to be adopted. She already had a seventeen-year-old cat rescued from the streets after someone maliciously declawed them and left him outside her door. She felt drawn to Sammy and wanted to give him a good home to live out the rest of his years peacefully. The shelter let her know that there was one caveat before bringing him home; make sure he gets a birthday party for his twentieth birthday. Once Sammy was in his new home for a few days, his new mama gave an update; he’s purrfectly happy. Sammy is also becoming fast friends with her rabbit Trixie as well as her other rescue cat.
After Sammy left the shelter, they turned the cat room into Sammy’s Senior Center. Cats ten years and older are now anxiously awaiting adoption. Cincinnati Cares also said the switch isn’t permanent, but many of these cats have been in foster care for some time and hope that Sammy’s attention will help other cats be adopted as well. So far, one of the cats has already been adopted.
If you’re headed to an animal shelter to rescue a deserving cat, consider adopting a senior cat. Although senior cats may not have the energy and silliness of young kittens, they are much better at companionship and love to snuggle more than younger cats. Many shelters do not know whether or not a cat will get along with all household members and other animals like dogs. Typically when an older cat comes in, it’s because his human is aging so the shelter will know many more details and tell the prospective owner whether he will be a good fit for the family. Although you may not have as many years with a senior cat, they are equally deserving of a loving family. If you are looking for an emotional support animal, an older cat will be much more beneficial because they will understand your trauma more acutely. Cincinnati CARE is not a kill shelter, although many senior cats wind up in ones that are and, after staying a while, end up being euthanized. Sammy, the cat, was a lucky cat who blew out the candles on his cake and found a furever home, giving a face to senior cats in shelters across the country. Hopefully, many other deserving cats will get their wish and find homes to end their nine lives.