Too old to adopt

Queries and discussions about cat rescue & rehoming
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cfmp
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Too old to adopt

Post by cfmp »

We used to have cats and loved them very much. They eventually died of old age at 22, 19 and 18 years old. We emigrated and stopped having pets as it wouldn't have been suitable where we were living. We are back in the UK now and really miss having a cat, but we are 71 and 73. Are we too old to get a cat?
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fjm
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Re: Too old to adopt

Post by fjm »

Definitely not. If you are concerned about outliving a kitten there are many older cats always looking for homes. It is always a good idea to make arrangements in advance in case you should be unable to care for a pet, whatever one's age, and finance may be an issue, but if you can afford to care for a cat or two I would say start looking!
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Ruth B
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Re: Too old to adopt

Post by Ruth B »

No, you aren't too old based purely on your age, but you do need to consider how things will go in the future.

The first and for me the most obvious question is your own health. Are you both mobile and able to bend down easily. While some cats will eat on a raised side, or use an elevated litter tray, there will always be occasions when you will need to bend down to clean something up.

Do you have underlying health conditions that might mean hospital stays, if so do you have friends or family that could come in and look after any cats you have. I ask this one as it is close to my heart. After my Father died, my Mother was left with their 2 cats, one of which was diabetic. One Friday my Mother saw her Doctor and was rushed to hospital with suspected DVT, they wanted to keep her in but she refused, if she didn't get home there was no one to give the cat her insulin, she would be returning on Monday at the earliest, by which time the cat would be dead. i lived 80 miles away and can't drive. She put her cats life before her own health, and I never blamed her for it. However with planning it is the type of decision that should never need to be made.

I would suggest that going for an adult cat rather than a kitten would be a better choice. You might even enquire about long term foster cats, most shelters have some that, normally for medical reasons, they don't feel they can rehome but would benefit from being in a proper, loving home. The charity would normally help with any medical costs in this situation, and if the worst happened you know they would be safe and the charity they came from would have them back.
One of the biggest questions you have to face is what happens to the cats if you have to move into a nursing home, or after you die, not pleasant thoughts, but again best sorted in advance as it can provide peace of mind. By the time my Mother had to move into a nursing home the diabetic cat had already gone, but she was left with one 17 year old arthritic, almost blind cat, if she had been put in a shelter for rehoming she would likely have spent the rest of her life in the shelter pen. i had always said i would take her and do everything I could to make it work with my own three cats. In the end I only had her 9 months, she followed my Mother a few months after she died. Knowing that her cat was being looked after in my home did give my Mother a lot of comfort during her last months.

Hopefully this hasn't put you off getting a cat, that is certainly not the intention, and even in your 70s, you could have many happy years possibly decades, together with any pet you get, or if you are strong enough, there are plenty of elderly cats sitting in shelters overlooked as people choose the kittens, who would love you for the rest of their lives in exchange for a warm bed, regular food, and a knee to sit on.
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Mollycat
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Re: Too old to adopt

Post by Mollycat »

There comes a time in life when we start catering for those what-ifs because they become more likely, closer, or more real. When we do sensible things like making Wills and taking out pre-paid funeral plans, and telling grandchildren we want them to have this trinket when we go. Being sensible, planning ahead and starting to prepare do not mean we're about to go next week, it just means we're starting to think about the inevitable day. With two of you, the chances of you both finding yourselves unable to cope with a cat are halved. But the love and companionship of bringing an animal into your family, well, you can't put a price on that.

My mantra is, what's the worst that can happen?
Let's say you take on a rescue cat and find yourselves unable to look after it while it is still young and healthy. You rehome the cat, the cat has to adjust to a new home and new people, and the cat survives, it's not the end of the world. The cat has already had to do this, in fact 99% of cats were once kittens that were taken from their mother and brought to a strange environment with new people ... and they coped.
On the other hand you could say you're too old now and in 20 years look back and say, you know what, we could have taken those really sweet kittens the rescue had for adoption!
A good rescue like my local one, a small independent organisation that uses fosters not cages, will gladly match you with a suitable cat for your circumstances without judging. Some of the larger ones have inflexible rules and might be more challenging.

No, you're not too old. Just don't trip over it because a fall could be more serious at your age!
booktigger
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Re: Too old to adopt

Post by booktigger »

When I was homing cats, I wasn't put off by people's ages, the main priorities were being sensible about the type of cat - there isn't just an age thing to think about if you adopt kittens, but if you can cope with the boundless energy, a couple of volunteers in their 50's ended up with kittens after only having adults for years, and found it tiring, plus as has been said, they are more likely to get under your feet. I also had to ask if plans had been put in place, which I absolutely hated, but had to be done. The idea of long term fostering is also a good one, and you then have some back up, plus help if they have any medical issues.
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Kay
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Re: Too old to adopt

Post by Kay »

I'm older than you, and my current cat came to me aged 11 - if I outlive her I will look for another perhaps even older cat, as I know I can offer an ideal home for an oldie wanting a quiet life - in particular I shall look for a cat who has been in rescue for far too long because most people want a youngster

I do find too that seeing myself as a haven for a cat who needs someone like me makes losing them easier, because I know I have made their final years good ones
booktigger
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Re: Too old to adopt

Post by booktigger »

That is a very good point Kay, I remember being asked by a colleague how I could only adopt oldies, knowing that my time with them was limited, but for me, it was them having a warm, loving home environment for the end of their life, rather than ending their life in a rescue
bbbonbon01
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Re: Too old to adopt

Post by bbbonbon01 »

No, you aren't too old based purely on your age
issiandarchie+68
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Re: Too old to adopt

Post by issiandarchie+68 »

Hope you don't mind me butting in at this late stage. I found the original post and responses very interesting as I myself,aged 72, recently looked to forum members for advice on late age adoption. I don't think you are too old,nor do I think the age of the lucky cat matters. If cat likes you and you love caf,job done. Although personally, I wouldn't have a kitten in mind, my sister aged 76 has recently adopted one on the premise kitty will outlive her and she won't have to go through the trauma of medicating and inevitable losing of an elderly cat. On the other hand,my friend of 77yrs took in 2 oldies of 12 and 13 a couple of years back. They are thriving and she loves the fact they are settled,calm and have no wish to roam. Taking into account (as I have myself as it also applies to me) the excellent advice already given by other members, I would just go for it.
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