Senior to Senior Program
Many wonderful people, senior's in particular, have allowed our rescue to place all our senior cats, and we have several seniors (people) awaiting new rescued senior cats for placement. Plus we've been hearing wonderful stories from the seniors and their family, on how the senior cat they adopted has changed their family members life. It is such a great feeling knowing that we have touched two lives with a love to share between them.
We have now expanded our program with a new focus on allowing seniors to come to our adoption center and volunteer their time brushing and holding our adoptable cats in our Adoption Center.
The relationship between humans and cats is an almost undefinable bond. It is one which can possibly be appreciated more by seniors than by any other age group, simply because they have the gift of time to devote to their cats. We hope that seniors who have adult children, and other relatives and caring friends will pass along this information to the loved one where you feel it is appropriate.
It is not unusual for the elderly who live alone to be depressed. One of the benefits of feline companionship in those circumstances is their ability to help with depression. Several studies have also revealed that cats can help lessen cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. Regardless of our age brackets, most of us can testify to the immediate feeling of relaxation while holding and petting a war, purring kitty. If you are senior who lives alone, we hope our information will help convince you of the value of a cat as a companion.
Our Senior to Senior Program is not offered by all rescue groups, because it takes so much time to make this program work. But we feel that going that extra mile has been very rewarding, not only for our rescue, but for all our senior cats, too. Sometimes making an extra effort can help both seniors: humans and cats. If you would like to know more about our Senior to Senior Program, please contact us: CLICK HERE
Senior Cats Are A Good Adoption Choice
Why senior cat's are found at shelters: Often, if no arrangements were made for the care of a cat after the death of its owner, the cat will be taken to a shelter. Such a cat would be the ideal partner for another senior. If you adopt a senior cat, be sure to make arrangements for its care should something happen to you (example: a family trust with instructions and funds for the care of your cat after you are gone - the arrangements are simple, and worthwhile to do).
Some things to consider...
Cats improve the mental and physical health of seniors, while cats as family members certainly bring joy to the lives of people of any age, they offer several specific benefits to those in their golden years.
Cats Provide Certain Cardiovascular Benefits:
In 2008, the University of Minnesota announced the results of a study by neurology professor Adnan Qureshi, who theorized that having a cat led to less stress, therefore ameliorating one of the causes of cardiovascular disease, or perhaps that the kind of personality intrinsic in cat lovers may have been the causative factor. further studies will continue. In yet another study by Karen Allen, Ph.D, a researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she studied the effects of pet ownership as related to stress/high blood pressure. More pertinent, the report stated: "In addition, elderly individuals with pets are buffered from the impact of stressful life events and make fewer visits to physicians."
Adopting A Cat Fills An Empty Hole:
Loss of a spouse or a shrinking circle of friends through death will leave anyone feeling alone and adrift. A purring, rubbing cat will help fill that hole, and give you a reason to get up in the morning...because most cats will not allow their humans to lie in bed after breakfast time. Once you're up and the cat is fed, you'll find many more reasons to stay up instead of going back to sleep.
A New Cat Will Help To Expand Your World:
If you've never shared your home with a cat, or it's been awhile since you lost your last cat, you'll need to refresh your skills by learning the basics about cat care. Also, cats help seniors exercise: older folks who have developed the habit of sitting most of the day watching television or reading, will lost muscle-mass and possibly develop osteoporosis from lack of exercise. The care and attention of a cat will require certain types of exercise and benefit both the cat and his/her human parent.
Cleaning the Litter Box: Good exercise for bending your knees, scooping through the litter for waste, and dropping the waste in a Litter Genie exercises your legs, arms, and hands.
All Cats Love To Be Groomed: The FURminator de-shedding tool is one of our favorite grooming tools. Almost every night while watching television, you can groom your cat while it rests in your lap. If you decide to play with your cat, it would be best to keep the playtime to 15 minutes at a time, whereby both of you get some exercise, and then rest together!
Consider Walking Your Cat On A Leash: Walking is excellent exercise for seniors. However, walking a cat on a leash requires that the cat be thoroughly trained (the last thing you need is to have the cat drag the leash between your legs, then trip you. If you take your time with indoor training, then only when you're confident of both yourself and your cat, should you venture outdoors. We advise not walking your cat in public, but instead keeping him/her in a securely fenced yard free of other people and other animals. However, first police your yard thoroughly to make sure there are no hidden trip hazards, such as sprinkler heads or loose fence boards, which may be tempting to a cat to explore.
Drawbacks and Alternatives
As appealing as the notion of a new little furry friend my be, there are certain considerations to keep in mind.
Cost of Cat Care: Cat care is not cheap, particularly for an older cat. Just the bare basic supplies of food, cat litter, and an occasional toy can put a dent in a retirement budget. However there is help available, and we can advise you where to apply for medical and food supplies. An older cat should get at least two (2) veterinary checkups annually, and more if a cat has a health condition typical to senior cats (such as hyperthyroidism or chronic renal failure). Depending on your degree of financial and physical independence, a little help once or twice a week, or more, can go a long way toward making life easier for both you and your cat. Someone could take you shopping, or shop for you once a week. A family member might either volunteer or pay a professional for housekeeping once or twice a month. A teenage relative might house-sit with your cat(s) while you are taken out to dinner or a movie. Any or all of these volunteer activities can make your new burden of responsibility for another living creature easier -- not to mention that these are great gift-giving ideas for your family or friends to treat you with, cat, too!
A Pre-Declawed Cat May Be A Good Option: Some seniors have conditions that make them more immune-compromised such as diabetes. Cat scratches can easily become infected if not treated promptly. We do not suggest declawing a senior cat.
If you've read this far, and decided that adopting a cat just isn't what you want to do in your present circumstances, there are other activities that will help you get your "cat fix." You will not only have the interaction you need, but you will also be making a difference to cats. Here are just a few suggestions about how you enjoy cats without having one.
- Volunteer With Us: All our cats would love to feel the kindness of your warmth and compassion. Contact Us for more information.
- Volunteer At A Shelter: You can help clean cages, change litter boxes, greet visitors, or simply pet the cats, depending on your physical limitations.
- Help A TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) Group: If you can't actually do any of the trapping, you might visit a cat colony regularly and feed the cats.
- Cat-Sit For A Friend: Again, depending on your physical condition, you might spend a few days caring for the cat(s) while a friend is on a trip or in the hospital. This actually might be a good way to decide if you want to adopt a cat. Sort of a "try before you buy" scheme for cat adoption.
We can't advise you whether or not a cat should be in your life. Only you can make that decision. We would ask that you consult with your personal physician if you have any physical conditions which prohibit your contact with cats.
Several of our FPRG group are seniors, and we have loved and enjoyed the companionship of cats for most of our lives. We cannot imagine a life without cats, and it is fulfilling to be able to introduce the joy of feline companionship to other seniors.