Pets & Animals

Pros & Cons of Pet Cats for Seniors

If you’re retired or are enjoying more time at home these days for other reasons, you may find you aren’t loving all of the “alone” time. Human companionship is great, but may not always be readily available. Finding the right pet for you is a good way to have company and fill that void.

cat, companion pet, kitten, pet animal, older adult, senior, marmalade color, (Older Woman and Marmalade Cat Photo: Cottonbro via

Some older adults love having dogs around because they’re so active and loud, while others prefer fish since they’re quiet and don’t require much care. But, if you’re somewhere between these two options, a cat could become the focal point of your life and your home. If you’re considering getting a cat, here are a few things you need to know:

Benefits of owning a pet

Some people don’t pay attention to the pros and cons of pet ownership before getting a cat or dog, or the need to find a breed that’s going to best suit them. Owning a cat is absolutely different than owning a dog or a pet bird like a parrot. 

From minimizing your stress level and keeping you company all day long, to always being there for your whenever you’re feeling down, and boosting your mental and emotional health – these can  be some of benefits of pet ownership

The obvious benefits of cat ownership over say, a dog, are that they don’t bark, and cats are more independent than dogs. Cats generally don’t require as much attention from their owners as a dog would, and don’t require walks (although they do need a clean litterbox).

Some apartments and condominiums may have regulations against pets based on size or noise, which can rule out many larger, noisier pets, and making cats a more suitable pet option.

The breed you need

With so many different choices out there, you may need to invest quite a lot of time and energy in the process of finding a kitten or a cat breed that’s going to work for you. The American Cat Fanciers Association currently recognizes 45 pedigreed cat breeds, as well as non-pedigreed Companion Cats.

Think about your needs, where you live, space you have for a cat, and how much free time you have.

Based on their coat length, size, personality and activity levels, you may decide to opt for a long-haired short-nosed quiet Persian cat, a shorthaired slender vocal Siamese cat, or a stocky quiet American shorthair. A Maine Coon Cat can be the size of a small child, while a striking Bengal cat has Leopard-like spots and an active personality.

One of these cat breeds might give you the love and company you’re hoping for, but if not there are 40+ others to choose from!  

How to take care of a cat

Dedicating love and attention to your cat is only part of what will be required to take care of them.

Make sure you buy a litter box so they can use it. The littler box should be kept clean on at least a daily basis; some cats may want it cleaned more often. If the litter box isn’t cleaned to your cat’s satisfaction, they may find another place to do their business, and you’ll have a smelly, messy problem.

Give your cat a scratching post to help keep them calm and happy. Cats (especially kittens), can be destructive to furniture and curtain fabric if they don’t have another outlet to scratch their claws on.

Make sure you give them enough food, and insist on quality food only. 

Finally, take some time to brush and wash your cat regularly because that’s crucial for it’s appearance and health. 

All of these things might seem like too much at first, but if you provide the right things that your cat loves, you won’t have a problem.

Finding all of the pet care essentials locally shouldn’t be too hard. You can also find different pet supplies online – convenient and exactly what you need to make sure your cat is happy and satisfied.

Are there any cat ownership cons to consider?

Even though most cat lovers are going to deny any cons they might experience while living with a cat, you have to keep in mind that cats aren’t always perfect.

Before you get a cat, you should first see your doctor and ensure that you are not allergic to cats. This cat allergies are common scenario, and if you’ve never had a cat before, you may not be aware of having a cat allergy. 

If your cat requires a lot of maintenance, you’ll need to spend more time keeping it healthy and happy – a commitment you may not be looking for. 

If you get a cat breed that loves being in the open, it may be a problem unless you plan to stay out there with it – especially if you’re in an apartment with no easy outdoor access. If you own a house, you can have an outdoor access / walkway built for your cat, but this is an added expense that will require some forethought to arrange.

Regardless of where you live, you might unknowingly get a kitten or a cat that’s going to scratch and damage your furniture, at a cost that you can’t afford. 

If you decide to get a rescue cat, make sure you know how to manage the adaptation period at your home

Finally, some purebred cat breeds are quite expensive, and you’ll also need to spend money on their daily care and feeding, which isn’t fun when it comes to your finances.

Owning a cat or other pet can come with many benefits, as well as a few drawbacks. So if you’re an older adult or senior who’s just looking for some company, do your research before getting a cat so that you can reduce the cons and enjoy all the pluses, of having a loving feline companion. 

*This article is for general informational purposes only. 50+ World does not endorse any product or service providers, nor does it receive remuneration from them. Obtain expert advice – financial, legal, medical, industry-specific, etc. – from qualified practitioners about your unique situation.*

Emma Joyce

Emma Joyce is an interior design enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. She loves spicing up living spaces and finding new ways to keep up with the latest trends. Emma is always on a lookout for some new and interesting ways to upgrade her knowledge and communication skills.

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