A cat can make a great companion and loving pet for just about anyone that’s willing to have one. They can make particularly great pets for older people and seniors. A cat can be great company, help you stay active, and develop a special bond. When it comes to choosing a cat though, you have a lot to think about. Each cat breed comes with different characteristics, along with different needs. You need to consider which type of cat breed you’re going to get. Breeds can be perfect for one person, but their needs and temperament is going to make them unsuitable for others. The best cat breeds for seniors are those who have the right balance of temperament and needs for an older person.
If you’re looking to get a cat for a senior, then you will need to find a cat that fits some different needs. There are some types out there that are great for seniors. Choosing from a specific breed is going to give you more information to work with about what kind of activity level you can expect from your cat. You’ll also know how much grooming they’re going to need, and roughly what personality traits they often have.
The needs of older people with cats are a bit different. You need a cat that is going to be a friendly companion. Also, they need to have care requirements that are easier to handle. This applies to both grooming and to their exercise needs. Of course how much of a need in these categories is really going to depend on how much time you have to spare. Largely, the best cat breeds for seniors don’t take too much work to keep exercised or well-groomed. This is what you need to know when looking for the best cat breeds for seniors:
What to Look for in a Cat Breed for Seniors?
Choosing a cat breed ahead of time gives you some information about your cat’s temperament and needs. If you’re thinking about getting a cat, these are the special requirements you’ll have to keep in mind for seniors:
- Lifespan of a cat – A lot of cats can live over 20 years, so their lifespan is a bit of a concern. You need to make sure the cat will be taken care of if it outlives you, or look to adopt an older cat if you want to avoid any situation like this.
- Energy Needs – Cats don’t need long walks like a dog does, but they still need some exercise and to keep active. Think about whether you want a cat that is going to keep you active, or one that enjoys taking it easy!
- Grooming – Some cats have some intense grooming needs! You need to think about how much time you want to spend grooming your cat. If you have the time to spare, then this isn’t a concern. Otherwise you might want to go for a cat that is a bit more low maintenance.
- Health needs – Some cat breeds are more predisposed to health conditions, especially as they get older. You need to think about whether you have the time and resource to care for a cat that might have a few health conditions.
Adopting a Cat from a Shelter
Adopting a cat from a shelter comes with its own set of concerns. This is a great thing to do, taking a cat who needs a home instead of going to a breeder. They can be a good choice for seniors too. If you get an adult cat from a shelter, this eliminates the problem of a cat outliving you since they’re a bit older. It also helps with shelters having too many older cats that are less desirable pets to most adopters. Most adult cats have fewer exercise needs than kittens too, so you won’t have to spend as much time ensuring they’ve gotten all the stimulation that they need.
Rescue cats do often come with more care needs than kittens though. If you’re looking to adopt a cat, make sure you discuss everything with the shelter in advance of adopting them. Make sure you know what health conditions they might have, what kind of care they’re going to need, and how much time this is going to take. You’ll need to assess if this is manageable for you.
Getting a rescue cat can be a great solution for finding a cat for seniors. You just need to think through all of their needs and make sure you have the time to commit to them.
The Best Cat Breeds for Seniors
These are the cat breeds that best meet the needs of seniors. While not all of them are perfect for everybody, these cat breeds are a great starting point when you’re looking to adopt a cat.
Ragdoll cats are relaxed and easy going. You’ll find these cats are friendly so great for keeping you company without needing an awful lot of exercise or play time. The only real downside of a Ragdoll cat is that they have higher grooming needs. You’re going to need to groom them most days to keep their long hair under control, and they do shed quite a lot.
Ragdolls are some of the best cat breeds for seniors as they are easy going, easy to care for, and affectionate. However, the grooming requirements do need to be kept in mind. If you have the free time for a quick groom then this is a great choice of cat breed for you.
The British shorthair is a great low maintenance choice for a cat breed for seniors. These cats don’t need grooming all that often, just every now and again to sort out any loose hairs. As well as being simple to groom, these are really calm and good natured cats. They’re mellow and can be quite independent when they need to be. This doesn’t mean that they avoid people though, British Shorthairs can be a friendly and comforting presence.
These cats do have some higher energy need when they’re a kitten. They’re playful when young, but they do become a lot calmer pretty quickly. So while they do have higher exercise needs, it passes pretty quickly and won’t be a problem for an older cat.
Birman cats have semi-longhair and only need a medium amount of activity to stay happy and healthy. They’re a little playful, but not so much that they would wear out an older person. This balance makes them great for someone older who wants an active cat, but one at a manageable level! Their grooming needs are a little higher than some other cats though. They’ll need daily brushing to keep their longer hair in a good condition.
These cats are well known for bonding strongly with their owners. So if you’re looking for a companion then this is a great choice of cat breed for you.
Moggies are great if you’re looking to adopt from a shelter, since there tends to be a lot of them out there. Once a little older, these cats are great for older people. They’re calmer, like to get along with people, and they’re typically quite quiet. This makes them good pets for older people.
The grooming needs for these cats are relatively low. They also don’t require too much strenuous play, if they have a cat tree or somewhere to exercise that will suit them fine. Moggies are a great choice for a cat breed for seniors if you’re looking for a calm cat that doesn’t need too much extra care.
Persian cats are well known for being some of the quietest and most friendly. These calm felines make great pets for older people. They’re sweet and very friendly, they particularly bond with humans. Persians don’t get along great with children, but they do enjoy the company of older children and adults.
Persians will need fairly regular grooming as they are long-haired cats. This means they have a big higher care needs than some others on here. However, if you’re looking for a calm and friendly cat, then a Persian is a great choice.
Scottish Fold cats are known to get along very well with humans. They are particularly loyal, bonding strongly with their owners. This makes them great as a cat for a companion, especially for an older person. These cats have a distinctive look and have short hair, so their grooming needs aren’t huge.
The main downside of this breed of cat is that they’re predisposed to a few health conditions. If you’re not going to be able to take care of one as they age, they’re probably not right for you. Otherwise this is a great choice for breed of cat.
Which Cat Breed is For You?
Those are the best cat breeds for seniors. Among them there are cat breeds that should suit everyone and their schedules, whether you want a playful cat or a chilled out pet that doesn’t need much grooming. Adopting a cat is a big decision though. The choice of breed is really just the start. You need to think about everything you need to get for a new cat too.
Once you’ve picked out a cat or kitten, and got your home set-up for them, you can finally get to the fun part; bringing home your new pet! Cats can make great companions and friends for everyone, and especially for seniors.