Adult cats make excellent companions for seniors, especially those that live alone or with an elder care provider.
Of course, cats are fun pets for any age, but an older cat makes an ideal match for an elderly person. June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, where animal care centers, shelters, and communities emphasize the millions of adult cats that are just waiting to be adopted. Family caregivers should seriously consider adopting a shelter cat as a pet for their aging loved one.
How Seniors Benefit from Pets
Many studies show that people of all ages benefit from pets, but especially seniors. Elderly people are often lonely for companionship, even though they may have family members nearby and elder care providers to help them out. Cats offer true companionship to elderly adults that perhaps cannot go outdoors or keep up with the needs of a dog.
Petting and cuddling a cat can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and satisfy touch-deprived seniors. The cats give the elderly adult something to nurture and care for and they focus on the animal’s needs instead of their own problems. Owning a cat also promotes activity as the elderly person is responsible for feeding, litterbox and grooming duties. These responsibilities provide purpose and goals for them to work toward every day.
Looking for Shelters to Adopt a Cat
Fully adult cats are less likely to be adopted from a shelter because everyone seems to want kittens. However, an adult cat can be just as loving and loyal and is actually a better match for an elderly adult. Adult cats aren’t as energetic as kittens and have all their behavior problems worked out. They are already litter box trained and are more likely to be content to sit and cuddle for hours. Adult cats are still playful and will happily interact with toys at the end of a wand or a ribbon pulled along the ground.
Family caregivers should talk to their aging loved one about adopting an adult shelter cat and go over the responsibilities of pet ownership. Life will definitely change with a cat, and the elderly adult should be ready. Family caregivers need to help with pet care as much as possible and include some pet care duties for the elder care provider, too. The good news is that cats are ideal even for seniors with low mobility and they can do the majority of the feeding, grooming, and play. An elder care provider or family member would likely need to step in and assist with litter box cleaning and trips to the veterinarian.
During Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, it’s easy to make a big difference in the life of an elderly relative as well as a shelter cat. Bringing the two together for a lifetime of companionship, affection, and love will benefit them both and greatly enrich an aging loved one’s life.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Pacifica, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203
At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.
As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.
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