Cats can be great life companions for humans of different ages. They bring us a lot of joy, entertain us, and make us laugh. They love to cuddle up next to us, make biscuits on top of us, and generally love us like no other pet.
And for whatever reason, they tend to have an amazing bond with senior citizens.
My grandpa became a widower around 7 years ago. Because he and my grandma used to live alone in their family home, it was hard for him to get used to the lonely life. He felt sad and couldn’t stop thinking about Nana.
One day, without thoroughly thinking it through, I decided to visit him carrying a very special gift. Since I’m a true cat aficionado, that gift I took with me was furry, had four paws, whiskers, and beautiful round eyes.
My grandpa was at first reluctant to keep the cat. He told me he could never keep up with it and that the cat would only end up miserable. But little did he know, that kitty would be the light of hope he desperately needed.
Those two were a match made in Heaven! They got along so well together and became best buddies in no time.
So, if you have a similar situation or happen to know a senior person who could benefit from having a feline friend, here are 6 adorable reasons why cats are great pets for seniors.
1. They can be an amazing company
It’s no secret that cats are among the best companions humans can have. They might not have that overly excited, in-your-face dog energy, but they are also very loyal, affectionate, and fun to be around.
Most cats love to hang out with their humans, either playing with them, cuddling next to them on the couch, or sleeping at the bottom of their beds. Sure, they are known for being independent and willful, sometimes even rude, but the majority of the time, they are extremely loving towards their owners.
2. Cats provide an abundance of health benefits
Owning a cat does not only mean you get to have a 24/7 cuddle buddy. It also means you have someone who will look after your health and ensure you feel good all the time. And this is exactly what older folks need.
Having a cat has a lot of health benefits. They are known to help lower blood sugar and reduce cholesterol, which consequently decreases the risk of a heart attack. They can help with boosting one’s immune system, and their purr is said to be amazing at dealing with infections and healing bones.
How amazing is this? It is like you get to have your very own furry doctor, living under your roof.
3. They are also great for mental health
Apart from having many health benefits and being great at helping seniors get through their illnesses, cats are also good for one’s mental health.
In general, seniors are usually in the phase of their life when they have educated their children, let them out into the world, celebrated some of their successes such as graduation, marriage, and parenthood, and now they live alone. And although they enjoy the fruits of their lives, they can still feel lonely.
That feeling of being all by yourself can unfortunately result in them struggling with depression and anxiety. However, a cat can be a great cure for that!
A cat can provide them with company and unconditional love and make them feel as though life still has so many things to show them. Kitties can make them happy and keep them entertained, but also relaxed and content.
Having a cat and spending the majority of the time with her can drastically reduce stress. These fluffy creatures can help us feel calm and have some peace of mind.
4. Cats are extremely easy to take care of
It’s no secret that cats are not hard to maintain. They don’t have to be walked daily to spend their energy or go to the bathroom, they are not famous for getting dirty (like dogs) and they don’t need to be constantly entertained.
They go to their litter box alone, and very rarely will they pee elsewhere. They can groom themselves and can even entertain themselves.
Their owner doesn’t have to be full of energy or even mobile to spend time with them. They are perfectly fine with curling up in his lap and sleeping for hours on end.
All their owner needs to do, apart from loving them, is to provide them with food, clean their litter box on a daily basis, and once a week (or every two weeks, depending on the breed) brush their coat.
5. They don’t mind being indoors
Unlike dogs who, no matter how low-maintenance the breed is, have to be walked several times a day, cats are fine with remaining indoors. Sure, they have this innate desire to explore the great outdoors, but they can live their life peacefully behind the walls of their owner’s home.
Because everything they need is inside – their food, their litter box, their toys and cat trees, and the human they love dearly. What else to ask for?
This makes them extremely convenient for seniors who also spend the majority of their day inside. It’s a win-win situation for both of them!
6. Cats are slaves to routine
Cats are not the biggest fans of sudden changes. They love when things happen at their fixed schedule, and hate when something occurs out of the blue. They prefer to have their meals at the same time each day, and their cute little cat naps, too. They are very much predictable, and they don’t mind it at all.
And usually, seniors are just the same! My grandpa’s day goes something like this: he wakes up around 6 a.m. and goes to the town to buy newspapers, bread, milk, and other things he might need for his breakfast.
Then he makes something yummy to eat, brews some coffee, and prepares breakfast for his cat, too. After that, he watches some TV or plays chess with his neighbor. Later on, he and his kitty have lunch, then he does some chores around the home, watches a movie, and goes to bed.
Basically, each day is the same. He doesn’t mind it because he’s enjoying his peace and well-deserved retirement. And his beloved cat enjoys it, too.
Just as I said, they are a match made in Heaven!