senior sitting on chair with cat in lap

Pets can be beneficial for seniors to have at their side. However, cats are an especially good companion for older adults due to their curious and calm nature. Cats are not only loving but bring happiness to their owners because of their many funny antics and quirky habits. Alongside their affectionate personality, cats are low maintenance and not as active as many other animals, making them a perfect new best friend for older adults.

Benefits of Owning a Cat

Cats offer many benefits to seniors other than being a good companion. A few of the many benefits cats offer to their owners include therapeutic, mental, and psychological benefits. Owning a cat can allow older adults to have a sense of responsibility to take care of another living being, keeping their cognitive functions active. Cats can also sense what their owners are feeling, offering therapy to their owners when they need it most. Most importantly, just as many service animals are trained to do, cats can help older adults who suffer from medical conditions and offer physical health benefits as well.

Heart Health Lowering stress is one of the most beneficial reasons to own a cat. Cats tend to live a less active lifestyle than other pets but still show high levels of attention to their owners. This is why cat owners are 30% less likely to get a heart attack than non-owners.
Better Sleep Most people do not like to sleep alone. Pets, especially cats, are a great companion when it comes to sleeping through the night. Studies even show that sleeping with a pet results in better sleep than sleeping with someone else!
Therapy Cats have an affectionate nature to them which can help people who suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD, or have challenges with addiction.
Companionship One of the most overlooked benefits of owning a cat is their loyal companionship. Having an animal to take care of, feed, and maintain can keep older adults on their feet and active, both mentally and physically. Plus, their company brings happiness to the owner.
Medical Emergencies Just as many other animal breeds, cats have instincts that can save your life. Cats have been heroes to their owners on numerous occasions by alerting them of an oncoming medical emergency and home dangers

9such as gas leaks) to keep their owners safe.

 

What Are the Best Cats for Seniors?

There are many cat breeds to choose from, and every cat is a good option to have as a pet for an older adult. However, there are many diverse options to choose from depending on the kind of lifestyle you have and any special needs you may have when looking for a pet. Below are a few great options for older adults.

Burmese

Burmese

Longevity: 16 – 18 years
Burmese cats are a common cat breed due to their friendliness and love for human companionship. If you are looking for a loyal cat that will accompany you at any time of the day, this is the cat for you!

Persian

Persian

Longevity: 10 – 17 years
Another common cat breed, Persian cats are known for their beautiful coat and calm nature. If you are looking for a cat that will lounge around with you all day, look no further. However, because of their long coats, Persian cats do require frequent grooming and maintenance.

Munchkin

Munchkin

Longevity: 11-13 years
If you are looking for a small cat, this adorable breed is the one for you! These cats are not only affectionate, but they are adventurous. Munchkin cats are known for their ability to play, but because of their short stature, they do not get into trouble because they can’t jump onto high surfaces. This is a great option for an older adult who wants to be entertained or has grandchildren that can play all day!

Snowshoe

Snowshoe

Longevity: 10-12 years
One of the most loving cat breeds, Snowshoe cats are a perfect companion for older adults. They are known to be friendly but remain most loyal to their owner. They are intelligent and adapt to their surroundings very well. Snowshoe cats are quite vocal but have a gentle voice which may be a bonus if you like to have some background noise around the house!

Ragdoll

Ragdoll

Longevity: 12 – 15 years
If you are looking for a cat to take care of and maintain frequently, take a closer look at the Ragdoll breed. These cats are long-haired and require frequent grooming. They are also one of the larger sized cat breeds and may be difficult to carry for some adults. However, Ragdolls are laid-back, loving, and make a great companion.

LaPerm

LaPerm

Longevity: 12 – 15 years
LaPerm cats are unique because of their unusual curly-haired coat. They’re low maintenance and fairly independent compared to many other felines. LaPerm cats are known to be gentle in their mannerisms, voice, and the way they like to be handled. This cat breed is great for people who live in apartments because of their adaptability.

Abyssinian

Abyssinian

Longevity: 12 – 15 years
Abyssinians are one of the most affectionate cat breeds. They are frequently found cuddled next to their owner, on their shoulders, or in their lap. These cats enjoy lounging around but can also have bursts of energy – perfect when the grandchildren come to visit.

Balinese

Balinese

Longevity: 18 – 22 years
If you are allergic to cats, this breed is a great option because it is a hypoallergenic cat breed. They have a beautiful coat but do not shed often and require little maintenance. Balinese cats are not very vocal but love to play and adventure when their curiosity strikes.

Scottish Fold

Scottish Fold

Longevity: 12 – 15 years
Scottish Fold cats are another great option for older adults because they are loyal and loving to their owners but are also independent. If you are not looking for a cat to follow you around all day, this cat is a great option for you.

Himalayan

Himalayan

Longevity: 12 – 15 years
Himalayan cats offer the best of both worlds. They have two distinct personalities, one where they love to play and be outspoken and one where they just want to lounge around. If you are not quite sure exactly what you want in a cat, this breed may be the perfect fit for you!

Care and Support

Just as cats offer their care and support for their owner, the owner must take over their role and take care of their cat as well. Although cats are independent and do not require training, they still may need maintenance in terms of their grooming, food, and vet visits. Make sure to purchase all the supplies needed for your feline friend, including a litter box, cat food, a few toys, and a brush for their coat prior to getting a cat.