Cats offer therapeutic benefits on a daily basis. Not only do they bring us joy, laughter and comfort, cats keep you company when you’re alone. The best part about having a cat is the unconditional love that’s always available.
For seniors, cats can be the perfect partner—and the benefits go both ways.
Health Benefits for Seniors
Cats provide a host of health benefits—they can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, relieve stress, and improve mental health. Seniors who live with a cat feel mentally, emotionally, and physically better.
You know how content you feel after a cat curls up on your lap and starts to purr. This contentment helps to heal the human body. Petting a cat helps you feel calm and reduces feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
A Kitty to Care For
An empty nest can also mean a lonely home. Once the kids have grown and are busy raising families of their own, seniors are often left feeling alone. They can benefit from having someone to care for, and a cat could be the perfect solution. A companion animal offers seniors a positive daily responsibility that keeps them alert and active.
A cat can provide people with a sense of purpose. If you know a senior who lives alone, a cat is the ideal solution—seniors have an adorable companion to look after, meaning they’ll be less likely to become bored, depressed or lonely.
Easy to Care For
Compared to dogs, cats are relatively low maintenance pets. An indoor cat doesn’t need to go outside for a bathroom break, nor do they need long walks to tire them out. They’re easily entertained by toys, and a kitty litter tray is simple to keep clean. All they ask for is a warm lap, where they are content to simply being near their owners, purring and being petted.
Choosing the Right Cat
Even though kittens are cute, your best bet when helping to choose a cat for a senior is to adopt an older or adult feline. Visit your local shelter, as adult cats are always looking for homes. These cats are calmer and just as sweet and loving as kittens, but they have already been trained, have less energy, and already have established personalities. Besides, older cats usually have a harder time finding a forever home, so you’re helping to save lives.
Because we know how much pets offer seniors in terms of health benefits, there are services available that will help seniors care for their cats. Mobile services provide transportation to vet offices for exams and treatments—a wonderful solution for seniors who can no longer drive.
Cats make perfect pets for people of all ages, but even more so for the elderly. These pets help improve a senior’s quality of life, and they can bring endless amounts of happiness and love into any home.
Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.