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Senior Cat

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am not really sure what I want to ask here so ill start with a short explanation of my situation. There is a cat, named Sammy, she is a 13 year old cutie at my local SPCA. What caught my eye was her age. At 13, she should not be at the SPCA.

Now I need to decide if it’s worth it to stress out my boyfriend by asking that we take her in… I have been hinting at it to him to prepare him for the blow. I guess I really need convincing myself. At 13, is that really old? Or because I am used to big dogs the age 13 just screams super old, almost time to go to heaven. I can get this cat, however I really don’t want to stress out my man especially since he has been so great to me lately.

Also, anyone have experience with a house full of babies (two 1yr old cats and 1 10month old puppy) and seniors? Will the babies drive this old girl crazy? My cats are super obnoxious, but they don’t really harass each other.

What do I need to know about senior cats? How long do cats live? Keep in mind this is an SPCA cat so who knows what kind of lifestyle she has lived. I’m guessing I cant feed her the same maintenance adult food my boys are on?

Like I said… I don’t really know what I am asking. Basically I’m wondering if a 13 year old cat is worth the stress of asking my boyfriend for another animal. I just feel so bad… as I just said to my friend, it’s like putting your grandma in prison.

Thanks all!
post #2 of 17
You could start by asking the SPCA for any background info on Sammy. I knew from them that Rocko was good with other cats as he had been in the cat colony room and had many friends They knew he was really laid back and liked people. It made it easier for me to see if he could fit into our family. I too was worried about my crazy kitties making an older cat nuts.

Some cats need quiet and to be the only cat, others don't care at all. Is your place big enough for 3 cats and a dog and do you have enough time to spend with everyone, especially since one is still a puppy and needs training and extra attention?

The practical stuff aside...I believe animals choose us sometimes. Do you really have a feeling about Sammy? Do you feel that you have the room in your heart and life for another animal? Yes, she will need senior food and to see a vet twice a year instead of once, it will mean more litter and more litter boxes. But if you feel she needs to be a part of your family I believe it's worth it.

Just remember that their will always be ANOTHER cat that is in need. You can't take them all. But if Sammy has stole your heart than I see no choice.
post #3 of 17
Since you have no history, if/when you bring Sammy home you'll need to run a senior bloodpanel. Remember - with age comes health issues, so Sammy could well be a very $ cat, do you have the finances?

I brought home a senior cat to a bunch of cats of all ages.....he was also older than what the vet intially said (not 13-15, but rather about 18). He was a fighter, so I had mega issues.

Can you find out if Sammy has ever lived with other cats or dogs? I know at the humane society here we have owners fill out a surrender form so we have basic info.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am fully prepared to financially put up with whatever this cat needs. She has previously lived with cats, however she has not lived with dogs. Bruno is a good boy, so I’m thinking unless this cat is hell bent on killing or being scared of dogs it should be alright. I have not read her full profile as of yet but will tonight when I get to the SPCA. My house also has room for multiple animals, so I am not worried about that.

I just feel so bad that she is in there. Seems so wrong that a senior has to live her days out at the SPCA. I have not developed a bond with this cat as I’ve barely even had any contact with her… it’s the age that gets me… I just feel horrible.

I have been watching her for 2 months… not visiting… just checking up on her by calling and checking the website. I am so afraid it will turn into a “Smokey†situation. I watched him for 2 months as well thinking if he didn’t get adopted I would take him in… well, I bonded with him, and they ended up putting him to sleep.

Thanks for all of your advice guys… its very helpful. I guess I’m just afraid no one will want a senior cat, and they will eventually put her down.
post #5 of 17
Realistically, no one will want a senior cat. *Most* cats can adjust to dogs, some never ever do. If you have the space/funds/time, I think you adopt her if you think it will work.

Do more checking into her history if you can. If you want to bounce ideas/concerns, I'm only a PM away, just make sure what you are doing is in the best interested of everyone (I've brought home cats I shouldn't have, like Bea....and my animals suffered to some extent)
post #6 of 17
Well, i can't tell you what to do but I know I would take the cat. It is sad that such an older cat is living in a cage when they should have a cozy bed and warm sun and be able to stretch and well....just be happy for as long as they have left! If you can give Sammy a nice home to live out her days I think you should.

I know I would. I believe as long as I 'can' I will. Right now I am at my limit...unfortunately!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
I think I have a great home to bring in an older cat. All of my boys are very laid back. I’m sure they will all hate her when she first arrives but she will have a big bedroom with a big bed that lays right under where the sun shines from a large window all day. I will plan on keeping her there for as long as possible with a baby gate until my boys settle down. I’m lucky with my guys that while they hate new situations (strays I have brought in and cared for) after only one day they usually settle down.

I was mistaken with one piece of information though. Its dogs she’s used to, not cats. From experience I know (at least with my experiences) that introducing cats to dogs is usually a lot easier then introducing cats to cats. I find cats aren’t as friendly as dogs. It’s usually easier with a friendly dog and a crusty cat as opposed to two crusty cats meeting.

I will go today and see how her and I get along… maybe drag my boyfriend with me… hes been waiting scared for this moment to come LOL. He REALLY does not want another cat… where as I can take another 5 and toss in a few more dogs Lol. I will have to try and hit his emotional side, and push aside his practical side (to him, more then two animals, even if you lived in a mansion, is not practical…and he’s afraid his friends will make fun of him…which of course I make fun of him for even saying that LOL).

Also… a girl!! I may actually have a girl in the house! LOL three boys and me is fun… but still a little baby girl would make me so happy.

Question though… how old is 13 in a cat? Compared to the average human… is it like 60 where your still young maybe a few problems, but your just not old yet… or is it like 90ish where you have more serious health problems? I’m just wondering what I am getting myself into.
post #8 of 17
I would ask if they know her history and get her.
My oldest cat is 16.5.
No one will want her because of her age.
I also have a 1 and 2 year old cat and a 8 year old cat.
They all get along.
post #9 of 17
No, its not 90ish. More like 60's-early 70's...but where you don't know her history it doesn't matter much. I lost my cat at 13 so...

But some kitties live to be 20,21...so you could have 7 yrs with the cutie!

She won't be a bother at all....especially if she has her own room. Just tell him she is "your" cat. Your "special" cat. Like taking in a grandma kitty...it's a good thing. Some men are complete softies inside and once they hold a cat fall in love. He may be suprised at how different she is from Bugsy and Capone...probably more mellow, and he may really love her.

I say a meet and greet would be a good idea!
post #10 of 17
I hope you take her in! I just lost my girl after more than 18 years together (she was almost 20 when she died), and at 13, she was in her prime! She didn't have any medical problems until she was about 17, and then she began failing slowly.

It sounds to me as though you can isolate this cat if she doesn't get along with your other cats, and I think anything would be preferable to ending her days in a shelter.
post #11 of 17
We have a lovable, 13-year-old lady at our shelter. I know how you feel. But we find the older cats usually get adopted, eventually. Especially since this one is declawed. She seems to be healthy, no problems in her cage, anyway.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok…well I went to go see Sammy today…and… oh my…is she ever a charmer! Her chart said she has been there since May, I asked one of the staff girls and she said two people were going to adopt her but changed their minds for a younger cat. She gets along well with people, dogs and children, has never been around cats. Her chart also said she was an indoor/outdoor cat… which will change.

I went to go see her and said hi, picked her up and immediately she started purring… what a cutie! Most of the cats at the SPCA hate being picked up but she just loved it. I took her to the “cat play room†and she got all playful attacking all the mice and strings, it was almost like she was a kitten. I brushed her, played with her and then she got tired and sat down beside me and fell asleep purring as I rubbed her neck. I don’t know if she was wearing a collar that was too tight for her but she has an indent in her neck that’s been there since may…maybe she lost hair there or something.

Some other volunteers wanted the cat room so I picked Sammy up and walked by two girls that were holding cats. Sammy just kind of looked at them and didn’t really care much.

So. In my mind it’s a yes. My boyfriend said we will talk about it tonight… wish me luck! She is such a cutie!

Also, question… She is 13 years old, I tried calling her name, Sammy, but she didn’t respond… would you change a 13 year old cats name? I will probably keep Sammy’s name…I was just curious.
post #13 of 17
Originally Posted by fifi1puss View Post
Well, i can't tell you what to do but I know I would take the cat. It is sad that such an older cat is living in a cage when they should have a cozy bed and warm sun and be able to stretch and well....just be happy for as long as they have left! If you can give Sammy a nice home to live out her days I think you should.

I know I would. I believe as long as I 'can' I will. Right now I am at my limit...unfortunately!

I agree. My Chynna is 16 1/2 years old and the thought of her ever being in a cage in a shelter shatters me. Yes, she has her senior issues, but she's such a lovable cat. Unfortunately if she were in a shelter, no matter how lovable she is, the chances of her being adopted would be slim to none.

Years ago I adopted a 10 year old female cat. I had her for 2 years and then had to have her PTS because of end stage renal failure, which was brought on by Whiska's canned cat food that I had been feeding her which made her very sick. She went down hill after that.

So if you have the time, the funds and the love to give this girl, then you should.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Update on Sammy

So, yesterday my boyfriend and I went to go visit Sammy so we could discuss bringing her home. Understandably my boyfriend wanted to meet her first… I wasn’t worried since I already knew she was a charmer. We decided if all went well, after our visit we would go buy the appropriate items (litter box, scratch post, dishes, etc.) and then go pick her up Saturday.

We arrived at the SPCA and noticed her cage was open and she was missing. I asked the staff girl where she was and she said a potential adopter had her upstairs. I saw an older lady coming down the stairs talking baby talk to something up the stairs. After a few seconds Sammy came waddling down the stairs and the lady picked her up and gave her 100 kisses and said, “ill take herâ€.

I am so happy! But I am so sad at the same time. I was really looking forward to getting another cat, especially a girl cat. Oh well, I am happy that she found a home… the lady looked really sweet and loving. My boyfriend said we should keep checking the site to make sure she isn’t returned and we can discuss it again then. Our town has stupid people…seems people get pets at the SPCA and a few months to a few years later return them because they had to move… I hate that… id say 40% of all pets there are returns.
post #15 of 17
Awww....that is sweet. I am glad she has a home now. You and your boyfriend get points for trying!
post #16 of 17
13 is old, but not super-old. My FIL is taking care of DH's 13 yr old cat (she's happier at his house with a deck), she's slower, but still active and a love. ---just read the update, good for Sammy!

Great of you for trying!
post #17 of 17
I'm glad Sammy found a home!

For reference about age, there's a chart in the examining room at our vet's office, that gives a rough guideline to cat age vs human age, and I've seen similar ones elsewhere. In some cases, they say the first year is equivalent to 15 human years, and the second to 9; in others they say the first year is equivalent to 16 and the second to 8. Either way, the first two years = roughly 24; beyond that they agree that it's roughly 4 human to one cat. So a useful formula is

[cat's age minus two] x4 plus 24

So, 13-2=11x4=44+24=68, and at that rate our Shasta made it to 100 -- she was 21 when she died. So, it's not unreasonable to expect that a 13 yo cat would still have some good years left, even if there were some health challenges, and that's not necessarily a given.
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