In this post you’ll discover some of the best cat breeds for seniors. As a retiree you’ll have more time for pets, and a cat is the perfect choice! Whether you’re fit and well or have mobility issues owning a cat has so many benefits.
You may even be considering one as a companion for an older relative. Depression and loneliness are common in the elderly, and having another living being to care for can be a real boost.
Owning a cat gives you a purpose. They’re dependent on you for food and shelter, so no laying in bed feeling sorry for yourself! Also, cats are great listeners and give you someone to talk to.
With recent lockdown measures during Covid many older people have become very isolated. If you haven’t seen your family for weeks or months on end, loneliness can be a big issue.
Living with a cat can also make you feel relaxed and far less stressed. A pet gives you a purpose, which is great if you’re a senior living alone. Even simple tasks such as feeding a cat, grooming her and cleaning the litter box can make you feel needed.
On the whole, cats are low maintenance and far easier to care for than dogs. However, some breeds are of a higher maintenance, requiring regular grooming. This may not be a problem if you don’t mind the extra work, but is something that needs to be considered.
Finding your ideal feline companion
You’ll find plenty to choose from, but finding one that meets your needs is important. Older cats are often a better choice for seniors as they have less energy. An older cat will also sleep for much of the day and probably be content to spend time curled up on your lap.
Younger cats are often bundles of energy, darting everywhere and chasing anything in sight! While this is fine if you’re quick on your feet, if you have poor balance you could easily trip and fall.
If you’re getting a cat for an elderly relative this is something you must think about. In addition, shorthaired cats often need very little grooming, whereas fluffy ones can be a lot more work as previously mentioned.
Choosing the best breed for you.
Some of the best cat breeds for seniors include Russian Blue, Ragdoll, Persian, Scottish Fold, Snowshoe, and domestic short or longhair. All are gentle and easygoing, making them an ideal choice. The Ragdoll is a giant of a cat but extremely loving with a gentle nature.
If you’re ok with regular grooming and don’t mind dealing with shed loads of hair, this breed could be perfect for you. Ragdolls are noted for their lazy and idle nature. You won’t find this breed jumping around and running all over the place.
If your balance isn’t great this could be a good choice. These kitties love nothing better than being held or sitting on your lap.
Another one of the best cat breeds for seniors is the Persian. A very fluffy long haired cat that requires a lot of grooming, but still makes an ideal pet. They have a very quiet, gentle nature as well as being affectionate.
Providing you’re ok with brushing your cat every day you’ll be a good fit. However, if you have any mobility issues that make it difficult to use your hands you could always try a grooming glove or slicker brush.
Short haired breeds
If you can’t face the idea of brushing a cat every day and dealing with shedding, you may find a short haired breed is better for you. There are plenty to choose from, and the following are all great with seniors.
The Russian Blue is a cat with a very quiet and gentle temperament. They thrive in calm and stable environments, so perfect for older people living alone.
In addition, this breed is one of the most hypoallergenic you can get, so great news if you suffer from allergies. Russian Blues have less Fel d 1, a protein responsible for cat allergies.
Another great breed for seniors is the Snowshoe. This cat bears a striking resemblance to the Siamese and is a close relative.
They have a docile and affectionate nature, so a perfect fit if for an older person. Snowshoes hate being alone so if you’re at home all day you’re a good match.
Be warned though, they are very vocal and like to make themselves heard! However, Snowshoes aren’t as noisy as the Siamese. This is good news if you live in sheltered housing with other senior neighbours. A noisy cat could prove unpopular, and at least the snowshoe is a bit quieter!
Also, another very friendly and affectionate breed of cat is the Scottish Fold. They love being around people, and once you’ve bonded with a Scottish Fold you’ll be their favourite human for life.
If you’re an older person you’ll find this breed easy to look after. While they have lots of energy, they’re not over energetic which is ideal.
Scottish Fold cats love to play, and enjoy problem solving games. However, they’re not over demanding, and very easy going. Spending time playing with a cat each day will certainly ease any loneliness.
The British Shorthair is a beautiful cat that’s playful, and just like the Scottish Fold, isn’t over demanding. This heavily built breed is not very active and prefers snoozing on your lap to chasing around. As kittens they’re very playful but quieten down as they reach adulthood.
If you are a senior or considering a cat for an older person then this is a good breed. As they’re fine at amusing themselves and don’t need a lot of grooming, they’re very easy to care for.
Lastly, the moggy or mixed breed is a perfect choice for both young and old. Most are quite laid back especially in their senior years, and can provide a long lasting friendship.
You’ll have no problem finding mixed breed cats as your local shelter will have plenty on offer! It’s always a good idea to spend time looking at resident cats before making a decision though.
Ask about individual personalities and history. Also, consider a senior kitty as many get overlooked. Whether you opt for a long hair or short haired cat you’ll have a loving companion for many years to come.
Things to consider
Before you get a cat there are some things you need to consider. Firstly, you may be a very active senior and like many these days enjoy traveling. If this is you then think about who will look after your cat when you’re away.
If you have family that’s great, otherwise your only other option would be to get a pet sitter or use boarding kennels. In addition, some breeds of cat hate being alone and pine when their owners go on vacation.
If you have arthritis in your hands you may find it difficult to brush a cat, so if this is the case avoid long haired cats. However, if you’re able to put a grooming glove on, you may still be ok. Though not the same as using a traditional brush, they are a very useful tool.
Think about your mobility. If you’re fit and active, great! However, if you need a walker to get around, or easily knocked off balance, pay careful attention to breed and temperament. A Snowshoe, or Persian are good choices, as well as the British Shorthair
In some cases, a cat may not be suitable at all. For example a senior with very fragile skin could easily get hurt if scratched. Also, an elderly person who’s bedridden would be unable to look after a cat unless they had a full time carer.
Another thing to consider is if you died who would look after your cat? If you’re a senior in your 70s or 80s this is definitely something you should think about. If you have a family I’m sure this wouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re alone you may want to make provisions.
I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering some of the cat breeds for seniors, and that it’s inspired you. Whether you’re of an older age or you have an elderly relative that needs company, any one of these breeds would be a good choice.
If you enjoyed this post please share. Also, if you have any questions or would like to share your experiences, please leave your comment below:)
Wishing you a purrfect day:)