Lifestyle | pets

Why You should Adopt an Older Cat (& What to Know Before Bringing Them Home)

Thinking about adding a new “fur-baby” to your family? I’ve got some great reasons why you should consider adopting an older cat (and what you should know before bringing them home.)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rachael Ray Nutrish. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Why You should Adopt an Older Cat (and what to know before them home)

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ve probably seen we have a new “guest star” in some of our photos.  We adopted a new family member, Callie.  She’s the sweetest kitty and the perfect addition to our family.  Callie is an older cat, I know people love the idea of adopting a kitten, but there are so many great reasons to adopt an older cat too.

Older cats are generally more laid back. Where kittens are rambunctious and full of energy, older cats tend to be less active. This doesn’t mean that they’re boring, of course. Chances are they’ll still love to play and run around – they’ll just be ready to take a nap after. Plus, they’ve likely outgrown any “bad” habits, like making a mess of the litter or scratching furniture.

Every cat has a different personality. When you adopt a kitten, you really have no idea what their personality will turn out to be.  An older cat will have already have their personality established. If you tell the worker at the adoption shelter what you’re looking for in your new pet, they can help you find the best match.  Like our sweet Callie, she’s just so affectionate and loves to be petted and scratched behind her ears.  She’ll even do all the work.  If you hold out your hand or brush, she will pet herself!

The best part about adopting an older cat is that you’re probably saving a life. It’s an unfortunate truth that older pets are the least likely to be adopted. Many families adopting want the cute and cuddly kittens and overlook the adult animals. By adopting an older cat, you are giving them a second chance at having a loving family.

There are a few things to keep in mind and have ready for when you bring home your new pet.

1. Be aware of any health issues. Most adoption shelters offer complete health checks on all of their animals. Make sure to ask for the complete results to be aware of any past or present issues. An existing medical problem doesn’t mean the cat can’t be adopted – in fact, it’s even more likely you’ll be the cat’s last chance – but it is important to be aware of any special needs.

2. Have a feeding area set up with food and water ready, away from the litter box. When it comes to selecting a cat food, you’ll want to choose a high-quality brand with natural ingredients.  A great choice for adult cats is the Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Recipe.  Our cats seem to love the taste and the recipe contains a superfood blend to meet the complete needs of adult cats.  (The Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Recipe has farm-raised chicken as the #1 ingredient, plus real salmon.  The lentils are full of fiber and protein that helps support healthy metabolism and optimal body weight, plus there are added antioxidants, vitamins, minerals & taurine. You want your new cat to thrive in your home and a healthy cat starts with healthy food.

A portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation, which helps animals in need through Rachael’s Rescue.  (Rachael’s Rescue® was created for all of the forgotten pets – the ones who might not have someone who loves them as much as they deserve and has donated more than $17.5 million dollars to pet charities and other organizations that do good for animals.)

You can find Rachel Ray Nutrish Cat Food at most major grocery stores or wherever else you shop for your pet.

3. Create a safe haven for your new cat. Many plants are poisonous to animals. Remove plants or flowers that could harm your cat.

It’s so important for your kitty to feel safe and they love to curl up in small places to “get away from it all”.  You can provide a covered cat bed from the store or easily create a safe haven for your new cat out of a box or other recycled materials.

My kids went all out with our leftover moving boxes and created the ultimate “Indoor Jungle” so  Callie would feel safe and at home.  It took her a few days to check it out, but now she sleeps in it all the time!

Need a few more ideas to create an indoor jungle for your cat?  Be sure to check out these creative HGTV videos featuring design solutions for your cat.

4. Not every cat wants to cuddle. Despite all of the memes, not every cat is ready to be cuddled every second of every day. While older cats are mellower and generally happy to lay around, don’t assume that they will want to be held all day. This is an important topic to bring up when discussing the personality at the shelter, particularly if you’re bringing the cat to a home with kids.

Now it’s your turn, have you ever adopted an older pet?  How did it go? Share your stories in the comments below!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rachael Ray Nutrish. The opinions and text are all mine.