Have you ever noticed the older cats at the local humane society? Cats love to put on a show when you show up, almost like they are saying "pick me"!. They parade back and forth in their kennels, especially the younger kittens.
(This is my cat "HOMER" totally at ease in the vacation trailer)
But bringing home an older cat can be just as rewarding. The kittens tend to be the first to go, and why not? They are cute and cuddly, and you get to start their life with them almost from the beginning. Where as older cat behavior, is different. They will sometimes parade a bit, but usually just sit there and meow. They don't tend to put on the same show for you as the younger cats.
But as a cat owner for many years, I can tell you I will pick an older cat over a kitten any day. Yes, you don't know the history, but you can tell fairly quickly if you are going to bond with this older cat.
Most animal protection or humane societies, will have an area in their building where you can "check out" your older cat and see their behavior. Cats, like most pets are not very good with change, so even when you have decided to take this older cat home, there are going to be a few adjustments.
When we brought home our older cat, all they had was an estimate of his age. The tag said age 3 - 5 years old. He was pure white, and beautiful, but very aloof in his kennel. All the other cats were meowing and putting on their parade, and this cat, just sat and stared at me!
I took him into an area to see how his behavior was, and he came up to me and rubbed up against my arm, and I was hooked! So, after the questions, and adoption procedures, we took him home.
But the first thing he did when we got home was find a bed to run under. He was terrified. So, for that first night, I put his litter box beside this bed he chose to hide under, I looked under the bed and said goodnight, and left him there. He had been under there for about 4 hours.
During the night, he decided to do some exploring. By morning, I found him at the bottom of my bed!
So, the next day, I showed him where the litter box would be, and where his food bowl was, and just let him explore.
Older cat behavior is a bit different from kittens. They may need more time to adjust and explore, but they are already calmer, they don't need to climb the curtains or shred the couch. We received many cat tips from the animal shelter. The best tip, was to let them explore.
We became good buddies by day, and after about a week, it was like he had always lived there.
Although the shelter had given him all his shots, it was suggested that I take him to my own vet. But I decided to wait about a month, to let him get adjusted. This worked best, as I didn't want him to remember his first days in a strange place and then being dragged to a vets office.!
Older cat behavior, is different from raising kittens, it is calmer, and they just want to find a spot to snuggle up in.
After that first night, the end of my bed was him home for many years. We were never really sure just how old he was, maybe closer to the 5 year mark, as he was a very calm cat, but he lived another 12 healthy years and had found his forever home with us.
So, don't overlook older cats, they are great, especially if you don't have the energy to chase a kitten around, or pluck one off of your curtains! They will get adjusted and then they will find you and you may end up with a great lap cat!
Give an older cat a forever home.