As a senior or retiree, you may well find yourself living on your own, for various reasons. It’s something that frees up the space for a little more company, and what better company could you possibly have than an inquisitive cat? The relationship between the human being and the cat is one that goes back millennia, and readers of the Ask Granny grandparents blog may just find that they provide the perfect companionship for those long and lonely days and nights – but it’s also important to recognise just what a significant commitment cat ownership is.
With cats generally living for about 14 years – although some live significantly longer – it’s fair to say that owning a cat is a long-term commitment, and you’ll need to think carefully about taking on that commitment before doing so. Obviously, being allergic to cats is one reason to avoid getting one, but you might also have other pets that would not get along well with a cat. Do you also have the time to maintain and entertain a cat? It may seem obvious that many readers of this grandparents journal would, but longer-haired cats require daily grooming, with a lot of vacuuming of the floor being required!
In addition, you may intend to keep your cat indoors, in which case, you will need to be able to give them plenty of attention. Consider, too, any children who may come into direct contact with your cat, and the experience that they have with cats, including respecting their space when they have had enough attention. If you intend to allow your cat outside, consider the safety of the wider environment – do you live somewhere rural allowing them to roam relatively freely, or is our house on an unsafe busy road?
Any reader of this senior citizens guide who has previously or currently owns a cat won’t need too many reminders of the many elements of responsible cat ownership, ranging from healthcare and vaccinations to feeding them well and giving them sufficient stimulation – not to mention, most importantly of all, lots of love and affection. You’ll need to be willing to have a litter tray in your house, possibly fit a cat-flap to the door and consider whether you’d prefer a kitten, which will require a lot of your time and attention, or an older, more placid cat.
Clearly, many decisions need to be made before you actually purchase a cat. For all of the duller duties, though, ranging from cleaning the litter tray after every use of it by the cat, to regularly replenishing its water (cats are fussy – they don’t drink dirty water!), we can’t neglect to mention that cat ownership is also hugely fun and rewarding. We’d recommend it to every reader of the Ask Granny grandparents guide who is curious about it, as long as they have the time and resources to make their cat’s life as happy and as fulfilling as possible.