Should You Get a Kitten for Your Senior Cat?

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

If you have a senior cat who seems bored or lonely, you might be thinking about adopting a kitten to give them a feline companion. But is this a good idea?

Irina Kozorog/Shutterstock

What are some of the things to consider before making such a big decision? Continue reading for some information that can help ensure you’ll make the right choice.

A Kitten Might Cause Your Senior Cat to Feel Stressed

Even though you might assume that a kitten will make your cat happy or help them feel young again, the truth is a rambunctious kitty might stress out your senior, who likely just wants to take things easy and relax in a quiet and peaceful environment.

Older cats tend to be set in a routine that works for them, so introducing a cat of any age – but especially a kitten – may be nerve-wracking. After all, in addition to meeting someone new, your senior will need to adjust to a kitten who has seemingly endless amounts of energy and is always asking to play.

Adopt an Older Cat or a Pair of Kittens

A cat that’s as calm as your senior might be a better fit than a youngster who is under 1 year of age. So, in addition to considering your senior’s personality, the new cat’s age and personality are worth thinking about carefully too. Things might go more smoothly if you can find a kitty who is a good match for your senior based on their age, temperament, and energy level.

In other words, adopting an adult cat or another senior is an option. A cat who is closer in age to your senior might not be as stressful, but bear in mind that there are no guarantees. Or, if you must get a kitten, consider what their personality will probably be like once they outgrow the kitten stage.

Another option might be to adopt two kittens so they will be able to play with each other and keep each other company while leaving your senior cat alone to do their own thing. This arrangement might work out better for all of your kitties, but keep in mind that the kittens might still bother your senior cat every now and then if they want to play or practice their hunting and fighting skills.

No matter what, introduce your cats to one another gradually to help reduce the odds of conflicts and anxiety.

Your Senior Cat’s Needs Are Important

Remember, it’s wise to evaluate your senior’s personality, preferences, wants, and needs first. If your senior used to live with one or more cats and is missing the companionship, bringing home another feline might work out fine. On the other hand, if your senior has been living most or all of their life as the only cat in the house, they might not take well to sharing territory. Also, a new kitten will take up a lot of your attention, so you want to be sure that you’ll still be able to give your senior the care and affection they require.

Bottom line: there’s a lot to reflect on before bringing a kitten home to a senior cat. Carefully weigh the pros and cons so you can make the decision that will keep everyone happy.  

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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