Older cats are sometimes overlooked in the adoption process, but one Reddit user has shared her journey to adopting her second, after being spurred on by the online community.
User “Bloodyfaucet” shared an image of their newly adopted 12-year-old cat Hermes, who had been in a shelter for six years.
“After the overwhelming support I got I realized older cats get adopted less than I thought. Here is 12-year-old Hermes who has lived in the shelter for six years. The lady started crying in joy when I said I wanted him,” they wrote in the past.
With 81,000 votes on it, the post was referring to the cat owner’s previous sharing of her recent adoption of a 10-year-old cat. The news was celebrated on Reddit, as people shared their own personal stories of adopting older cats over kittens.
Two days ago, the user shared an image of her other cat, writing: “Everyone adopts kittens, I adopted this 10-year-old boy so his last days were not in a cage.”
Although the news was posted just days ago, previous posts from the user suggest it was actually adopted far earlier.
Cats are reportedly considered “geriatric” from around 12 years, and are no longer classed a kitten after one. According to Spots.com’s 2021 pet adoption stats report, kittens are far favored by owners adopting from shelters, with 50.4 percent of the 1.1 million cats adopted in the U.S. in 2020 being kittens.
After posting her newly adopted cat, the Reddit user received an influx of comments telling similar stories of shelters with overlooked older cats—it’s this that inspired her to take in 12-year-old Hermes too.
“It’s true that senior cats spend more time in shelters than kittens. Adopters prefer kittens and young cats. Senior cats are often overlooked, even though it is much easier to judge the temperament of an older cat. Senior cats may also have health issues that make adopters hesitant. We should encourage and commend senior adoption. We need more people to consider opening their homes to senior cats and other senior pets,” wrote one user.
“I’ve also adopted two adult cats. First one was said to be either 7 or 12 years old. She definitely had some kind of genetic defect as she had wonky eyes and couldn’t breathe right. We had her for only 1.5 years but everyday we could see how thankful and happy she was to be with us. She was the sweetest and it was heartbreaking to lose her. Six months later we adopted a 4-year-old,” commented another user.
“People often tend to think that animals that have been in shelters have some behavioural issues due to that, but it’s not true at all. If you adopt an adult you know what you are getting, and they are so thankful,” wrote one individual.
The viral Reddit post is the latest in a good news week for elderly cat adoption, with a 101-year-old adopting the oldest cat in a shelter, as reported by Newsweek.
Penny and her family were on the lookout for a senior cat companion after her previous cat passed away.
“The adopter’s family contacted us asking to adopt a senior cat for their mother,” explained Jane Bower, the Humane Society of Catawba County’s (HSCC) executive director . “She had recently lost her cat and although they had given her a stuffed cat, she wasn’t happy because it didn’t purr.”
Gus, 19, was taken to the HSCC in North Carolina in the middle of September when his previous owner’s unforeseen work commitments meant they could no longer look after him.
“We were cautious because of the age of all parties but the family said they were willing to care for the cat on behalf of their mother,” said Bower.
She described the adoption as a “match made in heaven,” and explained that Gus has settled into his new home perfectly.