Cats make excellent companions for seniors, especially those living on their own. Having another fun, loving little personality around the home can make the difference between a good day and a bad day. Their devotion and curiosity make them ideal emotional companions while their associated maintenance is much lower than some other pets (example: cats don’t need to be taken for walks). They also sleep on average 15 hours a day, with some sleeping for longer than that, and even a half-hour a day of play is enough to keep them satisfied.
Beyond their low maintenance, there are a few truly great reasons behind their making excellent roommates for the aging population.
There are numerous studies showing a correlation between seniors who live with pets having lower blood pressure and cholesterol than those living without. This results in fewer doctor’s visits, psychological stress, anxiety, and a lower heart rate. While cats may not be 100% directly responsible for all these things, they contribute to a home life that sets the stage for a healthier person, mentally and physically. That is the power of love!
It has been proven through research that when a person bonds with an animal, there is a chemical reaction in the brain that lowers their stress. This is one of the primary reasons in the case for owning a pet, at any age. Stress is dangerous to our health, and not being able to disarm ourselves of that stress can lead to a host of other health issues, and in some cases, leading to an early death.
Additionally, while not able to replace the loss of a loved one, a cat can make an excellent partner for a senior who has recently experienced loss, and depression as well. Cats don’t judge us the same way other humans do, and they will always be down for a cuddle.
For someone who feels they don’t have enough daily activity, a cat can help provide that. The routine maintenance required to keep a cat happy includes scooping their litter, petting, playtime, feeding and watering. Cats also aren’t shy about interacting with their owners and will seek them out when they want something. For a person who feels as if they’ve lost their routine, or are looking for more, cats can be a great way to provide that!
Cats are great because they can live a completely satisfying life indoors. While some may prefer to go outside, many are fine with not doing so. Their happiness truly is linked to yours, and they remember kindness and reciprocate later. As an animal companion, for someone who may have limited ability to get out of the house, the indoor cat is absolutely ideal.
At the end of the day, a cat is an ideal partner for someone living on their own, especially in their senior years. The companionship, loyalty, low maintenance, and sheer love for their owners are what separates them from the rest. If you’re interested in finding a cat for your home or the home of a loved one, talk to the staff at Hervey Cats.