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Are Cats Good Pets for Seniors?

are cats good pets for seniors? This senior woman loves her young cat!

Senior living communities are wonderful places to make new friends, discover worry-free living, and feel familial connections. At Westminster Place, residents find all of the above, and many actually do live here with a family member – whether it be a spouse or a pet!

We are a pet-friendly community that understands the importance of pet ownership for seniors – especially cat ownership. Cats are great for many reasons. Follow along below as we detail their benefits and ideal breeds for seniors.

The benefits of cats for seniors

1. They’re low-maintenance.

One of the best reasons for seniors to own a cat is because they require the bare minimum when it comes to caretaking. Cats don’t need to be walked or need to be taken outside to go to the bathroom. At a senior living community, they’ll always remain indoors, so you’ll never have to chase them around. You’ll be able to go about your routine just as your cat will – the only thing you’ll need to do is change their food, water, and litter box.

2. They can help improve mental health.

Having a cat cuddle up on your lap is a wonderful feeling. Their presence alone can help you feel more at ease and give you a sense of purpose in tending to their low-maintenance needs. You won’t feel as lonely, and you’ll certainly feel more comfortable having a cat around. Healthline shares studies that have proven that cat owners feel fewer negative emotions, too!

3. They provide the perfect amount of affection and companionship.

The good nature and even temperament of cats can be just what you need after a long day or in times of stress. You can always count on them to be there without being too overwhelming, which is why they make great therapy pets.

4. They can help lower blood pressure, plus other health benefits.

The long-term health benefits of having a cat are reason enough to bring your current or brand-new feline along with you to Westminster Place. In conjunction with their mental health benefits, their relaxing presence can lower heart rate, cholesterol, and blood pressure, which throughout the aging process, is very important (Cleveland HeartLab).

persian cat looking out a window. Persian cats are some of the best cat breeds for seniors

The best cats for seniors

Now that you understand the many benefits that come with seniors owning a cat, you may be wondering if there are specific breeds that are easier to manage than others. The short answer is yes. Here are our tips and recommendations for cat breeds to own – or not own – later in life:

  • Go with an adult cat, not a kitten. They are easier to take care of.
  • You may think the opposite considering their name, but British Shorthairs, American Shorthairs, and any other short-haired cats actually shed more than long-haired ones. 
  • Persian cats are known to be the perfect mix of playful and low-maintenance and love cuddling up to their owners.
  • Russian Blue cats also make a great choice for a pet. They are known to be very sweet, loyal, and highly intelligent. 

Live your best life at Westminster Place, with your cat in tow.

Each day at our senior living community in Evanston, Illinois, brings joy – and life is that much sweeter with a cat (or dog!) by your side. Schedule your personal tour of Westminster Place today, and see how you and your pet can enjoy the next phase of life together, met with convenient services and amenities, wellness programming, and more opportunities to live your best life.