Senior people adopting kitten

Hellenww

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Friends of mine lost their 2 senior cats and are ready to adopt. They are seniors themselves and want a bonded kitten pair. They have been denied because of their ages. On rescue suggested they shouldn't have kittens underfoot and should adopt an older cat. This couple have done all kinds of rescues in their life so have adopted all ages in the past but have their hearts set on kittens.

They have a plan in place if they pass before their animals or need physical assistance with care in their own home at some point. They are both healthy and agile and expect to be for years to come.

I'm not sure what kind of advise I'm looking for to help them.
 

FeebysOwner

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I guess, first off, have your friends continue to call around to find a rescue center or shelter that does not strictly adhere to such a 'rule'. They may also ask about providing proof that they have made arrangements for the care of the pet they are interested in (trust, adult child, etc.).

Secondly, I found this article interesting - maybe your friends should share it with these places who have denied them?
Animal Shelters Say "No Puppies or Kittens for the Elderly!" | Psychology Today

Lastly, your friends may want to check into local statutes to determine if such a denial is even legitimate/legal.
 

artiemom

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I know the rescue I volunteered with, did not allow seniors to adopt kittens. If they insisted on adopting, then a younger family member, had to come forward, stating that they would take care of the kitten/young cat, if anything happened to the adopter. They stronger pushed for seniors to adopt an adult cat. ....

I just know in here, that seniors, especially those how have walkers, and motorized scooters are not safe with a kitten. I was surprised how many of them want kittens. Yes, they are cute, but just think of the calamities which can occur.

And let's face it. Cats do require care.. litter box cleaning, etc..

I am now in that 'Senior" category. I do not know if I could handle a kitten or even handle adopting again... wanting, but being practical..
 
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Hellenww

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Thank you I will pass the article on. They have included their plans in all applications. I'm would be the cats person if needed and agreed to have my name given to the rescues along with any info from me a rescue would like. I am in my mid 50s so 10-15yrs younger than them.
 

Margot Lane

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Have they included $ for you for the kitten’s future food, litter and vet bills? Kind of am agreeing w/ Artie on this one: being the youngest I have had to take care of Zorro for a good long expensive time b/c my siblings wouldn’t and my father couldn’t. I adore him, but it ain’t cheap and there have been many medical surprises along the way. If you are to be its future owner, I would almost demand it have pre paid insurance. Could they maybe be interested in fostering a cat? That would give them a whole range of joys, plus you get $ I think to help foster the cats.
 
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Hellenww

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Medical insurance is one of the reasons for choosing kittens. Most insurance have clauses about pre-existing conditions and with older rescues there could be denials because of incomplete medical histories. Food and litter I can handle even prescription diets.
 

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FeebysOwner

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I just know in here, that seniors, especially those how have walkers, and motorized scooters are not safe with a kitten. I was surprised how many of them want kittens. Yes, they are cute, but just think of the calamities which can occur...They stronger pushed for seniors to adopt an adult cat. ....
I understand there can be situations that need treated on a case-by-case basis, but that is just it - case-by-case, not by some arbitrary age number.

Do these places deny a young physically disabled person from adopting a kitten? I suspect not. If they do question it, they likely allow it when the person can provide proof of support/back-up.

These places also don't apparently care about senior cats acquiring aliments that require extra care, also potentially placing un-due burden on the senior human caretaker. What about senior caretakers who have something happen to them and the senior cat has to be re-homed again???

Screening adoptees is logical and appropriate - for all kinds of reasons - but what isn't, is using some assumptive age number as a basis for denial.
 

cataholic07

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It would not just be if they have a plan in place if they no longer can care for them but also if they can handle their energy level. The rescue I volunteer with has had many kittens returned as older kittens or young adult cats because of them getting into so much trouble. Kittens have a ton of energy and even a pair of kittens still requires a lot of playtime. Otherwise, they destroy stuff lol. What about a pair of adult cats? 3-4 years old? Still young enough to be playful but usually not over the top playful. Everyone loves kittens but they really get into a ton of trouble lol.
 

FeebysOwner

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It would not just be if they have a plan in place if they no longer can care for them but also if they can handle their energy level. The rescue I volunteer with has had many kittens returned as older kittens or young adult cats because of them getting into so much trouble. Kittens have a ton of energy and even a pair of kittens still requires a lot of playtime. Otherwise, they destroy stuff lol. What about a pair of adult cats? 3-4 years old? Still young enough to be playful but usually not over the top playful. Everyone loves kittens but they really get into a ton of trouble lol.
Kittens are returned by younger people also. We see comments like that on this site all the time. Again, cannot assign an arbitrary age requirement - it unto itself does not really mean much. Case-by-case - and no one can assume that a younger person is any more equipped to handle a kitten than an older person.
 

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A woman I met at my exercise class adopted two kittens at 83 years old from a state run shelter. She loved them to pieces and did a great job socializing them. She expressed to me (she knew I volunter at a rescue) that she worried because they ran up/down the stairs as she walked up/down the stairs. One day she came into the gym and asked me if I would take the kittens immediately. She expressed that if she tripped, not only would she be hurt but what would happen to the kittens? I assume there had been a near accident. She did not want to return them to the state run shelter as she questioned their judgement. I took the kittens now 6 months old into my home as fosters. I controlled the adoption and gave her final refusal. A nice family with a 12 year old boy adopted the kittens within a week and a half. (Did I mention she had done a great job with them?) The family keeps in touch with her by texting pictures.

It's not that an older person wouldn't make a great pet parent but there are realities to consider. In my opinion a 5 or 6 year old settled cat would be a better option. I am 73 and quite active, but I would not consider adopting a kitten.
 

neely

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This is really a tough question and I see both sides of the problem. If the elderly couple is having trouble adopting a pair of kittens could they go to a shelter where they've adopted before? Although my husband and I are not youngsters we are in the seasoned age group and have adopted both dogs and cats from a particular shelter where we still visit and make donations, both monetary and food items. Some of the staff/volunteers know us and I'm sure would be open to letting us adopt a young cat. I have to admit we would not want a kitten since kittens tend to get adopted quickly and the adult cats usually, although not always, take longer to find a home. I wish your friends the best of luck and will be curious to hear what transpires with their search. Please keep us updated.
 

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Perhaps joining a local, informal rescue group would be a better answer. There might be kittens currently with no options but to remain outside- surely those kittens would be better off with an elderly couple who have considered the risks and benefits for kittens to live with them versus the perils of the outdoors..
The best feral feeders in my area are an elderly couple of similar age. They attend to feeding stations every day, no matter the weather. The man designs and makes wonderful cat shelters and feeding stations. They do TNR on their own and rescue kittens when they can.. They have the resources of time, money and are unfettered by family obligations so are able to do a superior job. The alternate feeders have work and families so the ferals get canned food on top of kibble that soon degrades into a maggot- infested mess and water dishes are often dirty. It's up to the elderly people to clean and change dishes daily. Myself, now also "north 65" , am out of the picture due to family issues and I have relocated as many ferals to my family property as I can handle.
 
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Hellenww

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They've received another denial and taking a break. She's a retired vet tech and he's retired law enforcement and most of their previous cats came to them through their jobs. Many were "unadoptable" and became social and happy with them. I feel their frustration. Animals find their humans so I hope they are found by some special ones.
 

LTS3

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What about fostering cats for a local shelter instead of adopting one (or two....)? Do shelters and rescues have any restrictions on the max age a foster parent can be?
 

theyremine

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I think fostering might be a great option. We have no age restriction. There are requirements such as having a separate room to keep the fosters. And of course, you must be physically able to care for the kittens. Kittens are in short supply here and are usually adopted out between 3 and 3 1/2 months so there would not be the issue of older kitten craziness.
 

fionasmom

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There are some odd restrictions around here as well, in some shelters and rescues, like no puppies/kittens to single people. I hope that your friends can find whatever they want in some other way.

I believe this really is case by case. To me, the clincher is that they turned down a retired vet tech....like that did not cancel out the age issue? And having a plan in place was not sufficient either?
 

maggie101

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When my cats pass,hopefully never, I plan to foster. Older you get,more likely to have medical issues. As long as they have back up incase something happens to them and are able to play with a kitten,get on the floor, why not? I sprained my ankle bad last year. It would not be good if I were senior. It would take me longer to recover. My cat was stressed because I could not spend time with her so she started having medical issues
 
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