A Cat Is Where It’s At: Pets for the Elderly

International Cat Day is celebrated every August, and it’s the ideal time to consider whether a cat might be a good addition to your elderly loved one’s home. Numerous studies show that living with a pet can provide many benefits to a senior’s life, both psychologically and physically. As a family caregiver, it’s going to take some serious thought and a commitment to be the backup person responsible for a new cat. For most people, the benefits far outweigh any inconveniences.


Home Health Care in Vaughan: Elderly Pet Choices

Home Health Care in Vaughan: Elderly Pet Choices


Pets Help Elderly People in Many Ways

The psychological value of having a pet in someone’s life is clear and for seniors, there’s no doubt that a feline companion helps to reduce loneliness and depression. Owning a cat can also help seniors feel less isolated and more satisfied with their lives. Even seniors that have reduced mobility and are dependent on family caregivers and elder care assistants will find that the opportunity to care for a cat boosts their feelings of independence and self-reliance.

Researchers now know that owning a pet provides physical benefits as well. Elderly people with animal companions are more likely to have less stress and the physical symptoms associated with it. Seniors may also be able to reduce their blood pressure when they have a pet. They may even use medical services far less frequently than non-pet owners. Petting a cat releases a feel-good hormone known as oxytocin, which triggers feelings of happiness, relief, and trust.


Tips on Choosing the Right Cat

Elderly people may fall in love with a cute kitten, but that may not be the right match for their pet needs. In fact, many seniors find that an adult cat is a much better fit for what they need in a pet.


Here are a few reasons why family caregivers and elderly people should consider choosing an adult cat to adopt:

-They are already litterbox trained so there will be few to no accidents.

-Adult cats already have their full teeth and have worked out their clawing and scratching, so they won’t destroy things like kittens do.

-They are more relaxed and prefer to cuddle and nap, while kittens are much more rambunctious.

-Adult cats can take care of themselves when it comes to dogs, children and unwanted attention. Usually, they just find a hiding place until they are ready to come out again.

-Their personality is already evident so it’s easier to match up whether or not their behavior will fit their new home.

-Adopting an adult cat helps out the community because too many languish in shelters just waiting for a home of their own and a person to lavish all their love and attention on.


Cats can be wonderful companions and friends for elderly people that are somewhat homebound and rely on family caregivers and elder care assistance from others. Because they can’t get out as often as they would like, seniors need a pet that doesn’t demand a lot of activity but still provides them with love and affection. Even though International Cat Day has already passed, family caregivers may consider whether adopting an adult cat could be an opportunity to bring in some love and joy into their elderly loved one’s life.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering home health care in Vaughan, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.




About Susan Di Michele

We have a team of dedicated healthcare professionals. We strongly believe in improving health and wellness of individuals, their families, and communities. Through nurturance, gentleness and compassion, our team strives to shine a light on what it takes to be role models of caring practice.
Our mission is to support a society in which respect for the rights and dignity of people is a practical reality in all areas of life, where discrimination is a thing of the past, and where a positive view of ill and aging people prevails. We strive to ensure that every individual is informed, supported and encouraged to embrace a lifestyle that has continued meaning, purpose and value. Together these actions genuinely empower and respect individuals’ abilities to make independent choices based on their personal interests, capacities and needs.
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