As a shelter volunteer, I hear many reasons why people don’t want to adopt a senior* cat. Expensive medical bills are a valid concern, as is knowing the pain of loss will come sooner with an older cat, but when someone tells me “kittens are cuter”,  I have to disagree. Senior cats have their own special beauty, and when they run and play, it fills the heart with joy.

Tyler has been with me for eight weeks now. If you’ve been following his story on my Facebook page, you know I adopted him June 1st from the Oregon Humane Society. I chose him because he was 18, and I just couldn’t leave an 18-year-old cat in the shelter.


I was concerned about Tyler getting along with Little, my senior female who has ruled the house for nine years. Another objection I hear about adopting a senior cat is that they are stuck in their ways. So when I brought big old Tyler home, I did everything I could to make his introduction peaceful. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. Tyler respects Little’s space and lets her taunt him mercilessly. They play together and ignore each other the rest of the time. It’s perfect!

Tyler at the vet.

Soon after I adopted Tyler came the requisite first vet visit. It’s especially important with a senior to have an ongoing relationship with a vet, and we love ours. Though Tyler is shy of new situations, our doctor made him feel welcome and safe. She did a thyroid test because Tyler gets extremely hyper, racing around more like a kitten than a geriatric old man, but the results were fine. He was otherwise in good health as well. Yay!

Tyler’s shelter photo.

I have to wonder how Tyler lived before he came to OHS, what sort of home he had for those eighteen years. OHS received no information as to where he came from, just that he arrived at the shelter sick and with every sort of parasite imaginable. If I were a cat psychic, I could divine what had happened for him to come to such a state. Then again maybe I don’t want to know.


Tyler has made himself at home. He sits with me on the couch, and even jumps up there when I’m walking by as if to say, “I’m waiting…”. He is a basic cat: play, eat, sleep, love, all of which he does with true gusto. He is an absolute joy and I treasure every minute we spend together.

Yes, he will have vet bills and I will need to meet them on a limited budget.

Yes, he will cross the Rainbow Bridge someday, and I will cry and crochet a memorial blanket.

No, he wasn’t set in his ways. Just the opposite- he fits in like he’s been with us forever

No, (in my biased opinion) there isn’t a kitten around who is cuter than my big tabby boy.

Do you have a senior cat, and if so, did you adopt him that way? I love to hear stories about these often forgotten matriarchs and patriarchs of the feline world.

*”Senior” is usually defined as 10 years and above.




About Mollie Hunt

Loves cats. Writes books.
This entry was posted in Animal Shelters, Cats and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Aw, I’m so happy Tyler found a good home to spend his remaining years! I was fortunate to have some kitties who lived very long lives. My dear Annie was a beautiful Siamese I got as a kitten. She lived with us over 20 years, and was very healthy almost to the end. I knew when it was time to let her go and will never forget her sweet companionship! I would definitely adopt a senior if circumstances allowed. Tiger will be a senior in the next year or so and Benji is still a youngster under 2. I hope they both live long, long lives!

  2. Allison says:

    Our first cat was of unknown age when she came into our life. One vet told us just a few years and another told us several years. At any rate, Lucy was well-past the kitten stage.

    She changed my life and now we have three cats. They’re all younger. We started out by wanting a young cat, so that we could know the whole cat experience. The other two were unexpected choices.

    In answer to your question, I guess we have yet to adopt a senior cat. However, I have adopted two senior dogs in my life. From that experience, I would agree that time with older animals might be short but it’s oh so very worth it.

    • Mollie Hunt says:

      Yes, senior dogs give the same experience. And there is nothing wrong with adopting younger pets. We got Little when she was 2 and it’s been so rewarding to have lived with her all this time. (She’s 11 now)

  3. 15andmeowing says:

    I am so glad you gave this sweet boy a forever home.

  4. Robin says:

    Tyler sounds like such a wonderful cat! I agree that he is as cute as a kitten. He was meant to be with your family. It is awesome that he gets along so well with Little. Cats know good people when they meet them. 🙂 Senior cats are special in their own way.

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