Should you adopt an older cat?
That’s a rhetorical question, of course. Shelters are overflowing with older cats in need of a loving home.
There are many reasons to adopt an older cat, but this story is about just one special guy who will make you think twice if you have your heart set on a kitten. If you’ve been browsing local animal shelters looking for the right animal companion for you and tend to overlook an older cat fearing the possible reasons they were brought to the shelter at such an age in the first place, read on.
The Trouble with Tribble
I was visiting my friend, Kimm, over Thanksgiving and met her glorious cat named Tribble. If the name conjures the adorable fluffballs purring and chirping all over Kirk and crew on Star Trek, then you already have an idea why this cat is so unique.
Tribble has the cutest purr in the world. A sweet, sing-song trill that is both amusing and heartening, especially considering it emanates from an 18-pound male who wants nothing but love and treats. Watch the video below to hear his entrancing sound (forgive the background noises of the Thanksgiving party):
Tribble was 7 years old when Kimm and her husband adopted him last year (along with a sweet 9-month-old tortie named Turtle). She admits she was hoping to adopt younger cats, but says she didn’t really have a choice.
“They chose us, really,” Kimm told me, a familiar refrain uttered by many of us who have adopted those shelter cats who seemed to respond to our energy, meowing and pawing through their cages. Prior to that Tribble was twice-adopted from the shelter and returned. Kimm explains:
He was in the first home for three years before his owner died. Was returned to the shelter for a few months before being adopted by a family with four small children. They terrorized him for three or so years and he did not like that. He retaliated which did not please the mother. He was returned again. One of the provisos of us adopting him was that he was going into a calm home. Tribble was their favourite cat in the shelter. He chirps like a cricket and is super friendly. He was also the “test cat” when introducing new dogs into the shelter. If Tribble was cool with them they were then deemed cat-friendly.
Thankfully, Tribble got along well with his newly adopted sister, Turtle, after she was spayed and brought home a week later. Kimm followed standard procedure in introducing cats by letting them get acquainted through the bedroom door. She states bluntly of Tribble: “[h]e was a bit of a territorial asshole in the beginning but that was short lived. They are the best of friends now.”
An Older Cat Can Teach You New Things
There are a few things I took away from Kimm’s story:
- Tribble was always a great cat, just not a great cat for everyone
- Older cats can be just as social and bonded with you as the kittens you raise yourself
- Never underestimate what an older cat can bring to your life
- Children need to be taught how to properly treat and respect cats. They’re not dogs, people!
Tribble will turn 9 – that’s 52 in cat years – on December 25th, and Kimm couldn’t be happier with her decision to adopt him and Turtle last year following the passing of her beloved pitbull, Duncan, 3 months prior. A big supporter of adopting shelter cats, she says, “[t]here are so many awesome animals in shelters that would make wonderful companions. All of the cats come litter-trained and spayed/neutered and appreciate you freeing them from a crate.”
And now I want to hear from you! Have you adopted older cats/dogs? Share your story in the comments to help inspire others to consider adopting older animal companions.