My mother is 77 and very active but she does feel quite lonely. I spoke to her about getting a kitten and she is keen. I wanted to know if this is a good idea for an elderly woman?

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    PLEASE research the characters of different cat breeds before adopting a cat. Many people are aware that dog breeds influence the character of the animal, but ignore that the same is true for cats, too. There are many very docile pet breeds, but a "wild cat" or "forest cat" might not be the right fit for an elderly person. A friend of mine got 2 Norwegian Forest kittens in a small tenament flat and had to give them away after they destroyed every wall and furniture in there. Some breeds require lots of excercise and should not be confined to a small flat.
    – Elmy
    Jul 23, 2019 at 14:12
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    Got my mother a female kitten with 4 months from the local shelter. Very very gentle. My mother is very happy. So is the kitten. In one week they bonded and the cat won't leave her side. Jul 31, 2019 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


Pets and the elderly are almost always a good combination, but a kitten may not be the best choice. Kittens tend to have more energy then their elderly companions, this can be problematic. Additionally (and unpleasantly) a young cat or dog often may have an expected lifespan greater then the elderly adopters remaining lifespan.

There are several programs seniors for seniors cats Also for dogs. these programs are specifically designed to address the special needs and concerns of both the animals and the people.

See also Is there anything I should know or consider before giving a pet as a gift?

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    Even just an adult cat in general (not necessarily a senior) would be a better option. They tend to have their personalities in place, making it easier to choose a compatible one, are easier in general to care for, and are adopted out from rescues less frequently than kittens and seniors.
    – Allison C
    Jul 23, 2019 at 16:06
  • I second the idea of an adult or 'early senior' cat-- they are often still playful as well as affectionate, but usually with less frenetic energy and training needed compared to a kitten. Look for a cat with a compatible personality and take grooming needs into account-- You may want to avoid a longhair that needs frequent brushing. If litter cleaning (and the bending/squatting needed to reach the box) is an issue, look into 'litter robot' boxes or it is possible teach the cat to use a raised box (or one placed on a sufficiently sturdy surface).
    – Meg
    Jul 25, 2019 at 14:30
  • My mother has the cat for about a year, best thing I ever done :) Jul 15, 2020 at 11:35

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