Mature moggies combat loneliness

As loneliness becomes an increasing public health concern, Cats Protection, The UK’s leading feline charity, is encouraging people to find companionship with loving mature moggies.

Despite having a lot of love to offer, scores of unwanted OAP felines are struggling to find their forever homes and take on average three times longer to rehome than energetic young kittens.

Daniel Cummings, Behaviour Officer at Cats Protection, said: “It’s a common misconception that older cats don’t play or interact much with owners, when in actuality, mature cats are just as loving and playful as younger cats. In fact, it could even be easier to introduce a mature cat to a home than a younger cat or kitten.”

Mature Moggies Day is on 16 June and Cats Protection aims to show people that an older cat can make the perfect companion, especially for those who are battling loneliness.

Nine out of 10 cat owners think that owning a cat has a positive effect on their mental wellbeing, and nearly two-thirds of owners who regularly work from home say their cat helps them by calming them down².

“Loneliness is affecting millions of people across the country, particularly as they adjust to life after lockdown.” Daniel continued. “Cats can help prevent feelings of loneliness in all sorts of ways, whether providing entertainment through play or being there for a soothing cuddle. Often, people tell us it is a great source of comfort to simply have another living being in the home to care for and talk to.”

“Some people may be worried about adopting an older cat because they are concerned that they have had too many negative experiences in the past and will have lots of complex behavioural issues. The reality is that a lot of mature moggies in our care have come from happy loving homes, but sadly their owner was just unable to care for them any longer.

“The amount of love these older ladies and gents have to give is vast. If you are someone who is struggling with feeling lonely, adopting an older cat could not only provide you with the company you crave, but you will also be doing something wonderful by giving a loving home to a cat.

“In the same way as a human’s personality develops as they get older, a cat’s personality shines more with age too. It’s even easier to find the perfect match with an older cat because they are pretty robust in who they are. You could walk into an adoption centre today and find a kindred spirit sitting there waiting for you.”

Senior cat is a tonic against loneliness after owner has lock-down separation

15-year-old, one-eyed, mature moggie Joe was the perfect tonic to combat loneliness for Amy Newark after she went through a lockdown separation. Amy, 37, a compliance officer from East Grinstead, has found Joe’s companionship invaluable for her wellbeing during recent issues.

She said: “I’ve had a challenging few years, but Joe has been my light in the dark. He is my amazing old boy who has helped me through some personal challenges, which at times made me feel immensely lonely. My marriage broke down during Covid and, it took a while to pick myself up and get back to being happy and also getting used to living on my own. Having Joe around really gave me a focus, and I genuinely believed that he saved me.

“Joe has been my shadow and has been there for me when I was feeling down or overwhelmed with the situation. Joe has a very calm and chilled personality but can be cheeky at times, and that is exactly what I needed. Cats help our mental health by just being there. I know how true that is because Joe saved me. He is always there when I need a cuddle, someone to talk to and gives a focus to each day.”

Amy adopted Joe in 2014 after he was advertised as one of the most overlooked felines at Cats Protection’s East Surrey Branch. She said: “Adopting an older cat is very rewarding and it’s nice to know that you are helping them have a comfortable life in their senior years. My experience is that mature moggies are calm and extremely loving. Joe made such an impact on me that I decided to volunteer for Cats Protection’s Crawley Branch. I haven’t looked back since that first day of meeting Joe.”

If you are adopting a cat, make sure you take time to chat talk to the Adoption Centre staff and ensure you provide everything a cat needs to settle into a new home. Cats Protection has produced a guide on how to care for elderly cats, including behaviour to look out for, recommended diets, and how to ensure they’re comfortable at home.

All cats adopted from Cats Protection have been health checked and come with four weeks’ free pet insurance which will cover any new conditions that arise after adoption.