Warren, MI – Home Care & Caregiving Services

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On July 23, 2012, Posted by , In Caregivers,Home Care, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Warren, MI – Home Care & Caregiving Services

Concerns About Senior Citizens and Cat Ownership

Sometimes a senior citizen thinks they would like a pet, a cat for companionship, other times the family of the senior suggests a pet for that person. In any case concerns often arise in regards to the potential health risks or other worries that may be related to a senior owning a cat, or kitten.

Cat Scratch Fever

Cat scratch fever, also known as cat scratch disease, is the biggest risk to the senior. Cats and kittens in particular are apt to scratch the more frail skin of a senior and cause this infection. This is a bacterial infection with symptoms that include fever and a headache.

Scratches in General

Because seniors tend to have thin, fragile, skin, it is easily scratched. A kitten is more likely to scratch than an adult cat would. Some people feel that an easy preventative solution is to declaw the kitten but side effects of declawing often include making the cat more nervous, more aggressive, and more apt to bite.

Litter Box Mess

Sometimes a senior is more interested in patting, and caring for the cat, and they neglect to clean the litter box as often as it may need it. This can create a problem with an overload of feces and urine, making the home smell bad, and if neglected too long, the cat may select to urinate or defecate in other areas of the home. As such it must be determined if the senior is responsible enough to clean the litter box regularly, either daily, or every two days.

Concerns for the Cat

Other concerns revolve mostly around the cat.

  • Will the senior be able to provide long term care for the cat? Rarely can a senior commit to the lifetime care for a kitten.
  • Is there a family member that will accept responsibility for the cat when the senior is no longer able to care for it
  • Can the senior afford food, litter, and general veterinarian care for the cat? If not, is there a family member willing to help with these expenses?
  • Can the senior physically get the cat to the veterinarian if it is sick? Again, is there a family member willing to help?
  • Is the senior allowed a cat where they are living?

Tips for Finding the Right Cat for a Senior Person

Cats who are 5 years of age or older often make better pets for seniors than younger cats do. Kittens are rarely a good choice. Older cats are usually more settled, less likely to use their claws, and with an average lifespan of 15, they are less of a time commitment than a kitten.

When selecting a cat for a senior it is a good idea to pick one that is friendly and likes to be held. Noting that when the cat is brought home it may take 2 weeks to settle down and adjust to the new home. Pick one that is already spayed or neutered (this helps reduce the risk of the senior becoming a hoarder). A short haired cat will be less maintenance as it will not need the frequent grooming often required in a longer haired cat.

Source:  http://senior-health.knoji.com/

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Warren or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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