Can you be too old to adopt a rescue cat? Well, yes, if you are very ill or infirm as well as old because you’d be incapable of looking after a cat. What if you are 90 years old and still fit mentally and physically? Would it be fair of a person at a cat rescue center to say to you that you are too old to take a young cat and that you should only be given an old cat or no cat at all?
The reason is obvious, a young cat is likely to outlive an elderly person. But the cat might not. And the cat might not find another person who comes up to the shelter to adopt the cat. And what about the 90 year old? Does a cat rescue center take her feelings and needs into account at all? What if she is desperately lonely and loves the cat she has chosen at the shelter and the cat has chosen her?
Why can’t a rescue center let a 90 year old person who is otherwise a really good candidate take a young cat with the proviso that when she dies the cat is returned to the shelter if the cat outlives her. This would seem fair to me rather than the shelter insisting on the 90 year old person having to provide a stand-in person to take over cat caretaking on her death.
I would seem to me that anyone who has the facilities and the correct mentality and funding should be allowed to adopt a cat of any age from a cat shelter because the cat’s life is almost guaranteed to be better at least for a while. And then, if needs be, the cat can restart the adoption process if it goes wrong. To restart would not be ideal but how many young people adopt from cat rescue centers and bring the cat back soon afterwards with a poor excuse.
The difficulty in refusing to allow an elderly person to adopt a rescue cat is that the shelter management have to guess whether the person is likely to survive the cat. That will be a vague guess because, for example, someone of 82 could be very fit and ideal. If you refuse that person a cat perhaps no one else as good will come along to step into his shoes.
Old people are the best people to care for cats for obvious reasons. They are at home all the time usually and they have the funds, facilities and often a more sensible approach tempered with a bit of wisdom. The ideal nature of the older person should be weighed against the short remaining lifespan and the disruption that that might bring.
Do cat shelters have an unwritten rule about the age of candidate adopters of rescue cats? And if they do, what is it? My bet is that there is no common rule. It is probably down to individual shelters and even individual people.