Do older people like different cats to younger people?

Docile undemanding cat
Docile undemanding cat is wanted?
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is an off-the-cuff post and it is probably a slightly complicated subject which may require more than I am willing to give it. It is more a discussion document than the complete package.

As they are retired, older people are around the home much more. They are able to get involved with their cat much more which would lead me to believe they would be good with a more active or demanding cat. However, older people are less motivated and more static and therefore are more likely to prefer a docile, less demanding cat.

Also older people become less able to do things properly. They screw up because their skills deteriorate. This implies older people would prefer a docile, undemanding, easy to keep cat.

As for younger people you’d have thought they’d prefer a more active cat but….younger people are working hard nowadays in a more competitive world which obliges them to be away from home a lot and/or with less energy and time to devote to their cat when they crawl home from the hard slog of the workplace.

This leads me to believe that younger people might prefer a docile undemanding cat. This in turn leads to the conclusion that modern humankind increasingly prefers a docile highly domesticated and undemanding cat able to be content with his own company.

If I am correct, I have to come to the conclusion that the sooner the domestic cat loses his/her wild cat tendencies the better.

I have consistently come to the sad decision that the fact that the domestic cat is less domesticated than the dog is detrimental to the cat. The domestic cat has to become more domesticated to suit modern living.

There are other factors too. Older people are likely to downsize which means to an apartment. Apartment living is fine for a cat if it is on the ground floor and the gardens are large and safe for cats (if let out) and provided neighbours tolerate cats. There are complications. Once again this leads to older people opting for an easy to care for cat able to cope with full-time indoor living (possibly).

Younger people are more likely to move. Moving is bad for a cat. The best sort of cat to cope is a docile cat who has little interest in expressing his wild cat heritage.

Yep…young people and older people want the same cat: undemanding and highly domesticated.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

39 thoughts on “Do older people like different cats to younger people?”

  1. I think it depends on the person, not the age. My husband and I are 42 And 51. We both work full time with very demanding careers (attorney and IT professional). No human kids but our six cats are our furry babies. Ages 1 to 8 yrs. They are very active and demanding of our attention and we totally indulge them. The key is when we are home after a long day and on wkends we give them tons of love and play time. They are very happy, healthy kitties and we love them dearly. It’s awesome to see other cat parents on this site who appreciate these beautiful and amazing beings.

    1. I think it depends on the person, not the age

      Well said. Totally agreed. It is just that in general older people are more available and younger people are less available to be with their cats.


    1. I am the same. We need our cats as much as they need us. They keep us alive and alert. Also there is some physical element too which helps with weight loss or stopping us getting overweight. I need a cat because I need to care for someone. I need to nurture like a father. It is hardwired.

  3. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    See the waste paper basket Babz is wearing on her head in that game, Walter would put Jozef in it and roll him around the floor lol and tip it over and ‘cage’ him.

        1. Maybe you could use that as a topic. How many shelters/local humane societies actually do this? (I will check with mine here in the Midwest USA, and get back to you, if you’d like.
          What does Ruth(Kattaddorra) have to say on “in step because of lifespan.” ?

        2. No kidding, Dee. Kattaddorra and Babz, esp. Babz, raised these clowns to participate in such antics. lol. Love it! shoot. mrowr. what the hell? 😉

        3. The mammies have such serious stuff and grief in their lives that sometimes they go silly for a while for a bit of relief. You should hear them sing silly songs and laugh like drains, we go out and leave them to it. We do have such fun though with them. They think they look after us but it’s the other way round really 😉 😉 they couldn’t be happy without us around.

  4. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    Kittens are hard work, if we had our Walter as a kitten now it would finish us off lol As soon as he was feeling well and confident he was very hyperactive with happiness, he was everywhere! He used to wear poor Jozef out, he would suddenly just fall asleep.
    Adult cats are much calmer but I couldn’t ever choose. Young or older, male or female, I have loved every single one we have had the pleasure of living with us and Walter and Jozef are now my sun, moon and stars.

      1. LOL!
        New sofas soon become worn sofas.
        You should see my livingroom furniture that I have had over 15 years and never once sat in. They’ll all go to the trash soon.

        1. There should be a motto or a mantra, whatever, which is hammered home into all new cat owners:

          “Don’t be attached to your furniture” or something like it. All cat owners should live by that.

          1. Why would any catlover get new furniture–maybe to see the wonderful unconditionally-loving marks they leave? My flatmate’s cats prefer sharpening their lovely clws in my Heywood-Wakefield wicker chairs. This led to ‘mastering’ the art of cardboard furniture. Maybe that is why they prefer it to the leather couch? I love it, because they like to sleep on the couch, with me. I am so blessed <3 especially the purr emanating from Shrimpster…
            <3 prrrrrrr<3prrrrrrr<3prrrrrrr…

      2. Kittens are just so much fun. And we do help nurture purrsonality. It really can’t be helped! Kittens are so much fun, especially as they grow into their bodies at one-year of age, do you agree? lol! That is when you can feel the muscles developing, and we can massage their shoulders, making them relax, wanting more.

  5. Quite interesting article, even though you were a bit? tongue in cheek, Michael. lol <3
    Myself, at age fifty-five, prefer cats/kittens who have all of their teeth and their claws. Purrsonality can run the gamut–just so long as the cat is fairly predictable in behavior, i.e. quiet, inquisitive, rambunctious, clown, demanding? I don't care. Just no crazy, psycho, slashers. 😉

    1. Well, you’re a bit non-typical 😉 You are like me really. We will like almost any cat but the qualities you list accurately describe a good cat companion and the best of cats: quiet, inquisitive, rambunctious, clown, demanding?

      Do you prefer male cats. It seems that you do.

  6. Michael the recent “Mumbai Cat Show” gave me a exposure to the various types of cats in the city and the temperament. Seems Traditional and Ultra face Persian cats are in vogue because of their absolute docile temperament.All the persians i saw resembled toys rather and were owned by Young Indians, myself being one of the oldest in the young crowd of exhibitors. Bizarrely i also own the most ferocious pedigree traditional Persian cat in the form of 5 year old “Matata”. He really keeps the house active and also worried as his temperament is unpredictable.Agree that elderly people would prefer docile cats as they are easier to handle but then i feel a active cat could keep a senior citizen active mentally as well as physically unless totally handicapped due to old age.

    1. Hopefully Matata’s ‘ferocity’ is recessive? or was he possibly inbred? Not good, but I guess he does make a good sire at times.
      And I sure hope THAT gene is recessive! lol. Still, he is a handsome cat and intelligent, as I recall from your pictures/comments in the past –even if he doesn’t have the cojones to ride on the back of your motorcycle. 😉

      1. Mata was not “Inbred” but i had plans of breeding him to his dam to create a new local line pof Indian traditional persian cats.It was a big flop as “Matata” just doesn’t know to mate, something bizarre as is his violent temperament.He is handsome and a excellent loving pet.

    2. the persians i saw resembled toys…

      The worldwide popularity of the Persian (the most popular purebred cat probably) is because of what you say, they are docile and like toys. I understand completely but at the same time it is a bit of a shame as we are gradually taking the cat away from its wild roots and its true character (except for Matata!).

  7. Please change the reference comments within “—” as it happened mistakenly because the key of C (copy) was pressed correctly by me, thank you.

    Instead of
    “” Is it possible to interview someone who you know kills cats and ask them why they do it?”

    please put the following sentences of DEE, thanks.
    “But, as you point out, it seems that a younger working person would prefer a docile, low maintenance cat because they lack the time and energy to invest in any other kind. It makes me wonder if they should have a cat at all.”

  8. Most rescues try to match senior cats with senior people.
    Some of it may have to do with the lower activity level of an older cat. But, mostly, seniors go for it because they can’t stand the thought of a beloved cat outliving them.

    I’ve seen a lot of younger working couples with children adopt young active cats or kittens. Those cats are usually considered “the kids’ cat”.

    But, as you point out, it seems that a younger working person would prefer a docile, low maintenance cat because they lack the time and energy to invest in any other kind. It makes me wonder if they should have a cat at all.

    But, God knows, that I can’t judge, because I’ve had multiple cats all of my life, even at times when I worked 60+ hours per week and raised 2 kids alone. But, if the desire to caretake is strong, there’s always a way to make it work.

    1. TOTALLY AGREED with DEE, and you are a MASTER in the cats issue, Michael. I see this subject have to deal with different psychology levels of people and I think before adopting any cat or kittens, a questionnaire form may be put in before. A diary of a person can help in this regard, whether he fits to have a cat because I think that any pet is a living animal and has a heart and spirit in it. We can not just over look any issue of the cat, we have to tame the cat, socialize it, feed it, clean the beds, the litter boxes, and watch like a lioness whether our baby is in comfort or not, we have to give her the more and more time to let her understand us and let us understand her needs and psychologies. I fully agreed with DEE that what she said in her reply ” Is it possible to interview someone who you know kills cats and ask them why they do it?” and if anyone…I seriously argue to this…If anyone can not spend his/her energies to maintain and do welfare of that companion, may in NO WAYS have the right to spoil her(cat’s) life. No way…but I pray for you to soon let us congratulate you that you have a new baby at home and that is a beautiful companion of your life…A CAT…A kitten…A kitty <3 <3 <3 I am waiting for good news from your side, Michael, God bless you, ameen <3

    2. Excellent point -esp. the third P, and I quote [Dee]: It makes me wonder if they should have a cat at all.

      Yep, and yet your openmindedness and willingness to not fully judge is appealing. I agree with you. We (my daughter and I) had a clean, beautiful household filled w/ love, five cats, an uncaged hamster, and koi, even though I was working and going to school, while my daughter went to school. It was just filled with love and respect. Miss that. 🙂

        1. Right, Dee 🙂

          I now have one cat, ‘my’ Shrimpster; my daughter has her own family now. She adopts rabbits from shelters. They call her when they have a rabbit that would have been put down. She nurses them back to health, physically and mentally, besides in Psychology and volunteering, while taking care of my two-yr-old grandson and husband 🙂 Akin to what you do, I imagine <3

          1. Bunnies..Oh my…
            I would be so clueless.
            Bless her heart. And, a husband and 2 year old?
            How did you spawn such a wonderful child?
            Don’t answer, because I ask myself the same question everyday.

    3. Most rescues try to match senior cats with senior people

      I had forgotten that. One reason for that is because both the human or the cat are more likely to die, is that correct? They are in step in terms of lifespan. That may be a factor. I suppose the main factor is low activity levels.

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