When looking for a new cat to join their family, many people opt for cute kittens and younger cats, passing the more mature moggies by.
Sadly, this means the older cats that end up in our care often have to wait over three times longer to find new homes than their younger counterparts.
We promise to find a new home for every cat, no matter how long it takes, but we’d love to get these gorgeous senior kitizens into cosy new homes quicker, as that’s where they’re happiest.
To celebrate the nation’s mature moggies and prove that they have just as much to give as younger felines, we’re launching Mature Moggies Day on 16 June.
Every year on this date we plan to encourage owners of older cats to share their stories on social media with #MatureMoggiesDay in the hope that it will encourage more people to think about giving an OAP (old age puss) a home.
Here are just a few mature moggies who have been given a second chance in old age and enriched their new owners’ lives in return.
Great Aunt Ethel is off the streets
In June 2020, 21-year-old Great Aunt Ethel was found sleeping on an abandoned sofa in a Norfolk car park, all alone. The team at our Downham Market Adoption Centre took her in and discovered a lovely, affectionate cat who had clearly once been well loved. A scan of her microchip revealed she had been born in 1999, but sadly no owner could be traced.
The team were worried that Ethel’s age (100 in human years) would mean it would be difficult to find her a new home so they put an appeal in the local press. Luckily, Alison Westgate saw her story and knew she could offer Ethel the perfect retirement home.
“I love animals and have always been drawn to older ones,” said Alison. “I took on an old Jack Russell terrier and we had a wonderful 18 months together before he passed away last year. By adopting an older pet I feel like I’m doing my bit. And because I know that Ethel won’t go on forever, I can really focus on her and give her the best possible life for the time we are together.
“I promised myself that I wouldn’t proactively look for another pet, but would just wait and see what happened. Last summer I was at work reading my local paper, the Eastern Daily Press, and came across the sad story of Great Aunt Ethel and that was that!
“I emailed the centre immediately to ask if I could adopt her and was told they were just waiting to see if an owner came forward to claim her. Luckily for me, no-one did and within a week, Ethel as I now call her was delivered to my home by a Cats Protection volunteer. Even then, I was telling myself that I wouldn’t get too attached and Ethel would be more like a flatmate but it’s safe to say that I am utterly besotted with her!
“I have had four cats before and I can honestly say that Ethel has more personality than all of them. Most people probably think at her age she would spend her time sitting around, but far from it. When cheese is involved, she can jump onto the kitchen counter. She also loves to jump onto the windowsill to watch the birds and is an absolute pro at catching spiders!”
Bouffie has a pen pal
Beautiful Bouffie arrived at Cats Protection in December 2016 when she was 17 years old, as her owners could sadly no longer look after her. Ellie Taylor came forward to offer her a relaxing home for her twilight years and has let us know that Bouffie turned 22 in March 2021!
“We thought that if we were lucky, we might have her for six months or so,” said Ellie. “It’s now four and a half years later!
“When Bouffie celebrated her 19th birthday, we spoke to Cats Protection to see if they would be able to let her old owner know that she was alive and well and enjoying life, as we thought she would be thrilled to hear the news.
“With the owner’s son’s permission, we were then put in touch with Bouffie’s old owner and have written letters and sent photos every few months to let her know how Bouffie is doing.
“We feel so lucky to have Bouffie still with us after all this time. She is such a cute character and a real lap cat. She sits on our chest when we go to bed to tuck us in, then sleeps in her fluffy igloo. She’s definitely the boss! Although she’s had a few health issues, they are all being managed by daily medication which we sneak into salmon sticks.
“She’s a great cat and we’ve loved adopting such an old soul with so much spirit and determination to keep on.”
Award-winning Cookie defies the odds
In September 2020, Cats Protection held the Alternative Cat Awards to find the UK’s best cat videos, with a category dedicated to senior kitizens. 21-year-old Cookie won the top spot with her peaceful purring and then went on to win the overall People’s Purrfect Choice award too, proving that age is no barrier.
Cookie’s owner Holly Webb said: “In 2017, Cats Protection asked us to foster Cookie for a week as they were short on space at the centre. Her microchip was 15 years old and her owner was ill in hospital and sadly she had been living on the streets for a couple of weeks before a neighbour reported her.
“We’d only been fostering her for a week when we knew we had to adopt her – we just couldn’t help ourselves! Given her age, the vets estimated we would have around six months with her, but three years later she still plays like a kitten. The vets are amazed and wonder what her secret is!
“She is well and truly enjoying her retirement and now spends the majority of her time either napping on laps, eating or purring. She will sit and wait at the door for us to come home, and meow at us all the time.”
Stevie is delivered hands-free
After her previous cat Phillius, who she adopted from our National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex 2019, sadly passed away, Joanna Rees knew where to go to find a new feline friend.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic meant she couldn’t visit the centre in person, but thankfully our hands-free homing service made a perfect match with senior Stevie possible in March 2021.
“Phillius was 18 when I adopted him,” said Joanna, “as I feel very passionately about giving elderly cats a loving home where they can have a peaceful retirement.
“Phillius and I had two wonderful years together before he passed away in August 2020. By October last year, I was ready to look for my next senior cat and after months of searching, I found Stevie (who was previously named Tiffles) on the Cats Protection website.
“I was absolutely over the moon when they called to tell me I’d been approved to adopt him. One of the centre team – Angela – remembered me from when I adopted Phillius and said she knew Stevie and I would make a perfect match!”
Stevie was delivered to Joanna at her home in Dorking by a Cats Protection volunteer. Two days later, she reported that Stevie had settled in beautifully.
“It’s like he’s lived here for years! He’s very settled – the first night here, he was straight under the bed covers – and also very loving. I couldn’t be more delighted and I know we’re going to be very happy together.”
Mature Moggies Day
Do you have an older cat at home? If you do, share their story on social media with #MatureMoggiesDay to show just how wonderful senior kitizens are!