It might sound weird for me to be suggesting you adopt an old animal. But I don't think so!! When people go to shelters, they're usually looking for a "young animal" that can "grow up with them." Often, the animals that ultimately get put down at kill shelters are the older ones, because they are harder to get adopted out.
What is an old cat, anyways?
People come in looking for 1-2 year old cats. Cats that are 8-10 years old are barely halfway through their lives, and many cats live to be 21, 22 or even 23 years old! So don't worry about getting an "old cat" that is 8, 10, or even 15 years old! You'll still have many, many years together.
Don't believe it? Here are some stories about adopting old cats that will convince you otherwise :)
My favorite older cat of all time was this old girl named (if I remember right!) "Lucy". She was 19 and so sweet and loving. This older woman came in with her daughter; she was looking for a companion and her daughter was helping her out. Her daughter kept steering her towards younger cats and the woman kept going back to Lucy. Her daughter was getting annoyed and finally the mom said "Listen. God dammit me and Lucy are a couple of old broads and we NEED each other. End of story".Lucy lived for another four years and she adopted another older kitty the month after Lucy passed away.
(Lucy is the white one in the middle!)
:) I volunteer at an animal shelter. It always amazes me how people see a cat that is nine or ten and say, "Oh, so old!"My family's cats lived to be 17, 17 and 21, and another who is somewhere around 14 currently runs the show at my parents' house. Cats can live long, healthy and happy lives. 9 years old is easily middle age for some cats.
I have a cat right now (well, he stayed with my parents, but yeah) who is at least 18. He showed up in our backyard in '99 and was basically like, OK, I'm living here now. When we first took him to the vet, the vet said he was probably 6 or 7 years old, so if you believe him, damn cat might be 23...He's still pretty active and has gotten very affectionate in his old age. When he showed up I named him Seti because he had such a regal bearing I was convinced he was a reborn Egyptian pharaoh. Now I'm starting to think he's secretly immortal.
The best decision I ever made was adopting my 5 and a half year old cat (he's now...uh, 13? 14?) from the shelter. I went in looking for a 1-2 year old cat, grown up enough to know what I was getting (I wanted a lap cat) but young enough to be healthy. They asked me to reconsider my age requirements a bit, and brought out Twinkie, and that was it for me. He circled around in my lap 3 times, like a dog does when they get ready for bed, and just....made himself right at home with a huuuuuge sigh. Went right to sleep, started snurring (he is so loud. SO LOUD.) I couldn't believe someone surrendered him. Then I read the intake sheet-the woman who gave him up was elderly and had to go to a nursing home. She said he was good with kids (ages 35 and 38, hahaha. My mom and I about died laughing, as at the time, my brother and I were both younger than that) and that all someone needed to do was PLEASE LOVE HIM (underlined three times.) I love him. I do. Lady who surrendered him, you did right by him. he's very much loved. I can't imagine my live without him.
So, remember to try to adopt those pets that won't be adopted so easily if you can :) And remember how much of a difference you can make in a pet's life by adopting it!!!!