Life Lessons, resources, and random bits for rescue dogs, cats, bunnies, and their peeps

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Specials: Adopting Senior Cats

Welcome to week eleven of The Specials, a series focusing on special needs pet adoption. Senior pets, those with chronic medical issues, behavioral or temperament concerns as well as overlooked or misunderstood breeds like Pit Bulls and black cats. If not for the kindness, courage, and compassion of their adopters, many of these animals would have been euthanized in shelters or died alone and hungry on the streets. Please check out past special needs adoption posts here. 

Adopting a senior cat with special needs

Shelters are filled with senior cats waiting for someone to see beyond their gray whiskers, cloudy eyes, and bruised hearts. Some of these cats have known loving homes while many others have not.  But Lauren believes in giving older cats a second chance. She knows first hand that these gentle souls have much to share and when given an opportunity, their gratitude and love is immense. 

Adopting a senior cat with FIV

Lauren adopted Apple Jack at twelve years old from Chicago Animal Care and Control. Sadly, Apple Jack was part of a cruelty investigation and still has issues with depth perception from being struck on the head multiple times. She is also FIV positive and lives with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and dental disease with only three of her teeth remaining. Like many older cats, Apple Jack was repeatedly overlooked by adopters because of her age and health status. 

Adopting a senior cat with special needs

Otto was surrendered to DuPage County Animal Care and Control at age fourteen for being too friendly and talkative. Lauren adopted him even though he was hyperthyroid, had serious IBD, possible pancreatitis, and elevated kidney levels. At seventeen, he is now doing extraordinarily well under her care and unconditional love. Otto tolerates his feline siblings, but prefers the company of Lauren and repays her kindness with devotion and much affection.


And finally, meet handsome Joel rescued from Cicero Animal Care and Control. Joel was in terrible health and considered terminal when Lauren brought him home to foster. He initially tested positive for FIV, but several tests later is now negative. As part of his recovery, he underwent rigorous treatment including Ozone Therapy and is now healthy.

There's still a common misconception that cats do not bond as deeply as dogs and therefore tolerate abandonment and shelter life more easily. In realty, cats experience loss and change on a profound level and often become so depressed and anxious that they stop eating and in severe cases, permanently damage their bodies and sometimes even die. Thanks to Lauren, Otto, Apple Jack and Joel beat the odds and were given a chance at life. Most senior cats, even those without pre-existing conditions, are not so fortunate.


Lauren is a shining example of compassion, and devotion. She describes herself as a little broken and finds comfort and camaraderie with special needs cats like Apple Jack, Otto, and Joel. She has struggled with an eating disorder for many years and has been hospitalized twice. Caring for her cats, learning about their emotional, physical and nutritional needs, she believes has also helped her stay on track and take better care of herself. Wishing all four of them continued happiness, good health, and many more wonderful years together.

Please consider fostering or adopting a special needs animal because different is beautiful and second chances are amazing! If you enjoyed this post, please check out my posts on adopting a paralyzed cat and adopting a cat whose owner has passed away.

Photos courtesy of Two Birds Photography.
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32 comments

  1. Mom always says that Seniors are the bestest. Bless Lauren♥

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  2. Many, many kudos to Lauren! I wish more people saw what profound love and compassion senior animals have to offer. They are truly special, and I constantly pray that each and every one of them can know the happiness of a loving home. Thank you so much for another beautiful story!

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  3. Very sad stories about these cats ! Senior cats are ideal for senior people !

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  4. I would love to adopt a senior cat but don't know how I would fit one in. Lauren is certainly a wonderful person to adopt those three cats. They are very lucky cats to have found Lauren.
    I found a person that has an Etsy shop called CatofMine but she is not the person.
    That was such a great post Kristin.

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  5. Hari OM
    Oh you are finding some wonderful tales of hope and glory Kristen! YAM xx

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  6. And all our very best wishes to Lauren, Apple Jack, Otto, and Joel.
    What a heartwarming story
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  7. We know a lady from Maine who adopts special needs cats... she is an angel on here on da Earth.

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  8. Gods blessings two ewe Lauren ten fold timez hundred & 984 paws up two ewe apple jack, otto & joel ......we hope yur all two gether for manee manee yeerz two come; & any time ya wanna stop bye trout towne; pleez due, we haz plentee oh hammicks for chillaxin in ♥♥♥

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  9. Our wienie is not a senior cat, but we fink for sure hers has adopted us and staying for good. She still comes and goes, but her always comes back. Mom bought her a new scratching post wif a bed hooked to it, and put it in the other room away from us. I don't know why cos wiener loves us a lot for a cat. stella rose

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  10. Seniors are so SPECIAL... and LOVING...

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  11. That is so horrible what happend to poor little Jack, what the hell is wrong with people!
    I'm glad they found such wonderful homes.
    We had our cat until he was 19 and loved him dearly.
    Lynne x

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  12. We're so happy Lauren recognized that these senior kitties deserved a second chance. Just because they are seniors...with health issues, too...doesn't mean they don't have lots of love to give. Thanks for sharing their story.

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  13. They are all so bootyful. Mommy wishes we kuld adopt an older kitty, but cuz of our needs it just isn't pawssible. But we do luv to hear 'bout those who get luvvin' furever homes.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi

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  14. Lauren is an angel to adopt these three sweeties
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  15. AAh poor Apple Jack being whopped on the head that is just not right! Lauren sounds like a terrific person and we believe they have helped her like she is helping them.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

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  16. Seniors rock, there's no doubt about it. Sisters Precious and Kit and the elders and they are both so sweet in their own ways. Great, great post!!!

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  17. Paws up for Lauren and her devotion to taking in seniors who would otherwise be overlooked. She sounds like a very special human!

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  18. Lauren is a very special person and the cats that receive her love are beyond blessed. Thank you for sharing another amazing story.

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  19. Dog mom says I qualify as a senior.... I beg to differ!! ~Shasta

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  20. What a wonderful story about a very inspiring woman - and a GREAT message. Kudos to you Lauren!

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  21. it's great to adopt a cat with some miles on the clock... they deserve it the most :o)

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  22. If I lived here alone, I wouldn't hesitate. I always had cats, but with my present crew of dogs, it would be a bit too much in this small house. Both for the old cat and old me. I'm sure the dogs would have a lot of fun.

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  23. lovely cats! Our oldest cat is 15 we adopted her as a kitten. I find our dogs are more accepting of kittens, adding our foundling kitten Spot went smoothly, but it have to be a very dog friendly adult cat that did well here but if it werent for that Id adopt an adult cat for my next cat in a second.

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  24. Congratulations to Lauren for all her great work, and sending her very best wishes for her own struggle with her eating disorder.
    Hugs to all of you,
    Gail.

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  25. Lauren is an angel on earth‼️
    I know each of those sweet kitties are Lauren's guardian angels too
    Hugs
    Madi your bfff

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  26. Seniors have it hard. We just adopted Kenzie, a Senior Sheltie. We have adopted seniors (cats & dogs) and believe they are special. Always. XO

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  27. Senior cats must be such sweethearts! They don't even look like they are seniors! :D

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  28. I feel so bad for seniors that end up homeless. They have been loved and then don't know how they lost that.

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  29. We love to hear about seniors being adopted! Lauren, thank you for being an angel for these kitties.

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