Cats and Children
Cats and The Elderly
 

 

 

 
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Cats And The Elderly

A great deal of comfort can be found by having a pet and loneliness can be greatly eased.

An older person will do well with an older cat, so long as it has no difficult habits. All cat welfare organisations will have a number of older cats for rehoming, and can offer cats to fit well into a peaceful domestic environment.

Although the daily routine will have already been established, it's important to make sure when the cat is let out in the evening, this is done so early, so an elderly person is no required to hunt round the garden with a torch in the dark.

Often cats will sleep in many places, but if you provide a suitable basket, this will normally become the preferred spot. The basket should be in a quiet, draught-free place where it does not cause a hazard during any night time walkabouts; and the cat should be discouraged from sleeping in potentially dangerous spots, such as the stairs or behind a door. Other than that, just make sure there is plenty of food and other supplies to protect against shopping problems arising from illness or bad weather; an emergency telephone number and someone who can be relied upon if there is a problem.

Most elderly people worry about what will happen to their cat if they get ill, have an accident, or even worse die. The worry can be avoided by making arrangements for looking after the cat in an emergency, as soon as the cat is first acquired. There is usually a reliably friend, neighbour or relative who will be able to help. Of course, it is no good making arrangements unless they come to the immediate notice of the hospital staff, and this can be achieved by carrying a personal emergency card giving details of the arrangements.

Make sure other people are made aware of the arrangements, which can be done by filing in a larger emergency card and displaying it in the home.

The larger card covers the problem of what happens to the cat should the owner die. The task of dealing with temporal events which follow death is eased considerably if proper instructions are provided. There are various ways in which provision can be made for a cat to be cared for in event of the death of it's owner.

Normally an agreement is reached with a son, daughter or other friend or relative. This sort of arrangement normally works well, but do not give to anyone lacking a sense of responsibility. It is also best to set out arrangements in your will and to establish that the person concerned is the new owner of the cat. If there are little friends or relatives, arrangements can be made to leave money to another person, as long as they give a home to the cat for the rest of it's life; a solicitor should be consulted to ensure this is all done correctly.

Another alternative is to make an arrangement with an animal welfare organisation, to take care of the cat or rehome it, in a suitable environment. The animal welfare organisation will become responsible for the cat or cats owned by that person at the time of death. This has the advantage that a charitable organisation is not subject to change in family circumstances or other problems, and will do its best to meet the owners wishes.

 

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