Shelter seeks to raise awareness of seniors facing special challenges
June 9, 2020 – In celebration of national Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) is waiving adoption fees for all cats six years and older through Saturday, June 20.
June is traditionally the height of kitten season when, due to an increase in feline breeding, area shelters experience an influx of homeless cats and newborn kittens. However, the SQSPCA has chosen this month to highlight the special challenges faced by senior cats and to help them find their forever homes.
“Senior cats end up in our shelter for a variety of reasons,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “Sometimes it’s because of chronic medical issues or behaviors caused by those conditions. Other times, they are surrendered to us by an elderly owner who has no other option because their own health is deteriorating or their living situation has changed.”
Senior cats are easy for potential adopters to overlook, Haynes said.
“Seniors can be easily stressed in a shelter environment,” she explained. “As a result, you might find them hunched in a box, not interacting or making eye contact with people. They may not be eating or grooming. They might be scared or depressed, or become aggressive.
“Because of this, sometimes our seniors are their own worst enemies. It’s hard for them to compete with the young, friendly cats that seek people out as soon as they enter the cat room,” added Haynes.
Diet and nutrition can be real concerns for senior cats in the shelter – another reason the SQSPCA seeks to adopt or foster them out as quickly as possible. When cats become stressed and fearful they may stop eating. Senior felines also have more difficulty digesting fat and proteins than younger cats, and may need to be given specialty foods. Cats with geriatric conditions such as thyroid disease and diabetes may require special diets.
“We’re waiving adoption fees in hopes that folks will give our seniors a chance to win them over,” Haynes said. “You can check out Bluebelle, Jack O Bean, Prince and others at sqspca.org, and make an appointment to meet them by calling (607) 547-8111.”
There are currently 11 senior cats awaiting adoption at the SQSPCA, ranging in age from 7 to 14 years.
In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501c3 charitable organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered, and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org