The Benefits of Owning a Cat for Seniors

There are few pets better suited to senior companionship than cats. Cats, as opposed to dogs, are exceptionally low maintenance and don’t require long walks outdoors or rough playtime. Additionally, cats don’t need to be regularly taken outside to relieve themselves, which can be a deal breaker for seniors living with limited mobility. Most importantly of course, they make great cuddle buddies! 

Health Benefits of Owning a Cat 

Seniors can benefit both mentally and physically from owning a cat. Cats provide loving companionship to their owners, which can help relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and help keep your brain sharp. Cat ownership can also help seniors manage loneliness and isolation by providing a quiet, independent furry friend they can interact with whenever they choose.  

The Best Cat Breeds for Seniors 

There are dozens of different cat breeds out there, and some are more suited to senior living than others. These are our top 10 cat breeds for seniors.  

American Bobtail  

American Bobtail cats are sociable and friendly, making them ideal for seniors seeking particularly cuddly kittens. They bond well with humans and can adapt to a variety of environments. Unfortunately, the Bobtail is quite a rare breed, and it might be difficult to find one up for adoption.  

American Shorthair 

More common that the Bobtail is the American Shorthair. Shorthairs are playful and enjoy cuddling with their owners, though they don’t require constant attention. They are built very sturdy, which means they tend on the heavier side, which can present challenges for seniors looking to pick up and snuggle with their cat.  


Known for their iconic black facial markings, the Birman is a laid-back breed that typically gets along well with other pets and their owners. They tend to be quite chatty, though they aren’t known to be overly loud.  

British Shorthair 

The British Shorthair is an exceptionally friendly breed that is also quite independent—they can be left alone for longer periods without issue, provided they have enough food and water. The breed is also known for being particularly healthy, so owners don’t have to worry about investing in costly medical treatments or medicines.  


The Chartreux is the strong, silent type. They rarely meow, chirp or hiss, though they will do so to get attention. An affectionate breed, the Chartreux will bond with their owners and love to cuddle and play throughout the day.  


The Himalayan tends on the nervous side and prefers a calm, quite environment. They don’t do well around children or unfamiliar guests, making them an ideal companion for seniors accustomed to a quiet, serene lifestyle.   


The Persian is an exceptionally quiet and affectionate breed that thrives in a calm, uneventful home. Unlike other breeds, the Persian’s long mane means they require extra attention to stay beautiful, which can be a barrier for some seniors.  


The Ragdoll is known for its silky-smooth coat and vibrant blue eyes—a rarity in the cat world. Like the Persian, their luxurious mane requires careful attention to maintain, so seniors should be prepared to put in the work if adopting one.  

Russian Blue 

Russian Blues bond well with their owners and are more likely to demand affection from them. Russian Blues are curious cats that sometimes get into mischief, so they require extra attention to keep them out of trouble.  


Siberians are a clever breed that love to climb, jump, and explore their environment. Because of their need for physical activity, they are better suited to seniors that can easily move around and play with their cats regularly.  

Live with Your Furry Friend at Good Shepherd 

Residents at Good Shepherd can live with their furry friends with prior approval and after making a pet deposit. If you’re unsure which breed is right for you, try this quiz to determine the breed that best matches your lifestyle. 

Contact us to learn more about our pet policy.   

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