Thanks to the Ohio Alleycat Resource shelter, old cats are making new friends. A feline socialization program brings together senior shelter cats, older than 7 years, with residents of local nursing homes in the Cincinnati, OH area. Many of the elderly residents are unable to keep permanent pets, and they treasure the opportunity to snuggle with a calm senior cat. During the cats’ visits, the residents enjoy having their photos taken with the kitties and telling stories of other animals they have known.

The visits are not just for the residents, however: the senior cats, who mainly enjoy eating, sleeping, and cuddles, delight in the interaction just as much as their human friends! It is important for felines to socialize, too, and visits to the nursing home offer them a chance to gain human interaction outside of the shelter.

Friendships such as the ones cultivated by the Ohio Alleycat Resource Center can play an important role in the health of people and animals alike. As these cats and their silver-haired companions demonstrate, no one is ever too old to make a new friend.