The best medicine for retirees who wish to live longer, healthier lives is not FDA approved. It’s not expensive. And it certainly doesn’t require a prescription. Cat care is a balm for retirees who are no longer living a fast-paced lifestyle juggling work, family, hobbies, and other commitments. But yet want to still be meaningful contributors to society.

There’s plenty of research that suggests that pets are positive for mental health. So it’s not like this concept is groundbreaking. But recently, I was asked to speak at the Laguna Woods Cat Club. I’m no therapist, but this experience affirmed the theory that caring for pets, particularly cats, is a win-win for the aging population.

The Cat Club of Laguna Woods

Club Cat | Cat care is a best kept secret for the aging communityIf you haven’t heard of Laguna Woods Village, it is a large, bustling retirement community located close to Laguna Beach and houses 18,500 residents age 55 and up in beautiful condos across several miles of neighborhoods. It also boasts over 250 clubs including the Cat Club. (Yes, there is of course a Dog Club!).

What struck me most about the Cat Club is how committed and active its members are to cat care. Incepted in 1971, its mission is to provide loving, permanent homes for cats who come into our care due to abandonment or relinquishment. Their Foster and Adoption program is funded entirely through donations and fundraising events.

I met some truly inspiring aging humans whose talent and devotion to the feline persuasion was impressive. One such member showed me a few of her handmade and intricately handwoven and quilted purses you might see at a specialty boutique, all donning cats. Another lady fostered and then adopted a very spicy kitty who took almost two years to adapt. Now this is cat care at its best!

Cat care on steroids

This experience really got me thinking about the many numerous positive impacts that our furry friends have on this population of people who are aging.Club Cat | Cat care is a best kept secret for the aging community

The major psychological benefits of owning a cat can certainly help people feel more needed and less lonely. But being part of this type of club has even greater benefits to its cat care members. Because they aren’t just benefiting from cat ownership. The very act of rehoming cats to others who will benefit means the health and psychological benefits are even more efficacious!

So the next time you’re popping all those pills in the morning, consider rescuing a kitty. And even better, become a member of a cat care club!