I'm going to an EHPAD: can I take my cat?

I’m Going To An Ehpad: Can I Take My Cat?

When we get older and always have a pet by our side, it can be difficult to part with their presence, regardless of our age and mobility. Sometimes our health forces us to leave our homes for a nursing home or an EHPAD. The question then arises of the fate of our feline friend. Will our cat be able to follow us in the structure? Do all accommodation establishments for the elderly accept cats and our four-legged friends? How can we ensure that our little feline is taken care of when it is not tolerated?

Taking Your Cat To An Ehpad, Possible Or Not?

According to the Franceschi circular of March 11, 1986, nothing prohibits the elderly person from moving in with their cat in a retirement home insofar as the animal does not create an additional constraint for the staff and as long as it does not disturb the tranquility of the other residents. However, a circular does not have the force of law. In all cases, it is the internal regulations of the retirement home or nursing home that prevail. The final decision whether or not to accept the feline from the elderly person is in fact up to the director who will rely on a set of facts to accept or refuse the animal.

If 30% of establishments today welcome the presence of your little companion, this will not be the case when the resident experiences a loss of autonomy which prevents him from taking care of his cat. Indeed, the tomcat remains under your entire responsibility and you must be able to provide the necessary care for its establishment. Your little feline should not be a burden for the staff. However, when you join an EHPAD that accepts pets, arrangements can be found with your family or caregivers to allow you to keep your cat with you.

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Acceptance entails several obligations for its resident owner, he must ensure:

  • Rigorous hygiene of his cat;
  • Vaccines, deworming, brushing and grooming either by himself or by a responsible third party;
  • Wearing a flea collar to your small animal;
  • Be identified by microchip or tattoo.

Finally, the resident or his family must be able to walk it if necessary and ensure that the cat does not create any discomfort or inconvenience within the establishment.

The Alternative: The Residence For Seniors

Most residences for seniors accept the presence of cats and small dogs alongside their elderly owner. All caregivers know the benefits for the master of keeping with him this kitty with whom he has shared so much:

  • Easing of tensions;
  • Maintaining autonomy;
  • Develop social contacts between residents;
  • Moral support for his master;
  • Distraction and dissipation of boredom;
  • Valuation of its owner.

The cat does not judge its master and brings him affection. While the separation remains a real heartbreak, when the resident enters a retirement home, an EHPAD or a senior residence with his feline, he retains vigilance, mobility and autonomy.

As in establishments for the elderly, your cat will not be able to follow you in all the services of the residence. Even if he shows his credentials, the dining room and common rooms will be forbidden to him. Your adorable feline must know how to be discreet and not create nuisances or pose a threat to other residents.

Here too, you will have to make sure you respect the operating rules of the establishment and show good manners.

What Support For Your Feline When It Is Not Possible For It To Accompany You?

If the loss of autonomy remains the first obstacle for your cat to move in with you in an EHPAD, another point must be taken into account: the well-being of your lifelong companion. If your cat has not always lived in an apartment, or used to go out day and night, he will probably feel very unhappy in the little space that will be granted to him. If it is easy to teach a kitten to wear a harness and walk on a leash, this will not be the case for your adult or elderly cat. In this case, it may be preferable to give your animal to a trusted third party, an association or a retirement home for tomcats.

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Entrust Your Pet To A Loved One

In addition to leaving your home, separating from your velvet paws remains a real heartbreak. By anticipating his placement, you also make sure that you leave with peace of mind in an EHPAD or a retirement home when you will no longer be able to take care of yourself and him. The cat, much more independent than the dog, will be able to adapt to its new family as soon as it receives food, company and feels safe in the home of one of your family members or one of your friends. However, rest assured, your pet will not forget you. If the subject of old age and the loss of autonomy is not taboo within your family, it is important to prepare your future and that of your pet.

Leaving Your Cat To An Animal Protection Association

Of course, this solution remains difficult both for the owner and for his family, who are not always able to accept the small felid in their home. Some associations such as the Fondation Assistance aux Animaux, initially created to take in animals after the disappearance of their owner, also accept the care of cats and dogs whose masters can no longer take care of them because of their state of health. The animal will then be cared for by a godmother and then presented for adoption in order to find a real family life, whatever the age of your feline.

Offer A Retirement Home To Your Cat?

In Eure-et-Loir, Yvelines, Gard, Corsica and Alpes-Maritimes, the Fondation Assistance aux Animaux association has developed retirement homes for dogs and cats. The first was born in the Gard. These homes for the end of life of our four-legged companions offer a peaceful place, without bars or cages and surrounded by affection for your feline. However, your tomcat will only be able to spend happy days there after your death and on the condition of having reserved his place. Cats whose owner is still alive will be directed to shelters in search of a new family. Indeed, to provide an ideal living environment, the number of residents of all stripes remains limited.

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The Terpta Association To Develop The Place Of Animals In Nursing Homes

One of the first brakes that still prevent many managements today from accepting residents and their pets is the fear of an additional burden in terms of logistics and personnel. The Terpta association offers a turnkey solution to residential establishments for the elderly for the reception and management of their residents’ cats or dogs.

With all the recognized benefits that the animal brings to its owner, we hope that EHPADs and their management will do everything possible to no longer break the love and tenderness that unite Man and animal until the end of life.

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