Why Adopting an Older Pet is Really a Good Idea

Everybody gets better with age, right? That includes most pets as well. You might remember our Catster Superstar profile last month of Minxy, who was adopted at the age of 21 after ten years in a shelter. Minxy’s mom knows that she won’t have Minxy for long, but the quality of time spent with Minxy is priceless.

Senior cats are usually calmer and theyve already outgrown their mischievous destructive years. November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month — a month dedicated to the oft-overlooked senior animals that come into shelters.

Most people are apprehensive about adopting an older cat because they believe she might have health or behavioral issues. Senior pets arrive in shelters for a variety of reasons. Often its not the cat who was the problem, but the human. Their families moved, a new baby arrives in the house, a household member develops allergies, the human no longer has time for the animal, or the human has died or moved into a rest home older pets are given up to shelters or rescue groups because owners can’t take care of them anymore, or sadly just don’t want them anymore.

Most senior pets relinquished to shelters face euthanasia. However, some of these elderly pets clearly have time left, often quite a few years. When searching to adopt a new family member be open to adopting a cat of any age. Yes, there may be a concerns with adopting older animals, but the risk of adoption for a senior pet is low and the rewards are immeasurable. BestFriends.org has a list of reasons that you should consider adopting a senior pet:

Less destruction – – With a senior pet you dont have to worry about child proofing your home. Older pets, dogs in particular, are not teething anymore and wont chew everything in site while theyre growing up. Shoes, furniture, TV remote control and landscaping are generally untouched when you bring an older pet home. With a youngster, no matter how well you monitor themsomething is bound to be destroyed.

Bladder control – – Senior pets are generally housebroken. And, if theyre not, they are much easier to train than a young pet that has not yet gained bladder control. Plus, senior pets know the appropriate area to relieve themselves. Senior cats are accustomed to a litter box.

Eight hours of sleep – – Senior cats let you get a good nights sleep because they are already attuned to human schedules. They dont get the kitten crazies at 3:00 in the morning waiting for someone to entertain them. Senior pets settle down and snooze soundly throughout the night, just like you do!

Instant Companion
– – Senior pets settle in quickly because they’ve already learned what it takes to get along with others. Older cats are ready to enjoy a comfortable nap in your lap or spend time keeping you company while you work on the computer. And, being older and wiser, senior pets sense they have been saved and start showing their love and devotion, in turn, very quickly.

My mom is a huge proponent of senior pet adoption. For as long as I can remember, she’s adopted older animals, often left homeless after their own senior owners died or moved into assisted living situations. These dedicated pets are suddenly left to deal not only with separation from a beloved owner, but are faced with being euthanized if considered too old to be adoptable. My mom swears that these pets are grateful for being rescued, and are much easier for her, as a senior, to manage.

If you’re considering adopting a senior cat and you live in Northern California, our friend Minxy has a senior cat she’s trying to find a home for:

“I just got back from a check-up at the vet and they have taken in a senior kitty called Freckles and are looking for a good home for her. The family of an elderly woman who had to go into a nursing home brought her in to be euthanised but the vet persuaded them to surrender her to them instead. I don’t think the family are super evil as they are finding homes for the younger cats but Freckles was old and sick and they couldn’t find anyone to take her. The vet is treating her to get her back to health but need to find her a home and can’t keep her for long.

“They are not sure how old Freckles is but she is a senior kitty probably in her teens. She was sick and skinny when she came in 3 weeks ago but is getting better and has put on weight and they don’t think she has any chronic illnesses.

“Freckles is a dark tortie with a white chin and white whiskers. When mum went round the back to see her she was friendly and purred and smooched.

“If anyone is interested in adopting Freckles or finding out more about her she is at the Sacramento Cat Hospital 916-488-4161.”

Adopting a senior pet is a wonderful experience and there are many senior pets awaiting adoption at your local shelter. These animals still have time to bring joy to you and are just looking for that one special home to cherish them for the rest of their lives.