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Adopt a Senior Pet Month 2024: When & How to Celebrate

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

man with cat and dog

Adopt a Senior Pet Month 2024: When & How to Celebrate

November every year is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. As you might expect, this month is observed to encourage people to adopt older pets, which are typically overlooked. Most people adopting are looking for younger pets, leaving older pets in shelters and rescues for longer.

This month’s primary purpose is to raise awareness about the plight of senior pets with the hope that more potential adopters will choose older cats and dogs. Some rescue organizations may use this month to promote their older pets, offering discounts on senior animals and advertising them on social media.

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Why Senior Pets?

There are loads of pets that need to be adopted. Why do senior pets need their own month?

Sadly, senior pets are commonly overlooked in adoption agencies and shelters. They can make wonderful and loving companions, though, especially if you’re looking for a calmer pet. Senior pets tend to be less work, as they are commonly already trained and socialized.

Often, senior pets are also past frustrating behaviors that commonly occur during puppy- and kittenhood, like excessive chewing. Therefore, if you want to skip these behaviors, you may want to consider adopting an older pet, especially during this month.

two pet sitters with dogs and cats
Image Credit: Bussakorn Ewesakul, Shutterstock

Celebrating this Month

If you want to celebrate Adopt a Senior Pet Month, consider adopting an older pet! Even when adopting a pet that is over the age of 7, you’re still committing to taking care of that pet for several years. While 7+ is often when a pet is considered “old,” some pets can go on to live for about 10+ years. Therefore, don’t assume you’re making much less of a time commitment.

If you can’t adopt a pet, consider volunteering at a shelter or rescue to help senior pets who are trying to get adopted. You can also share information about senior pets in your area on social media, which may help their information reach someone looking to adopt a new pet.

If you can’t dedicate time to volunteering, adoption agencies are always looking for money and donations. If you can afford to donate, November is a great time to do so.

Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet

Still on the fence about adopting an older pet? While they are commonly seen as “past their prime,” there are tons of benefits to adopting an older pet.

One of these is knowing what you’re getting into. You’ll likely be able to learn about the pet’s behavior and temperament upfront. When you adopt a puppy, there is often no telling how that puppy will be as an adult. However, when you adopt a senior pet, their behaviors and temperament are typically established. Therefore, you can find a better match for your family.

Furthermore, older animals are less likely to be adopted from a shelter. Therefore, when you adopt an older pet, you save them from a potentially uncertain wait. You get the happiness of knowing that you gave an older pet a second chance at a happy life in their senior years.

cat and dog together on sofa
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Special Considerations

While adopting a senior pet can help save an unlucky animal from waiting for months in a shelter, there are some special considerations to consider. Senior pets are more likely to have health problems or develop health problems in the near future. Therefore, you should be prepared to care for their medical needs should they arise.

Furthermore, these pets are very set in their ways. Therefore, if a pet has any behavioral issues, they may be harder to correct and take more time.

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Adopt a Senior Pet Month is a great time to make the trek to your local animal shelter to adopt a senior pet. These pets have a unique need, as they are often overlooked by most adopters. However, they can still make great pets for the right family.

That said, some senior pets have health issues or behavioral problems that make it harder to care for them. You should go into senior pet adoption with open eyes to ensure that you can properly care for these cats.


Featured Image Credit: Magui-RF, Shutterstock

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