The Case for Adopting Older Pets

I have had a lot of cats in my life and not one of them was a kitten. I’ve always had older cats, and they are wonderful. I know that a lot of people worry that adopting an older pet may mean high costs if the pet is sick, needs special meds, and so on. Of course, that can happen, but not always.

But here’s the flip side of adopting an older pet: they are all grown up, they have their own routines, and they are far less likely to climb curtains, unroll all the toilet paper, pee on the floor, and so on. They seem to understand that they have been given a second chance.

While older pets enjoy playing with toys and love chasing the light from an LED pointer (remember, NEVER point the red light in their eyes), they will eventually calm down and sleep until the next meal time.

In the shelters, too many people overlook the older pets. When I lived in San Antonio, TX, I went to a shelter which was beautifully kept, and all the animals there were healthy and well cared for. A black cat with one crooked ear caught my eye, and I asked about her.

It turned out that she had been in the shelter for over four years! I asked why, and was told that she was usually passed over because of that crooked ear and two long incisers. But I thought that she was adorable. Long story short, I brought her home with me. Her shelter name was Blackie (I know; how original!), and I had her for fifteen years. She was a wonderful, affectionate and loving cat, and loved to sleep beside me at night.

So the next time that your heart longs for a pet, do look at the older animals. Chances are that they are loving and sweet companions who would be quite grateful for a safe home and a family who loves them. You won’t be sorry.

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