There are dozens of reasons to adopt an older cat or dog, but only one that really matters: It’s the right thing to do.
“There are so many benefits to adopting an older pet,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA. “They’re more settled, they’re housetrained, their personalities are fully developed and you know how big they’ll get. The best reason to adopt one, however, is because they deserve it.” Senior dogs often have many good years left to enjoy and cats can live well into their teens and even their 20s. That means a senior cat of eight years and older who is adopted from a shelter could be with his or her new guardian for another eight or 10 years, or even longer.
Still, says Chortyk, kittens and younger cats always find homes faster.
“People reason that they want to have their new pet for as long as possible, and the younger it is when they adopt it, the longer they’ll have it,” says Chortyk. “Unfortunately, that means adult and older cats end up spending a greater portion of those years in a shelter.”
Chortyk says compared to kittens and young cats, older cats are generally more accustomed to household life and content to snooze away much of the day. While they still enjoy companionship and affection, they don’t demand the level of supervision of their kitten counterparts.
The BC SPCA is highlighting the benefits of adopting adult pets as part of Adoption Awareness Month throughout May. Last year, the BC SPCA found loving homes for more than 18,000 animals across the province.