We’re talking about one of my favorite things again today– kitties!
This is Luna, one of the older cats at the shelter where I volunteer. Luna came to the shelter in April and finally got adopted a couple weeks ago!
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and that’s a topic that’s really close to my heart. While I really love kittens to pieces, I’ve always been an advocate of adopting older cats.
Why? Think about it. Kittens are adorable. Everyone wants a kitten. Kittens get adopted really quickly. Older cats are sometimes overlooked in favor of the tiny little balls of fluff, but older cats have just as much love to give as kittens. Maybe even more, since they are so much more appreciative of finding their furever homes after spending a longer time in shelters.
When my sister and I were kids, maybe 5th grade or so, my dad finally, finally told us that maybe, just maybe we could get a cat. We’d grown up for years without pets, so this was a really big deal. Before he totally committed, he started taking us to a cat shelter called Kitty City inside a local pet store. We’d go maybe once a week and look at the cats and kittens. Of course, as kids, we loved the kittens. But I also had a soft spot for some of the older cats, too. We were particularly drawn to one pudgy gray older cat named Elliot. Every week we’d go back to shelter and play with the new kittens, and then spend some time with Elliot.
I started to notice that every week, there were new kittens. Last week’s kittens were gone, and there was a new litter in their place. But week after week, sweet Elliot was still at the shelter. After a couple months of visits to Kitty City, my dad finally decided that we were committed enough to take home a cat. We went back and forth on whether we wanted a kitten, but in the end both my sister and I couldn’t stop thinking about Elliot. He came home with us that day!
Our childhood cat Elliot, who we adopted as an adult.
Elliot ended up being the best cat we could ever have asked for. And since then, I have always felt really strongly about adopting and giving older cats a chance.
When Nick and I went to adopt our first cat together, I told him right off the bat he wasn’t going to be getting a kitten. Though we did end up adopting a younger cat (she was about a year old and just happened to be the one he fell in love with), I was still glad that we were able to adopt a full-sized cat and not one of the tiny kittens that would be scooped up by someone else within days.
Over the last year, I have been volunteering at a cat shelter on the Navy base near us. Sadly, military bases are magnets for stray cats as there are too many irresponsible pet owners out there who get orders to move across the country and decide to just leave their pets behind. The shelter I work at helps to control the stray cat population by taking in those abandoned pets, as well as capturing, neutering and adopting out all the resulting litters of kittens.
We mostly have kittens at our shelter, but we have a handful of older cats at any given time. Of course, they always spend much more time at the shelter than the kittens do. But when they finally do find their furever homes, it makes me so happy!
Winnie, one of our older cats, recently got adopted by the daughter of one of the other volunteers. She did chores around the house to save money specifically to adopt Winnie. She had helped her mom at the shelter, seen how long Winnie had been there, and found a soft spot in her heart for Winnie. It made me think of adopting Elliot all those years ago and really made me proud of that little girl! And so happy for Winnie to find a great home!
Winnie, hanging out at the shelter before she got adopted!
If you’re thinking about adding a new member to your family, don’t forget to consider those senior pets who still have lots of love to give. Of course it’s important for kittens to find homes as well, but we can’t forget about the older cats who have probably waiting longer than anyone to find their furever home.
If you’re not growing your family right now, you can help pets in need by feeding your current furbabies Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Pet Food. 100% of Rachael’s personal proceeds from sales of Nutrish have gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for animals in need. Rachael’s Rescue was created for all of the forgotten pets — the ones that might not have someone who loves them as much as you love your pet.
What’s your adoption story? Have you ever adopted an older pet?