8 Benefits of Mature Pets

yawning cat

A puddle of sunshine makes for great napping!


8 Benefits of Mature Pets

Less Initial Cost. A mature dog or cat has already been spayed or neutered, and had routine vaccinations. Puppies and kittens are magnets for trouble, and suffer more injuries through nonstop play and exploration than sedate older pets.

Predictable Health. By the time a dog or cat reaches mature status, health or behavior problems will be apparent. That helps adopters plan and provide ways to keep seniors happy and comfortable rather than being surprised by an unexpected issue. For instance, a Dachshund with a history of back problems can be offered steps and ramps to reach the sofa and a beloved owner’s lap. Even with a health challenge, old fogey pets make wonderful companions.

Known Personality. Puppies and kittens are works-in-progress and hard to predict adult personality. For instance, lap-snugglers as babies may snub cuddles once they grow up. But what you see is what you get with an adult pet. The senior dog or cat personality has been established, making it easier to match your perfect pet requirements. You can choose a dog-loving feline, an active rugged dog, or a pet willing to lap sit.

Already Trained. Older dogs often have already been trained basic obedience. They know how to “sit” and walk nicely on leash, for example.

More Polite. The mature dog has fewer urges to act like a juvenile delinquent. They may still have bursts of energy and enjoy playtime. But older dogs won’t be as likely to jump up, “hump” your leg, or knock down the kids trying to race them out the door. Mature felines won’t be as interested in using your head as a launch pad, or your pant leg as a moveable scratch post.

Fewer Behavior Problems. Puppies and kittens only learn by making mistakes. But a mature pet already knows the rules of the house. An older dog knows not to chew the TV remote or your shoes. She’s been housetrained and tells you when she needs to “go.” The mature kitty understands litter box etiquette, no longer climbs the Christmas tree, or swings from the drapes. He knows not to excavate the potted palm or play ping-pong with the parakeet.

Kid Friendly. Older pets that have been around babies, toddlers and young children already know how to interact. They can be a wonderful choice for a child’s first pet. Dogs especially may “adopt” your human baby, and shower the infant with attention, gentle play, and protective care. They put up with toddler tail tugs with a patient purr or doggy grin. Countless children have learned to walk while grasping the furry shoulder of a canine friend, or reaching out for that tempting feline tail. A mature pet can offer the child a special friend who listens but never tells secrets, a sympathetic purring or wagging presence that acts as a stabilizing influence. Older pets are less fragile than puppies and kittens and can teach responsibility and empathy for other living creatures.

Senior Citizen Friendly. Many older people have loved and lived with pets all their lives. But they may worry what might happen should they outlive a newly adopted puppy or kitten. A mature dog or cat offers just as much love but a more manageable number of years that can be more attractive to older owners. Mature cats and dogs have fewer energy needs—they won’t need owners to take them jogging when rolling a ball down the hallway will suffice. Older owners who have fragile skin can also choose mature pets already trained to be careful with claws and play bites. And the older dog—even if not leash trained—isn’t as able to drag the owner around.

 Dogs and cats don’t know they’re old. They only know they are loved. There are many advantages to adopting an “old fogey pet” and these special animal companions return your love in unexpected and glorious ways. And you can help your “golden oldie” live happy, healthy and enjoyable years as long as possible with helpful home care and veterinary help, outlined in my Aging Cat as well as in my Aging Dog books.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!


8 Benefits of Mature Pets — 8 Comments

  1. Hahaha no longer climbs the tree. That’s a good one. 😉 Tell that one to Anubis. We can’t have a tree unless there’s a door we can close him out with. My sister insists that that’s what you get for naming your cat after a god. I say cats already “know” they’re gods, so what’s the difference? 😛

    Meanwhile my old fogey’s headed to the vet this afternoon. Those big brittle claws she’s got where she keeps snagging them? Couple of ’em decided to grow under after I wasn’t able to trim them without them trying to split down the middle. Ugh. 🙁 One of them she managed to pull the outer shell off and it left a nice new short and sharp nail underneath, was hoping the other ones would do the same since she still sharpens her claws as much as ever. Hopefully maybe they can tell me if there’s another kind of trimmer that’s less likely to cause those splits so I can handle them on my own, though. I don’t think she’d take to one of those pedi-paws things – she’d be one the noise freaks out.

    • I tried the Pedi-Paw and it takes forever–so the pet has to sit for a long time for the benefit. Wasn’t an option for us. So sorry about the claws. The trick is the cutter must be SHARP or it will split nails. I need a new one for Magic, too–they do dull over time. For Seren I just use human toenail clippers. *S*

      • Yeah I tried toenail clippers and that was when they split. Figured it’d be better because those clippers were sharper. UGH. Figure I need to go get those ones where the shipping end is at the tip, instead of the scissor-style.

        They need to invent a special sharpener for those things.

  2. So true, Amy! I adopted an aged but adorable Corgi mix during an on-site adoption at Petsmart, back in 2004. Although the people at the no-kill shelter sponsoring the drive tried to talk me out of adopting little Boaz because he had heartworm disease, I took him anyway. My fee paid for his treatment and helped him last another six years. The little sweetie was almost 13 years old when he crossed the Rainbow Bridge in Jan. 2010. Now, I get to “visit” him whenever I take flowers to my parents’ graves, as that’s where I scattered his ashes. I like to think of us being connected at the heart, as I helped him to a heartworm-disease-free heart and he healed my own heart, still broken following my mother’s death.

      • No, Amy, it really wasn’t. My li’l guy was a gentleman’s gentleman. During the last month or so before he died (suddenly), he spent many afternoons curled up asleep on the chaise on my patio. I did, however, get almost six good years with him. For that I’m thankful. And now I have my baby-girl, Russet.

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