Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week – September 18 – 24
Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week occurs the third week of September each year. Its purpose is to raise awareness and encourage people to adopt those pets that tend to spend more time at the shelter than other pets. So, what makes a pet “less adoptable”?
Animals who spend 48 weeks or more at a shelter are classified as less adoptable as compared to other animals who spend an average of 12.5 weeks. When an animal is older, disabled, has been diagnosed with an illness, or simply isn’t as good-looking as other pets, its chances of getting adopted are compromised and it is considered less adoptable. Now, as a blind black cat with no eyes, I certainly qualify! But I’m asking you to take a different perspective and rather than seeing me and others who aren’t perfect as “less adoptable”, consider that we are “more adaptable”.
More Adaptable Cats
Senior kitties, cats with handicaps such as being deaf, blind, or missing a limb, and cats with a diagnosed illness or injury do have a harder time finding a home. Some people assume that we will be more difficult to care for and well, that’s just not true. I’m blind and I do everything that sighted cats do. I use the litter box, I eat from my food dish and I cavort around the house like any other kitty. I rely on my other senses such as my whiskers and hearing to navigate. I do appreciate familiarity such as keeping things where they are, but if you do need to move things around, I just ask that you make small changes slowly.
My pretty friend Persephone is a “tripod’ kitty. Due to an injury, one of her legs was amputated. A cat that loses a limb will have an adjustment period and may need a little extra care such as a low-sided litter box, non-slip surfaces, and ramps to get to higher spaces. However, they are as playful, loving, and active as any other kitty.
Cats with an illness or injury will have some special needs. They may need medication on a regular basis. But this does not make them any less lovable. In fact, caring for a more adaptable kitty can often deepen the love and bond you share with them. My friend Ellie Mae has diabetes and needs insulin twice a day. That may sound scary, but for her humans, it’s just part of the daily routine. My buddy Elend is FIV positive. His humans keep a watchful eye to be sure he doesn’t get any infections and he gets along great with his FIV negative house-mates. My pal Mako only has half of his tongue and no lower teeth due to an injury. He’s a little slower and messier when eating, but that doesn’t stop him!
Keno was a senior kitty who found her forever home when she was 16 years old. Seniors will need a little more care such as annual diagnostics to monitor health, just like a human. On the positive side, seniors are calmer and have formed personalities – what you see is what you get! A senior cat isn’t going to climb your curtains or chew wires and take out your internet and they require less supervision than a younger cat.
These are just a few of the reasons that some kitties need more time before being adopted. If you think your home might be the perfect place for a “less adoptable” cat, check with your local shelter and rescue organizations. A perfectly perfect “more adaptable” kitty might be waiting for you!
Here’s looking at you, Kits!