Some of the unique advantages of mature cats and dogs are:
- What you see is what you get -You can judge the animal’s temperament ahead of time
- You know pretty well what you’re getting with a grown cat or dog – activity level, sociability and health.
- Given time in a loving environment, a grown cat forms just as tight a bond with his new people as any kitten can.
- Most all kittens and pups are cute, cuddly, and passive – some will grow up and stay that way, and others will grow up to be little terrors
- An adult animal’s personality is pretty much set, giving you a better handle on how well he’ll fit into your household and whether or not she’ll get along with any other pets
- The cost of adopting a pet at an animal shelter is usually inexpensive compared to buying one from a breeder or pet store
- Often animals adopted from shelters have already been neutered, wormed and vaccinated
- Already trained – you don’t have to go through the demanding stages of training a new kitten or puppy
- Raising and training kittens and puppies requires a lot of time and know-how.
- An adult animal is likely to be socialized to be around people and other animals
- The animal will be litter/house trained
- It will be less likely to engage in destructive behaviors
- Adult animals are more sedate
- This makes adult pets a practical choice for the elderly and families with children
- An adult animal can be left alone for longer periods of time than a kitten or puppy when needed
Of course, every animal is unique and you should expect some differences.
If you are considering acquiring a new pet, then you can save an adult animal from near certain death by adopting an animal from a local shelter. (Return to Top)
Adopting an adult cat or dog can be a marvelous alternative to raising and training a playful kitten or puppy.
Consider the following when setting out to adopt an adult pet. Of course, some of these considerations will apply to adopting an animal of any age.
- Take your time to search for the right animal for you and only choose one that you know your family knows how to train
- Patience is a virtue
- When you head out to the shelter to look for a new kitten or dog recognize that it might take several visits before you find the one that is just right to become a member of your family
- Take your time to test drive plenty of prospective candidates. The perfect animal is waiting for you somewhere.
- Be realistic – choose with your brain as well as your heart.
- All family members should be involved in the selection process
- Everyone should be happy with the final choice (Return to Top)
- Consider adopting an adult animal
- If you’ve never had a kitten or puppy, you might not realize just how much energy she has. Keeping up with a puppy can be exhausting — and you can’t turn him off or send him to his room to play if you’ve had a hard day.
- If you have your heart set on a purebred, opting for an older dog may be easier than you think. There are a large number of breed rescue clubs that specialize in placing dogs of their particular breed
- Check the classified ads in newspapers for the breed in which you are interested, contact breeders, or call your local humane society for more details
- Learn what you can about the animal’s background
- Look for clues to any possible health problems
- You should get a sense of good health and vitality from the animal you’re considering adopting
- ask the source of the animal if your veterinarian can examine the candidate before you adopt him
- ask to see the animal’s health records, vaccination history, and spaying or neutering etc. if available
- Go over the animal from nose to tail. The skin should be clean and unbroken; cats should be covered thickly with a glossy coat of fur. Ears should be clean as well, and the eyes should be clear and bright. The animals nose should be clear of discharge, and in the mouth, look for rosy-pink gums and white teeth.
- if possible, take each cat or dog you’re considering away from the caging area of the adoption center.
- Go to a quiet place and try to get a feel for the cat as an individual.
- The “right cat” should respond to your attention, relaxing in your lap, pushing for strokes and purring.
- Observe the animal’s behavior when he interacts with a variety of people, especially children and men. (Return to Top)
You are excited to be home and everybody wants to play with the new member of the family! Here’s a few tips to get things off to the right start.
- An environmental change offers a wonderful opportunity for a dog to learn new household rules
- First impressions are extremely important and leave an indelible impression
- Take the time to show the animal where to go to the toilet, what to chew, what’s “out of bounds”
- Also take time to establish good communication and to help the animal to settle down calmly and quietly during her first couple of weeks at home
- This is the perfect time for you both to create the special bond that will ensure a good future together
- It is very important that your animal does not establish any bad habits during her first couple of weeks at home. (Return to Top)