Low Maintenance Pets to Liven Up your Home

Many people consider adopting pets during their retirement—but finding low-maintenance pets is important to some. Whether you are thinking of traveling during retirement or picking up some new retirement hobbies, here are some pets for retirement that are great for offering affection, but aren’t likely to interfere with any of your other retirement plans.


Cats for Seniors

Of course most people, when thinking of an ideal companion, are likely to consider dogs for seniors. And there are a few good dog breeds for seniors that are worth considering. But if your retirement plans involve a lot of traveling or you’re looking forward to a no-strings-attached sort of lifestyle, a dog might not be your best option.


Cats for seniors, on the other hand, can offer all the company and compassion as dogs for seniors can but without all of the commitment. People have hesitations though, about cats being friendly enough. If you’re worried about finding the right cat for you, consider fostering a cat first. When you foster cats, you take different cats into your home on a temporary basis, until that cat gets adopted by someone else. This is a great way to meet your purr-fect companion.


Often with cats, it’s a matter of finding a cat who matches your personality. But once you find the right one, you’ll find that cats can be extremely affectionate. They’re also easier to keep up with and if you need to travel, you can set up an automatic feeder (they even have ones with cameras) so you can keep up with your favorite fur friend when you’re farther away.


Curious on what breeds might be best as a retirement cat? Here are just a few cat breeds that are known to be extra friendly - but again, remember, it's always best to meet a few to find the particular cat that matches you best.


Friendly Cats for Seniors

  • Maine Coon
  • Siamese
  • Ragdoll
  • Abyssinian
  • Birman
  • Sphynx

Dogs for Seniors Who Travel

If your heart is really set on some K9 companionship, but you’re worried about keeping up with daily walks or finding someone to care for your dog while you’re away, you can always foster a dog, too. Fostering a dog is a great way to help keep an animal out of the shelter. Older dogs also struggle to find homes. When you foster a dog, you can enjoy the occasional companionship but only commit to daily walks for weeks at a time. This is also good if you travel, so you can plan to only take in dogs when you’re in town. While there are opportunities to foster many different types of dogs, including very lovable mutts, you can always consider breeds like greyhounds, corgis and other dog breeds for seniors that offer the right balance of affection without too much hyperactivity.

Other Low-Maintenance Pets

There are other low-maintenance pets to consider, too, like parakeets, lizards, or fish. If you can get over the lack of fur and are open to adopting a reptile, you might consider finding a reptile rescue center. Turtles, for example, can make an excellent low-maintenance pet. However, turtles can live anywhere from 10-80 years. For that reason, many people take on turtles and pets only to find that they weren’t quite ready for an 80-year commitment. You could be doing some turtle or lizard a big favor, then, by giving them a home.


Adopting a pet in retirement can be good for managing your stress and helping you find companionship. And you might feel an even greater sense of purpose if you find an animal to adopt or foster that wouldn’t otherwise find a home without you.




Contributed to The 55+ Society

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Published  1.13.22  

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