Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week | Lola The Rescued Cat
Monday, September 19, 2016

Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week

Hello everyone.  This is Lexy checking in and today to tell you that this is a very important week.  It’s Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week. Petfinder started the Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week campaign to raise awareness about the fact that special-needs pets are just as wonderful and loving as "normal" pets, and that they’re just as deserving of forever homes. And we here at the White House couldn't agree more. 

According to a Petfinder survey, “less-adoptable” pets wait for a home nearly four times longer than the average adoptable pet does and sometimes that is more than two years! Can you believe that? Now, you may not think that Lola and I were “less adoptable”, but we weren’t exactly the first cats people were looking at, either.  Mother was shocked to find out that I was in the shelter for almost a year. Can you imagine a beautiful cat like me, with my intelligence and bubbly personality being passed up? Neither could Mother. She was told that people wanted younger (I was only about 1 ½ at the time) or more exotic looking cats. I guess people thought a black and white cat was boring. (The nerve of some humans.) And Lola, as you know, was very sick. I believe Mother was the only person who showed interest in adopting her even though her picture was all over Facebook. 

Petfinder asked their shelter and rescue group members which pets they have the hardest time finding homes for and this is what they said:

So what makes a pet less adoptable? You may be surprised to find out.


 According to the pet finder survey, 24% of shelters say their long term residents are older or senior pets. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) states that a cat is considered to be a senior between the ages of 7 and 10. A well taken care of indoor cat can live to be 15, and in many cases older.  By adopting a senior pet you are giving them a wonderful life in their golden years, which quite often can mean you are spending many delightful years together.


Pit bulls and pit bull mixes spend many years looking for a forever home due to their reputation. In fact, pit bulls and mixes have behaviors that are no different from other dog breeds.  Mother always says it isn’t the dog that’s mean, it’s the owner.   And in open admission shelters many are euthanized because they are not adopted. 

Special Needs

FIV+ cats have a very hard time finding forever homes.  Many people are misinformed about FIV and unnecessarily afraid.  FIV cats can live amicably with other cats with all of them having long lives.  Other medical conditions that prevent animals from being adopted are Cerebellar Hypoplasia, visual impairments, seizures, Irritable Bowel Disorder, hypothyroidism and many others.  Many of these disorders are able to be maintained with medication and diet.  

Black Cats

It’s sad but true; black cats are the least likely to be adopted from a shelter. Black cat stygmas and superstitions still effect people in the U.S. today.  How sad is that? Black cats are just as loveable as any other cat. The same goes for dogs.  This stigma is so rampant that it has been dubbed “Black Dog Syndrome.” That means that black dogs and cats are euthanized at much higher rates than those of lighter complexion. Sad, but true. Our friend, Smoky, started a Black Cats RULE page on Facebook to bring advocate for black cats, and we always support her efforts. 

Fearful or Shy pets

Oftentimes someone will adopt a pet from the shelter expecting the animal to immediately become their best friend, only to be disappointed when the cat spends days under the bed or the dog hides under the table.  Mother has a friend who used to work in rescue who told her on more than one occasion she had to go remove a newly adopted cat from a home because it was hiding and was not “friendly” enough.  With patience, knowledge, love and a few resources can turn the situation into a long term friendship filled with love.

Behavioral Needs

Behavioral needs are the most common reason pets are surrendered to a shelter. The reasons range from inappropriate elimination and scratching furniture, to fighting with the other pets. These animals deserve a chance at a good life, and a patient person with a big heart can help them learn new habits or heal from past traumas that are causing the behaviors.

I did a Petfinder search for black cats in the New York City area, and found 853 cats looking for a home within 25 miles of us.  Many of these are black and white cats, like me. I did another search for special needs pets and found 272 special needs cats needing a forever home in the same radius.  Can you believe that number? It's just horrible. My paws are crossed that these pets find their way into a person’s heart.  

Stay tuned for part two in this series where I will be interviewing a special needs cat of the blogoshpere.  Are you wondering who it is? You'll have to check back to see! 

Have you ever adopted a “less adoptable” pet? Or are you a pet that was considered “less adoptable?”

Sources: Catster, The Huffington Post

Would you like to comment?

  1. That was a great post sweeties. I'm pretty convinced that there are not any less adoptable critters, only less bright humans!

  2. We don't think any animals are less adoptable. Every one is special in its own way. :)

  3. What a great post to bring about awareness! Will be sharing!

  4. Excellent post! I have 3 black cats, I also adopted KaTwpo and Snowball who had been in the shelter for 2 years before I adopted them. Snowball is shy and KaTwo is a bit crazy, but very sweet. I love all my kitties :)

  5. Great Post! Mes, Kozmo and Jo Jo is all rescues. Mes had such horrible behaviour problems from being abused that mes was NOT going to bes adopted out at all! It took a while before mes turned around, but Mommy says me was worth it.

  6. Love this post! Every cat deserves a chance. Every cat deserves a home full of love.

  7. That's interesting that senior pets have the hardest time getting adopted. Senior black cats and/or senior pits must really have a tough time. Pretty much all my animals have always been less adoptable - Ruby was a senior with medical and behavioral issues and Rosie was a stray black cat with frostbitten ears and Elsie who just passed away was a deaf, semi-feral cat with behavioral problems. As you know, I like the specials.

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