Written by Dr Kim Kendall, feline expert at The Cat Palace
A pet friendly retirement is something anybody who has ever experienced the unconditional love of a cat or dog dreams of. But life isn’t always how we want it to be. It seems though, sometimes, that the more we need our best friends, the less equipped we become to look after them.
Fortunately, I’ll always have someone to look after me thanks to Dr Kim and the gang here at the Cat Palace, but a lot of my mates aren’t so fortunate.
Pets and people in Australia are living longer than ever before, and that means more of you oldies out there will end up in a retirement community of some sort. Great as many such environments are for people, too few of them are so welcoming to the cat or dog (or budgie) that has been at your side for years. This means many pets end up in rescue shelters and, because many of them are getting on a bit themselves, finding a new home is very difficult.
But it’s not all doom and gloom!
The people who run retirement communities have started to latch on to the massive benefits a faithful companion can bring, and are starting to welcome pets as residents alongside their people. It’s not all, and not even the majority, but attitudes are changing.
The Animal Welfare League of Australia have set up a separate website which lists all the retirement facilities by state, and indicates which are pet-friendly. The website is called Pet Friendly Aged Care, and is a fantastic resource for people and pets, alike.
If you know someone considering entering a retirement community, and they have pets that they’d dearly love to take with them, don’t assume it isn’t possible. Have a look at the website and see if there’s a community which fits the bill for a pet friendly retirement.
I like the idea so much that I’ve even used a picture of a dog! Everybody wins!
About Dr Kim
Dr. Kim Kendall is Sydney’s best loved and one of the world’s best known cat vets. She is a world expert in feline friendly care, one of only 2 cat-only vets in Sydney and the only cat vet in Australia qualified in cat behavior. As well as providing exceptional medical, dental and behavioral services, Dr Kim overseas all grooming and boarding services with her expert eye and provides routine health checks. Dr Kim continues with the calm pursuit of excellence in Feline Medicine and Feline Health, both mental and physical! She is mindful that we humans have changed cats’ nvironment so much – from solo desert-dwelling rodent hunter to City Gods and Goddesses. Dr Kim also delivers regular ‘cat only’ seminars and webinars and has been presenting seminar papers at the prestigious Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists on feline behavior and medicine topics for a few years now, as well as resenting papers at the International Veterinary Behaviour Meetings.