A new pet adoption program that aims to provide seniors with companionship and find homes for shy rescue cats is being launched by Australian charity, PetRescue.

PetRescue works with other groups to find homes for pets and has developed the Shy Cats and Senior Citizens campaign to give people the opportunity adopt a new furry feline for $25, which includes desexing, vaccinations and microchipping.

Following research that found older people are less likely to adopt animals out of concern about what might happen to their pet if they can no longer care for him or her, PetRescue will also guarantee to work with rescue organisations to find adopted cats in the program a new safe, loving home if the need arises.

PetRescue Co-founder John Bishop says it takes a special person to open their heart and their home to a shy cat.

“Senior citizens are wonderfully placed to be able to offer shy cats the time, patience and love that they need to blossom, offering both the new owner and the rescue cat a chance to enjoy each other’s company and a quieter environment,” he said.

“And the special love of a shy cat is such an incredible addition to a seniors’ life – there’s the proven mental health benefits of pet ownership, and the satisfaction that comes from adopting an animal that has an uncertain future, and is in desperate need of a second chance at a happy life.” 

The Shy Cats and Seniors campaign has been made possible after PetRescue sourced philanthropic and corporate donations to subsidise the cost of the cats’ care while they’re waiting for a loving new home at the shelter or in foster care.

Since PetRescue was founded in 2004, more than 450,000 listed rescue pets have been adopted nationwide.

For more information go to shycats@petrescue.org.au