Best Pets for the Elderly

Older woman holding her pet cat.

Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.

Pets Make the Best Company

As you age and begin to retire, it can be challenging to find opportunities for interaction. Unfortunately, this life stage can lead to feelings of despair and loneliness. What can remedy those depressive feelings? Maybe try cuddling and caring for a furry friend!

Newborn puppies are cute but may not be the best pet option for an older individual with limited mobility. Instead, you would want to look for a low-maintenance animal that doesn’t require much care.

Follow along as we go through a few different pet options that make the most sense for an older owner.


The ultimate easy-to-care-for pet is a fish! A small freshwater aquarium is easy to set up and easy to maintain. Daily feeding, weekly water testing, and monthly gravel vacuuming are the requirements to keep most fish healthy.

The fun part of getting a fish is decorating the tank with many interesting plants and hiding spaces. Also, there are so many beautiful species of fish to choose from to create an ecosystem that will offer color and movement that is peaceful to watch.


If you don’t have the energy for a dog, having a cat is a prudent alternative. Cats are usually independent. They clean themselves and are generally quieter than dogs. Similarly, with litter boxes, cats do not need to be taken out to use the bathroom. If you live in a senior facility with limited space and minimal yard, having a pet that uses a litter box is an additional benefit.

While cats can vary in hair length, even longer-haired cats merely require brushing now and again. Having that routine can help create a bonding moment between yourself and the animal.


Having pet birds is another great pet option for the elderly. Some species only require feeding, watering, and replacing the paper in their cages. A few birds prefer not to be touched, but they can add sound and movement to your home. On the other hand, a bird such as a parrot is more open to physical contact but can be needy and loud.

For some people, nothing feels better than caring for and loving a pet. That’s no different for members of the elderly population. While the options for pets dwindle due to limited mobility or other ailments that come with age, there are still a few species of pets that make the perfect companion for an older individual.

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We hope that this information on the best pets for the elderly is useful to you.

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla Gonzalez is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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