Nine-year-old kitty Sadie watches from her cage as prospective adopters walk by. Some stop to read her biography and marvel at her beautiful coloring. But after a short while, they continue on. This is Sadie’s eighth week living at Marin Humane waiting for her new home.

Such is the typical life of a homeless older pet.

While millions of middle-aged and senior cats and dogs fill shelters across the country, it’s the cute and cuddly kittens and puppies, or bouncy young adults, that usually find homes first. It’s heartbreaking to watch older pets waiting for a family to welcome them into their home while they are overlooked among the appealing youngsters. What many don’t realize is that older pets can not only be just as beautiful and lovable as their younger counterparts, but they also possess wonderful qualities that are unique to their age. And November is adopt-a-senior-animal month, so there’s no better time!

Let’s face it — while we all love them, puppies and kittens are a handful. Like children, they have an abundance of energy and require a lot of time and patience. Young pets need to be house-trained and require proper training and socialization to ensure that they grow up to be good adult citizens. With a senior pet, you won’t have to go through these challenging training and socialization periods, and you won’t find yourself cleaning up after accidents.

And with older pets, what you see is what you get. A middle-aged or senior cat or dog’s personality is fully developed and they’ve already grown into their looks. But a kitten or puppy may surprise you down the road because their true personality and appearance are still unknown.

It also feels good to provide a home to an animal in need. “It can be difficult to have a pet for a relatively short amount of time, but it’s well worth the effort and eventual loss to be able to provide physical and loving care for them as they need it,” says Susan Lamont, who adopted Raider, an 8-year-old Queensland heeler mix, last year.People might be afraid that an older pet will have nothing to offer. But nothing could be further from the truth. Many senior kitties, for example, still love to play and snuggle with their humans. Jennifer Bryant adopted 11-year-old Ella, a colorful calico, last winter. “I don’t even think of her as older,” Bryant says. “In fact, Ella is super spunky and loves to play with bouncy toys.”

Marin Humane has plenty of senior animals looking for homes, so if you’re thinking of adopting a new furry friend, please consider opening your heart to one of these lovely old souls.