As your pet gets older so does their body, and sometimes the things they could do, they can no longer do, or they find it harder. They may therefore alter their behaviour and not do what they used to, not enjoy it as much, or avoid places instead.
Consider the levels in the house for things they access or use
- make sure the level of entry to their cat loo is not too high for them. If it is, add a bolster of some sort e.g. slab, or get a different cat loo with a lower entry point
2. covered cat loos tend to offer more privacy to the user and if they then overshoot it will just run down the inside of the cover into the tray. The cat door can normally be removed if they dislike this.
3. monitor the level of the settee or bed (if allowed up) and whether you need to give them a stepping stone to get on there more easily.
4. notice the level of cat/dog flap and observe them using it. Do you need to bolster the height on entry or exit to make it easier for them? (I had some small slabs that I put in front of Phoebe’s exit point to make it easier to exit and come back in her cat flap)
5. look at the level of their cat activity centre – do you need to provide a sturdy box or platform for them to take their first step up?
6. you may need to raise their food/water bowls if they are struggling to lower their head to eat/drink, and there are various types on places like Amazon.com, ZooPlus or other pet websites to browse. Even your vet surgery may stock one or be able to order one in.
Praise and Encouragement
Encourage, guide and praise them when they use the bolster you have put in place, as it will be unfamiliar to them, so they may need a little help to work it out. Rub their scent on the adjustments you have made to make it more familiar. Show them how to use it, or play whilst using the step as part of play, so they naturally try it out.