In our later years, many of us begin simplifying our lives; getting rid of things we don’t use or need any more and scaling back our possessions including smaller houses, smaller cars, maybe even smaller pets.  Downsizing can make things easier for us in many ways, but there are certain items that it is better not to reduce in size. One of those, new research tells us, is your cat’s litter box. There is a temptation to go to a smaller litter box when we move to a smaller home, but don’t do it!
How well does your cat ride in the car?  Does your cat hide when the doorbell rings, or does she want to sit in visitors’ laps within the first 10 minutes of their arrival?  Does your cat enjoy being brushed and groomed, or does she have a “don’t touch me” attitude about any kind of body handling?
Cat and Dog portrait on a white background
Call it companionship at a discount.
The most common cat behavior problem reported to pet behaviorists is cats not using their litter boxes consistently.  To prevent this common but very serious problem, it’s good to review from time to time what makes a good cat litter box.  Use this check sheet to evaluate your cat’s litter box(es) to see if you are meeting all your cat’s needs.
It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about what we want to do in 2014 to accomplish our goals and make our lives better.  We have a protocol for pet parents that we know from our years of experience, both as professionals and as pet owners, will make your life with your pet better for both of you.  We’ve used our Seven Step Positive Proaction Plan © for almost 20 years to help prevent and resolve behavior problems in dogs and cats.  Suzanne’s best-selling “Pet Behavior Protocols” book is based on these seven steps, and we think our Plan is the perfect one to follow to improve your pet’s behavior and your relationship with your four-legged best friend in 2014.  This article is a bit longer than usual, but we think it’s worth it to share our exclusive Seven Step Plan© with you.
During this Thanksgiving, we thought we’d take a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at what we, as a pet owning family, have been thankful for over our lifetime of sharing our lives with our much loved dogs and cats.  For Thanksgivings both past and present, we are thankful:
Many older Americans rely on their pets for companionship, and as time goes on, the bond between people and companion animals can become especially meaningful.
We’re now officially in the thick of fireworks and thunderstorm season.  For many dogs, that translates into a summer of terror.  Neither behavior nor veterinary professionals know for sure why some dogs develop noise phobias and others do not (or why cats seldom do).  We do know they are one of the more common problems seen in older dogs.  Our Irish setter Coral was never bothered by storms until 2 years ago, when she turned 7 years old.
According to statistics from the American Veterinary Medical Association, almost half of family dogs share their lives with at least one family cat.   It’s been implied that dogs and cats are “natural enemies” but that’s not really true.  Animals can learn who to treat as friends during early development, so dogs and cats that first meet each other as kittens and puppies will be more likely to get along.
Once again, AARP Colorado is working with The GLBT Center and Pets Are Wonderful Support (P.A.W.S.) Colorado to provide for the companion animals of older adults, people with disabilities and those facing life-challenging illnesses.
Search AARP States