REARRANGE YOUR HOME
Anyone who has ever woken up sore after a workout has come to grips with getting older. Use your own aging body to help you remember to tune into aches your pet might have. Watch for changes in their habits. For example, if your pet needs to lie on the floor to eat from their bowl, consider elevating their food and water dishes to make meals more like a drive-in than a picnic.
When it comes to your formerly frisky feline, according to Schnitker, a new litter box can make all the difference; look for something larger with a lower lip. “Cats get arthritis in their spines, not necessarily their limbs, and [turning in] tight circles can give them trouble,” she says. “They’ll get aversion to litter boxes and start going outside the box unless it’s larger.” If you have the room for it, large circular litter boxes are ideal for any aged cat.
If all these accommodations are making you see dollar signs, don’t panic! Think about affordable non-pet store products that will serve the same purpose. For example, use a wooden block instead of an expensive plush staircase to help your pets up to their favorite nap spots. Or instead of completely scrapping your cat’s multi-level tree because it’s more difficult to climb, add blocks or ramps to make the higher platforms easier to reach.