Oodles of Fun: These Breeds Are Dogs Mixed with Poodles

Poodles are beautiful dogs with their elegant appearance and their signature curly hair. And they come in three sizes, so they’re perfect for almost any living space. Poodles are highly intelligent dogs, and they don’t shed very much.

For centuries, the Poodle has been one of the most popular breeds in the world and a symbol of elegance and opulent luxury. The Poodle is associated with France, but many countries have laid claim to the breed. Available in three different sizes and many different colors, there is a Poodle for every taste. The Poodle is a pleasant dog that loves constant company. This dog hates to be alone and prefers the company of people instead of other dogs. The breed also hates to be ignored and does not like being thought of or treated as “just a dog.” They make excellent pets for children as well as the elderly. To learn more about the Poodle, go to Choosing a Poodle.

If you’re interested in dogs mixed with poodles, there are many wonderful mixes to be had, from the Cockapoo and the Labradoodle to the Maltipoo and the Golden Doodle. Dogs mixed with Poodles come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors, so you’re sure to find the right mix for you. If you get a Poodle mix, you’re likely to get a dog that is smart, friendly, cute and their coats won’t shed very much.

Here’s a list of some popular dogs mixed with poodles:

  • Cockapoo:  Poodle + Cocker Spaniel
  • Maltipoo:  Poodle + Maltese
  • Labradoodle:  Poodle + Labrador
  • Golden Doodle:  Poodle + Golden Retriever
  • Schnoodle:  Poodle + Schnauzer
  • Peekapoo:  Poodle + Pekingese
  • Yorkipoo: Poodle + Yorkshire Terrier
  • Corgipoo:  Poodle + Corgi
  • Affenpoo:  Poodle + Affenpinscher
  • Aussiepoo:  Poodle + Australian Shepherd
  • Saint Berdoodle:  Poodle + Saint Bernard
  • Jack-A-Poo:  Poodle + Jack Russell Terrier
  • Bassetoodle:  Poodle + Basset Hound
  • Doxiepoo:  Poodle + Dachshund
  • Irish Doodle:  Poodle + Irish Setter
  • Papipoo:  Poodle + Papillon

All About the Affenpoo

The Affenpoo is a whole lot of love wrapped up in a cute little package. They are affectionate, friendly and full of personality. A mix between the Affenpinscher and the Poodle, the Affenpoo weighs only 7 to 9 pounds and is about 9 to 11 inches tall when bred with a toy Poodle. Depending upon the mix, the Affenpoo may weigh up to 25 pounds and stand up to 20 inches tall. Their small size makes the Affenpoo the perfect dog for apartment or city living. The Affenpoo is well suited to apartments or homes with or without a yard. They require very little space, but like any dog they do need exercise and daily walks.

This breed gets its characteristics from both the Poodle and the Affenpinscher. The Affenpinscher is a very active small dog that loves to play. They are very loving dogs. The Affenpinscher is an extremely intelligent dog but it is also a stubborn dog that can be somewhat difficult to house train. They are very protective of their food, water and toys. This breed is also fearless. They need to be watched around larger dogs since these diminutive dogs don’t seem to understand that their size is a disadvantage when picking a fight with someone bigger. The Affenpinscher will not back off if attacked by another dog, regardless of its size. To learn more about the Affenpinscher, go to Choosing an Affenpinscher.

Recommended for seniors, singles and families with older children, the Affenpoo loves being with humans and older children who know how to  handle them gently. However, the Affenpoo is not a good choice for households with small children. They can irritate easily and are known to snap at small children who annoy them.

If you travel a lot or spend long hours away from home, the Affenpoo may not be the right dog for you. This breed is very social and requires lots of interaction. When bored and left to their own devices, the Affenpoo may become lonely and depressed, leading to destructive behavior and barking.

To learn more about the Affenpoo, go to All About the Affenpoo.

All About the Eskipoo

The Eskipoo is a cross between the American Eskimo dog and the European Poodle. On average, the Eskipoo weighs between 10 and 20 pounds, and it stands about 9 to 15 inches tall. The average life expectancy of the Eskipoo is about 10 to 13 years. This is a very cheerful and affectionate dog with a happy outlook on life. The Eskipoo makes a great companion. They love human companionship. Because of their energetic nature and their tendency to bark, this breed, though small in size, may not be the best choice for apartment living. This breed has the tendency to bark at any unfamiliar sounds, and when left alone for long periods of time.

How to Find Full Coverage Pet Insurance

It is very easy to find full pet insurance coverage. However, in order to find full pet insurance coverage, it is important to understand what type of coverage pet insurance provides for our dogs and cats.  Pet insurance plans were designed to cover unexpected and unplanned accidents and illnesses. With the rising costs of pet healthcare, having pet insurance and full pet insurance coverage can ensure that pet owners can provide both important and costly medical care for their dogs and cats.

Full pet insurance or comprehensive pet insurance coverage typically includes both accidents and illnesses and can include: breed and congenital conditions, chronic conditions, cancer, exam fees, alternative therapies and rehabilitation, behavioral therapies, ER and specialist care, hospitalization and surgeries.

The majority of comprehensive pet insurance plans are designed for unplanned accidents and illnesses and don’t cover general pet wellness visits. This is one-way pet health insurance differs from human health. However, many pet insurance plans offer wellness plans, as a stand-alone plan or as an add-on, to provide you with the most comprehensive pet insurance coverage.

Wellness plans typically cover wellness visits and can include: vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, microchipping, blood tests, deworming, etc.  Additionally, almost all of the pet insurance companies and pet insurance policies allow you to visit any licensed veterinarian.

What Does Pet Health Insurance Cover: The Basics.

Pet health insurance is a unique insurance designed to reimburse pet owners for unexpected veterinary fees and related expenses for vet provided health services. There are three main types of pet health insurance coverage:

  • Accident: Coverage for veterinary treatment for unexpected injuries.
  • Illness: Coverage to treat sickness, disease and any changes to your pet’s normal healthy state.
  • Wellness: (also called Routine or Preventive Care) which may include vaccinations, tests, and dental work. This is also sometimes called “Routine” or “Preventative” care.

Here is a sample coverage list. These areas include all three plan levels mentioned above. Note: coverage will vary by plan options and the pet insurance provider.

  • Accidents and injuries
  • Illnesses
  • Veterinary exam fees
  • Imaging – mri, cat scan, ultrasound
  • Diagnostic treatments
  • Prescription medications
  • Cancer treatments
  • Non-routine dental treatments
  • Surgery and rehabilitation
  • Some alternative therapies
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Loss due to theft
  • Advertising and reward
  • Boarding fees
  • Death from illness or injury
  • Vacation cancellation

What’s  Not Covered by Pet Insurance

There are exclusions in every plan and they will vary by provider. It is important to research the exclusion area of any policy for any potential pet insurance plan or provider. You can often find a complete list of exclusions in the terms and conditions section for each pet insurance provider. Below are some samples of potential exclusions:

  • Routine veterinary care
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Breeding, whelping, and pregnancy
  • Injury caused deliberately by you or any other person residing in your home
  • Injury or illness resulting from fighting, racing, cruelty, or neglect
  • Cosmetic procedures such as tail docking, ear cropping, and dew claw removal unless medically necessary
  • DNA testing or cloning
  • Stem cell therapy not deemed medically necessary
  • Avian flu or nuclear War

What Does Pet Health Insurance Cost

The cost of pet insurance can vary greatly based on the provider and some other important factors. These factors, listed below, can have a big impact on the cost of your pet insurance plan.

  • Location
  • Pet Species
  • Pet’s Breed
  • Pet’s Age
  • Desired Coverage

The average cost of pet insurance tends to be higher for dogs, older animals, and larger animals. Typically in North America, pet insurance for dogs can range from $25-$70 and $10-40 for cats per month.

According to NAPHIA (North American Pet Insurance Association), the industry averages for  monthly plan costs by type and pet are as follows:

Accident Only Plans:

  • Dogs: $14.03
  • Cats: $12.46

Accident and Illness Plans:

  • Dogs: $43.14
  • Cats: $26.77

Additional Tips For Buying Full Coverage Pet Insurance

Enroll Your Pet  When They Are Young – This is one of the best ways to lower the cost of pet insurance. When your pet is young they are less likely to have any pre-existing conditions or any other health issues that might not be covered by pet insurance.

Pick The Coverage and Plan That Is Right For You – Most providers offer a variety of plans and customization options. Explore these areas based on your needs and the needs of your pet –  today and in the future.

Select A Credible Provider – Take the time to research multiple pet insurance providers. Explore how long they’ve been in business and read any customer reviews you can find. You’ll want an experienced and trusted provider with good reviews and ethical customer service practices.

Is Doberman Ear Cropping Necessary?

The adult Doberman pinscher stands 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 60 to 100 pounds. The Doberman has a wedge-shaped head and the ears may or may not be cropped. Uncropped ears naturally hang and the tail is docked. To learn more about the Doberman pinscher, go to Choosing a Doberman Pinscher.

Doberman ear cropping is very common. Ear cropping is a surgical procedure in which a portion of the dog’s ear is removed, producing ears that stand erect. The procedure is most often performed on Doberman puppies at around 8 to 12 weeks of age. The ears are trimmed and the edges are stitched. The ears are then taped to a hard surface for several weeks while they heal. This is done so that the ears will stay upright. The ear cropping should be done by a veterinarian with experience in ear cropping. To learn more about the ear cropping procedure in dogs, go to Ear Cropping for Dogs.

A Doberman whose ears are not cropped takes on a very different appearance. In Dobermans, ear cropping contributes to the breed’s identity and character. It is customary to identify a Doberman pinscher with having cropped ears. Many feel it adds to the breed’s striking appearance. The ear crop style can vary in shape or length. For instance, ear cropping styles include the short crop, the medium crop and the longer crop that is known as the standard show crop.

The Doberman Ear Cropping Procedure

Ear cropping surgery is done under anesthesia and takes about a half hour to complete. The ears will usually stand upright after being taped for 5 or 6 months, although some Dobermans may take up to one year before the ears will fully stand erect. This is especially true with the longer ear crop. The long healing process is more uncomfortable for the dog than the surgery itself, another reason people see the process as cruel and unnecessary. After ear cropping surgery, proper after care is essential to prevent infection and to ensure that the ears will stand upright. If the owner is unwilling to commit to such a lengthy after care, they should not engage in the ear cropping procedure.

To Crop or Not to Crop

When the procedure first began it was done for functional reasons. The Doberman was a guard dog. Having ears stand upright allowed for increased sound. This was an important feature for a watchdog. Today, ear cropping in Dobermans is usually done to comply with show standards or simply for the owner’s personal preference.

Ear cropping is an elective surgery for dogs. It’s a choice. It has no known health benefit and is done solely at the dog owner’s preference. Ear cropping in the Doberman breed has long been routinely done to achieve a certain appearance. Ear cropping is outlawed in some countries. And while this routine procedure is not banned or regulated in the United States, it is becoming more controversial. Some states are considering legislation to ban ear cropping, but they have not yet done so.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) says that ear cropping is “integral to defining and preserving breed character” in certain breeds like the Doberman pinscher, but the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) opposes ear cropping in dogs. Because the procedure is purely cosmetic, they believe it poses unnecessary risks to the dog.

Ear cropping is becoming less common. It is not taught in many veterinary schools. Fewer veterinarians are willing to perform the surgery, and dog owners are becoming more aware of the controversial nature of the surgical procedure. If your Doberman competes, you should know that the AKC says dogs without docked tails or cropped ears are just as likely to win at dog shows.

To learn more about the Doberman pinscher, go to Everything Your Family Needs to Know About the Doberman Breed.

What You Need to Know About the Doberman Breed’s Health History

One of the most serious breed-related health problems in the Doberman breed is cardiomyopathy, which causes an enlarged heart. Dobermans suffer from cardiomyopathy more than any other dog breed. The diseased heart muscles become enlarged and weak, making it harder and harder for the heart to pump blood. Eventually affected dogs die from heart failure. Early signs of the disease might include depression, coughing, exercise intolerance, weakness, respiratory distress, decreased appetite and even fainting. However, many dogs with this condition are asymptomatic. To help catch this condition early, you should have your dog examined every year. No dog with cardiomyopathy should ever be bred, however, a puppy of two parents without the disease can still develop it.

Cervical vertebral instability (CVI), commonly known as Wobbler’s disease, is another breed-related condition affecting the Doberman breed. In this condition, the vertebrae in the neck are malformed. This puts pressure on the spinal cord, which leads to weakness in the hindquarters and a wobbly gait. In dogs that are not severely affected, symptoms can be managed to a certain extent, and some dogs may experience some relief from surgery. Sometimes complete paralysis results.

Top Conditions and Diseases for Dobermans

Here’s what you need to know about Doberman health. In general, the Doberman is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

  • Wobbler’s disease is a malformation of the bones in the neck resulting in neck pain and a characteristic wobbly gait.
  • Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.
  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious heart condition that results in a large, thin walled heart muscle.
  • Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland does not function adequately to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone.
  • Von Willebrand’s disease is a disorder that results in the inability to clot blood. Affected animals will bleed extensively following trauma or surgery.
  • Melanoma is a tumor arising from melanocytes, which are the cells that produce pigment.
  • Cutaneous Histiocytoma – is a benign tumor of the skin that can affect young dogs.
  • Lipomas are benign fatty tumors of the subcutaneous tissue.
  • Fibrosarcoma is a type of cancer that arises from the fibrous connective tissues.
  • Alopecia is a disorder resulting in a loss of hair.
  • Cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
  • Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
  • Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas related to insufficient amounts of insulin production.
  • Lick granuloma is a condition in which the dog licks an area excessively, usually on the front leg, until a raised, firm ulcerated lesion is formed.
  • Parvovirus is a devastating gastrointestinal virus that primarily affects unvaccinated puppies.
  • Chronic hepatitis is a chronic and progressive inflammation of the liver of dogs that leads eventually to the replacement of normal liver tissue with scar tissue.
  • Portosystemic shunt (PSS) is a malformation of the blood flow associated with the liver. Blood is shunted away from the liver, resulting in accumulation of blood toxins and subsequent profound illness.
  • Drug reaction to a group of drugs called “sulphonamides” may cause skin reactions and polyarthritis in this breed.
  • In addition, the Doberman is prone to acne, osteosarcoma and elbow dysplasia.

Choosing a Doberman Puppy

To increase the chances that you will be getting a healthy puppy, choose a reputable breeder. Start your search for a good breeder at the Doberman Pinscher Club of America website. Locate a breeder who has agreed to abide by its Code of Ethics. Get your puppy from a breeder who has DPCA Working Aptitude certification for his parents.

Careful breeders screen their dogs for genetic diseases and breed only the best specimens. Still, there are no guarantees that the puppy will not develop one of these conditions despite good breeding practices.

You may also want to consider getting an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group since many Doberman health defects can hide until maturity.

Take your puppy or adult Doberman to the veterinarian soon after you adopt. Your vet will be able to spot signs of potential problems and to help you set up a regimen to help avoid many health risks.

What Are Doberman Pinschers Like with Kids?

Have you been thinking about a Doberman pinscher with kids? The Doberman loves human companionship but it is not the best breed for small children. Despite being loyal and protective, if improperly bred or raised, the breed can be mean or aggressive. The Doberman is intelligent but can be domineering and is not the best breed for the first time dog owner. To learn more about the Doberman breed, go to Everything Your Family Needs to Know About the Doberman Breed.

When it comes to Dobermans and kids, there are many pros and cons to consider. For instance, Dobermans are no longer the vicious, aggressive dogs we see on TV. Many of these characteristics have been bred out of the breed, giving you a dog that is very loving, playful and affectionate – as long as you take the time to train your dog that way.

Some say that Dobermans are great with kids as long as they are raised together. As long as the dog is well trained and the children have been taught to respect the dog, everyone should be able to get along together. However, there are those who say that a Doberman is not a suitable family dog with small children. A Doberman puppy is very playful and rambunctious, and may not understand that small children can get hurt with this behavior. Also, children may play a little too roughly with a Doberman puppy, causing the dog to lash out at the child. Another problem area may be when your children’s friends come over to visit. If your Doberman observes rough play between them, they are naturally protective and may attack your child’s friend.

Doberman and Children: The Protective Instinct

The Doberman pinscher is a very protective dog. A Doberman will consider the children in his family to be the puppies in the pack. He knows how valuable they are to the pack and he is going to protect the children in the family.

The protective instinct of a Doberman pinscher is highly developed, which makes the Doberman one of the best guard dogs. But the Doberman may attack a relative or friend who goes near the child because he is under the impression that the person is dangerous and wants to hurt the child. When the person is in front of the child laughing loudly and showing his teeth, it may trigger this type of protective behavior in the Doberman.

It is important that you control the Doberman’s actions as the alpha in the pack. Introduce your friends and relatives to your Doberman so that he understands that these people are also part of your pack. It is also important to teach your Doberman to understand this type of play behavior.

Children and Doberman Puppies Are Not a Good Mix

The Doberman Pinscher Club of America warns that young children and Doberman puppies are not a good mix. It is not a good idea to get a young Doberman puppy if you have babies, toddlers or young school-age children. “Young Doberman pups are very high energy bundles of sharp toenails and teeth. Young children can be absolutely terrified by nipping puppies and the puppy can be absolutely terrified by running, screaming children that cause their moms and dads to harshly discipline the puppy for normal puppy behavior. This sets the scene for a very bad experience for both toddler/child as well as the young Doberman puppy and is frequently the start of major behavior problems that will follow. The puppy gets locked up more because the kids are afraid and pretty soon the puppy is in the basement or garage or even worse – outside – and the puppy grows up with no family socialization, fear of children and possibly adults.”

If you want to get a Doberman pinscher and you do have children, your children should be trained how to act around a dog. The children should also be under supervision around a dog.

Dominance-related problems can occur at about one and a half years of age when the child becomes a toddler. During this time the child will inadvertently challenge the dog by interfering with him while he is eating, patting him on the head, or disturbing him while he is resting. It is up to you to protect the dog from the unwelcome advances of children. Teach your young children to pet dogs appropriately, but only under close supervision. Here are a few simple rules to follow with dogs and children:

  • Never leave dogs and young children unsupervised together.
  • Supervision means that the dog is on a lead and the child is under a grown up’s watchful eye.
  • If there are children in the house, the dog should be neutered.

Some people think there is no such thing as a bad dog, and mostly they are right. However, some breeds are more likely to get into trouble if their genetic inclinations are not fully appreciated by their owners. Know your dog. Puppies should be socialized to children and strangers from a very young age. To learn more about behavior problems with dogs and small children, go to How to Keep Dogs and Children Bite Free.

The Doberman Temperament: Here’s What to Expect

Doberman temperament has changed over the years. The Doberman pinscher was developed as the ideal guard dog and companion. The original Dobermans were more aggressive than the dog of today. The Doberman club became aware that the breed had developed a reputation for aggression and decided to breed out these aggressive tendencies. The result is that today, American Dobermans have a much more stable temperament and have fallen in the ranking of aggressive dogs. Now, the Doberman is friendlier, but it is still a good watchdog. With proper socialization, the Doberman pinscher is affectionate and loyal and will guard his master to the bitter end. To learn more, go to Aggressive Dogs and Society.

A Doberman is a finely tuned protector capable of doing considerable harm to his foes. Because of his temperament and physical superiority, the Doberman must be managed properly from puppyhood. Modern breeding practices have produced dogs that are much less aggressive, but still, studies have shown that the Doberman breed is still more likely than others to show aggression towards people they don’t know and also other dogs. Because of this, a Doberman needs to be well trained to avoid causing harm to others.

The Doberman: Too Much for the Average Household?

It could be that the Doberman pinscher is simply too much for the average household. It is a demanding breed that requires constant attention and guidance from the family. This is a very athletic dog that needs brisk walking every day and a good run as often as possible. Activities should vary in order to keep the Doberman interested. The Doberman is a very smart dog that bores easily, so mental exercise is also very important. This breed was not designed to be a lazy couch potato. With a Doberman, too little exercise and too little companionship can lead to restlessness and behavior problems. People who work long hours should never adopt a Doberman. To learn more about the Doberman pinscher, go to Everything Your Family Needs to Know About the Doberman Breed.

Dobermans are happiest when they have a job to do. They make excellent police and military dogs, and they do well with canine sports. Because Dobermans love to work alongside people so much, they are often prone to separation anxiety. The separation anxiety can get even worse when the dog does not get enough activity. The anxiety usually results in barking and destructive chewing.

Most Doberman pinschers are reserved with strangers and very protective of their family. Some Dobermans are dominant with other dogs and may not be the best companions for cats. Early and extensive training is a must. You must show consistent leadership with a Doberman.

Early Socialization

Early socialization is critical to proper development.

Early socialization is important when raising a Doberman pinscher. The first year is absolutely critical to the proper development of correct behavior patterns and to the establishment of the order that must be present in the family. The dog must understand that people are in charge. He must comply and follow their lead.

Doberman pinschers are naturally protective of their home and their pack, so it is important that they be taught that guests and other animals are welcomed.

Why Dobermans are Relinquished to Shelters

Many older Doberman puppies and young adults end up in shelters and rescues because people just could not handle them. It could be that the Doberman was aggressive. Maybe they did not use the right training methods or maybe they were afraid of the dog. That’s why it’s so important to do your homework before jumping into anything. Research the breed – they have very specific needs that you must be able to commit to when adopting a Doberman. Observe some obedience classes and see how Dobermans are trained. Make sure that you are ready for this type of a commitment before jumping in.

A Doberman may not be the right dog for you if you cannot provide enough attention, exercise and activities to keep him satisfied. You must be willing to put in the time to train and socialize your Doberman so that he will not be aggressive.

Another consideration with this breed is potential legal liabilities. You may experience an increased chance of lawsuits and may not be able to secure homeowners insurance if you own this breed.

To learn more about the Doberman breed, go to Choosing a Doberman Pinscher.

 

Why Increased Urination in Cats Happens

Often the most important aspect of helping your cat is detecting any problems at an early stage when treatment is more likely to be successful. Cats are masters at masking signs of illness, pain and other problems. This is especially true with changes in cat urination frequency. Increased urination in cats can happen at any age and for many reasons. However, if your cat is urinating more than usual it can be a symptom of several serious diseases or conditions.

Conditions That May Cause Increased Urination in Cats

Your cat may have a urinary tract infection, which is painful and uncomfortable for your cat. Increased urination in cats can be caused by diabetes or kidney failure. To learn more about kidney failure, go to Chronic Kidney Failure in Cats.

Hyperthyroidism is also a cause of increased urination in cats. Your cat’s metabolism speeds up, which impacts the kidneys. This condition causes increased thirst, which leads to increased urination. While hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed in cats from age 4 to age 20+, the disease is most often seen in older cats. In fact, 95 percent of cats diagnosed with hyperthyroidism are at least 8 years of age. To learn more about hyperthyroidism, go to Hyperthyroidism in Cats.

Only your veterinarian can determine the reason for increased urination in cats, so see your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Older Cats and Increased Urination

Increased urination in cats can also be a sign of old age. As cats get older it becomes harder for them to maintain bladder control. As our cats age, they tend to urinate more often, and they don’t always make it to the litter box. Sometimes they urinate outside the litter box. Incontinence or weak bladder is age related. The bladder weakens with age, resulting in more frequent urination. Essentially, your cat will urinate as soon as pressure builds up in the bladder – and often, that can mean urinating outside the litter box.

Increased urination in cats is normal with age. It often results from diseases that are common to aging felines, like kidney failure, hyperthyroidism or diabetes. Increased urination in cats is often an early sign of diabetes in older or overweight cats. But don’t just assume that your cat’s more frequent urination is a sign of old age. If you have concerns, see your veterinarian. Your cat could be suffering from a urinary tract infection or bladder infection, or kidney disease.

The Litter Box and Increased Urination

More frequent urination will cause the litter box to become soiled more quickly. Many cats will stop using the litter box when they encounter a buildup of soil or odor. So increased urination in cats often means urinating outside the litter box. To help keep your cat from urinating outside the litter box, make sure to keep the litter box as clean as possible. Clean the litter box daily, or more often if necessary. To learn more about dealing with a cat urinating outside the litter box, go to How Do You Deal with a Cat Urinating Outside the Litter Box.

Arthritis is another condition that can contribute to urinating outside the litter box. Older cats can suffer from arthritis pain that makes it difficult for them to access the litter box. When this happens, they will simply find an “easier” place to go. Get a litter box with lower sides that is more easily accessible to your older cat.

If your cat is urinating outside the litter box, here are some things that you can try. Increase the number of litter boxes in your house. Make sure there’s one on every floor in case your cat is experiencing discomfort going up and down the stairs. Put the new litter boxes in areas where your cat can easily find them. Many cats also have trouble getting into and out of the litter box when they get older, so use litter boxes that have low sides.

For more information about litter box avoidance, check out The Top 8 Reasons Why Your Kitty Won’t Use the Litter Box.

Here’s Why Your Older Cat Wants Attention More Often

Sometimes an older cat can become more needy. If your senior cat wants attention more often, she can show it in many different ways. Your cat may become more vocal. Vocalization is a form of communication for cats, so listen to your cat and pay attention to what she is saying. Your cat’s meow is generally a call for attention of some sort. It’s good to engage in some cat talk and to give your cat the extra attention she seeks. If you’ve ever wondered what your cat is trying to say to you, check out this article – Understanding “Cat Talk” – What is Your Kitty Saying?

When Your Older Cat Wants More Attention

If your cat wants to show her affection for you, she may follow you around or brush up against your legs. One of the most affectionate displays is when a cat will rub its head on their human companions. This friendly, aroma-sharing gesture enables a feline to reinforce a positive relationship and mark you with her scent as she releases pheromones that signal comfort and familiarity. This is a loving signal that your cat wants your attention. To learn more about the ways our cats show us they love us, go to 7 Signs Your Cat Actually Adores You.

If you are working at the computer or reading the newspaper, your cat may sit in front of the computer screen or on the keyboard, or she may jump up and sit on top of your newspaper while you are reading. She may stare at you incessantly. Essentially she is saying, “Look at me! Pay attention to me!” When this happens, you should take some time to show affection to your kitty. Stop what you are doing for a few minutes. Pet her and talk to her and let her know that you love her. If it is possible for you to take a break, see if your kitty wants to play with you.

Tricks Older Cats Use To Get Your Attention

Another trick cats use to get attention is to reach out and push something off the countertop with their paw. Cats usually do this when we are there to watch it happen. If your attention is focused elsewhere, your cat may just reach out with its paw and swipe at an item, pushing it off the table to the floor. This is your cat’s way of saying, “Hey, look at me! Play with me!”

Cat Talk: Your cat will tell you what he needs through vocalization.

If your cat wants attention, he will find a way to show you. Your cat may become more clingy as he ages, wanting to be with you every moment of the day or night. If your cat has lost some of his sensory perception, being with his human companion may be a stabilizing influence in his daily life. To learn more about caring for a senior cat go to How to Transition to Managing Old Cat Behavior.

If your senior cat still likes to play, you should engage in play as often as he is willing. This is a great way to give your cat the attention he seeks and the activity will help to keep his aging body healthy.

While some older cats become more aloof and less interactive, others become more needy. They seem to crave more attention. If your senior cat wants attention, make sure to give it to her. Give her plenty of lap time and talk to her sweetly. Show her that she is important to you. If she still likes to play, get one of her favorite toys and play together. Show your older cat plenty of love and affection and she will be happy.

To learn more about old cat behavior, go to Behavior of the Senior Cat.

Aging Pets: How to Handle Changes in Cat Behavior

Owners of senior cats often notice a change in cat behavior but they simply chalk it up to getting older. Failure to use the litter box, a change in activity levels, and changes in eating, drinking or sleeping can definitely be attributed to old age… but is there something else going on? It would be a mistake to simply attribute these changes to aging without first investigating the possibility of an underlying medical condition. Always see your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your older cat.

Changes in Senior Cat Behavior: What to Look For?

As your cat ages, you should be aware of any changes in behavior, mood or activity. Just like people, older cats become less mentally and physically active. This can be attributed to aging changes that take place in the brain as well as physical factors such as joint stiffness. A change in cat behavior could be a signal that something else is going on.

You may notice your older cat sleeping more than usual. Cats will usually sleep between 16 to 18  hours per day. If your cat is 10 years of age or older, he may sleep between 18 to 21 hours per day. It is natural for your cat to sleep more as he ages.

As your cat ages, bending and moving may become more difficult. This can be related to arthritis or another condition. To learn more about arthritis in cats, go to Arthritis in Cats: Does Your Cat Have Arthritis?

Your cat may have more difficulty jumping up to places that he likes to go, like the bed or his favorite window sill. When this happens you should provide a ramp or a set of kitty stairs so your cat can continue to do the things that make him happy.

Keeping Your Senior Cat Active and Happy

In spite of mobility problems, it is important that your senior cat continues to exercise. To keep your cat interested in play, continue engaging in interactive play sessions. Just reduce the length of time your cat exercises and increase the frequency of your play sessions. For example, if you played twice a day for 20 minutes at a time, play four times a day for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. If your senior cat does not see as well, roll a ball with a bell for him to chase. If your cat enjoys catnip, leave a catnip toy out for him to play with as he wishes.

In most cases, cats can be considered senior when they are between seven and ten years old.

If moving becomes painful, your cat may wash himself less often. It will be up to you to offer more grooming assistance as your cat ages to help him maintain a clean, soft coat. With age, your cat may be less able to cough up hairballs, so regular brushing will help keep them from forming. If your older cat resists being combed or brushed, use a soft-bristled brush or a grooming glove. Pet wipes will help you to keep his coat clean. If your senior cat uses his scratching post less often, you will need to clip his nails to keep them from becoming ingrown. To learn more about grooming your senior cat, go to Grooming Your Senior Cat – Special Concerns.

A normal change in cat behavior with older cats may be that they do not want to be picked up as often. This could be because he is experiencing joint pain or his muscles are stiff. On the other hand, some senior cats become more clingy with age, wanting to be with their human every second of the day or night. All cats are different. Take your cue from your cat and give them the comfort and security they need.

Senior Cat: Litter Box Issues

Age-related problems may make your cat avoid the litter box. Mobility issues may make it difficult for your cat to navigate stairs in order to access his litter box, and he may have problems climbing into the box. To help prevent these litter box issues, make the litter box more accessible to your kitty. Put the box in a location where your cat will not have to climb or descend stairs to get to it. Also, find a litter box with lower sides to make it easier to access. Age-related illnesses like diabetes or kidney problems may cause your cat to urinate more often. That means you will have to clean the box more often to keep it clean and appealing. For more information about litter box avoidance, check out The Top 8 Reasons Why Your Kitty Won’t Use the Litter Box.

Vet Tips for Elderly Cat Care

As we age our bodies change. The same thing is true for our cats.

What do you need to know about elderly cat care? As your cat changes, so do physical and emotional needs. Ideally, elderly cat care should focus on preventative measures. Whenever possible, it is better to prevent a problem from occurring rather than to wait for a problem to develop. Detecting diseases in the early stages greatly improve the outcome.

What to be Aware of as Your Cat Ages

As your cat ages, she may lose weight. This can be part of the normal aging process, but it can also be a sign of a medical problem like cancer, kidney failure, hyperthyroidism or something else. Changes in weight can be the first sign of disease, so don’t take chances with your senior cat. If you notice any significant changes contact your veterinarian.

Elderly cat care should include regular visits to your veterinarian. Your senior cat is at risk for several medical problems as she ages, which is why she needs periodic exams to stay healthy. Some of the most common illnesses known to afflict older cats include nutritional problems, dental disease, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, skin tumors, and cancer. Other concerns with elderly cats include liver diseases and anemia. To learn more about possible disorders with your senior cat, go to 10 Common Disorders of Senior Cats.

As your cat ages, your veterinarian will help to monitor any changes along the way. Most vets recommend a checkup every six months. Have your cat’s hearing and eyesight checked. It’s not unusual for a senior cat’s eyes to look cloudy. But like humans, your senior cat can develop cataracts and glaucoma. Your senior cat can also develop hearing loss. Your cat may have hearing or eyesight problems if he seems surprised when you come close, if he bumps into things, or if he doesn’t come when you call him.

Senior Cats and Nutrition

Remember that elderly cat care includes good nutrition. As your cat ages, her metabolism slows down and your older cat will require fewer daily calories. Make sure that your senior cat is eating well. There is no one best food to feed to a senior cat – the best food depends on your cat’s specific problems or nutritional requirements. Most foods for older cats are lower in protein, sodium, and phosphorus to help their aging hearts and kidneys. Increased amounts of certain vitamins have also been found to be beneficial in the senior cat.

Keep your senior cat active. Provide moderate exercise to help maintain muscle tone, to keep his heart and digestion healthy, and to improve his attitude.

Cat Obesity: A Growing Epidemic

In 2016, 58.9% of cats were classified as clinically overweight or obese.

Obesity is a problem to be taken seriously. It directly correlates to a decreased longevity and may contribute to other problems like diabetes and arthritis. According to the Pet Obesity Organization 2016 Pet Survey, over 50 million cats are clinically overweight or obese.

The primary causes of obesity are overeating and lack of exercise. When regular caloric intake exceeds the energy burned, the excess is stored as fat. As little as an extra 1 percent caloric intake can result in 25 percent increase over ideal body weight by middle age. Most owners don’t recognize that their cats are overweight until they take them to the veterinarian for another reason. To learn more about how to tell if your cat is overweight, go to Is Your Cat Too Fat.

If your senior cat has arthritis, there are some things you can do to help. Consider buying a set of pet stairs to help your cat more easily access the bed or sofa. Give your senior cat a soft yet supportive place to sleep. Consider a good glucosamine supplement. To learn more about arthritis in cats, go to Arthritis in Cats: Does Your Cat Have Arthritis

As a rule, cats don’t like change, and this is especially true for older cats. Your senior cat is set in her ways. Stick to a regular schedule. Feed your cat at the same time every day. Cats love a routine, and they will appreciate it even more as they age. Any changes in daily routine, schedules or environment will cause undue stress. Stress can weaken your cat’s immune system and make her more susceptible to disease, so keep change to a minimum.

Cats are good at hiding illness and this is just as true for elderly cats. Diseases can be treated with better outcomes when they are caught early so it is important to carefully monitor your senior cat’s behavior and health, and to have regular checkups with your veterinarian.