My older cat doesn’t jump so well

Terra blockTerra, my cat, is getting a bit skittish about jumping up on the counter height chair (about 28″ in height). She is 13 years old. Her fear of jumping up began over a year. At first, she only missed seat of the chair once in a while. Then it began to increase in frequency yesterday with three failed attempts one after the other.

We own counter height island which we use at mealtime and which I use when I am on the laptop which is most of my home time. Terra likes to bop up on the chair beside me to come and visit. When we first bought them a little over a year ago, she had no trouble hopping onto the chair. Over the year, every so often, she would bump into the side of the seat. This bumping began to gradually increase to once a month. With each failed attempt, she grew more and more hesitant to jump often circling around before jumping up. I encouraged her to try again after such a failed attempt, but she usually fret about it before she gave it a go. It’s this hesitation which is preventing her from succeeding and land on top of the seat. I am trying to teach her to just jump and to not think about it first by encouraging her to jump on command. I am not too sure how else to go about teaching her not to hesitate. (She is only a cat after all).

If I cannot get her over her anxiety, then I will have to get my three-step stool, so she won’t hurt herself too seriously. Perhaps she is just getting a little too old.

When I got home last night, Terra hopped up onto the chair without any issue. Go figure.
—Robert Confiant 5 September 2018

PS: I gave her a bit of help…

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