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Litter Box Training

How To Litter Train An Outdoor Cat

Do you know how to litter train an outdoor cat? For a lot of cat owners who adopted a street cat, that could be a challenge. Feral cats know only one thing and one thing only, and that is how to survive in the streets. Because no one is looking after them, they have to fend for themselves in order to survive. You, as a cat owner, must realize that feral cats might have a hard time trusting humans since they have been in the streets for so long. Some feral cats, on the other hand, have been abused and abandoned by their human owners, so earning their trust could be a tough challenge as well.

The number one goal of every cat parent is to provide their cats with unconditional love and a loving forever home where they are deeply cared for until the very end.

Why You Should Litter Train Your Cat

Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t see the benefits of litter trained cat. They just allow their pets to take a dump anywhere at home. If you are one of these people who are not fully convinced that cats should be litter trained, here are the following reasons for you.

1. For hygiene purposes
Obviously, if a cat takes a dump anywhere she’d like, you’ll get to smell her feces and urine. Her wastes are full of pathogens and bacteria which could get to your other pets, your kids and even on your skin if you let those wastes remain for a long time. They could cause sicknesses and health problems. But if a cat is litter trained, she has a bathroom to run to, where she could take a dump as freely as she’d like.

2. To avoid mess
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure most people hate the idea of picking up wastes while at home. When you’re home, you’re supposed to relax and take some time off, not deal with some mess. Picking up wastes is never fun, worse it makes your house smell because you could find your cat’s wastes in the most obscure spaces! Having a litter box, on the other hand, is so much easier for human owners because they don’t have to worry about any mess they could find on the carpet or even in the most unexpected places. It just makes your house much cleaner overall. A litter box is the practical solution if you don’t want your cat causing you headaches due to her wastes.

3. Nurtures cat’s natural instincts
Cats are clean creatures. You see a cat licking herself because she cleans herself from all contacts. Having a litter box nurtures or encourages that instinct because it’s much cleaner compared to taking a dump anywhere she wants.

4. To avoid disputes
Neighbors normally don’t want stray cats in their yard because they might poop in their property. If your cat happens to wander about in their own land and take a dump there, who knows what could happen? Obviously, your neighbors will be upset and might even take legal action. You certainly don’t want any of this to happen at all, and none of these would have happened if your cat is litter trained.

Now that your cat must be litter trained, we should select a good litter box that will suit your cat’s needs. What makes a good litter box?

Qualities Of A Good Litter Box

1. Size: One of the most important things you must consider when buying a litter box is its size. Cats need to move freely when they enter the litter box. It should not be too small for their size and not cramped or else they will feel uncomfortable doing their business. Just imagine being in a small bathroom. I’m pretty sure you won’t appreciate that, either.

The litter box must be big enough for your cat’s size. It must have a lot of room, so they can shuffle and kick the litter, pee and poop comfortably inside. If you are buying for a feral kitten, buy a litter box that will be big enough for her once she grows.

2. Durability: The quality of the litter box relies heavily on its durability. Make sure it’s made by a trusted brand. If a litter box is durable, it will not easily break down and be unusable. It will last for years. A litter box made from plastic is good, because it can last for years.

3. If your cat is old or disabled, make sure the litter box has a ramp or a lower entryway or both. Older and disabled cats have needs much different from able bodied cats, since the former have difficulty moving about and accessing the litter box. A lot of old cats have vision and mobility problems, so they can’t enter their litter box with ease. Same with disabled cats. A ramp and a lower entryway, however, will help them enter their litter box more easily but make sure you’re also there for them for additional assistance. There are litter box companies that sell litter boxes with ramps so you better look out for them.

Once you have your litter box, it’s time that you buy a good cat litter. Your cat will not have a pleasant experience pooping in the litter box if the litter is not made of good quality. Basically, there are certain things you have to consider when buying good cat litter. It must absorb the urine very well, it must be odorless and they should be hazard-free. These qualities are further discussed in Best Litter For Cats.

Always remember to place the litter box far away from where your cat eats. Cats are clean creatures so they will not poop right where they eat.

How To Litter Train An Outdoor Cat

Training an outdoor cat to use the litter box is like teaching a child how to use the potty. There will be lots of frustrations along the way because your cat will not get it at first. There will be mistakes and upsetting situations, so I’m telling you this early not to yell nor hurt your cat because it will only make things worse.

1. Have a litter box on every floor
Your cat wanders a lot most of the time on her own. In other words, you will never know where your cat is, so it’s much better to have a litter box on every floor of your home to make it convenient for her wherever she is. The golden rule is to have a litter box for every cat, plus one. So if you have two cats, you must have three litter boxes in case of an emergency.

2. Far away from the food and water bowls
As mentioned, cats are naturally hygienic animals that naturally groom themselves. Cats will poop somewhere else if her water and food bowls are near where she poops. Therefore, place her litter box far away from where she eats. If your cat eats in the Dining Room on the first floor, your cat’s litter box should be in the bathroom or in the guestroom where it’s far away. That way, she won’t be stressed and there would be no mess.

3. Pop her in
The best way to introduce your feral cat to her litter box is by popping her in. Outdoor cats have no problem pooping anywhere they want, but this time, the rules will change. You have to lay down the rules and send a message to your cat that she will not poop in the garden anymore. If your cat is still adjusting to her new home life, now’s the time to get your cat to her shiny new toy – her litter box.

Simply bring your cat over to the litter box and pop her in there. Watch for her reaction. If she kicks and shuffles the litter around and sniffs where she is, it’s a good sign that she’s curious and take it in. But if your cat seems uninterested, you will have to bring her over next time. Introducing your cat to the litter box is meant to be stress-free. You should not force your cat to react in a certain way you like. There will be many opportunities ahead for your cat to get used to the litter box so don’t be disappointed.

5. If your cat is disabled or old, more assistance is required
Assist her by bringing her over to the litter box itself. If she eliminates there, you know the drill. Praise or give her some treats. Don’t get frustrated if she doesn’t eliminate there at first.

6. You can get your cat to use the litter box by putting catnip towards the litter box. This is to bring her over there if your cat is hesitant to go to the litter box.

7. If your old or disabled cat has difficulty using the litter box, a good alternative to this problem are *puppy training pads* which you can use for your cat. Puppy training pads, instead of litter box, should be where your cat eliminates from now on. You can also use *puppy training holders* to keep the pads in place. Bring her over after meals and when she successfully does her business, praise her or give her treats.

8. Bring her old feces to the litter box for her to get the memo.
Bringing her old feces is an effective way of telling your cat the litter box is where she should eliminate. When she finally eliminates there, praise her or give her treats.

9. Don’t forget to praise your cat every time she eliminates inside her litter box.
This will motivate her to keep doing her business there because it’s something nice and pleasurable.

10. If your cat still refuses to eliminate despite all your best efforts, there are various reasons why.

Health problem: Maybe your cat has a health problem that is keeping her from eliminating properly. Whatever it is, it’d be better to being her over to the vet for checkup.

Anxiety: Maybe your cat is feeling some anxiety. That anxiety is usually caused by environment. If there are changes in your environment, they are enough for your cat to feel anxious and not use the litter box. Have you moved? Has your house undergone renovation? Do you have a new cat, a new pet or a new baby? Is she bullied by other cats in the neighborhood? She may be an outdoor cat but that doesn’t mean she can’t feel any anxiety. Go to the root cause of her anxiety and address it.

Cleanliness: Your cat’s litter box should be clean all the time so she can always use it. Remember, cats are clean creatures, so if her bathroom isn’t clean, she’s not going to use it. So always clean her litter box after every use so she won’t hesitate to use it. Check the litter and make sure it has no traces of poop and urine.

There are many ways how to train an outdoor cat. An outdoor cat is just like any other cat in that, she needs love and thorough attention and when you give her that, she will be your companion and friend for life.

Categories
Cat Behavior

How Can You Stop Your Cat From Pooping In The Garden?

If you’re one of those unlucky people who always find some cat poop in their yard, you’re probably wondering, how can you stop your cat from pooping in the garden? Think about it . Your garden is supposed to be a place of relaxation and therapy, but a cat poop here and there will certainly ruin the mood. While it’s easy to lay the blame on the cat, we should still exhibit some compassion and understand that cats will do anything to survive. Hitting them is going too far, and if you love animals, a little compassion for our animal friends will not hurt.

That’s not to say that some cat poop in the garden will not cause bad things on your garden. If you don’t tolerate this behavior for too long your garden will suffer in the long run.

Why you should not tolerate some cat poop in the garden

1. It simply ruins your garden.
Let’s face it . You may add or those cute cats hanging out in your garden but if these cats enjoy their long stays in your backyard, the health of your plants and flowers will greatly suffer. Cat poop contain bacteria and pathogens which are not good for your plants , so you can’t just let them stay in the soil for too long . They are not some compost that will nourish your plants and flowers. Think about the pathogens and bacteria in the cat poop. The health of your plants and produce will be affected.

2. Cat scare the birds away.
Cats are natural predators that like to kill small animals. Unfortunately, they like to kill birds, too. Birds act as pollinators that in turn help your natural produce and your flowers bloom. If you keep welcoming those cats in your garden, pollination will likely lessen or not even happen at all. So in other words, something must be done with those stray cats to prevent them from doing their business in their garden.

3. Cat urine smell way too strong.
I’m pretty sure you’re not the only one who complained about the smell of cat urine. Every cat parent will tell you that the foul odor of cat urine is something else. Some even say it’s much stronger then dog urine. But urinating is more than an act of relieving oneself for cats. Urine serves as their marking in order to claim that territory. Since cats are territorial animals, once they spray a certain spot, they will keep coming back to that place over and over again.

Therefore once a cat sprays in your garden, that certain area is now his territory. You can bet he will keep doing his business over and over. And even if you wash it off, the faint smell that only cats can smell still remains there. How annoying is that?

4. It can cause disputes with neighbors.
Feral or outdoor cats are not the only possible culprit behind those poop in the garden. Cats from your next door neighbor could also be visiting your garden without you knowing just to do their business. A cat that urinates and poops in the garden could lead to misunderstanding and disputes among neighbors especially if there are laws and policies involving private property right where you live. The best thing you can do to address this issue is by having a talk with your neighbor and take some necessary measures to keep those cats away from your property.

5. Cats and their wastes can destroy flowers and natural produce.
We’ve already discussed the harm caused by cat urine on your plant’s health. But that’s not the only way a cat can ruin your plants, though. Cats that chew on plants and flowers can greatly ruin your garden, too. Cats that eat leaves have a condition called pica. Cats that have pica are said to lack specific nutrients in their daily diet, so they chew on leaves to satisfy themselves. If left unattended for too long, who knows what will happen to your plants? Your plants will definitely suffer aesthetically speaking. Your flowers will also scatter all over the place. In other words, your garden will look like a big mess. Nobody wants that.

6. It causes so much stress.
Sitting on your garden and admiring the plants you worked so hard for must give you so much relaxation and a great sense of tranquility. But if cats keep coming over to poop and pee, you will not have time to sit and relax. You will spend so much of your time picking up all the poop and throwing them away in the trash. You will spend so much time washing away the cat urine and its horrible smell. Worse, you will do this almost everyday which will cause you so much stress.

How Can You Stop Your Cat From Pooping In The Garden

Fortunately, there are so many things you can do to stop cats from pooping and even peeing in your garden. None of these are too dangerous nor too harmful to cats, so you can rest assure that these measures will not hurt them. The point of these measures is to discourage cats from going to your place again when it’s time to use the bathroom.

1. Cover your soil with twigs.
Cats like soft surfaces under their paws. This could be why they like walking on the flowerbed. On the other hand, they don’t like walking on sharp, prickly surfaces. So cover your garden soil with twigs. Gather twigs and cover your soil with these little things. I’m sure these stray cats will think twice about coming over to your garden again.

Other alternatives would be pine cones, stone mulch, egg shells and holly cutting.

While this is an effective method, this is labor-intensive because of the spaces you will cover. Other than that, your garden will look like a mess because twigs are everywhere. When the cats stop coming over, you can remove the twigs.

2. Chicken wire
You can also cover the garden with chicken wire. Cats dislike walking on chicken wire because they prick and are not sensitive to paws. While they work well as a deterrent, you will have to put in the work especially if you have a pretty large garden. You’ll also put off walking around your garden for awhile since all open spaces are covered with chicken wire.

3. Smells
Certain smells can act as a deterrent to your cat. Cats hate the smell of lavender, rue and pennyroyal. Plant them in the garden or make a spray out of them. Combine any of them with water and store the solution in a bottle spray. Spray the mixture all over your garden so cats get the memo.

The one disadvantage to this method is you have to keep spraying the liquid all over the garden a few times in a day, so you better stock up on the essential oils to make sure you won’t run out.

Similarly, cats don’t like the smell of bananas. Finely chop them and scatter them all over the garden.

4. Wash it away.
As mentioned above, when cats mark their territory, their urine will stay on that spot even if nobody can smell it. Cats have a super sharp sense of smell, so even if the urine dries or is washed away by water, the cat will still be able to smell the urine.

In order to completely eliminate the smell of a cat’s urine, you better use a solution such as Rocco & Roxie. It breaks down the enzymes in the urine so the next thing you know, even your cat won’t trace his pee. Eliminating the cat’s urine is important otherwise, those cats will keep doing their business on the same area.

This is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your cats will no longer pee and poop in the same place.

5. Scatter some store-bought urine.
Cats back out when they sense other animals already marking the territory that they aim. Use a store-bought urine and spray it all over the garden, and in places where the cat will likely poop and pee. A store-bought fox urine like American Heritage Industries will do wonders. The downside is, the urine is way too strong and a great inconvenience because of how foul it is.

6. Use lion dung
Lions are like cats, except they are much bigger. Once cats sense the smell of another animal, they will back off and find another territory. You can buy lion dung and place it in areas where cats are likely to eliminate.

Again, the downside is the smell. But wait for a week or two before removing it.

7. Motion-activated sprinkler
A motion-activated sprinkler will automatically sprinkle water once it senses some motion. Cats hate water. With this so-called device installed in your garden, it’s like having a detector watching a cat’s every move. It will sprinkle water once it senses a cat’s presence, and the cat would have no choice but to leave.

The downside to this is the hefty cost of the sprinkler.

8. Use a sound motion detector
Such devices like this will automatically emit an extremely high frequency upon detecting a movement. They sound off, which is barely audible to us humans, but is very unpleasant to the cat. Since the sound covers a small area of the garden, it is recommended that you place this device upon entry of the garden.

This is very effective in handling cats, unfortunately they are very expensive.

9. Spray some water.
If you can’t afford a sprinkler, you can use a toy gun and spray at the cat whenever she’s about to pee or poop. Since cats hate water, it will deter her and will instead look to leave.

While this method works, waiting and watching for any cat sightings is a tedious thing that’s why an automatic sprinkler is suited for the job.

Do’s

1. Understand the cat situation.
Many of us would get mad or frustrated if a cat would poop anywhere in the garden. But before you get up and take some extreme measures, calm down. I once read about a man who poisoned some stray cats because they kept coming to his backyard. You certainly don’t want to do something harsh like this. No matter how mad your are at the situation, you can’t afford to go too far and abuse some innocent animal for doing something she needs to survive.

While the scattered cat poop can be a nuisance, just remember that there are pointers you can do to discourage them from eliminating in your property without actually harming them.

2. Think about adopting or give her up for adoption.
If you already have cats, maybe you’re tempted to adopt that stray cat that’s been coming over to your garden. Or if not, bring her to an animal shelter for adoption. That way, there’ll be a loving home that will be looking out for her.

3. Combine two or more methods.
You just can’t rely on a single method to work against the stray cat. Combine 2 or more of the methods above to make sure that no more cats will eliminate in your garden again.

4. Stay patient.
Most of all, stay patient when you’re trying to stop a cat from pooping in your garden. You will not get the results you want in a day, not even in a week. It will take weeks at best to see the outcome you want, so don’t ever take the blame or your anger out on the cat.

Don’ts

1. Don’t be harsh on the cat.
Since the cat that’s pooping in your garden isn’t even yours, you’re not training that cat to do a certain thing. So don’t go around yelling at the cat or use physical punishment. You’re only causing the cat to be even more anxious and disregard your presence just to poop anyway.

2. Don’t give up easily.
Even though the methods enumerated here are proven to work, that doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed not to fail. Maybe despite the fact that you’ve spritzed the cat with water, she’s still coming over to your garden, it’s time to use other methods. Stick to the same method for at least 2 weeks to see if the method will work.

3. Don’t forget to clean up the cat poop and urine.
Just remember that a cat’s urine has his personal scent. If the marking is already there, chances are she’ll come over and over to the same place to do her thing. That’s why it’s absolutely important that you use Rocco & Roxie or something similar that breaks down the urine enzymes so the scent completely disappears.

Categories
Cat Behavior

How To Stop Your Cat From Chewing On Wires

Do you know how to stop your cat from chewing on wires? Cat that are compulsive chewers are every cat parent’s nightmare. We’ve probably encountered a torn and chewed wire or two, but if every electrical cord becomes a chew toy for your feline, finding a solution could become so stressful, one that could last weeks or months and worse, at the expense of hundreds of dollars.

If you want your power cords to remain safe again, the first thing you must do is determine any underlying issue that drives your cat to behave that way.

Why Your Cat Chews On Wires

1. Pica
Pica is a condition characterized by insufficient nutrients. Every cat needs to have their dietary requirements met everyday, so if your cat is fed with food that are lacking in nutrients that she needs, she will feel compelled to chew on things that might give her satisfaction. Leaves and electrical cords are only some of the most common things she will chew on to meet the daily nutritional requirements she feels she is lacking.

2. Environmental stress and boredom
Cats exhibit their stress in a number of ways. What you should remember is that, cats don’t like changes in their environment. They heavily rely on routine to go about with their daily lives, from eating habits to where they relieve themselves. Any major changes in their world could cause them to display signs of stress, in the form of chewing, especially on your everyday things. What are these major changes that could throw them off? Examples of these are relocation, house renovation, or even a new member in the family. Additionally, having nothing to do can send your cat doing the most unthinkable things.

Cats like to be stimulated and engage in physical and mental activities. Therefore, when you cat is bored, she will waste all those untapped energy by chewing, scratching, and even peeing in the most unwanted places. In other words, your house will be a mess.

3. Health problems
As cats age, certain health problems begin to show up in their bodies. Their joints, for example, will suffer from painful wear and tear due to old age, obesity and even previous injuries. Arthritis is a joint disease that affects cats. Unfortunately, cats with such health problem will have difficulty moving and playing around, affecting their mobility. Arthrosis is a worse form of arthritis, characterized by connective and bone tissue around their inflamed joints. Cats that have joint health issues will find things to reduce the stress and boredom, such as chewing.

4. Dental and mouth problems
Cats are predatory creatures that use their mouth all the time, whether it’s for hunting, grooming and of course eating. As cats grow every year, they begin to show signs of dental and mouth problems.

Cats with dental problems can find relief in chewing to ease the pain their experience. Some common dental problems cats have are bad breath, swollen and bleeding gums, loose teeth and tooth pain. Cats will suffer from drooling, stop eating, avoid dry food all together and avoid chewing on one side of their mouth where they have pain. Cats with dental issues will find oral stimulation and temporary relief in chewing power cords. Likewise, cats that have joint pain have the urge the gnaw, so they chew on things such as wires to distract themselves.

5. Obsessive compulsive disorder
Some cats just have a destructive habit of chewing, unfortunately. It’s a habit they just can’t break. As long as you have a power cords, you either have to hide it or find ways to make it unattractive enough for her not to chew on it. Beating up or yelling at your cat will not in any way solve the behavioral issue, it will only terrify your cat for awhile but trust and believe, she will get around it.

6. Oral sensations and exploratory phase
Just like plastic bags, cats like the oral sensations that come with chewing on electrical wires because it’s stimulating. Kittens, on the other hand, chew on objects as a way to explore and learn more about their environment.

How To Stop Your Cat From Chewing On Wires

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your cat from chewing on electrical wires. There’s not a single solution that will work on every situation. You should follow multiple pointers here to ensure that your power cords and electrical wires remain safe from your cat’s teeth.

1. Take your cat to the veterinarian
If your cat chews on electrical wires, chances are he has an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed. Health problems such as arthritis should be determined so an immediate treatment will be given. She may also be suffering from some dental disease where chewing provides relief. Lastly, she might have nutritional inadequacy which means, you should pay more attention to your cat’s dietary and nutritional needs.

Giving your cat the proper treatment is just one half of the battle, however. You should also take care of her physical activity levels and her environment so no electrical wires will be ruined by her compulsive chewing.

2. Clear your house of electrical wires and power cords
Your home may be cluttered with electrical wires and power cords which could be lying in some random places. Your cat could reach these places and chew on them without you knowing. What you should do is search your home for all those power cords as well as appliances and gadgets that are now dead on unusable. Throw them all away so your cat will not sink her teeth into them.

3. When not in use, store gadgets and appliances somewhere safe.
Some people like to keep their gadgets and appliances lying around even when they’re not using them. Their kitchen countertop, for example, are filled with things like food processsors, blenders, toasters, and other small appliances that have their cords coiled or hanging around.

Instead of keeping them on places that are easy for your cat to reach, store them inside your closets so your cat won’t chew on the wires. Only take them out when you need to use them. After you clean them, dry them somewhere out of reach of your cat so she won’t dare chew on the wires.

4. If you can’t help it, go wireless.
Fortunately in these modern times, not every appliance and gadget has to be plugged by a traditional power cord or electrical cord. If you can help it, go wireless. More and more appliances and gadgets are now available wireless so you don’t have to worry about storing, clumping and coiling those long, dangerous power cords and wires.

Phones, toaster, kettle and other home and cooking appliances are now wireless, so they are now controlled by a remote. This is good news if you have a cat that likes to chew on wires – there are fewer to no wires for you to worry about.

5. Keep some spaces blocked.
Of course, it’s not realistic to have every home wireless and cord-free. In case of some appliances and gadgets, you can block the gap or space where the cords are so your cat won’t squeeze herself just to reach them. Put the fridge close to the wall. Same thing with your television set, laptop, or desktop computers and other stuff. Make sure there’s no space for your cat or the space is too narrow even for her tiny, little paw for her to reach into.

6. Use LED wall lights and pot lights
If you’re into lamps, a good alternative would have to be LED wall lights and pot lights. You can do away with lamps because they have cords which your cat will feast on. LED wall lights and pot lights are just as beautiful and are not that expensive as well.

7. Use cord protectors.
A good product which you can buy from retail stores are *rubber duct cord covers* which protect your cords and electrical wires from wear, tear and all sorts of damage. They are made of rubber, and all you have to do slip in the cord or electrical wire inside so it will be concealed well even when it’s placed on the floor. They are made with trip-free surfaces and are available in different styles and length. You can cut them with a knife or scissors and tape it with a duct tape.

8. Use bitter apple spray
A bitter taste is a cat deterrent. Cats have taste receptors for bitter taste so if you spray an effective bitter apple taste on objects you don’t want them to lick, scratch or chew on, she’ll have a reaction and will definitely not want to touch it again.

There are bitter apple sprays available from available brands. Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray, Veterinarian’s Best Bitter Cherry Spray, Yak-20 Anti-Lick Gel and Bitter Yuck! NO Chew Spray.

Before you spray your preferred product on anything, dab a cotton wool or piece of tissue in the spray and put it in your cat’s mouth. If she doesn’t like it, she’ll spit it out and will shake her head. Spray on wires and cords everyday so your cat won’t like the taste and the texture of the wire in their mouth.

9. Chew toys
To redirect your cat’s energy on to something else, rubber chew toys would a good outlet. Rubber chew toys are inexpensive so you can buy a bunch of them from pet stores. It’s not enough that you buy them and give them, hoping that she chew on them so the problem goes away. You also have to play with her to get her used to it. In other words, you should spend a lot of playtime with her and make sure she releases her energy so she won’t waste it on something else.

Chew toys are only a part of the whole solution, however. If you leave your cat alone with her chew toy, eventually she’ll get bored and find something else to do. That’s why you should not only take care of your cat’s playtime and activity, but her own surroundings as well.

10. Add fiber to her daily diet
If your cat is eating the same food everyday, it would be best to add more fiber to her daily diet so her nutritional requirements would not be lacking. Add more greens like green beans, psyllium fiber or even supplements to her food.

11. Giver her interactive cat toys
Cats may seem like solitary creatures but in reality, they still have their predatory instincts despite the fact that they have been domesticated. To hone these predatory instincts, interactive cat toys are a good choice. These interactive cat toys will help engage with your cat not only physically, but mentally as well. The good news is, there are tons of interactive cat toys available nowadays and as a cat parent, you can add more toys or change them up in case they get bored.

There are lots of interactive cat toys available today. These include floor scratchers, scratching posts, play tunnels and catnip kickers.

Here are examples of interactive cat toys:

Puzzle boards: This toy have hidden compartments, sliding knobs and swiveling leaves, and works by encouraging the cat to bat, dig and pounce to hunt for treats.

Flipo Interactive Cat Toy Puzzle Board – Cat Toys for Indoor Cats, Cat Activity Center Treat and Cat Food Feeder

Food dispensing toy: First, deposit some treats so your cat bats them through small holes. This toy encourages the cat to work through the holes so the treat drops to the bottom.

PetSafe SlimCat Meal-Dispensing Cat Toy, Great for Food or Treats

Rollerball-scratcher combo: This toy encourages the cat to chase a light up ball around its circular track, and when it does it satisfies her desire to not only sharpen their claws but condition and stretch their muscles as well.

12. Playtime
Your cat needs to be stimulated mentally and devote some time for daily physical activity. That’s why, have some time with your feline friend and play with her. Pet her, use some toys like toy mouse, fish toys, and fishing wands for her to stay engaged.

13. Use duct tape.
Use duct tape on wires and power cords or tape them in a clump and lay it flat on the floor. Cats are enticed by the dangling of the wires so when it’s clumped with a tape, your cat will have a hard time chewing on them.

14. Bring another cat or pet
Sometimes, a cat that is bored or lonely could have some fun in the presence of another cat. Maybe it’s time to bring another cat to the family so she could have somebody else to bond with and play with especially while you’re busy or away.

Introducing another cat to the family might be hard, though, because your cat might not be receptive at first. So, go get them used to each other’s presence gradually until they begin liking each other.

15. Have her watch some videos.
Not cat videos, duh. Some cats enjoy sitting comfortably while watching cartoons because they’re entertaining. You can turn on the laptop or tv and supervise her viewing time so always be around whenever she’s sitting up comfortably in the room. It’s a great way to keep her distracted and away from the wires.

Categories
Cat Care And Grooming

10 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME CAT-FRIENDLY

If you’re a cat parent, you know how important it is to have a cat-friendly home so your feline friend lives her best life. It’s not that hard to turn your house into a cat-friendly home you just have to understand their behavior and what they like first. Cats are solitary creatures, they like being alone and explore your world by themselves yet sometimes they want to hang out with you. The also need exercise and physical activity and are very meticulous when it comes to cleanliness. They like to keep themselves warm so they like to see it and warm places, and of course they like to be rewarded with treats. Keep those in mind and you will have a happy cat.

So what exactly should you do to make a cat-friendly home?

1. Have lots of vertical spaces.
Cats like high places, so it will make sense to have vertical spaces for your cats where they could sit and have a view from above. It also exercises their body whenever they climb. Vertical spaces such as cat shelves, cat trees and cat posts are some of the things you can add to your home so your cat can enjoy looking at her world from above. You can install cat walls and cat shelves so your cats can use them and use them for exercise. Please cat posts where your cats like to scratch so they could use them instead of your furniture.

2. A multi-litter box home
Having a cat means having those large boxes called the litter box. A litter box is where your cat is free to take a dump and pee, so it serves as her bathroom. The golden rule to having a litter box is, there must be a litter box for each and every cat you have plus one. The extra serves as an emergency littrr box just in case. Having a litter box at home is a must (unless your pet knows how to use the toilet) to keep your house clean and to avoid getting your carpet from being soiled.

Teacher cat how to use the litter box and you will be sure to have a neat home.

3. Room with a view
Cats like to be alone at times and spend their time sitting on top of a desk while staring out the window. So, make sure you have a room with a view and offer that view to her everytime by putting up a desk next to a window.

4. Cat door
You cannot keep tabs of your cat all the time so it’s better to have a cat door so your cat can get in and out of a room easily. If her litter box is in the bathroom or anyone for that matter, make sure the door has an entrance just for her. Remember, if your cat can’t get to her litter box just in time, she might eliminate elsewhere and you might train your cat to use the litter box all over again which would take a long time.

5. Breakable ornaments
Keep breakable ornaments away from high shelves and other high places. Or better yet, don’t buy ornaments that break easily knowing full well your cat will break them at one point. Look for other types of ornaments to decorate your house instead.

6. Scratch posts
Scratch posts are the remedy to give your cats excessive scratching. If your cat is scratching your furniture, consider buying a scratch post so she could redirect her energy there. Scratch posts are a lifesaver to cat parents everywhere because while it’s true you cannot stop your cat from scratching, at least she gets to release that instinct in somewhere else without ever causing damage to your house. Take a scratch post near where your cat is scratching and encourage her to scratch the post instead.

7. Keep away from strong, offensive odors
Strong offensive odors are some of your cats worst nightmare. To us humans, certain smells are nice and therapeutic but they could be too strong to your cat super sharp nose, and worse, dangerous.

If you like room diffusers, sprays and other products that keep your home smelling like perfume, do keep in mind that your cat could be at risk. There are certain aromatherapy oils that are harmful to your cat because they contain components that are toxic to their liver. If you keep getting your cat exposed to these scents through inhalation, ingestion or through skin contact, she could experience vomiting, blurred eyesight and lack of appetite among others. It’s better to get rid of these room diffusers and strong offensive odors alltogether so your cat won’t have to suffer.

8. Closer kitchen appliances and vehicles at all times.
Your cat likes to sit in one place is all the time. Where else would you do that but your kitchen and your car? So always remember to check your oven and other cooking appliances where their bodies could fit to make sure they won’t enter.

Likewise make sure your car is closed as well as its trunk at all times. Since your vehicle could be warm from the heating, your cat might be sitting on all the most obscure places just to keep themselves warm. So be careful. Always check each corner of your car as well as its trunk for your cat and make sure she’s not there.

9. Always keep your toilet lids and trash bins closed
Your cat, in all her solitary adventure, could be hunting for some food or drinking in all the wrong places. Check your toilet lid and keep it closed at all times to prevent your cat from drinking there. Accidents can happen especially if she sits on the toilet and slips. On the other hand, the trash bin must be closed at all times as well because you will never know when she’ll be looking into it for some leftovers and if she does, she might slip inside the bin or her head might be trapped inside. Tell your family members to close the toilet leaves and the trash bins at all times, too.

10. Always clear countertops
Cats like to climb to the counter tops and search for some food. Make sure there are no food scraps on the counter tops so there would be no rewards for her to go up there and clear it of any breakable objects like glass. Put those breakable objects somewhere out of her reach and store them hide in the closet all the time to prevent accidents.

Categories
Cat Behavior

How To Stop A Cat From Peeing And Pooping On The Carpet

Every cat parent must know how to stop a cat from peeing and pooping on the carpet or else their house will turn into a huge, giant mess. Cats must be trained properly when it comes to where they eliminate to keep the stress of cleaning the house everyday and to prevent disputes with the neighbors as well. But there are times when your cat just can’t stop peeing or pooping on the carpet, and you can’t help but ask why.

If your cat is in such situation, here are the following possible reasons.

1. Health Issues
Bone or joint problems can cause your cat to have difficulty entering or leaving the litterbox. If your cat has arthritis, for example, she will struggle getting in and out of her bathroom due to the pain and therefore might choose to eliminate elsewhere. The carpet is enticing for the cat due to its absorbency and its texture, which is appealing for them.

If your cat has a disability or amputated legs, she might find the carpet an easier option than the litter box, due to the discomfort the latter causes. Same thing happens when your cat has poor posture, she could eliminate on the carpet instead.

Kidney or bladder problems could cause cats to relieve anywhere because they can’t control how often and how much they urinate. If they urinate too often, they might not make it to the litter box in time.

Likewise, bowel problems could cause your cat to frequently poop. This will definitely lead to a more soiled litter box, which would turn your cat off, and would lead her to do her thing somewhere else. Diabetes, parasites, and gut health problems could also cause frequent elimination.

Cognitive decline and memory loss could cause cats to have difficulty navigating their way just to locate their litter box, and might therefore poop on your carpet.

2. Environmental Issues
Your environment, primarily your home, is also a possible reason behind your feline friend’s erratic behavior. Changes like below could turn your hone into one giant, soiled bathroom.

A new cat or a new human in the house bring so much stress in your cat’s life. Cats don’t adjust easily to sudden changes. That stress, if unmanaged, could cause your cat to act up. The distress and so much agitation could result to some unwanted behavior you certainly don’t want to see from your feline friend.

Have you recently moved? Changes in your environment will bring your cat not only so much stress and confusion. Imagine waking up one day only to find yourself in a different place you’re unfamiliar with. For an animal that relies heavily on memory and routine, your cat will struggle using her litter box again and would need re-training for a new routine.

If you live in a multi-household, some cats pee in some areas of a home to mark their territory as their own.

Even if you haven’t moved, a house renovation could lead to some unwanted behavior from your cat. As mentioned, cats don’t respond well to changes. If your house is undergoing some major overhaul, your cat might be under stress especially if there are some people working in your house. The litter box could be moved, too, and its new location is a huge no-no for your cat.

Lastly, if you have a new working schedule, your cat’s mealtimes could also change. Your cat’s new eating habits could cause her so much stress and confusion, and she might take it out on her new carpet.

3. Behavioural Issues
A lot of your cat’s unwanted pooping and peeing behavior stems from her litter box. Cats are not only known for their impeccable hygiene, they are also very particular with their things, including their own litter box. The location of where they eliminate could be a problem since not every cat can access it with ease. The location could be far away, and she has health problems making it worse.

The location could also be a burden. Maybe you place it somewhere crowded, dark or noisy, something that is not ideal for your cat when needs to eliminate. For more ideas on the best places where you should be putting your cat’s litter box, read this post: Where To Put Cat Litter Boxes At Home

Just remember, place the litter box that is quiet, has less people, is less crowded, is well-illuminated and is easy for them to reach, so she could do her thing peacefully.

The size of the litter box matters, too. If the litter box is way too small for her, she will have difficulty getting in and out of it, causing her so much discomfort. If the litter box fits her body, it will make her uncomfortable as well. Make sure it has lots of space so she could move around freely, shuffle and kick the litter with her paws and urinate or defecate however she likes.

The number of litter box should not be overlooked. If you own cats, remember to buy a litter box for each one, plus one. So if you have three cats, buy four litter boxes because the extra serves as an emergency should something happen. Your cats must never share litter boxes or they might eliminate elsewhere because they’re too soiled.

The cleanliness of your cat’s litter box must be a top priority. Needless to say, if a litter box is not tidy, your cat will look somewhere else to do her thing. That’s why it’s important that clean up the litter box everyday and replace the old, dirty litter with fresh ones.

Look into the type of litter you use. If the litter is scented, your cat will find it too offensive because cats do have a super sharp sense of smell. Make sure your cat is not allergic to the litter you buy for her. If your cat is often wheezing or have a runny nose, chances are your cat is allergic to the litter.

Lastly, check to see if a covered litter box causes your cat distress. Some cats are terrified of using a closed litter box because they feel trapped inside, and they won’t find it easy getting in and out of the litter box. If that were the case, it’s time that you choose an open litter box for her.

How To Stop A Cat From Peeing And Pooping On The Carpet

Fortunately, there are many ways for your cat to use the litter box again if you follow these tips.

1. Take your cat to the veterinarian.
If your cat is suffering from health problems, you should bring your cat to the veterinarian. She’ll be the one who will determine what her health problem is, and of course the best treatment for your cat. This will help ease the symptoms of whatever your cat is experiencing so she would not pee or poop on the carpet again.

2. If your cat is experiencing distress due to a new car or person, remember it will take time before she gets to know the new being.
So give her some time to adjust by giving her a new room or a private space that serves as her retreat. Introduce the new cat or baby to the cat and let them get to know each other and spend time together. As time goes on, she will come in good terms with the new cat or human and they will be good friends.

3. If you have recently moved, mask the odor of the new home.
You can do this by using cat pheromones to curb her anxiety. The new home could have the scent of other cats in it. The pheromones will help eliminate those scents and will calm your cat down as she no longer feels threatened or attacked.

4. In a multi-cat household, there might be this one cat that feels withdrawn and isolated while the others don’t mind playing along. If you have such cat, you should spend more time with her, by playing with her, and by giving her toys when you’re not around. It will help if you give your cat her own space so she won’t feel intimidated by other cats. Separate her resources as well, such as litter boxes, toys, food and water bowls and introduce the new cat slowly to the rest of the pack.

5. If your house is undergoing a house renovation, follow tip #4. Also, retrain her on how to use the litter box.

6. If you have a new working schedule, re-train her with her new eating habits. Get her used to her new mealtimes. Bring her to her litter box 15 minutes after she ate. She will eventually get used to her new routine after weeks of training.

7. To deal with the soiled carpet, wash it and spray with an enzymatic cleanser that breaks down and completely eliminates it. Cover the carpet with double sided tape or aluminum foil, both of which act as deterrent that will prevent them from pooping or peeing on the same spot. Make sure you keep it concealed for weeks to give the cleanser time to work.

8. For a bored and agitated cat, give her more toys for her to play with so she has something to do even when you’re not around. Buy interactive toys to stimulate her physically and mentally. Add cat shelves and cat trees to your household so she could have more playtime.

9. Remember, never place your cat’s litter box next to her food and water bowls.

10. If your cat has issues with her litter box, change it up.
Maybe her litter is scented. It would be better if you switch her up to an unscented type so she wouldn’t feel overwhelmed due to the strong scent. If the concern lies in the size of the litter box, buy a bigger one with lots of room, so she could move around and not feel restricted. Of course, make sure the litter box is always tidy so she won’t feel discouraged from using it over and over. If you determined that your cat is allergic to the litter she’s using, buy another type of litter. Read Best Litter For Cats to learn which type of litter is best suited for your cat. Lastly, test multiple litter boxes to determine which litter box your cat likes using the most – the covered one or the open one.

Important Notes

1. Before you bring your baby or new cat home, plan ahead. Plan on how you’re going to introduce your feline friend to the new member of the family and prepare for any possible problems that may arise when they begin to co-exist (not getting along, bullying, withdrawal, isolation, etc). It will take time before they adjust with each other o don’t force the relationship. Gradually, have them together and let cat know the new feline or baby and eventually, she will get around.

2. If you’re going to have a house renovation, plan ahead on how you’re going to make things for your cat.
If there would be people around, put her toys and her belongings in one room and make sure she’s at easy by spending more time with her. Put all her toys and her food and water bowl in that room. If you’ve just moved, don’t let your cat out of your new home for awhile. Not only is there a possibility that will get lost, she might even be intimidated by other cats in the new neighborhood.

3. In case of an amputated or paralyzed cat, add more adjustments to her litter box to make it easier for her to use it.
A bigger entryway or a ramp to the entrance are just some of the adjustments you can make. Or better yet, use washable puppy training pads and a puppy training holder to make it easier for her to eliminate.

4. If your cat is having anxiety issues, never forget her anti-anxiety medications. Also, consider keeping the tv on when you’re away, provide her with interactive toys and play soothing music you can find on Youtube. A good example would be this:

5. If your cat has stopped using the same litter box she’s been using for years even though she has no health problems, and there are no changes in your environment, it’s time to as a cat behaviorist or expert for any possible issue you might have overlooked.

6. If the brand of litter you’ve been buying for a long time suddenly is no longer available, you have to buy similar litter types and test which one your feline friend will prefer.

7. If your cat’s litter box is inside a room, install a cat door so your cat can go in and out of the room anytime she wants. That way, you don’t have to remind everyone at home to always keep the door open for your cat. Having a cat door is so convenient because your cat can access her litter box every time she has to do her thing.

8. Don’t put your cat’s litter box in dark, far away places such as the attic, the basement, and even the garage. If there are no other areas where you can put the litter box due to the size of your apartment, a cat litter box furniture might be a good idea.

9. For first time cat parents, realize that it will take multiple litter brands even litter boxes before you see which your cat really likes, so be prepared with the hefty expenses.

Categories
Cat Litter Boxes

Where To Put Cat Litter Boxes At Home

Having a cat means having a lifetime companion that will give you unconditional love. On the other hand, it also means to be attentive to their needs so they could live a happy, stress-free life. When you have a cat, you know how stressful it is to teach her how to use the litter box. Once you taught her how, the battle doesn’t end there. You know you still have to put it in the right place so your cat will eliminate properly.

You just can’t place the litter box anywhere and expect your feline friend to do her business there. Like it or not, you must think which areas in your home make the best candidate so your cat feels comfortable. If you don’t put it in the right area, all your efforts of teaching her how to use the litter box will go to waste. On top of that, the money you spent on those litter boxes will go down the drain as well.

So how do you determine where you should put the litter box? Where in your home do you place that?

The Rules

When cats eliminate, they are vulnerable. Since they are predatory animals, they don’t want any other threats to be around so they need to be alone and be in a place where they feel safe.

When buying a litter box, the rule is, buy one for peeing and another one for pooping. Put them in separate areas because your cats will mistake them as one.

Factors For Choosing The Best Places Where To Put The Cat Litter Box

1. Quiet: Your cat must be in a quiet place so she could easily feel comfortable doing her thing. That means, no loud noises that would startle her and no buzzing sounds that would stun her while she’s doing it. We suggest you put the litter box away from the laundry room especially because the loud sounds of the washing machine might terrify her. That would also mean you should think twice about putting it in the kitchen where all sorts of cooking appliances could be heard. This is why some cats are terrified to use automatic litter boxes because they make a sound, which could discourage her from using.

2. Where your cat likes to hang out: Where your cat frequents is a sign where your cat is likely to eliminate. This establishes familiarity. Since she likes hanging out there, she definitely knows how to get there and she’s likely comfortable being there. So, watch your cat and know where she goes to often to get an idea on what kind of place she likes.

3. Private: As mentioned, it’s important for cats to eliminate somewhere that she can be alone so she would not feel under any threat. Cats are natural predators and you would not get rid of that instinct out of them. At the same time, she doesn’t want to feel trapped either which explains why a lot of cats don’t want to be stuck in a hooded litter box because it might be difficult for them to get in and out of easily. A guest bedroom, guest bathroom and even your own bathroom are good choices to consider because those areas offer privacy and comfort for your cats.

4. Low traffic: A low traffic place is one that doesn’t have a lot of people. Somewhere less crowded is an ideal place for cast to eliminate. If you have kids playing in the living room, it could be hard to find a good place where your particular cat can peacefully do her thing. You could install a screen two separate an area where you can put the litter box. You can also place it behind your potted plant. A cat litter box furniture is also a good idea since it blends well with the house decor while she has her own privacy.

5. Easy access: This one is a no-brainer. You definitely want to easily go to your own that you especially if your bladder won’t make it. The same goes with your cat. She definitely wants to get to her bathroom fast or else she will pee elsewhere. Now, some cats have difficulty accessing their own litter box because of their health. This is true for senior cats whose bodies are now aging. They could be having mobility issues due to their joint and bone problems, so getting in and out of the litter box is hard. Some cats with vision and hearing loss and cognitive decline will have a hard time going to their litter box as well because they would still have to navigate their way around which might be troublesome.

A good way to solve this issue is by putting it on the first floor of your house. It should not be on the higher floor or she will have to climb the stairs which would cause problems on her body. Don’t forget to install a cat door so she could get inside the room where the litter box is, even in case the door is shut. Some family members might forget to keep the door open and your cat will eliminate elsewhere if she doesn’t get to the litter box in time.

6. Well-lighted: A well-lighted area is something your cat would like to go to. Nobody wants to go to a dark bathroom. Not even you. You can’t expect your cat to go to her litter box is she can’t see the place properly, and if she feels she’s in danger. If you want to put the light on, install some night light where the litter box is, or at least put the litter box where the area is well-illuminated. We suggest an open balcony where the lights are on so your cat can perfectly see. If the litter box is in a closet, install some light bulbs inside witch automatically lights up when it senses your cats presence. Don’t make them go to the basement or attic where it’s dark.

7. Far from the food and water bowls: Your cat is particular with cleanliness to a point she will not do certain things if some conditions are not met. For example, cats will not eat right where they poop so put the food and water bowls a little far away. If your cat will eat in the kitchen, place her litter box in the bathroom.

8. Clean: needless to say your cat’s litter box must be clean so your feline friend will use it. Scoop out the dirty litter and the waste each time she uses it and clean the litter box well everyday.

9. Not out of the way: Some cat parents feel they should put the litter box someplace nobody could see. In this instance, it doesn’t pay to have it out of your sight and out of your mind. This should not happen at all. If you put the litter box somewhere far out of her reach, even your cat will have a hard time accessing her litter box.

Worst Places To Put The Cat Litter Box

1. Laundry room
2. Wash room
3. Kitchen
4. Kids’ play pen

Best Places To Put The Cat Litter Box

1. Balcony
2. Bathroom
3. Guest bathroom
4. Rarely used closet
5. Hallways
6. Bedroom
7. Guest bedroom

DO’s

1. Do make sure the litter box for peeing and pooping are separate.

2. If you have a senior cat, do watch out for her health and determine the underlying cause behind her inability to use the litter box. If the root cause is a health problem, bring her to the vet for proper medical treatment.

3. If you have a problem with litter tracking, to minimize the problem, use a litter box that focuses on less litter mess.

Categories
Cat Behavior

How To Stop Cats From Scratching Leather Furniture In 8 Ways

Do you know how to stop cats from scratching leather furniture? Leather furniture like sofa are just some of your cat’s favourite targets, sadly if you let it happen, your furniture will not only be damaged, you will have to shoulder a lot of costs, too.

If you want to stop your cats from scratching leather furniture, the truth is you can’t stop what is an instinct in your feline friend. Scratching is an innate habit that you just can’t and won’t ever eradicate from your cat – unless you decide to declaw them (and that is a completely separate topic that needs to be addressed). Part of addressing your cat scratching is learning why your cat does it. Once you know, you will understand your cats more.

Reasons Why Your Cat Scratch Your Furniture

1. To stretch. Cats usually scratch something so they could stretch their back muscles. This is why you see scratch marks on leg tables, walls, and even deck posts.

2. To maintain claw health. Your cat’s nails are her defense against perpetrators. Therefore, she needs to keep her claws sharp and what better way to do this than by scratching. When a cat scratches, she sheds her nail’s husk which keeps it dull. A good way to keep her nails healthy is by properly trimming them. When you train your cat’s nails, you’re achieving the same effect as scratching.

3. To mark territory. When cats scratch, they leave scent that marks their territory. Since cats have a strong sense of smell, other cats will pick up on the scent which is your cat’s method of communication.

4. To feel good. Cats derive pleasure when they scratch, while some do it out of boredom.

Important Notes

1. As mentioned, if you want to know how to stop cats from scratching leather furniture, you must redirect her energy on to something else where she is allowed to scratch to her heart’s content . You cannot and must not completely eliminate her habit because it’s something natural to her instinct, as a predator, no matter how domesticated she is.

2. Declawing is inhumane. There are owners who declaw their cats just to get rid of their pet’s scratching habit. If you’re thinking of having your cat declawed, please don’t. There are many disadvantages to this option, and these implications will be felt by your cat in the long run.

Health Implications Of Declawing

1. Difficulty walking. Your cat’s nails are more than just your feeling friends defensive mechanism against attacks, they also serve to provide balance and grip for her mobility. Because hernias are now evident, she will lack tolerance against different types of surfaces that are too painful or unbearable for your cat’s paws.

2. Increased aggression. Because nails are now missing from your cat, she will likely act more aggressive to cope with the pain period that means, expect her to flinch, poop outside the litter box and excessively lick her paws to express her pain. Your cat will eliminate anywhere than the litter box to avoid walking on litter that’s too painful for her paws.

3. Peeing outside the litter box . Since your cat’s paws won’t handle the litter surface in her litter box, she will look anywhere else that her paws can tolerate for her to do her business. In other words, she’ll pee somewhere else instead of the litter box, rendering your litter box training absolutely useless.

4. Biting as defensive mechanism. Since your cat will not be able to scratch to defend herself against any attacks , she will resort to biting as a primary defensive mechanism.

How To Stop Cats From Scratching Leather Furniture

1. Keep your cat’s nails trimmed. To prevent your cat from looking at your furniture to get her nails sharp, trim her nails instead. There’s a certain way to training your cat’s nails properly, without ever causing any damage nor without hurting your pet . Watch this video:

2. Use scratching posts. There are various objects that will help redirect your cat’s scratching habit on to somewhere else. One of them are cat scratching posts. Cat scratching posts are tall, vertical and sturdy – perfect for your feline friend to stretch her back while scratching to her heart’s content. Cat scratching posts are made of sisal rope and vary in height so you have so much to choose from.

For your cat to use the scratching posts, place them where she hangs out . When you find your cat scratching on the sofa, say a firm no and bring her over to the scratching post. When she scratches there, praise her and give her treats.

You should also place the scratching post right where she naps. Cats like to scratch upon waking up, so it’s a good idea to lure her that way.

Cat trees and cardboard scratch pads also serve serve as alternative for your cat scratching habit . You can lure your cat to scratch on these objects by putting catnip all over them and when they scratch, praise them.

3. Make your furniture unattractive by covering it with aluminum foil . Cats don’t like the texture of aluminium foil so they’ll be discouraged from scratching there.

4. Use a non toxic spray . You must have read a lot of guides teaching you that spraying a citrus solution at your belongings will deter your cat from scratching. The problem is, this citrus oils are toxic to your cat and will only cause harmful health risks such as nausea and respiratory problems. Instead of using citrus, use rosemary which is less toxic to your cat’s health . Add water.

Spray this mixture on anything that your cat likes to scratch everyday. Your cat will not like the smell without being intoxicated.

5. Pheromones for stress period to relieve your cat from the stress, Some pheromones will help. Pheromones will help calm your cat and relieve of her anxiety and stress , so spray their room and letting her in the solution will lessen her scratching habit.

6. Cat room. At night, before you go to sleep, bring your cat to her own room. Having a cat room where she’s free to stay for the night we prevent your pet from damaging your furniture when you’re not around. Your cat’s room should have all her essentials like food, water, toys and her scratching posts and trees. Make sure it has a cat door which lets her get in and out anytime she wants in case she wants to use the litter box.

7. Scratch conditioners. Fortunately you can repair the damage brought by your cat’s sharp nails through the use of a scratch conditioner. A scratch  conditioner will help restore your leather surface to its natural state. Scratch conditioners can only do so much, though the deeper the scratches are, the longer it will take before your leather returns to normal.

8. Couch protectors . If you want to go the extra mile , you can protect your letter from potential damages in the future by using crouch protector covers. This product will protect yourself not only from cat scratches but also from other types of damages like spills and vomit . Couch protector covers range in a variety of material. They are available in fabric such as cotton and velvet , and plastic , and lastly they are waterproof.

Categories
Litter Box Training

Best Litter For Cats

As a cat parent, it is your duty to choose the best litter for cats because it affects your fur baby’s health. A little box filled with the best litter is where she would eliminate, so it only makes sense you choose something that’s safe for her health. But with so many options to consider nowadays, how are you going to choose the best letter for your feline?

Why You Should Litter Box Train Your Cat

Cats can eliminate any where they want. If your cat isn’t trained to use the litter box, she could eliminate in your garden, in your neighbor’s backyard, on your carpet or anywhere else, for that matter. But if your cat is litter box trained, you are facing a lot of advantages. 

1. A litter box serves as your cat’s bathroom. Moreover, it greatly suits your cat’s hygienic instincts. Typically, a cat likes to cover her wastes to avoid being tracked by a predator. Even if your cat is domesticated, you can ever take that instinct out of your feline. So a litter box is perfect for your cat because it plays up to her instincts. She’s free to kick and shuffle the litter around, something she would do in the wild.

2. It helps her stay clean. Say goodbye to soiled carpets and scattered poop in the garden. Your cat has one place to take a  dump and that’s the litter box.

3. It helps avoid disputes with neighbors and your land lord. Cats that are not trained to use the litter box will eliminate everywhere include in your neighbor’s garden. But if your cat is trained, you will get to avoid fights and disputes with your neighbors including the land lord.

How To Choose The Best Litter For Cats

1. Clumping litter: Litter that clumps form into balls when it absorbs cat urine and poop. This makes it easier for the cat parent to scoop out with dirty litter, while leaving the clean litter behind. All you have to do now is pour in some more fresh cat litter for your cat’s next use. Clay, made of bentonite clay, clumps well and is widely available in stores. However, it creates a lot of dust and so is quite dangerous to your cat. It is not healthy once your cat ingests some of the clay when she licks her paw. 

Sand, on the other hand, is also scoopable, controls odor and clumps easily. Crystal, made of silica gel, has high absorption rate, and absorbs wetness and odor. It clumps pretty well, but but is dangerous to your cat once ingested. Lastly, paper is biodegradable but can absorb odor from feces and urine, and clumps well.

2. Odor control: Cats are hygienic creatures and are very particular when it comes to odor. When your cat’s litter box has a strong odor, your pet will eliminate somewhere else. Fortunately, there are litter that have a good absorption rate of cat urine and poop and have a good odor control. Examples of these are sand, clay, crystal, and even natural cat litter. Natural cat litter, specifically, use baking soda and enzymes to control the strong cat odor.

3. Low tracking: cat litter differ in granule size. Because they got into a cat’s paws, when you’re feline steps out of the litter box, they live paw markings everywhere they go. Litter types that are high in dusts leave high tracking marks which are inconvenient for you as a cat owner. A good example of this is clay. Clay has a lot of dusts which are dangerous once your cat inhales them because they could cause respiratory problems. Pine, wheat and corn are not only biodegradable, they are also low in dusts. To minimize the high tracking problem,  have a mat outside of the litter box.

4. Dust-free: Cat litter types that clump so well produce a lot of dusts. They are also irritants to the eyes and nose and when licked on the feet, could be dangerous to your cat. Clay and sand are high in dusts.  On the other hand, pine, wheat and corn are low in dusts, are flushable and could be used as composts. Crystal litter is dust-free but is dangerous to your cat when ingested.

5. Costs: Cat owners cannot deny that price plays a part in determining which cat litter to buy. Of course, that’s not the only factor because safety and quality are just as important if not more. Our advice is to choose the cat litter that has all of these characteristics without compromising one for the other: quality, safety and price.

Types Of Cat Litter

1. Clay: Made from bentonite clay. Clay cat litter is one of the most popular cat litters available because it clumps so well. It is scoopable, absorbs odor well and the price is reasonable. On the downside, clay later is not environmentally friendly. It is strip mined, and the transportation and production cost for this litter is pretty high. Moreover it is high in dust so this is an irritant and non-biodegradable.

2. Crystals: Made of silica gel. It is good at all odor control, clumps well, absorbs urine and wastes and lasts longer. On the downside, crystals are dangerous when it comes to cats especially when they lick their feet.

3. Sand: Ideal litter for feral cats because it reminds them of  outdoors. It is scoopable,  clumps pretty well, has good odor control but is high in dusts.

4. Pine, wheat and corn: Some cat litter made from these biodegradable materials clump pretty well while some don’t. They also have pretty good odor control and use baking soda and other enzymes for that purpose. They are low in dusts so they don’t irritate your cats. Caution though, as your cat may be allergic to any of these materials so you should monitor how your cat uses her litter. Pine, corn and wheat are biodegradable, are flushable and can be used as composts.

What Else To Consider

1. Scented or unscented? Be careful buying scented cat litter. Us humans would prefer scented cat litter to mask the smell but scented cat litter is way too offensive for your cats. Choose unscented instead.

2. Natural or clay litter? There’s been so much debate when it comes to which type of cat litter is better – natural or clay. It all depends on personal preference because both clump well and are good at controlling odor. Natural cat litter have low dusts saw your cat will not be irritated and will not be exposed to toxic elements. Natural cat litter is biodegradable and is good for the environment. On the other hand, clay produces a lot of dusts which can be an irritant for your cat.

3. Stray cats likes and a lot so if you’re adopting an outdoor cat better you sand litter because it reminds them of outdoors. Fill the litter box with new cat litter by 2 inches in depth and cover it with sand litter by half an inch. Your cat will kick and shuffle the litter around,  making her gradually accustomed to the new cat litter.

Do’s

1. Use multiple litter boxes. Since using the best litter for your cat is a matter of testing, use multiple cat litter boxes so you would know which brand your cat likes best.

2. Clean the litter box regularly. Since cats are hygienic animals, it will only make sense to have the litter box cleaned regularly or your cat will not use it. Solid materials must be scooped out once or twice daily, while liquid wastes  should be taken out at the same time your scoping out the litter. Never forget to clean the litter box before adding fresh litter.

3. Once you find what your cat likes, stick with it! Remember that cats are creatures of habit, so they will eliminate with the litter they know. If you use another brand, it will take a while before your cat gets used to it again.

Categories
Cat Behavior

How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching Wallpaper

Ever wondered how to stop your cat from scratching wallpaper? As much as we love our cats, unfortunately, there are just things that we find annoying and wish they would stop. One of them is the habitual scratching that is being done on our furniture and other things including the wallpaper. If you’ve been dealing with this for a long time, I can understand how desperate you’ve gotten because – let’s face it – scratching could turn self-destructive if left unaddressed for too long.

What some cat parents don’t know is that, scratching is something they cannot completely eradicate from their feline friend. No matter how domesticated, cats share a lot with their outdoor counterparts. The cute, little kitty that you love carrying in your arms is a natural predator whose instinct is to hunt for other animals. And in order to hunt for their prey, they must keep their tools sharp so they could be ready to pounce anytime. What’s a better way to keep those claws sharp than to scratch on various surfaces?

Once you understand that, you will also realize as a cat parent, you can only seek other outlets for their scratching but you could never get rid of it – unless you do something radical, like declawing. More on that later. Believe it or not, there are other reasons why your cat likes to scratch. Aside from keeping their hunting tools sharp, of course.

Other Reasons Why Your Cat Likes To Scratch

1. It stretches their muscles. Every wonder why your scratches after a nap? When your cat wakes up, chances are she will look for something tall and sturdy to keep their claws sharp. The tall, sturdy feature is important because it stretches their back, which in turn feels good. There’s a reason why your cats like to scratch on deck posts and tables.

2. Out of pleasure or boredom. A lot of cats find pleasure in scratching especially if they have nothing else to do. When you are too busy, your cat could be something else to distract herself, and it’s usually what she’s already used to doing – scratching.

3. To mark their territory. Cats have a secret way of communicating with other cats, especially if she’s not the only one in the household. Cats mark a certain area of the home as theirs by scratching, which releases their own scent. Marking territory shows complete dominance over other cats.

4. To ease their insecurity. When cats are assaulted with new smells in the home, or when they get agitated over the arrival of a new cat or new family member, or when they get nervous over new changes in the home, you can expect your cat to act up and scratch all over the place. The act of scratching eases their insecurity and gives them a peace of mind over changes they can’t control.

A Word About Scratching

We have established by now that scratching is an innate behavior that you can never get rid from your cat. You just have to redirect that energy of their onto something else so your personal belongings and furniture will never be damaged. Unfortunately, there are cat parents who go the radical route by declawing their cats.

Declawing your cat is one of the worst, if not the worst, things you can do because of the health risks and consequences you could be facing in the long run.

Why Declawing Isn’t An Option

Declawing will affect your cat in more ways we cannot imagine. According to Humane Society, there are health problems that will surface should you decide to get rid of your cat’s claws. Worse, it will also change your cat’s personality and demeanor, and if she poses a safety risk to your young children you might be looking to give her up to an adoption home. All of this just because you want to eliminate your cat’s claws.

When you declaw your cat, remember that you’ve just taken away your feline friend’s hunting weapon. That means, not only will she be unable to act on her instinct to prey on small creatures, moreover she will be unable to defend herself. If the instinct to scratch is taken away, she will bite as defensive mechanism alternative. Moreover, she will be more aggressive and that includes around humans. Because cat’s paws are more sensitive towards certain surfaces, she will not feel comfortable shuffling her litter around, which was something she used to do. Instead, she will look to poop and pee somewhere else, rendering her litter box absolutely useless.

In other words, the downsides to declawing your cat far outweigh whatever benefits it has.

How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching Wallpaper

1. Use scratch posts and trees instead. The best way to address your cat’s destructive scratching habit is by seeking another outlet where she’s allowed to scratch to her heart’s content without damaging anything of value. In this case, a scratch post or tree is a good outlet where your cat can scratch all she wants.

Scratch posts are available in a wide variety of colors, height and material. Scratch posts can be bought from pet supply stores and are a must for every household that has cats. To get your cat to scratch on these scratch posts, you have to place them strategically where your cat scratches. In this case, by the wallpaper. Once you catch your cat scratching the wallpaper, saw a firm “No” to your cat and bring her over to the scratch post. Encourage her to scratch there and when she complies, praise her. You can also sprinkle cat nip all over the scratch post as encouragement.

Scratch posts are made in various materials. A popular one is sisal due to its durability. Cats happen to like them because scratching feels good on their claws.

Scratch trees are another great outlet. Scratch trees are available in various height and material as well. Another way to get your cat to scratch on scratch posts and trees is by bringing her over to them once they wake up. Since cats like to scratch after a nap, those things will serve their purpose well.

2. Give her ample exercise. Cats, despite their solitary nature, need enough bonding time with their parents. If she doesn’t get enough exercise, she will unleash all that untapped energy on scratching and other unwanted behavior. That’s why you really should make sure your feline friend has her enough fill of exercise on a daily basis. You can install cat shelves where she is allowed to run and jump all she wants.

Or better yet, buy those interactive cat toys where she’s encouraged to hone on her predatory instincts. Interactive cat toys are a hit among cat parents because not only are they fun, they allow their pets to pounce, grab and even bite as long as they want safely, and without messing up their homes.

Here are just a few examples of interactive cat toys.

K&H Scratch, Ramp, and Track Cardboard Toy

On2Pets Skyline Scratching Post

Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel

3. Address her anxiety If your cat has been scratching your wallpaper lately, something must have changed around your household. Has there been a new family member? A new cat, maybe? Is she going out a lot and meeting up with other cats? If you said yes to any of these, chances are, your cat is having some anxiety issues due to some changes in your home. You can treat her anxiety by bringing her over to a vet and asking for the right anti-anxiety medication for her. For the meantime, limit her access to her environment by keeping her in one or two rooms only.

4. Replace with paint If your wallpaper has been scratched to shreds and there seems to be no hope left, maybe it’s time to replace all of them with good ol’ paint. You can have your walls painted instead of keeping those wallpaper around.

5. Clean those scratches Those scratches contain cat scents that no human can smell. As long as those scratches are there, your cat will return to them no matter what to do her thing over and over.

You should apply a solution that will completely get rid of the smell, like Rocco & Roxie. Apply it on the surface and do it everyday for two weeks.

For the time being, watch out and make sure your cats never go near the wallpaper. Encourage her to scratch on the scratch post or tree, give her enough exercise and keep tabs on her all the time.

6. Use an anti-scratch spray. There are certain smells that are detrimental to your cat. Add about 10 drops of rosemary with water and spray it on the surfaces where your cats used to scratch. This goes without saying that you must clean those scratched surfaces with the above cleaning solution first to get rid of the cat scent. Rosemary is a deterrent for cats because they don’t like the smell. Some blogs recommend citrus and other essential oils, but according to ApVet, these essential oils are harmful to your pet. To avoid this, rosemary would be a good alternative.

7. Cover some parts with aluminum foil or sandpaper Cats don’t like the texture of aluminum foil and sandpaper, so it would be a good idea to cover the area your cat likes to scratch with either of those things. Once your cat realizes something’s strange, she will back off and not scratch there again.

This is a good time to instill a new set of habits like using the scratch post or tree and playing with interactive cat toys. Keep the aluminum foil or sandpaper for two weeks – long enough for your cat to be comfortable with her new plaything.

8. Never yell at nor hurt your cat. Training your cat will be hard and frustrating. Nevertheless, don’t yell at your cat nor hurt her because it will only make her anxious. That anxiety will only cause your cat to scratch even more.

Categories
Litter Box Training

How To Get A Cat To Use A Covered Litter Box

Some cat parents would like to know how to get a cat to use a covered litter box. After all, doing so brings so much convenience. Hooded litter boxes are usually automatic or self-cleaning, so when cat parents switch from a traditional to an automatic cat litter box, they have their reasons.

One of them is the fact that hooded or covered litter boxes smell less compared to traditional ones. Uncovered litter boxes are open spaces, which means your cat’s urine and feces get wafted in the air, and the smell isn’t nice.

Secondly, automatic cat litter boxes are self-cleaning. If you hate the idea of scooping up your cat’s litter everyday, an automatic cat litter box is just right for you. Automatic cat litter boxes scoop up and separate the urine and the feces from the clean litter so you don’t have to.

Third, hooded or covered litter boxes offer privacy. If you don’t want to catch your cat in her vulnerable state, a hooded cat litter box is ideal for you. With a hood, your cat can pee and poop in peace without any awkward moments between you.

While an automatic cat litter box may be the answer to some cat parents’ problems, that doesn’t mean they have no disadvantages. A hooded or automatic cat litter box may be frightening for your cat. Why? Because cats are vulnerable while doing their business, they view the hood a threat to their safety. Some may get jumpy and nervous being inside a covered litter box because it doesn’t offer them a way out in case of an attack. Remember, your cat, no matter how domesticated, still thinks like a natural predator so you shouldn’t dismiss those instincts. She just wants an easy way out in case something happens, so don’t just think that a covered litter box is the solution to your cat.

While some cats have no problem using a hooded litter box, that doesn’t mean that all cats behave the same way. Cats have different personalities as shaped by their history and natural instincts.

Some cats don’t like the sound of a self-cleaning litter box because it stuns or startles them. These cat litter boxes sound off when the cat is done doing their business, which might be inconvenient. If your cat doesn’t like the noise that comes from such litter boxes, you’re probably just wasting your time trying to get her to use it. If your cat is desperate, she will do her thing outside the litter box.

Despite the differences between traditional and hooded litter boxes, they actually have similarities.

Both traditional and hooded litter boxes require that you clean it up to avoid the mess and the smell. If you own an automatic cat litter box, remember that just because it does its cleaning for you, it doesn’t mean that you can now sit back and relax. Automatic or self-cleaning litter boxes also need attention. Otherwise, you will be left with a dirty and smelly cat litter box which is the result of not even cleaning it thoroughly. Your cat will find other places to poop and pee, because there are litter that have the poop and urine.

Nonetheless, if you want to use an automatic cat litter box, we have prepared a long list of its advantages and disadvantages in 10 Benefits Of An Automatic Cat Litter Box and The 5 Disadvantages Of An Automatic Litter Box For Your Cat.

One Thing Matters

A lot of cats actually have no preference when it comes to using open and covered litter boxes. One thing is for sure, however, you should make sure that your pet’s litter box is thoroughly clean. Cats are naturally hygienic animals, so you have to make sure that the place where they poop and pee is from wastes and doesn’t smell.

How To Get A Cat To Use A Covered Litter Box

1. Replace the traditional litter box with the hooded one Put it right where the traditional litter box used to be. Now your cat might get confused and think to herself the litter box is gone. She will probably get curious over the new shiny toy and sniff it, which is a good sign, but the work is not over here yet. Your whole job is just beginning.

2. Bring your cat over to the new litter box and observe her reaction This is part where you make an introduction to your cat so she will get to like the litter box later. Just bring your cat over to the hooded litter box and see if she gets curious enough. A lot of cats will shuffle around the litter, smell the litter and move around. This is a good sign which means your cat is interested. If she behaves this way, there’s a chance she will also feel comfortable using the hooded litter box. However, if your cat doesn’t show any positive reaction, that’s still okay. You’ll just have to do other things to make sure your cat gets accustomed to her new litter box.

3. Get rid of the hood from the litter box and let your cat do her business there First of all, your cat will not automatically adapt to the changes. It will take weeks for her to get used to something. This is the reason why you should make some minor changes so she feels comfortable. When she’s looking to eliminate, make sure the litter box doesn’t have the top. Bring her over there and get her to enter the new litter box. When she’s eliminating, put the hood back on and watch her reaction. If she doesn’t mind, she will have no problem using the new litter box. If she reacts negatively, let’s discuss the next tip.

4. Bring your cat’s old litter nad feces to her litter box Cats like familiarity when dealing with changes. Therefore, bring over your cat’s old litter and use it instead of her new litter. Your cat will recognize that smell and will be a huge help. Likewise, bring over your cat’s reces feces and put it inside the new litter box. This way, she will be familiar with her things and will get the memo.

5. Always clean your cat’s litter box after use I know you’re tired of cleaning up your cat’s mess, but hear me out. Your cat probably doesn’t care about open and covered litter box and the difference between the two. What really matters at the end of the day is whether her bathroom is clean or not. So, clean your cat’s litter box once a day and make sure there are no specks of urine or feces left. The same thing goes for self-cleaning litter boxes. Throw the excrements away and inspect its insides.

6. Over time, your cat will be used to her new litter box. If not, maybe she has anxiety. If your cat suffers from anxiety, take her to the vet and ask for anti-anxiety medications. You can also entice your cat to the litter box with catnip, so she could enter her bathroom with no problem.

7. Make sure that her litter box is far from where she eats and drinks. Her drinking bowl and water bowl must be far away rom where she takes a dump. Otherwise, she will look to eliminate elsewhere.

Additional Tips

1. Training your cat to use a covered litter box will take weeks, if not days. So be patient and always take this training in strides.

2. Do not yell nor reprimand your cat. If you do that, you’ll cause her to have anxiety and next time, she will be too anxious to deal with you. She will even try not to deal with you by being holed up in her spot, not taking orders from you. If you will reprimand your cat, do it firmly without shouting.

3. I know this has been said before, but it deserves to be repeated over and over. You have to make sure your cat’s litter box is absolutely clean with no trace of her wastes. If you do that, your cat will be happy to use the litter box. If not, she will eliminate elsewhere.

Training your cat to use a covered litter box may be intimidating at first, but if you do it right, your cat will follow your orders no problem. It will take patience to achieve this, but the good news is, most cats have no preference between open and covered litter boxes.