August 18th 2013 3:52 pm
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Friday I was forced to sentence Moose to two weeks in kitty jail. What terrible crime did he commit, you might ask. The answer is that he committed what probably is the most common crime committed by a cat. Instead of using the litter pans he pooped on the living room carpet. This wasn't the first time. Sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning someone had pooped on the living room carpet and it wasn't until Friday that I caught the culprit in action...Moose.
I steam cleaned the carpet with carpet cleaner, again with apple cider vinegar, and followed up with a thorough spraying with Nature's Miracle followed by another spraying with Febreze. This makes sure there's no scent to lure cats back to the spot and also leaves the carpet smelling nice to the human nose.
When a cat relieves itself elsewhere instead of in the litter pan, the first thing I do is cage that cat. In a multiple cat household, the best way to know if an individual cat is ill or has a problem is to cage that cat. Caging a cat (I use extra large plastic dog airline crates for cat cages) allows you to easily see if the cat in question is eating, drinking, urinating, and defecating normally or not and know to take necessary action if the cat has a problem. Caging makes it easy to see if a cat has a urinary problem or other illness or problem, and makes it easy to monitor and treat an ill cat. A large plastic dog crate is also easy to clean and disinfect between uses and unlike wire cages, does a good job of keeping any messes confined for easy cleanup.
I've had quite a bit of success using the crate to retrain a cat to use the litter pan. After two weeks to a month of being caged, if the cat consistently uses the litter pan in the cage without accidents (providing of course that the cat is healthy and that the human keeps the litter pan clean enough for the cat's preferences), that usually the cat will continue using litter pans after he or she is released from kitty jail again.
Incidentally I've found that the cats all do like the equine wood pellets better than kitty litter. The pellets handle urine much better than litter does, lasts longer than kitty litter, are cheaper than kitty litter (as long as you buy the pellets marketed for horses or for stove pellets-there are some pellets being marketed for cats now at a price about three times higher than the price for the same kind of pellets marketed for horses and wood stoves!) and a bucket or trash bag of dirty/wet pellets is much lighter weight than a comparable bucket or trash bag of wet/dirty kitty litter. In my experience, cats are most likely to stop using litter pans if there is a buildup of feces in them so regular scooping of feces between box changes is very important.
Even with huge plastic storage bin litter pans, the majority of the cats prefer uncovered boxes vs covered boxes so I compromise. I usually leave the big plastic storage boxes uncovered unless I'm expecting visitors and then I temporarily cover the boxes that are in areas where visitors will see them.
So far, since Moose has been in kitty jail he has consistently been using his litter pan. He also is eating, drinking, and urinating normally. If he continues his good behavior and shows no sign of illness, he'll get back his freedom of the whole house in about a week and a half.
Even in kitty jail, Moose got to celebrate his Gotcha Day with a new toy, some catnip, and a treat of canned food!
June 20th 2013 8:16 pm
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As I'm sure you've heard by now, our newest family member is a great big creature called a puppy that is as big as three or four of us kitties put together. Now if that puppy wouldn't come running up to me like a thundering horse, almost stepping on me, sticking its nose in my face, pawing me, trying to lick me, having no manners at all; I wouldn't mind it so much. Some others of us cats think the same thing. So we all got together and agreed: That puppy needs to learn some manners NOW.
Here's a few of our rules for dogs we came up with so far. If anyone has any more good rules for dogs, feel free to add them to our list.
Thou shalt not chase kitties.
Thou shalt not even act like you WANT to chase kitties!
Thou shalt not come up and stick your nose in a cat's face.
Thou shalt not lick or slobber on me.
Thou shalt not put your doggy paws all over me.
Thou shalt walk slowly up to me and gently sniff me if you want me to tolerate your curiosity.
Thou shalt respect my wish to be left alone when I jump up on something out of your reach. Even if it's not out of your reach when you stand on your hind legs, when I jump up on something it means LEAVE ME ALONE!
We kitties understand you're a puppy & that you can't be expected to be as smart as a cat and know the rules 100% yet. That's why we're patient with you & slap you without using claws when you break our rules. But be aware, we won't give you the benefit of the doubt forever!
March 29th 2013 4:07 pm
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Yesterday Mom was gone all afternoon & when she came home, she had 3 new feline family members with her. She was only supposed to get one, but two others chose Mom & kept sticking to her like glue. After they chose her, Mom couldn't break their hearts by denying them, so she adopted all three. Their names are Gyselle, Karina, & Kitty Ga-Ga. (Mom says just as she rarely ever gets to choose kitties, she rarely ever gets to name kitties coz they usually come already named just as usually its the kitties who choose Mom!)
The first step for a newcomer kitty is to be in an extra large plastic dog crate where he or she can hide & feel safe or at his or her own pace, he or she can choose to interact safely with us through the crate door. The second step comes when a newcomer kitty keeps actively trying to get petted, scratched, etc & also shows at least as much curiosity as fear in attitude toward us resident kitties. Mom then will put the newcomer in a travel crate & set it on her bed while she's watching TV, working on her laptop, or doing other things, & let the newcomer kitty spend some time here with us in the bedroom. This lets the new kitty be right in the middle of us resident kitties & also be right beside Mom while still keeping the newcomer safe.
Anyway, today Gyselle and especially Kitty Ga-Ga wanted Mom's attention so much that Mom went ahead & started them on the 2nd step of socialization & getting used to everybody here. Mom was surprised because Kitty Ga-Ga is one of the antisocial kitties. (Karina is the other antisocial kitty & she didn't come into the bedroom yet because she's still too afraid of us resident kitties but Mom says that's ok because its very rare a kitty is ever ready for step 2 this soon anyway.)
So Mom went & got two travel crates & put Gyselle & Kitty Ga-Ga in the bedroom beside her. I was curious & wanted to check these newcomers out more closely, which the travel crates allow us resident kitties to do. So I jumped on top of Kitty Ga-Ga's crate.
Suddenly on top of the crate, I caught a whiff of a scent that seemed vaguely familiar. I know I've smelled that scent before. I ran my nose over most of the top of the crate, with my mouth open because this scent was worth using my Jacobsen's organ to "flehmen" it. I simply HAD to figure out where I've smelled that scent before. Kitty Ga-Ga hissed a little at me but I was too busy trying to remember where I've smelled that scent before to be bothered by her hiss.
And then it came to me....this smell was from the place & the human angels who rescued Farrah & me from a kill shelter & made it possible for us to get our forever homes. I jumped over to the second travel crate & started carefully smelling it too. Wow, our three new family members all came from the same place Farrah & I came from. It's a small private rescue organization where the people dedicate themselves to rescuing kitties from high kill shelters, having them properly vetted, vaccinated, spayed, treated for any problems, etc, & then putting the social ones up for adoption. The ones that aren't social either get to stay there, go to appropriate barn cat situations, or else in special situations end up in forever homes with someone who understands "difficult" kitties, traumatized kitties, etc just like Karina & Kitty Ga-Ga did yesterday when they chose Mom!