Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cats and Litter Boxes

When you wake up at 3:38 thanks to a full moon, and check FB on your phone app, and see that a Friend posted something meant to be funny that instead triggered your uptight-over-zealous-cat-mommy gland, you don't comment on the post and ruin the joke. That's rude. You write a blog post to relieve your angst.

Here it is.

If a cat pees outside its litter box, either 1) the cat is sick, or 2) something in the environment is causing severe stress for the cat and needs to be addressed.

Cats are generally fastidious creatures who prefer cleanliness more than you do. This is why they burrow into clean laundry, sprawl on freshly opened newspapers, and plant themselves in sanitizing sunlight. It only takes one or two tries to litterbox train a kitten, and if they miss, it's because they were too far away when they realized they had to go or they couldn't manage to get into the box.

Make sure the cat isn't sick. Cats generally don't drink enough water, so urinary infections can happen, requiring antibiotics. It could also be a sign of kidney failure, and that means the death of the cat, and you should treat them with respect until their last breath, you callous scum. Keep lots of clean, fresh water available in different sized bowls at various heights in the house (and NEVER put food and water next to the litter box. Would YOU like to eat where you crap?). I always use glass bowls because some cats can get "black acne" from plastic. I use wide bowls, brandy snifters, fish bowls and plant cache pots. I like the shapes and all of my six cats seem to like drinking in different ways.

The easiest solution for most peeing issues is to add a litter box to another area of the house. Older cats, like older people, have to go NOW, and they may not make it if the box is stashed away in the basement or a door gets closed accidentally. It's also nice when you clean the box regularly. If you're having trouble getting all the clumps out, imagine how hard it is for the cat to cover its business. A smelly box is generally an overflowing box. The general rule of thumb is one box per cat, plus one. This is because some cats will guard the litter box and not let other cats use it. Where would you go if a bully blocked the bathroom?

Cats are sensitive to their environments, and when a cat gets upset, peeing can be the first sign. New people or pets in the house, a change in schedule, a change in litter or food: just about anything can cause anxiety depending on your cat. Do some research and find a way to help the cat adapt. My Cat From Hell offers a lot of advice on this subject (I can't watch much of it because I want to beat most of those owners to death for being selfish morons).

Use your brain before you start screaming. Cats, like people, don't come right out and tell you what their problem is. They expect you to figure it out. A good cat parent does, and fixes the problem rather than the blame. A bad cat parent takes the cat to the shelter to die, or kicks it outside to die. I hope all bad cat parents burn in Hell, but I admit I am not rational on the subject of cat care.

Applaud the jellyfish.

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