The Litter Box – Do’s and Don’t’s

As you may have noticed, litter boxes come in a variety of styles and sizes. But which litter box is right for your feline child?

Let’s start with the size. This is just a general rule. The litter box should be least one and one half times as long as your cat, not including the tail. The width should be at least the length of your cat without the tail extended. There should be plenty of room to comfortably turn, dig and step around previous deposits. It’s important not to have a litter box that’s too small. This can cause a lot of stress and can lead to behavioral problems. The sides should be 5 – 7 inches tall, but if you’ve got a cat that kicks, sprays or is just has bad aim, you might want to go with a box that has 8 – 12 inch sides.

Now, to cover or not to cover. Covered or hooded litter boxes are great from a human perspective. For cats, though, maybe not so much. Humans may find a covered litter box quite appealing because it cuts down on the odor in the room and it looks nicer. But for a cat, the odors inside a covered box are much stronger unless the box is cleaned often.

cat litter boxYou may think your cat likes the privacy of a covered litter box, but cats actually prefer safety over privacy. Cats like to look at their surroundings while they are eliminating so they can see any possible danger approaching. This becomes more important in a multi-cat house or one with dogs or children. If you have a single cat and no other critters in the house, a covered box might work.

A covered litter box usually does keep less litter from ending up outside the box. A good alternative is to buy a litter box with higher sides.

Whatever litter box you decide to buy, clean it by scooping as often as you can (at least twice a day) and you will make your cat happy.

2020-02-12T15:19:23-06:00August 8th, 2018|

A Cat Scratching Post is Essential

While you may find it nothing more than a destructive habit, your cat is not scratching your furniture, carpet and curtains to be bad. Scratching is a normal, natural instinct which helps remove the dead outer layers of the nails. It also let’s your cat mark his or her territory both visually and with scent from scent glands in the paws. Scratching reduces stress and strengthens feet and claws. It improves your cat’s overall health and this is why a high quality scratching post is essential.

When searching for a scratching post, it is important to consider height, sturdiness, and good scratching material. A premium scratching post is at least 30 inches tall. The height lets your cat have a really satisfying stretch while scratching. It should have a very thick, heavy base so that it won’t fall over. The preferable outer material for a scratching post is sisal. Sisal is a natural fiber that comes from the sword-shaped leaves of Agave sisalana, a species of cactus. It is extremely durable and much stronger than other natural fibers, which makes sisal perfect for covering a scratching post.

Location, Location, Location

cat scratching postWhen introducing a scratching post in your house, you should place it where your cat will most likely use it. A possible location would be where he or she sleeps, so he or she can have a good scratch on waking. Another possibility is near the front door or wherever your cat greets you when you come home. When your cat is using the scratching post regularly, it can gradually be moved to the place in your house where you want it.

Also, cover places where you don’t want your cat to scratch. Double sided sticky tape, aluminum foil or any material with a texture that cats don’t like usually works well. Cats generally avoid smells like cologne, menthol and citrus. Try any of these if you can do so without damaging your carpet, furniture or curtains. If you catch your cat in the act of scratching in a bad place, trying clapping your hands, yelling “NO” in a loud voice or shaking a box of change. Do not punish your cat if you discover damage after the fact. He or she won’t know what he or she did wrong and may learn to fear you.

It may take some time and patience, but hopefully your cat will learn to enjoy the scratching post and you will have a happy home.

2020-02-12T15:20:36-06:00August 8th, 2018|

Why Your Cat Needs a Cat Tree

While most humans can be perfectly happy living on one level, cats live in a multi-level world and need to be able move vertically as well as horizontally. This is why a cat tree is not just a luxury, but is a necessity for your feline children. Developed in the late 1960’s, cat trees provide two or more levels of carpet covered platforms on which to perch. Some have boxes with openings in which to hide as well.

cat tree with scratching postA cat tree may help a cat (especially a frightened or timid one) feel more secure. It can be a place for your cat to escape when he or she feels threatened or needs to relax. It provides a high perch from which your feline child can survey his or her surroundings. A cat tree may encourage a shy cat to stay in the room rather than running and hiding under the bed.

A cat tree may help keep the peace when you have more than one cat. Your dominant cat can occupy the highest platform while your less aggressive felines take the lower perches. That way, the pecking order may be preserved with less physical fighting. And if you put the cat tree near a tall window, the cats on all levels can enjoy watching the birds and outdoor activities.

So, if you want your cat or cats to have a place to exercise, relax and have fun without scratching up your furniture, knocking over your precious breakables or ruining your curtains, get a cat tree.

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2020-02-12T15:21:18-06:00August 7th, 2018|
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