How Exciting. A Litter Box Blog. :o)

I recently read that there are “an estimated 65 million cats living in more than 30 million American households”. Whew! First, let me thank all of you kitty owners for giving homes to so many furry friends.

Most of our clients keep their kitties indoors, which is the best way to keep them out of harms way. That requires the use of those sometimes stinky litter boxes. Did you know that cat owners spend millions of dollars a year on products designed to reduce or eliminate these lovely odors?

The main odor producer is the urine. If you have a cat, you know the odor. It is an acrid, ammonia-like smell that is caused by the break down of nitrogen-containing products in the urine once it’s exposed to air. What happens if you want to keep your cat indoors but you just can’t tolerate the smell?

At one time most domesticated cats were outdoors only, and the occasional indoor cat made due with a crude box filled with paper, sand and misc scraps. Enter Edward Lowe, who 65 years ago invented Kitty Litter, and the feline world began to change. Lowe’s Kitty Litter was a granulated clay that helped absorb and mask odors. People began to invite their cat pals into their homes. Today, their presence in our homes is the rule rather than the exception. We now have lots of litter to choose from, and the manufacturers all seem to claim that their product is the superior choice. Be sure to evaluate your choice based on the smells, absorption and most importantly, how you cat adjusts to and enjoys using the box.

Our goal is to keep our pets happy with their litter boxes. Behaviorists remind us that dissatisfaction with the litter box is the main behavioral reason cats start going outside of the box and on the carpet. There are several tips to keep them happy.
1. Choose a plastic (or some other non-absorbent material) box that is easy to clean
2. It should be at least 14 x 18 inches. It should be comfortable to move in.
3. Place it in a quiet out of the way place (a quiet spot is the key).
4. Avoid highly perfumed litter. It may mask the smell, but may cause the cat to reject the box)
Scoop the urine and solid waste at least once a day. (yes once a day)
5. Change the litter completely and wash the box weekly.
6. Never use household cleaning products. Cats are very sensitive to phenols and other ingredients found in so many of these products.

If you cat starts going outside the box please remember that there are several medical reasons that this can happen. Don’t wait too long before letting your vet (hey, that’s us) examine the cat that has broken it’s litter box training.

Now, go hug your cat. :o)

Things Your Cat Wishes You Knew: Clarifying Confusing Feline Behavior

Cats make amazing pets, but they can definitely be a bit puzzling to live with at times. First of all, their awake in the morning, awake in the evening, nap all day, schedules make it seem like all they do is sleep. And when they are awake, they’re either grooming, eating, playing, or appearing to think really deep thoughts.

But the mysteries of feline behavior go deeper than their unique schedules and daily habits. Indeed, cats are highly intelligent, complex problem-solvers that not only require extra patience, understanding and observation, they deserve it.

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What to Do When it’s Time for Pet Diapers

Is your older dog starting to have accidents inside the home? Is your pet recuperating from surgery and not able to use the litter box or go outside? Have you recently adopted a special needs pet who has trouble when it comes to appropriate urination or defecation? These are just some of the many reasons your pet may benefit from the use of pet diapers.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to selecting pet diapers, including your pet’s size, gender, and whether your pet needs long or short-term protection. Let the team at Harris Parkway Animal Hospital get you started!

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Kitten Care Tips: Caring for Your New Kitten

Kitten care makes for happy catsThere’s nothing quite as exciting as bringing home a new kitten. Whether you’ve spent hours at the shelter picking out just the right companion, or have brought home a new addition from your neighbor’s surprise litter, the joy, anticipation and fun that await you as a new cat owner are unmatched.

It’s no secret either that kitten care is a lot of hard work! There are multiple things to consider as you acclimate your new pet to your home and family. Whether you’re a first time cat owner or a veteran with many cats, Harris Parkway Animal Hospital is ready to be your guide as you navigate these new waters.

Kitten Care 101

Kittens are naturally curious, alert, and funny creatures. They are also babies, however, which means they need lots of care and attention to grow into healthy and well socialized young cats. Here are some ways to get started with new kitten care.

Gear up – before you bring your kitten home, there are a few things you’ll need. Start with the basics: Continue…