Did the new year bring a cat or kitten into your life for the first time? You probably know that cats are good at using a litter box—which may be what drew you to one as a companion—but did you know that you can take steps to help prevent cats and kittens from thinking (or stinking) outside the box? The following tips will help ensure that your cat remains satisfied with the bath you provide.
Choose a box of the appropriate size. Kittens need a litter box that is not too big for them to climb into and not too small for them to have room to turn around and do some digging. Big cats – think Maine, Siamese, or Siberian – need bigger boxes.
When your cat is mature, provide a larger box. A good rule of thumb is that the litter box should be one and a half times longer than the cat’s body length. You don’t want your cat to have to curl up to fit inside; If he does, he may choose to urinate or defecate next to the box rather than pee in it.
Would you rather start with a full-size box? Place a step in front of it or cut an opening at one end so your cat can get in and out easily.
Covered or uncovered? You may prefer a covered crate to hide clutter or smell or to prevent your cat from kicking the litter on the floor, but cats often prefer an uncovered crate so they can keep an eye on the approach of potential threats – your dog, for example – while they do so. They return to the squat position in the supine position. The advantage of an unwrapped box is that you can immediately see if it has been used and seized.
Which brings us to hygiene. Cats don’t want to use a dirty litter box any more than a portable toilet at a crowded music festival on a hot summer’s day. Scoop every time you see it used – or at least in the morning and evening. Every two weeks, throw out the trash and clean the bin with warm water and unscented dishwashing soap and replace with clean litter.
The type of litter is another issue of great importance to cats. Their preferences can be based on factors such as how the litter feels under their feet, what smells or smells like it doesn’t smell and how much litter is in the bin. Depending on what they are used to, cats may prefer traditional clay litter, soft, clumpy litter, litter crystals, pearls, or alternative litter made of wheat, pine, paper, or corn. Offer a few options, and pay attention to what they like the most. If it doesn’t matter, go with what you want. If they advertise a favourite, it’s wise to stick with that.
Remember that cats usually prefer unscented litter, which does not offend their sensitive noses. Just because it smells good to you doesn’t mean it will smell good to your cat.
Cats may be concerned about the amount of litter in the box. Start by filling it about 2 inches, then adjust as needed. Some cats like it 4 inches deep, while others prefer it minimal. Just don’t assume that having a bed that is deeper than a litter means you can poop more often. Cats still want to “clean the toilet.”
When it comes to litter boxes, location is as important to cats as it is to human real estate transactions. Cats don’t want a litter box in the same place they eat. They want privacy, please, when they use it; They don’t want to be rudely interrupted by the dryer’s bell or the garage door. Place it in a quiet, easily accessible location that does not make the cat feel trapped.
By understanding your new cat or cat’s needs and offering options, you’ll be happy.
Is my dog clogged?
s: My Lab puppy is vomiting, he doesn’t want to eat and is not his usual active person. what would happen?
a: Just the phrase “lab puppy” provides an idea. As a veterinarian with over 40 years of experience, I am still amazed at the variety of things dogs – especially puppies and especially Labs – put in their mouths and swallow: dish towels, socks, rubber ducks, knives or wooden skewers. Young Labs are some of the worst offenders, but any dog capable of eating something leads to a disability.
And the drawback could definitely be your pup’s problem. Foreign bodies, as non-food stuff is known, may pass through your digestive system without you ever knowing the item has been swallowed (unless you notice it when you pick up a poop), but sometimes they get stuck – that’s when the problem begins.
Signs that your dog may be experiencing obstructive vomiting include regurgitation (when food returns immediately after your dog has eaten), loss of appetite, lethargy, or appearing to have a ‘stop off’ appearance (the veterinary term for this is ADR, or it’s not ‘correct). A dog who is coughing, coughing, or scratching his mouth or neck may have something stuck in the esophagus – the tube that carries food to the stomach.
If your dog is used to eating things he shouldn’t and shows any of these signs, it’s a good idea to take him to the vet to check for an obstruction.
Depending on the results of the examination and diagnostic tests and whether you know what your dog might be eating, your vet may recommend a wait-and-see approach, giving the pumpkin to see if it helps move the organism along or immediate surgery. – Dr. Marty Baker
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Dogs provide clues to dementia
• Researchers at Cornell Veterinary Biochemistry, University of Washington and University of Arizona, working with the Canine Aging Project, are looking for answers to canine cognitive dementia, a condition similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. The goal of the large-scale research study is to compare CCD and Alzheimer’s disease to see if they are triggered by the same genetic and environmental factors, Sherry Nigeria wrote in an article published last month in the Cornell Chronicle. Researchers will analyze biological samples from hundreds of dogs to identify biomarkers of CCD. The samples will be stored for future research. Learning the causes of CCD in dogs can help reinforce what is known about Alzheimer’s disease in humans. You can find more about CCD here: fearfreehappyhomes.com/anxiety-often-accompanies-cognitive-dysfunction.
• American Eskimo dogs, nicknamed beautiful dogs for their smooth white coat, are not from the Northern White at all, but were developed from different breeds of Spitz by German immigrants to be farm dogs. They come in three sizes – toy, mini and standard – and they are known for their wit, energetic and viciousness. Don’t get one if a lot of barking and shedding bothers you, but get one if you’d enjoy living with an adventurous comedy dog that responds well to positive reinforcement training. Eskies do best in homes that have older children and usually live 12 to 15 years.
• Why, in a room full of people, would the cat always make a beeline for one person in the room who doesn’t like or is allergic to cats? Cats find eye contact from strangers intimidating, so they look for people they are not looking at. Among cats, this is polite behavior. And what cat can you imagine that a person is not looking for because they do not want the cat near them? It’s just a little misunderstanding between the species. – Dr. Marty Baker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Michael Baker
About pet communication
Pet Connection was produced by a team of pet care experts headed by “The Dr. Oz Show” veterinarian Dr. Marty Baker, founder of Fear Free and author of several bestselling pet care books, and Thornton Award-winning journalist Kim Campbell. They are joined by the behavior counselor and lead animal trainer for Fear Free Pets Mikkel Becker. Dr. Becker can be found at Facebook.com/DrMartyBecker or on Twitter at DrMartyBecker. Kim Campbell Thornton is at Facebook.com/KimCampbellThornton and on Twitter at kkcthornton. Mikkel Becker is at Facebook.com/MikkelBecker and on Twitter at MikkelBecker.