Sunday, July 31, 2022
Friday, July 29, 2022
Hello, friends! It's time for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, and we'd love for you to join us. My co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-in statements, and I came up with the second two.
1. I would rather hear nails on a chalkboard than _________.
There are a couple of considerations to make when deciding whether or when to replace a litter box. First, keep in mind that plastic litter boxes can become adorned with scrapes and scratches from cat claws, and those scratches on plastic litter boxes can ultimately harbor a variety of microbes. This can, of course, ultimately lead to potentially unsanitary conditions within the litter box. In addition to that, ammonia and other components of excrement can potentially leach into the plastic of litter boxes over time. This can make lingering odors, such as that of urine, more or less permanent, which could very well be unpleasant to those sharp noises of our kitties. The aforementioned are just two reasons why regularly replacing old litter boxes may indeed be a good idea. As we've said before, maintaining a fresh, clean litter box can be crucial to sharing your home with a happy, healthy feline.
Thursday, July 28, 2022
We have just a quick post today, friends. This week's posts have been leaving a lot to be desired, but we should be back to normal next week. Two people are out on vacation at my full-time job this week. That might not sound like a lot, but my workplace has a grand total of nine employees, so missing even two people turns us into even more of a skeleton crew than we already are.
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
We mentioned last week that Astrid's going to be doing a series of posts about the adventures she goes on during her walks. She'll mostly be sharing what she finds at her favorite local park. Today, she wanted you all to see what it looks like when we first arrive at the park.
This last photo is misleading, because that's not even the same bridge as the one from the previous photo. Our neighborhood has a number of these bridges to allow pedestrians to travel over the local creek. Even if it's not the same bridge, I asked Astrid to stop so that I could take a photo of her on it, and she ended up looking back at me with this adorably impatient face.
Happy Wednesday, friends!
We're in the midst of a series of tips all about litter boxes. We'll be continuing that series tomorrow, while today we have a tip inspired by our canine friends. If you ask our humble opinion, having kitties and a pup in the same home can be a wonderful thing. It's even better when they all get along. Sometimes, though, the biggest trick is getting a pup to leave the kitty food alone. There are some methods to try, though, if you find yourself in such a situation.
First, you can try placing the cat food somewhere the dog cannot reach, but of course where the cat can reach it. You can try a counter, cat tree, or shelf, for example, as a cat can often climb to these heights, while a dog typically remains land-bound. Another option is to get some form of sturdy box, setting it upside down on the floor, cutting a hole in it through which a cat can fit but not a dog, and feeding your cat within. There's even a chance that some pieces of furniture would allow for this form of feeding. Of course, this technique primarily works for larger dogs, as small dogs might still be able to access cat food with this method.
A more fail-safe way to feed a cat without a dog's intervention is by feeding them in separate rooms. You can keep the cat's food in a room where the dog does not have access, even if just during feeding time. You can also keep the cat's food in a room that is permanently closed off to the dog, but where the kitty can visit by way of something such as a kitty door. One more similar option is to feed the kitty in a separate room where the door is left ajar, but is kept that way with some sort of door attachment. There are such products available on the market, that allow for a door to remain stuck ajar, so that a cat can pass through, but not a larger dog. You can even rig your own sort of setup, such as by using certain types of brackets, just as long as the setup is still safe for the furbabies. Again, though, these last couple of options will work best if the dog is larger and therefore cannot squeeze through to reach the cat food.
It is more than possible to have both cats and dogs living under the same roof. Once you get past the introductions and everyone is one big happy family, sometimes the main issue then becomes keeping the dogs out of the cat food. This is an important thing to do, though, as eating food not intended for their species can potentially result in gastrointestinal distress. So, if you have both cats and dogs, and food thieves run rampant, simply think on what type of feeding method would work best for you, your furbabies, and your overall home setup. It may take some trial and error, but it is doable.
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Hello, friends! Sorry for the very, very late post. It's been a couple of busy days at work, and I just now realized well into today that I never scheduled today's post. So, here it is!
We've shown you all in at least one past post how Tonks loves burrowing in towels. More specifically, she loves doing so with Evan's toilet towels. For reasons such as his hind limb paralysis, Evan is towel trained, in case you needed a bit of explanation there. That said, the towels are always clean when Tonks burrows in them, I promise. She loves to stop me when I'm trying to fold them and put them away, so that can instead make a fort out of them. A little like this:
We're still making our way through our tips on litter boxes. Today's tip is a quick and simple one, and it's to use the times you scoop and clean the litter box wisely. In other words, use your litter scooping time to be observant of your kitty's urine and feces. Are there any changes to the urine or stool volume or frequency? Is it a different color? Is there blood or mucus in it? Is the stool especially hard, or especially soft or runny? What about the odor? Excrement never smells particularly nice, but is there any new change in its smell? Try to always be observant of these types of things when you're scooping your cat's litter box. After all, some diseases will have symptoms that show up in the litter box, and so it is indeed important to make sure you are regularly checking to make sure all is well in that box. Of course, if you do notice anything concerning while scooping the litter box, do not hesitate to make a call to your veterinarian.
Monday, July 25, 2022
Merry Christmas in July! Evan is here to wish you all a festive, sunny sort of day.
So, as you all certainly know, be sure to scoop the litter box, or boxes, regularly. Scooping once a day is recommended, but more often, if possible, is of course even better. Twice or three times a day helps keep the litter box odors at a minimum, and of course helps your kitty stay healthy, happy, and with somewhere clean to use the restroom. You may also need to alter the number of times per day you scoop based on the bathroom habits of your particular cat, or cats. Some cats only go once a day, and so once a day scooping would likely suffice. For cats who go more frequently, though, more frequent scooping is of course a better option.
Cleaning a litter box doesn't just stop at scooping it, though. Doing a full clean of the box, which involves disposing of the old, dirty litter and scrubbing the box down, is also recommended on a regular basis. The frequency of a full litter box clean might vary, depending on your particular cat's bathroom habits, and even depending on which professional you might ask about this topic. If possible, try doing a full clean of the litter box once a week, to keep the box squeaky clean and your kitty healthy and happy. If that's not possible, perhaps at least try for once a month. After disposing of the old litter in the box, you can scrub it down with a safe cleaner. This might be warm water with dish soap, vinegar and water, baking soda and water, or another pet-friendly cleaner that you are certain will not leave behind any harsh or hazardous chemicals. Once the litter box is dried, you can add fresh litter, and even a bit of baking soda or other pet-safe deodorizer.
Litter box cleaning may not be a desirable chore, but it's a crucial one. To prevent your kitty from avoiding the litter box, or from simply having to suffer the discomfort of using a smelly bathroom, be sure to keep the box nice and clean. So, do at least daily scooping, and roughly weekly scrubbing, and your kitty will likely be very happy with you.
Sunday, July 24, 2022
I guess you could call today Christmas Eve in July. Perhaps? Either way, today's selfies star a festive guest. You might have seen him before on our blog, but the truth is that this guest is a bit used and abused at our house. Therefore, these selfies are flashbacks to before this poor fellow was thrown around, slobbered on, and even puked on.
We're still in the midst of our series of tips on the topic of litter boxes. Today's tip in this realm of things is one that we might not always think on too much, and that's the litter scoop. You'd think a scoop is a scoop, but sometimes one scoop simply might work better than another. Depending on the type of litter you use, your particular furbaby's litter box habits, and other such factors, be sure to select a litter scoop that removes as much of the piles of urine, feces, and affected litter as possible. If too much of these bits of debris are left behind when you scoop, that can lead to lingering smells and less sanitary conditions. This could in turn mean that the litter box will need to be cleaned more frequently than might be expected. For the above reasons, when selecting a litter scoop, consider factors such as the number and spacing of the grates on the scoop.
In addition, you also might want to consider the material out of which the scoop is made. If there's a chance your litter scoop might get bunged up, for example, perhaps go for a metal scoop. This is because plastic scoops are far more likely to end up with scratches on their surface, and such scratches could harbor microbes, especially when used in an environment such as that of a litter box. So, don't forget to give even that scoop a bit of extra consideration and attention. Every little detail could potentially affect our kitties and their health and happiness, and that even includes the litter scoop, which helps keep that litter box as clean and sanitary as possible.
Saturday, July 23, 2022
I saw a comment online the other day about how today, July 23, marks 100 days until Halloween. As someone who loves Halloween and all things autumn, this excited me very much. I'm sure you're all wondering what is wrong with me, but that's a loaded question I don't have time to answer. So, I'll instead share a campfire scene with ghost stories gone wrong.
Today's (overly lengthy) tip in our litter box series is about selecting the type of litter. There are many, many kinds of litter out there. There's clay litter, corn litter, wheat litter, pine litter, litter made out of recycled paper, and even litter crystals, just to name a few. There are even choices such as scented versus non-scented litter, litter for single-cat versus multicat homes, and clumping versus non-clumping litter. The options for litter seem to be endless, which can make the task of choosing one a tad bit of daunting.
So, let's go over some of the factors that will help you select a litter. To begin, first and foremost, let's go ahead and repeat ourselves like the broken record that we are—ultimately, your kitty will have the final say on what type of litter you buy. Cats can be very picky, particular creatures. Some have texture preferences, some have scent preferences, and some have any number of other preferences. If your cat doesn't like the litter you choose, they might avoid the litter box, which is in large part why they ultimately get to choose their litter.
The above being said, what are some of the main factors that might go into choosing the right litter for your kitty? Consider, of course, the type of material out of which a litter is made. For example, clay litter is often one of the dustiest, which may not be ideal for a cat or person with asthma. Also consider whether your cat has any other sensitivities or allergies. To give you an example, I once tried my angel cat Rosie on pine litter. Little did I know, pine was not a substrate Rosie's body tolerated well, and she ended up with hot spots that required steroid and antibiotic treatment. So, especially if you are trying a new type of litter, always keep an eye on your kitty to make sure they do not have an adverse reaction, and also that they do not start avoiding the litter box.
There are plenty of other random yet important factors to take into consideration when choosing litter, though. Do you have multiple cats? If so, perhaps look for a litter that is formulated for multicat homes. Does your kitty leave quite the stinkers in the litter box, and so you've chosen a scented litter? If this is the case and your cat uses the litter with no issues, then that's great. But, do keep in mind that cats' noses are far better than ours, and some cats might not like fragrance in their litter. Your cat might very well let you know if they do not like scented litter by avoiding the box, in which case you'll get the hint.
We're not done with this discourse quite yet. As we touched upon earlier, some cats have texture preferences. Since litter touches their paws, such texture preferences can of course play a large role in what type of litter your cat might use. For example, some cats prefer fine litter, and will not touch litter that is more coarse. I will also add here that I have some family members with cats who do not like litter at all, and so they use pee pads in litter boxes, which works great for those particular cats. Then again, my own Evan, in large part due to his hind limb paralysis, is towel trained rather than litter trained. So, litter texture can be a significant consideration for some cats, and in such cases there may indeed be some trial and error required. In such cases, just be patient, and you and your cat will find a litter, or even a litter alternative, that suits everyone involved.
Friday, July 22, 2022
Hello and happy Friday, friends! We're ready for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, and we'd love for you to join us. My co-host Ellen of 15andmeowing came up with the first two fill-in statements, and I came up with the second two.
1. I think _________ is a waste of money.
(I know this day, April 30, is recognized by some, like animal lovers and those in animal welfare. But, I think anything related to getting shelter animals adopted should be infinitely more popular than it is.)
We're continuing on with our litter box tips today by discussing location. When deciding where to put litter boxes in your home, there are a variety of considerations to make. For example, you cat likely won't want to do their business in a high traffic area, where there are many distractions and little to no privacy. At the same time, though, many cats will also likely not want to be hidden away in a small, enclosed area, such as a small closet. Placing a litter box in a small, enclosed area such as a small closet will likely trap the smell, which some cats are averse to. What's more, using the litter box is one way in which cats often instinctively believe they are making a territorial display, and so hiding away the litter box, where no one can see them do their business, might lead to out-of-box behavior for territorial reasons.
All of the above being said, consider where in your home might work best for a box to be both away from heavy traffic, yet close enough to the goings-on for your kitty to still feel included. Dedicated litter box rooms, corners of bedrooms or living rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, or even large closets with their doors kept open, can all make for good litter box areas. It really depends on how your home is set up, and where your kitty might feel most comfortable. Just as we've mentioned before, though, it also might simply come down to your cat's preference. Perhaps your cat enjoys using the restroom right in front of you, or perhaps your cat actually prefers to go in a closed closet. In the end, if your cat displays a preference for litter box placement, try your best to stick with that.
We'll also now mention that, when selecting litter box location, also take into consideration how many cats you have. In homes with many cats, it is often ideal to spread litter boxes throughout the house, as best as possible. This is especially the case if there is any bullying amongst your cats. If all of the boxes are in one room, a bullied or timid cat might prefer to steer clear of using the restroom with other cats nearby, and therefore might begin out-of-box behavior elsewhere in the house. They even might simply hold their urine, which can lead to a variety of medical issues. So, especially in multicat homes, do consider the number of and comfort of all cats when deciding how few and far between to place the litter boxes. Then again, this consideration also might be important for even a single cat who is geriatric or has issues with mobility. For such a kitty, having multiple litter box options, in areas of the house where they most often hang out, can help them more easily urinate and defecate when and where needed.
There sure are a lot of considerations to make when it comes to that litter box. You of course have to choose a type of box, as well as how many. Once you have that settled, it's all about deciding where to place the litter boxes in your home. Fear not, though, as you and your kitty, or kitties, will figure it out. If nothing else, trial and error will often lead your kitty to letting you know what he or she prefers.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Hello and happy Thursday, friends! Let's get right to Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, shall we?
This is one of those times when I'm going to have trouble explaining how I got from that image to my resulting poem. Let's see if I can't make this succinct. Probably not, but I'll try.
As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of reading, most especially the fantasy genre. I'm of an age that resulted in me growing up in the middle of the Harry Potter craze, and truth be told, I was part of that craze. I eagerly awaited each new book's release, and I truly enjoyed them, and I still do. That said, there's one issue big I have with those books—an issue of the feline sort—and that's what I address in this poem.
Oh, and I should probably actually explain how I got from that image above to my poem. In the Harry Potter series, kids attend a school to become proper witches and wizards. They get to that school by way of a sort of magical train. So, I saw railroad tracks, and that was that.
If you'd like to read my weird and wacky poem, here you go.
A Tale of Missing Cats
This is just a quick little rhyme to say,
That I wanted to attend a school for witches back in the day.
I read about it in some books once a upon a time.
Getting to this magical school took nothing but a magical train ride.
But, you see, even as a child I had one main qualm regarding those books.
In them, to find a cat you had really closely look and look.
Can you imagine reading a witchy story,
Only for it to barely touch on the feline glory?
It's not that there weren't any creatures at all of the feline kind,
And it's not that I minded the owls and other critters inside.
In this book about witchy children, the confusion was that,
They were allowed to bring to school with them an owl, a toad, or...a cat!
If you were allowed to bring a cat with you to school,
Are you telling me that you wouldn't take full advantage of that rule?
It's not that I didn't think all the owls in the book were cool,
But how did the magical children rarely choose a cat to bring with them to school?
If had the option of learning alongside my cat,
You better believe that would be an easy decision, just like that.
And, well, that is the weird tale of my childhood self reading a book about magical children,
And wishing all the wishes that to a magical school both myself and my cat would be sent.
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
It's Tonks Tuesday, and this time around we have for you a bothered little calico.
Do you want or need to monitor your furbaby, even when you aren't with them? Items such as baby monitors don't have to be used for only children of the human sort. Baby monitors, security cameras, and similar products can be used for our furbabies as well. Depending on what type of monitoring you need, you can look into monitoring devices that allow you to hear, see, or locate your furbaby. For example, there are monitors and cameras that you can place in your home that allow you to view your furbaby and what they're up to, even if you're away from home, such as by using the internet, apps, or other similar means. There are even devices on the market that can be attached to your furbaby's collar and that take video of what they've been up to. Another method of keeping track of your furbaby includes more or less putting some form of tracking device on them. For example, there are GPS or other similar devices that can go on your furbaby's collar. This is something that might come most in handy if you have a dog or cat who goes outdoors.
All in all, if you want or need to keep an especially close watch on your pup or kitty, such as when you're away from home, there are ways to do this. You might wish to keep an eye on a new puppy or kitten, a sick or geriatric furbaby, a cat or dog with separation anxiety, or something else along those lines. In such cases, determine whether monitoring, such as when you're away from home, might be beneficial, and then research the best types of monitoring systems for your particular situation.
Monday, July 18, 2022
Hello, friends! We apologize for our absence yesterday and for now yet another late post today. Life has really been happening all over the place these days.
Now, shall we move right on to a handsome mancat on this Mancat Monday?