Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cat tip of the Day =^..^= Handling inappropriate behaviour

An apple a day...keeps the squirrel doctor away, too, I guess. This guy sure looks healthy.
                          Through the icy window.  Apparently he prefers McIntosh apples.

The cats and I were being entertained by the squirrels at the apple feeder today.
One, in particular, is a nut. He swings upside-down from it and sometimes with just one leg.
I know he's trying to figure out how to get the whole darn apple 'cause that's what they do. He has already taken off with some of the bird feeders. Oh well, he's hungry too and keeps the cats from going bonkers this winter. I put out a tray of nuts for the squirrels this morning so perhaps the birds will get a chance to have a bit of fruit.

Where did this week go?
It is still so cold. The wind has really picked up now although the temperature is rising. We are in for some milder weather next week.
I'm off to kitty-sit 4 cats today but first I will leave you with this 'Cat tip of the day' =^..^=

Cat-tip-of-the-day - handling inappropriate behavior

When it comes to cats, elimination, scratching, jumping and aggression are normal behaviours. With that in mind, it is inappropriate to punish a cat for engaging in them. Punishing your cat may reinforce this unwanted behaviour because you are paying a lot of attention to the bad behaviour and your cat may think, "I want attention; if I eliminate over here, I'll get it." Also you can break the bond with a cat that you are screaming at all the time. I have found that the most often asked questions from my cat-sitting clients deals with inappropriate litter box behaviour. 
First and foremost, have your cat checked over by your veterinarion to see if it is a medical condition. It could be a bladder infection that is causing the cat to eliminate outside the box, for instance. After that, if your healthy cat continues to behave inappropriately, behaviour modification is to retrain the way your cat thinks. First, be sure that the litter box is clean.  Is the location right? It has to be in a place that is quiet, easy to get to and not next to something that can suddenly make a lot of noise, like a washing machine. It should not be wedged into a corner where it is hard for the cat to get into or if your cat is on the large size, do not use a covered box that the cat feels uncomfortable trying to get into and out of. Also, if you have multiple cats and there is one that is dominant, your shy one may not want to feel trapped in a covered litter box in case the dominant one becomes aggressive. If you have recently changed your litter to one that has a lot of chemicals in it to keep down the smell, some cats cannot stand the smell of it. I have to agree with them on this one. Even as an owner, I have found some litters to be very offensive with too much added chemicals and fragrances. I buy plain litter and add baking soda and it works great.

I can't stress enough how screaming and hitting a cat that pee's on the floor or the carpet will cause adverse results. Your cat will become afraid of you and very stressed around you and the problem will get worse. After cleaning the spots thoroughly where your cat inappropriately eliminated,  I suggest you try the following:

Limit the cat to one room. (I suggest a spare bedroom and not a bathroom as it is too small and not comfortable for the cat) Place it's food and water on one side, clean litter box on the other and lots of toys and blankets and window perches and so on to make the cat feel very comfy. Making the cat's world smaller will possibly take it's mind off the inappropriate behaviour and start fresh. You will have to put time aside to spend with the cat by adding a chair for reading  or TV to the room so the cat still has time with you but the cat is not to roam the house for 3 days. Adding a radio to the room on a station that plays soft music will keep the cat calmer. After 3 days of using its' litter box properly, let the cat roam the house while you are home but when you are away the cat returns to its room. If the cat eliminates inappropriately in the house after 3 days, start again. Once you are sure that the cat is using the box again return things to normal. I have seen this work and I suggest trying it. It has saved many cats from being 'given up' to shelters. One of my clients used this method and every time I see her now she thanks me and says I saved her cats' life.

Your cat depends on you to help it through this confusing time in its' life.

hugs, Deb


  1. We're having a bit of an issue with this at the moment, but in this multi-cat household can't catch the culprit--although we have some suspicions. In this cold weather a cat or two who are meant to be 'barn cats' are coming in each time the door is opened and one of them, Willis, has occasionally demonstrated inappropriate 'peeing.' Then again, could it be one of the 'old dears' who doesn't want to go downstairs to the litter box? It is cold down there, but the only place for litter trays.

  2. Very good tips!

    That squirrel looks entirely pleased with himself!

  3. Thanks for the cat tip of the day! One of our new kitties has gone outside of her box 5 times in 5 months... but it is always if there is a rug by the box, (to catch the tracked litter) or if a small area rug becoming a play thing for her and become a little pile of rug... she then thinks it is hers to use! So... no rug anywhere that she might think are hers for the using! It is working well enough for us. She will no doubt have accidents from time to time... but this little girl is worth every one she might have!

    Love to you and yours,


  4. I love the squirrel feeder !

    So true about cats & their litter boxes. We have 2 cats, and the older cat prefers going outdoors, but when she is confined indoors, will only use a clean litter box. ( that would be my choice if I were a cat ) So I work hard to keep it clean because we are limited to space we can dedicate to cat litter box. But every once in awhile if I've been gone and unable to clean the box out she will defecate on a scatter rug and roll it up. Smart, and I can't help think she knows I can put it in the washing machine.

    This is a post I will refer anyone to who is frustrated with their cat's toilet behavior.

  5. That squirrel looks the very picture of health and vitality!

    Excellent, excellent advice. No cat
    sits there and thinks of ways to
    annoy it's owner. The cat has a
    problem and it can't tell us in words
    what the problem is! Just think of
    how quickly we humans become frustrated when someone doesn't understand us!

  6. This is great and I wish I'd read it when Lizzie was thinking outside the box. She's doing better now -- I have to make quite sure I clean it regularly -- even though she has three. She's always been naughty in areas near her box in the basement or utility room up north, which I guess is good if you have to find the silver lining. Fortunately, she didn't have a bladder infection, so we could cross that one off the list! Good hints, all of them. Thanks!

  7. Haha ~ cute little squirrel!
    xo Catherine