Everything you Need to Know About Your Cat Urinating Inappropriately

Everything you Need to Know About Your Cat Urinating Inappropriately

Generally cats are pretty good with their toilet habits, and it is in fact quite easy to train them to use a litter box! However, cats can simply decide when they’re bored of doing this and move to other options. These are some of the reasons your cat may be exhibiting these behaviors:

  1. Dirty litter box

Us humans can agree that a clean toilet is preferable over a dirty one right? Cats think the same about their litter boxes! This is a very easy fix and requires regular cleaning of the litter box and a regular change in litter. Veterinary professionals suggest scooping out your cats litter box once per day, and once a week changing the old litter out for new. As well as a once a week deep clean of the box itself in warm water, with unscented soap. For time poor cat owners, you can also find self-cleaning litter boxes online and at your local pet shop.

  1. Territory marking

If you have multiple cats it is important that you have a separate litter box for each one, as cats have a habit of marking their territory and won’t want to use a litter box that has already been marked by its housemate.

  1. Litter

Sometimes it can all come down to the type of litter you are using! A simple fix, however it may require testing out a few different types before you find the right one. To make this process a little bit easier, we suggest having two litter boxes; each with a different type of litter, and see which one your cat chooses!

  1. Medical problems

Cats are creatures of habit, so when they break their normal routine it could be due to a medical problem. A urinary tract infection, diabetes and arthritis are common problems associated with this behavior so if the above steps don’t work seek veterinary attention.

  1. Litter box location

Location, location, location! I can’t imagine many humans being happy to use the toilet in a room full of people, cats are the same! Try placing your cats litter box in a quiet and private part of your house, preferably one that doesn’t attract too much foot traffic. The laundry or a less used room is a great place to start!

Hopefully these 5 tips have helped you identify where your cats urinating problems have stemmed from. Remember that the longer you leave this matter unattended, the harder it will be to correct!

 


Black Cats and Their Superstitions

Black Cats and Their Superstitions

With Halloween just around the corner, we thought it was a great idea to educate some of you on the history and the superstitions associated with the black cat. In some parts of the world, black cats are considered bad luck. However in many other parts of the world they are actually seen to bring good luck. Genetically speaking, there are actually more black cats in the world than any other colour due to the fact that the colour black is a dominant gene trait! It is important that we cat owners overcome these out-dated stereotypes, as black cats can use all the help they can get (black cats are the most commonly found cat at the pound or other animal rescue shelters!) Keep reading to find out some of the craziest superstitions associated with the black feline.

Black cats, around the world are either portrayed as good or bad luck. In 16th century Italy, people believed that if a black cat were to lie on your bed you would die. However today in the United Kingdom and Asia, a black cat is actually considered lucky! In parts of England it is good luck to own a black cat but bad luck for one to cross your path. This is similar in North America, where it is still bad luck if a black cat crosses your path however if it’s a white cat it is considered good luck.

There are many more interesting beliefs around the world associated with the black cat, some of these include:

  • Finding a white hair on a black cat brings good luck
  • An unknown black cat on a front porch brings prosperity to the owner of the house
  • A black cat walking towards you brings good fortune, a black cat walking away means it is taking the good luck with it.
  • Dreaming of a black cat is lucky

There is however a darker side to this fascination, black cats have long been associated with witches and witchcraft, and you will still see black cat symbols and costumes around Halloween as they have become iconic to the holiday. Because of this, some people believe that black cats are affiliated with evil (due to their witchy beginnings and nocturnal habits). The most shocking fact is that people are still targeting these poor creatures, particularly around the 31st of October.

Veterinary professionals suggest black cat owners keep their feline friends safe and comfortable inside on Halloween, as well as limiting their time outside in the week leading up to it, just to be safe!


Everything you need to know about your cat’s paws

Growing up in Africa a big part of my childhood was spent in and around the bush, and many were the times that we pretended to be tracking animals and many, many times we would come across the paw prints of both dogs and cats, and we became rather expert at telling the difference. The main differences being that dog paw prints usually show evidence of claws, as they cannot retract their claws, we didn’t think of it in those terms as kids but just that dog prints usually showed claws, also the paw pads themselves are slightly different in both species.

Have you ever stopped, had a look and taken in your cats paws? If you spent a few minutes examining them you would find that they are interestingly versatile and functional. Not only are they used for hunting, grooming and environmental sensors they can also play a part in regulating body temperature! Keep reading to learn more interesting facts about your cat’s paws.

  1. Extra toes

If you look closely at your cats paws you will see that they have an extra toe on their front paws. The extra toes are called ‘declaws’ and there purpose is similar to a humans thumb.

  1. Tiptoes

Cats are classed as ‘Digitigrade’ which means that they walk around on their tiptoes. This has multiple benefits including boosting speed and lengthening their stride whilst hunting as well as making their movements quieter.

  1. Flexibility

Who would have thought that a cat’s paw could be so flexible! Having flexible paws can assist your cat in hunting and climbing as they are designed to turn inward when climbing so that they can sink their claws into branches.

  1. Sweat glands

Did you know that your cat does majority of its sweating through its paws?  These are designed to help keep their body temperature regulated but it is also important to note that when a cat is stressed or anxious they will sweat through their paws (keep this in mind next time you see those little wet paw prints!) Cat’s paws also have glands between their toes that release a unique scent which they use as a way to mark their territory.

  1. Colour coordination

Generally the colours of your cat’s paw pads match the rest of your cat’s colour scheme, whether it’s their fur colour or sometimes even their nose! This is because the pigments that make up the fur are the same that colours their skin.

 


What’s the deal with cats licking?

Generally you’ll have either a cat that licks everything or one that doesn’t lick at all. So if your cat falls into the first category this might be the article for you! There is a fine line between determining whether the extent your cat licks is normal behaviour or if it is bordering on excessive. Keep reading to find out!

I remember as a kid I really liked the raspy feeling of my cat licking me,Unbeknown to me at the time, my cat was one that favoured licking, I have since had cats that don’t, their tongues are really rough and it used to tickle so I really enjoyed that, and I always was amazed at how cats groom themselves, from domestic cats in the household to the big wild cats, the behaviours are similar when it comes to grooming.

Grooming is an important part of a cat’s life but it’s not only grooming, that leads to licking, there are a number of other reasons why our feline friends chose to lick

Understanding why cats lick is the most important first step, and there are a multitude of reasons! Most cats are very fastidious and it is believed that the average cat will spend at least 15% of their time grooming themselves.  When it comes to licking themselves there are a variety of reasons, besides cleaning/bathing themselves, some cats lick themselves as a way to relive anxiety as grooming can give them comfort by lowering their arousal levels. This behaviour however is one to watch as it can quickly become a compulsive coping measure that can lead to a series of other problems.

Another reason cats lick themselves is for heat regulation, as licking the coat can help your cat maintain its body temperature. It works both ways though, as during the winter time they may lick their coat to smooth it down thus trapping the air and essentially creating insulation for their body heat. In summer it’s pretty self-explanatory, they lick their fur and it keeps them cool!

When it comes to licking things other than themselves, there is a list of different reasons too. When a mother cat has kittens she will partake in a particular type of grooming called ‘allogroom’ which essentially means they lick and groom cats that are close to them. This can sometimes be passed onto humans that they care about. If you’ve ever felt your cats sandpaper like tongue lick you then it’s a sure fire sign she cares about you!


How to make your trip to the vet run smoothly

How to make your trip to the vet run smoothly

Getting your cat to the vet is never an easy feat, from the dreaded carrier to the car trip there isn’t ever much joy associated with it. And to top it all off let’s not forget how incredibly stressful this process can be for your feline friend! There are many stories floating around about the escapades of cat owners, cats, and cat carriers.  I have compiled a list of tips below that will hopefully make the journey just that little bit easier!

  1. The Carrier

The dreaded carrier, the first realisation that your cat will be leaving its comfy surroundings is sure to be a frightening one. Unfortunately most cats won’t willingly be confined, so in order to make its experience in the carrier better there are a few tips you can follow.

  • Turn your carrier into a ‘comfy bed’ that is available at all times, place a pillow or a soft blanket in it and it will soon become your kitties new favourite hidey hole!
  • Use treats and toys as rewards to make your cat’s journey in its carrier a little easier.
  • Close the doors softly and quietly so that no loud noises will startle your cat.

 

  1. The Car

Your cat probably only ever goes in the car when its heading to the vet, so of course it’s going to associate only ‘scary and negative’ things with it. Just like the carrier, if your cat has only had negative experiences associated with it then it is important that you create some level of positivity to connect with it as well. An idea is to place your cat in the carrier, and drive without going anywhere. Doing this every so often will encourage your cat to believe that the car is a safe place and isn’t always associated with scary outcomes!

  1. Preparation

In the hour or so leading up to your cats vet appointment, take some time to bond with your cat. This could mean playing with his favourite toys or simply petting and cuddling him. Giving him this attention will help to calm your cat and remind him that you care and love him and only want the best.

If you follow these 3 simple steps, over time your trips to the vet will become easier and easier. Just don’t forget that it takes patience, however the results you see in time will be very rewarding.


3 weird cat behaviours explained

3 weird cat behaviours explained

Has your cat ever done something notably odd that has led you to question what goes on inside that little head? I’m sure most cat owners will raise their hand to this. Cats are mysterious creatures, and while we may never find out the exact answer to these peculiar behaviours we have a pretty good idea what they may mean. Now we could wax lyrical about whether or not you really speak “cat” but what we have done is select what we think are three particularly interesting and somewhat entertaining little idiosyncrasies’, that our feline friends display. Keep reading to find out if your cats ‘weird’ traits are more common than you think!

  1. Staring at the wall

Have you ever watched your cat, perfectly still and staring at the wall?  You may think that perhaps she has seen a ghost, or is watching something the human eye can’t see. It is easy to assume your cat is tuning to its ‘sixth-sense’ however veterinary professionals assure us they are probably just zoning out or have their eye on a small bug. Usually in my experience it is the latter, as the inquisitive nature of the kitty is rather well known in saying such as “curiosity killed the cat”, but usually curiosity feeds the cat, at times the saying should be “if it moves prod it and taste it”.

  1. Head butting

This weird cat behaviour is a special one, as it is a sign that you have been accepted into your cats ‘tribe’. Not only is this a very high honour, it is also one of the ways your cat marks you with his scent, essentially declaring his ownership. In a way one could say that you have been knighted by his or her royal highness.

  1. ‘Zooming’

‘Zooming’ is a loose term used to describe those crazy room-to-room running sprees your cat goes on occasionally. You know the ones, where all of a sudden your cat has gone crazy and is flying around the house, in and out of rooms for no apparent reason? There are a couple of explanations for this behaviour, one of them is all the extra stored energy they need to expel from sleeping all day, however this is more common in younger cats. It could also be a reaction to an ‘intruder’ i.e. another animal in their territory.

Hopefully reading these 3 weird cat behaviours gives you a sense of ease knowing that most cats are the same!


How to bring a shy cat out of it’s shell..

How to bring a shy cat out of its shell

The world can be a scary place, especially for an under-socialised and fearful cat! Some cats have a tendency to withdraw from social activities and go into hiding if they feel threatened by what’s going on around them. It can take a lot of time and patience to bring your shy feline out of its shell however it is possible and the experience can be extremely rewarding! Cats are very territorial and are often very stressed when entering new surrounding that they know little about, this manifests in some quite weird and quirky behaviour, I think this goes has to do with their survival instinct, I have listed below a few simple ideas which may help your cat beat its fears and show up to the party. We don’t all want our kitty to be the life of the party so to speak but we definitely do not want it to be stressed and hiding, they do need to feel safe and secure in their surroundings.

  1. Minimize territory

As you know, cats are very territorial animals. So for a shy cat, having too much territory can be quite overwhelming.  This is an especially important step if you are introducing a new cat to your home, and veterinary professionals suggest setting your cat up in a small room and gradually introducing them to new rooms as they grow comfortable.

  1. Keep it quiet

Cats have very sensitive hearing, and loud noises terrify them! So making sure your home is a calm and quiet environment will ensure your cat feels comfortable.

  1. Allowing your cat to approach you

If your shy cat pops its head out from her hiding place, wait for her to come to you before running to pick it up or pat it. Try reaching your hand out gently, with your palm down and allow her to work out how close she wants to get!

  1. Soothing voice

I am sure we are all guilty of talking to our cats; however it is important that we do it in a calm and soft tone. Keep the volume of your voice low, and pretend like you are talking to a baby who needs comforting!

  1. Be patient

This is probably one of the most important steps to bringing your cat out of its shell, and unfortunately some cats are just naturally anti-social! Being patient can really allow your kitty to become 100% comfortable in its surrounds and build up the trust it needs to feel comfortable.


Easy Ways to Prevent Cat Obesity

As we know obesity has become a common concern these days, in both humans and animals! It can become quite upsetting to see your cat suffer from weight related issues, and there are a number of ways to combat and prevent them. It is in your best interests to combat obesity if you would like to avoid costly vet bills and I am sure we all do.
First, let’s start with how to tell if your cat is in fact carrying a little bit too much extra weight. A cat that is overweight will generally not have any visible bone structure in its face, a fatty pad on the belly and no ‘waist’ when viewed from above. Some other symptoms may include noticeable problems in movement and joints, lethargic behaviour and hair loss. While this may sound confronting to some, I have listed below some easy tips in combating these symptoms that will hopefully get your cat back onto a healthier journey.
1. Diet
This is the easiest most effective way to help your cat shed some of that extra weight. It is important that you feed your cat a specially formulated high quality food, perhaps one that is designed for weight loss. Generally wet food is a better choice as it contains water which will help fill your cat up and aid in proper digestion. It is also important that you don’t feed your cat scraps of human food as these are generally highly calorically dense and will delay your cats weight loss altogether.
2. Smaller food bowls
A great way to prevent your cat from overeating is to switch out its food bowls for smaller ones. Your cat won’t notice a change in bowl size or the psychological trick of eating less!
3. Play time!
Schedule at least one fifteen minute block every day for play time with your cat, not only is this great exercise for your cat it will also be a great bonding activity for the two of you, win win! You can purchase wands and balls from the pet shop to make it more exciting for your feline friend.
4. Create an exciting environment
Have you noticed your cat sleeps in the same spot all day? Maybe it’s because she has nothing ‘better’ to do. Try clearing some space on a shelf or adding a scratching post to create a more exciting environment, even an old cardboard box will keep your cat occupied for a while!


Common Cat Emergencies that need immediate attention

This article is a little bit more gloomy than usual, although it may help you to understand some of the most common dire situations and there need for immediate medical attention. Cats are known to not let humans know when they’re in pain, usually they just purr away! So if you do notice any of these symptoms it is pertinent that you seek urgent medical attention.
1. Refusal to drink
If you have noticed your cat has had nothing to drink in the last 24 hours, despite having access to clean drinking water you should call the vet immediately. If your cat refuses to drink water over a sustained period of time it can be fatal, and could be associated with many common cat ailments.
2. Trouble going to the toilet
If your cat is noticeably troubled when passing urine, this could be due to a urinary infection or a more serious blockage, both of these can be fatal when not treated early!
3. Difficulty breathing
This is probably one of the most urgent medical difficulties (be it human, dog or cat) as death can occur after just 3 minutes without air! It is sometime hard to notice breathing difficulties in cats however symptoms include: breathing with the mouth open, abnormal noise when breathing, and heaving sides.
4. Non-productive retching/gagging
In other words, trying to vomit but bringing nothing up. This could be a fatal sign of splenic or gastric torsion (a syndrome when a cats air filled stomach expands and twists on itself).
5. Blood from extremities
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but if you do notice blood in your cats vomit, faeces/urine, ears, eyes or mouth it’s very important that you find out why. Blood should never be taken lightly, seek emergency care if you notice blood coming from your feline as there could be unseen internal injuries.


5 reasons why cats may portray aggressive behaviour

Aggressive cats and 5 reasons why this can happen

I must say having grown up watching some of the kungfu movies in the eighties and particularly some classics like Bruce Lee, I was reminded of cat aggression, with the cat sounds and movements of many of the kungfu masters.

Has your cat ever had a sudden outburst of aggression, and you’ve not been able to find the cause? Believe me when I say this is a very common behavior, and can range from simple boredom to something more serious such as being in pain. Here are a few of the most common reasons for these outbursts and the explanations.

As we know Cats are very territorial creatures so we’ll start with this one and unpack it further:

  1. Territorial aggression

This is quite common in instances where your cat feels like another cat or even people and other animals are invading their territory. This is also often very common when introducing a new kitten or sometimes even a new person to the house.

  1. Boredom aggression

Think of it like this, your cat has a natural hunting instinct so since he or she is being fed and cared for he or she doesn’t ever get to exercise this instinct. Sometimes these outbursts can be a simple act of frustration and boredom. This can easily be resolved by a daily play session involving a teaser toy, allowing your cat to have a few swipes and get this frustration out!

  1. Fear aggression

This is usually triggered by a cat who senses a potential threat and feels like she can’t escape, this can be based on past experience and is quite common to be unsure exactly what your cat is scared of.

  1. Pain induced aggression

A cat that is in pain will generally use aggression to keep you or other cats from touching the affected area. If your cat snaps at you when you touch an area generally not sensitive to your cat, then take this as a sign they may be experiencing pain.

  1. Petting induced aggression

Ever been petting your cat and all of a sudden for no reason they change their mind and decide they don’t want to be pet? Usually the way they let us know is through some sort of aggressive behavior for example, a swipe at your hand or even sometimes a hiss. Veterinary professionals believe that the repetitive motion over time turns from pleasing to irritating.