Does Your Cat Need a New Home?
Try these solutions to 6 common problems before you make that decision.
6 Reasons Your Cat Doesn’t Need a New Home continued...
Soiling outside the cat litter box. Along with aggression, this is
the main reason people relinquish their cats, according to experts. But it’s
also a problem that can be resolved. ”The majority of problems are precipitated
by bad litter box hygiene, or there aren’t enough boxes, or they’re just not in
the right place,” says Case.
To attack litter box issues:
• Get to the vet. If
your cat eliminates outside the box regularly, she may have a medical problem.
The vet can check her for medical conditions such as a urinary tract infection,
kidney stones, feline interstitial cystitis, or crystals in the urine.
• Give kitty a litter box
of her own. To avoid litter box bottlenecks, be sure you’ve got enough
boxes. Then it’s up to you to keep them clean. “One issue I hear about a
lot is that people think if they’re using clumping litter, they never have to
change it, but they do,” says Case. Let your nose be your guide when deciding
when to dump all the old litter and start fresh, or aim for once a month.
Scratching and other behavior issues. Cat’s naturally scratch. And
vocalize sometimes. And play a little rough. “People need to view their pets as
living, sentient creatures that have their own typical behaviors,” says
Moon-Fanelli. “They’re cats, not us.” That doesn’t mean that you need to stand
by and let them take these behaviors to extremes.
To help you find a balance between your cat’s normal behaviors and your
desire for nice furniture:
• Learn what’s
normal. The best way is to talk to the pros -- vets, CAABs, or veterinary
behaviorists. Online research can also help, but stick to reputable sites and
acknowledge that not everything has a quick fix. “Pet behavior is as
complicated as human behavior and there are as many reasons for behavior
‘problems,’” Moon-Fanelli tells WebMD.
• Find help for
out-of-bounds behavior. With behavior issues such as scratching, for
example, “there’s a gradient as to why a cat might be doing this,” Moon-Fanelli
says. Understand why, with the help of a specialist, can often help you
understand how to address the issue.