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    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.

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