Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cats behavng badly

Have you ever wondered why cats act in "inappropriate" ways when you are out of town for more than a day or so?

We are talking about urination here folks - in places other than the litter box.

The myth is, cats are spiteful angry little creatures who seek revenge on their owners who have abandoned them.

Well....maybe not. According to Jelana Woehr, author of, cats' accidents are products of stress and territorial behavior. "Pet sitters know that many cats stop using their litterboxes when left alone for an extended period. This is often misinterpreted as a form of revenge taken on an owner who has left his cat home alone. The truth (as usual) is more mundane and less tied up with human emotion. When a cat’s owner is present in the home, the guardian’s living and sleeping areas are interpreted as such by the cat. If the cat is alone, stressed and lonely, it may decide that its owner has given up his claim to those areas of the home. The cat then marks its territory by eliminating in the owner’s sleeping and living areas. This behavior usually ceases when the owner returns, but may continue if stains haven’t been completely removed with an enzyme cleaner."

There are ways to prevent this behavior from ever happening. Woehr tells us to
"start by minimizing stress before the trip. Don’t change your cat’s routine or schedule until it’s absolutely necessary that you do so. Get a Feliway Plug-In Defuserfor each room where the cat spends a great deal of time. Try to introduce the cat to your petsitter well before your planned trip. While you’re away, make sure that your pet sitter sticks to your cat’s usual routine as much as possible. Keeping feeding times and litterbox cleanliness the same will help to reduce inappropriate elimination. If necessary, leave your bedroom and bathroom doors closed to reduce temptation while you’re away."

We think that this is good advice -

The featured cat today is Christina - aka Miss Kitty, aka Stinkit, (she once smelled very, very badly - but that has thankfully gone away). Stinkit is a 2 year cancer survivor who was rescued from a farm lawn mower. When a small lump was detected (originally misdiagnosed by the vet as a BB) a minor surgery for removal revealed breast cancer. Two major surgeries and a radical mastectomy (all eight!) later, she is just fine. Well...she is a little cranky and her eye sight is not so great - but for the most part, she is a healthy happy girl.

Until next time (meow)

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