Service Cats: Litterboxes, Litter and Feline Urinary Habits

MeOW Welcome to a brand new Service Cat Monday. We’re really behind today, but we think when ya’ get to the end, you’ll furgive us. We have quite a few questions regarding the wheelchair that we’re holding until the new chair gets here. In the meantime, we’re runnin’ low on your other questions. ‘Member, the only dumb question, is the one that’s not asked. Everypawdy can’t be a seasoned pet pawrent; ya’ have to start somewhere. So ask us anythin’ and we’ll do our bestest to help out. We’re tacklin’ a good one today. Let’s get the business outta the way and get to it. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

So, what’s the hot topic today that every kitty pawrent wouldn’t want to miss? Well, every living being on the planet has 4 basic functions they must do in order to survive: Eat, Drink, Sleep and Eliminate (urinate and defecate). Today, we’re going to focus on kitty’s need to Eliminate. We call this a hot topic because inappropriate Elimination has been the cause of so many kitties losing their furever homes. Problems arising from kitty’s inability to Eliminate can lead to illness and even death. And as every inside only kitty parent would probably say, the litter box is the least favorite part of being owned by a cat. But, it’s necessary. The litterbox isn’t something you or your kitty can live without. Now we know that some have trained kitty to use the human toilet, and some have kitties that go outdoors, but, ideally kitty should have access to a clean litterbox to use for their Elimination needs.

 

 Dezi sits on toilet

Me’s not usin’ this thing. Me wants a real box.

 

 

We’re not going to spend much time on the alternatives, but we would like to quickly address kitties using the human toilet. As we prove each week with our Service Cat Monday posts, cats are extremely intelligent, but even cats have limitations. Mommy had once thought teaching kitty to use the toilet would be wonderful. However, watching sis Lexi’s mobility and balance decline over the last year of her life has totally changed her mind. We Do Not recommend toilet training any cat.

 

 Open Litterboxes

 

 

 

So, whether you have a new kitty, one kitty or ten (or more), you’re going to need a litterbox. The rule of thumb is 1 box and a spare for each cat in your home. As most people with one or two cats will likely tell you, they’re getting by with just 1 box. But, be aware, the fewer boxes you have the greater chance you have of inappropriate Eliminating. Now, we’ll get back to choosing the right box in a minute. We’d like to talk Litter for a minute.

 

Swheatscoop Cat Litter

Multi Cat

 

SmartCat cat litter

 

 

With all the different types of litter on the market, it can be confusing. Especially to the novice cat owner. But, even long time cat owners can get overwhelmed at times. To Clump or not to clump, that is the question. If only it were that simple. But, that is the first question you need to ask yourself. We prefer Clumping. Mommy says she can’t even remember the day of non clumping litters and is thankful for that memory loss. MOL The next question you might ask is, natural or not? The truth is, clay is just as natural as corn, wheat or grass. The difference is how it reacts in the litterbox and inside kitty’s tummy. Make no mistake, kitty is getting some litter in their mouths. And just about anything that goes into kitty’s mouth is going down their throats, due to the nature of their tongue barbs. (we’ll cover that in another post if you’d like). Cats are such fastidious groomers, that anything left on our furs or between our paw pads is going to get licked and may be ingested. Here is where the natural difference comes in. Clay and it’s clumping additives are not naturally edible and don’t easily pass thru kitty’s intestines. Instead they do inside kitty the same as they do in the litterbox…form clumps and cause blockages. While there may be little nutritional value to corn or wheat in a cat food, it can certainly pass thru the intestines with ease.

 

Okocat cat litter

BoxieCat Clay Cat litter

 

The next question to ask is, Scented or Unscented?. The smell of cat urine is like pouring a bottle of amonia in a bowl. It can quickly cause burning eyes, burning and/or itching in the nose and throat and just plain be unpleasant. Many litters on the market add things like perfumes, baking soda and other scented additives to make the litter smell more pleasing to the human nose. Notice me said human nose. When was the last time you saw a kitty of any size looking for the closest lavender field to urinate in? Kitties have very sensitive olfactory senses (noses). We kitties prefer a totally Unscented place to Eliminate. Remember, cats are both Predators and Prey; and anything that draws attention to us could in our minds put us at risk of becoming something bigger’s meal. And hey, if you’re scooping like you should be, there shouldn’t be any lasting smells. (we’ve only posted a few different types of litter. there are many many more to choose from)

 

 Raena with 3 bags of Garfield litter

 

 

Another thing we’d like to bring your awareness too is Litters/Additives that can help one keep an eye on kitty’s urinary health. In recent years crystal type litters have gained popularity due to their lack of color or color changing crystal additives. These help humans identify Urine pH levels or blood in the urine easier. We’ll tell you that for this reason, we really like the Garfield Cat Litter. It’s completely clear, clumps well and keeps down odors naturally. It has minimal dust and a texture most cats like. It comes in two formulas, small grain and large grain. We prefer the small grain, as it’s very soft and easy on the paws. It feels a lot like sand. We think it would work great for older, paw sensitive and declawed cats. (PLEASE Do Not Declaw your cats!!!). Stay tuned at the end of this post, we’re giving away a couple of 10 pound bags.

 

 Raena looking at the Garfield cat litter

 

 

 

Let’s talk about scooping for a minute. No matter how many cats and/or litterboxes you have, you should scoop the litterbox at least once a day. Me personally, thinks it should be scooped every time a deposit is made. Yes, mommy spoiled me and me never grew out of it. But, one day when she was mumbling about scooping so me could go poop, me had just peed and so the box must be cleaned ASAP; she thought to herself, “I wouldn’t want to use a potty that hadn’t been flushed after the last use so really…why would I expect my girls to use a dirty potty?.” When ya’ put it that way, it makes total sense. She doesn’t mumble as much anymore. MOL   Anyways, for the rest of the world, we say at the very least, once a day. The cleaner the box, the less chance you’ll have of Inappropriate Elimination. Remember, us cats really like clean.

 

Hooded and High Sided Litter boxes

So, you’ve chosen a litter and are ready to go. How do you pick a litterbox? The box you choose must be large enough to accommodate kitty. Most kitties are going to want to turn around a time or two, dig a little and then pick a spot and squat. Of course there are the kitties who forget to squat. If you have one of those, be sure to look for a box with high sides or maybe a lid. Just be sure the lid is large enough for kitty to be able to stand up straight in. If you’re using an enclosed litterbox, regular scooping becomes even more important. Most of the smell is trapped under the lid. We shouldn’t have to explain walking into a stinky bathroom, we think most everybody already knows about that one. You may also want to look into an automatic litterbox. They’ve come a long way in the last few years. Stay tuned, we’ll be giving you the scoop on our pick next week. The last step is to place kitty’s litterbox in a quiet place with easy access in and out. You don’t want kitty to feel trapped or cornered.

 

 Dezi and Raena watch the Litter Robot Open Air Litter Box

Hmmmmm I’s don’t know sissy, what do you think?

 

 

 

So, you’ve done everything right. The box is the perfect size, you chose the best unscented litter with a texture kitty loves and placed it in a quiet location, but kitty’s still Inappropriately Eliminating. Here are a few tips to get kitty and their pee and poop back in the box where it belongs. Do Not Punish kitty!!! Remember, all successful Training is about Positive Reinforcement, Repetition and Rewards. First things first. Clean the area well with an odor neutralizing cleaner. You don’t want to mask the odor, but eliminate it altogether. Take kitty to the VET to rule out any medical reasons such as Urinary Tract Infections, Kidney or Bladder Stones, etc. If kitty gets an all clear, try placing a litterbox over the area kitty is using temporarily to entice kitty to use it. Sprinkle a litter attractant, catnip, silvervine or valerian on the litter and the lip of the litterbox. If you see kitty start to use the floor, say in a firm voice, “NO” and move kitty to the litterbox. Each time you see kitty use the box, praise them and reward them with hugs or treats. Always set kitty up for success and you’ll have a much happier home. Remember, you might like the scent of all those scented litters, but you’re not the one trapped inside a small enclosure with them. The litterbox should be attractive to kitty, not necessarily you. 

 

 Litter Robot Open Air III with Garfield Cat Litter

Litter Robot Open Air III with Garfield Cat Litter.

 

 

 

Whew, That’s a lot of infurmation and we just barely scratched the surface. MOL But, we’ve got a give away to get too. So, tell us ‘bout your litterbox or favorite litter in the comments and then paw the Enter Here graphic fur your chance to win a bag of Garfield Cat Litter fur yourself. And don’t furget, you can ketch up on any post you may have missed by clicking the links below. Send your questions to us by commenting below or sending us an email.

 

 

Give away entry graphic

         

          Don’t furget the Blessing Train sissy. Our blessing today is the wonderful companies that allow us to pass a blessing along thru give aways. And, a pawsum mommy who cares more ‘bout us likin’ our litterbox than her.

 

Blessing train sm4   

 

 

Till the next time………………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

Raena: Navy Blue 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Service Cats

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend      Helping Your Bullied Shy Cat

Why Cats Scratch      Halloween Safety      Stop Cord Chewing

Pica: Unusual Habits     Holiday Safety Tips

About Deziz World

My name is Deztinee. I am a Ragdoll. I was born 11/1/2009. I am a service cat along with my sisfur RaenaBelle, also a Ragdoll, for our disabled human mommy. My sisfur Raena was born 4/21/2016. In March of 2016, mommy and I had to say goodbye to my mentor Alexandra (Lexi), a black tabby born 4/29/1999. This blog is about our daily life from the kitty's point of view. We were both rescued from bad situations and our mommy raised us and trained us to be service cats. I want this blog to be interactive and get to know all of you, so comment and visit often. I will also offer advice, training tips and education when possible. Copyright © 2014 - 2017 {Audra High via Deztinee High and RaenaBelle High} All Rights Reserved All personal content (story's, poetry, etc., videos and music) are the property of the human behind Deziz World, and may not be used, copied or otherwise re-published without prior written permission/consent from the author (A. High-the human behind Deziz World). We have an amazon.com wish list and a PayPal account if you would like to help/donate to us.

Posted on December 4, 2017, in Meez Meows and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. MrJackFreckles/Pipo & Angel Minko

    Pipo is a stand up piddler…more like a squirt-gun!! He blast his pee so hard you can hear it hitting the sides of his box…yes, he has two:) When Minko was still with us we used two sifting covered boxes, but Pipo was always peeing so hard it came out through the junction of lid and base. Yuck. Or he would stand in the entrance for feet inside but rear end out and let it go…so there had to be towels and plastic undercovers. Still a mess evfurry day:(

    Then petcretary discovered the top entrance box. Wow! He adjusted to the first one,and stopped using the old box that we left out for him to choose from. So now we have two of those, and while he still pees hard onto the sides, he does not make those boxes leak and clean up is much easier…not to mention no more towels needed. So far even at almost 13 he has no troubles getting in or out. Hooray!

    We use regular clay clumping litter and since we ave not had issues that we are aware of, we will just stick with that. We have not evfur seen that Garfield litter.

    And that is our blessing today…a cleaner den and less laundry, MOL!!! No more leaking boxes…and us pups do not try to get into those boxes either:)

    Like

  2. i am entering to donate to safe haven for cats. i dont really pay much attention to cat litter since i dont have cats. i do have a genie litter which i love, that i use for my dogs. i like the type of littler with little dust or none, does not cling to their feathers and fur so it will not be tracked everywhere.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Service Cats: Feline Nutrition: The Obligate Carnivore | Deziz World

We Luv, Luv, Luv to hear from you, so Purrlease take a minute to share and say sumfin' to us.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Marvelous is Marvelous

Tails of a Persian Tabby

Adventures in Cheeseland

Possibly the Only WordPress Blog Hosted by Mice

Suburban Hobo

Samson, Bo and me in Savannah

catablissblog

Letting your cats experience the world one bag at a time.

It's a Wonderpurr Life

Presented by Kimberley Koz

Lukecats

We're going at the top of the mountain, broken legs and all our wounds.

Adventures in Cat Fostering

or what is too many cats?

Lorna's Blog

When Wine Goes In Wisdom Comes Out!

Pawcific Purrsea

The trick to being a cat and boating

LIFE OF A CAT

Morrisson

erinthecatprincess

Princess on a mission

THE MEANDERINGS OF NUMPS

Life as a wandering black cat

Toby's In Charge

4 Crazy Cats, 1 Goofy Dog, and their slightly off-the-beam human mother!

Dash Kitten's Mewsings

The Kiwi Kitten with a lot to say.....

daisychainvet

Small vet. Big world

Adventures of a Suburban Kitty

The life, adventures, and musings of a cat in Colorado.

Savvy Pet Care

There's no place like home!

Tails from the Street

Saving the world one cat at a time!

Bad Cat Chris

The Baddest Cat You'll Ever Love

Plucking Of My Heartstrings

Blogging on a variety of things that pluck at the hearts' emotions & more

The Bankastraat Cats

Life with our humans

mikehartleysr

The happenings in our multi cat house hold

Meow Lifestyle

Home + Cats: Health, Happiness and Style

Cat Lady Confidential

Cat culture and lifestyle blog

Cole & Marmalade

Welcome Cat People!

Orange Marmalade Press

I love all kinds of art and hope you do, too!

The Adventures of Noodle

The Life of a Rescued Stray

martythemanx2

Musings of a Manx

Create With Joy

Infuse Creativity In All You Do

zooeyandgandalf

cats pictures, cat drawings, and more cat related stuff

The Gypsy Mau

A faceless feline with immortal tales to tell as she continues to be a vagabond…

Welcome to the Deck!

4 happy cats blog about life!

creekviewcarol

life in the not-so-fast lane

Feral Cat Love

Feral cats are beautiful!

Musings of a Senior Kitty

random thoughts from my 15 year old cat

The Kitten Kaboodle

Life as a sometime kitten foster mom

Deziz World

The Life of Service Cats

Foxyslife

Learn about me as I learn about you

Zee & Zoey's Cat Chronicles

Cat behavior, feline-humor bond, cat responsibility.

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!

Mitsubachicats Featherston Homestead

Cats, family, life and faith as I experience them, not necessarily in that order

%d bloggers like this: