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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

Chatting Cats: Mommy’s Got A New Tee: #GiveAway

Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle. Can you believe it? I’s getting’ to take the lead today. And guess what? We have a pawtastic give away fur all of ya’. Dat’s right, everypawdy can enter. Anyways, let’s get to the good pawrt. We were contacted by the sweetest gentleman, Aaron Seminoff, ‘bout checkin’ out his website full of animal related purroducts fur our humans. Let me tell ya’, mommy was some kind’a x’cited when she saw all the amazin’ kitty tee shirts.

 

 Raena sits on the personalized tee shirt from Animal Hearted

 

          She sure was Raena. Mommy doesn’t wear a lot of tee shirts, but when she does, they’ve gotta be kitty related.

 

 

Disclaimer: We received Animal Hearted products in exchange for our honest review. As always, we tell it like we see it. We only bring you products we use or have tried and believe would be of interest to you, our readers and friends.

 

 Animal Hearted Logo

 

Yep, sissy, mommy’s a real live Cat Lady. She couldn’t believe how many different kitty designs Animal Hearted has. And not only were the designs pawsum, they also offur several different types of tee shirts and even sweatshirts. Mommy likes her shirts a bit oversized and roomy, so she was thrilled to see the larger sizes offured. 

 

 Raena checks out the personalized tee shirt from Animal Hearted

This is great mommy. That’s me!!!

 

          Mommy was really impurressed when she saw the purrsonalization option. That meant she could get a shirt with one of us on it. So, even when she does go somewhere without us, she could still show us off.

 

 

And she did just that sissy. When mommy went to her dental surgery ‘pointment, she wore the purrsonalized tee Animal Hearted made fur her. She said it brought her some comfurt to be able to look down and see mine’s purretty face. She also said almost everypawdy complimented her special tee shirt. I’s think it’s cuz they thought I’s sooooooo purrrrrrrr-ty. Don’t you think so sissy? 

 

 Finished personalized tee shirt from Animal Hearted

Unisex Personalized Tee Shirt

 

          Uh, yeah, sure Raena. That’s x’actly why they complemented her. (Dezi shakes her head and mumbles under her breath) That girl is so conceited. 

 

Mommy even got a couple of key chains. Mommy does luv her key chains and baubles. And she said the Animal Hearted web site was really easy to navigate; and the ordering purrocess was so simple anypawdy could do it. 

 

 Animal Hearted kitty themed key chains

Those key chains say, Stop Stressing Meowt!

 

          Yep Raena, and even tho’ mommy’s not all that great with catputer maneuverin’, she said makin’ her purrsonalized tee shirt was a breeze. The Animal Hearted website took her step by step thru the process and let her back up ifin she made a mistake. She even got to preview her choice befur orderin’.

 

 Animal Hearted Key Chain

This pawsum key chain says, Crazy Cat Lady. It suits mommy

to a tee. MOL  Get it? A tee? MOL

 

Sure ‘nuff sissy. And after she placed her order, she got an email almost instantly requestin’ the foto she wanted on her purrsonalized shirt. Initially, the instructions on what kind of foto was allowed, wasn’t real clear. Mommy submitted a collage foto with both of us. The folks from Animal Hearted respawnded very quickly and told mommy that the best foto to submit would be a fairly plain foto of just one of us. So mommy sent in a foto of me layin’ in the wheelchair. In no time at all, she received another email with the purrposed final design.

 

 First draft personalized tee shirt from Animal Hearted

This was the furst tee Animal Hearted submitted to mommy

fur approval. She didn’t care fur the greens, so they went back

to the drawin’ board. 

 

          Mommy didn’t like it. She thought the green washed you out. And she didn’t think the green looked all that great on the gray background either. Not to mention her dislike of pastel greens. At this point mommy got a little nervous. She was worried that when she said she didn’t like it, that they might get a little snippy with her. But mommy went ahead and sent an email tellin’ them she didn’t care for the green and suggested our signature purrple, or blues to match our eyes; just no green. And then she got a purrleasant sur-purrise. The Animal Hearted team quickly and nicely respawnded and sent an email with another design. 

 

 Personalized tee shirt from Animal Hearted

Here’s the second and final tee shirt. It’s purrfect!!!

 

And it was purrfect, wasn’t it sissy?

 

          Yeah Raena, mommy luvved the second design and told them to go ahead. The whole purrocess was easy peasy, and the folks at Animal Hearted were as nice as could be thru it all.

 

 Animal Hearted Kisses Not Hisses tee shirt

Aaaaaaaw Isn’t that just purrecious?

 

A few days later, mommy got her purrsonalized tee, key chains, and cutesy tee in the mail. She couldn’t wait to wear ‘em. They’re a light weight cotton and wash up great. 

 

 Aaron Seminoff with his 2 rescue dogs

 

          The other thing we really luv ‘bout Animal Hearted, is their mission. Animal Hearted donates 25% of their purroceeds to non-purrofit animal shelters and rescues. That’s right, a whole 25%. And even tho’ Aaron is pictured with his two rescued doggies, he’s also a cat man. Yep, he’s owned by two rescue kitties too.

 

Now fur the good pawrt. Aaron agreed to let us give one of our amazin’ readers a $50.00 gift card. You can buy anythin’ ya’ want from his website. Altho’ we’re all ‘bout the kitties, Animal Hearted has a variety of animals represented. Just click on the Enter Here graffic below to enter this pawsum give away, just in time fur Mother’s Day. The lawn crew’s here, so I’s gonna wrap it up now and take a nap. Wait fur me sissy.

 

 

Give away entry graphic

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

 

Raena: Navy Blue  

Dezi: Vibrant Blue

 

Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

RaenaBelle and Deztinee      

Chatting Cats: Planning A Party & Give Away Winner

Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle. 

 

 Raena lays on the back of the chair while Dezi looks up at her from the seat of the chair

 

          What are you caterwaulin’ ‘bout now, Raena?

 

I’s not caterwaulin’ sissy. As a matter of fact, I’s asked mommy what caterwaulin’ is and she says, I’s never caterwaul.

 

          Yeah, well, mommy luvs you. And she luvs it when we meow to her, so that’s why she said that. Trust me, you caterwaul.

 

 

Hey, sissy? Nellie asked me ifin I was gonna be a minx like her, when I’s grow up. What’s a minx?

 

 Dezi lays in chair and looks pretty

 

          Uh, well, Uh, You’re too young to be learnin’ ‘bout those things. You just keep havin’ fun on your little play dates and don’t worry ‘bout what you’ll be when ya’ grow up.

 

 

 Raena lays at mommy's feet.

 

But sissy, It’s mine’s furst birthday month. Aren’t I’s grown up?

 

 

          Trust me Raena, you ain’t no where near grown up. There’s purrlenty of time befur you have to make those kinds of decisions. As a matter of fact, me invited Alberto and Oliver of the Feline Opines over fur a play date next week when mommy has to go back to the dental surgeon fur her check up. Maybe we could just have a pawrty?

 

A pawrty? Like mine’s birthday pawrty?

 

 

 

          Not your birthday pawrty, Raena. Mommy wants to be here fur that. But maybe like a purree birthday pawrty. We could invite Shoko and Kali, Snoops and Kommando Kitty, Kosmo, Phenny, and you could ask Simon, and maybe Teddy would like to come. And some of me’s cat scout furiends might wanna come too? And maybe… 

 

We fur sure gotta invite Nellie, sissy. (Raena meows under her breath) I’s gotta find out ‘bout this minx thing.

 

          Of course we’ll invite our dear furiend Nellie. Hmmmmm This is startin’ to look like a birthday pawrty. Maybe we just stick with Alberto and Oliver next week and well get invites out to everypawdy to come over fur your birthday pawrty on Furiday April 21st. 

 

 Raena sits on perch at door and looks up

 

Oh sissy, that would be Pawsum!!! I’s can’t hardly wait. Ya’ reckon everypawdy will come?

 

          Sure they will Raena. (Dezi crosses her paws behind her back and meows under her breath) And ifin they don’t, we’ll still have a good time.

 

Oh sissy, you’re the bestest sissy in the universe. (Raena tries to hug Dezi)

 

 Raena hugs Dezi while she lays on the brown cat tree

 

          Yeah, yeah, okay kit, that’s enuff. Get off me now.

 

Fanky fank you sissy. I’s also wanted to announce the winner of our LumaSoothe give away. Ya’ know it was mine’s furst ever give away, and it was so much fun. I’s wanna do that again. Anyways, the winner is awnty Vicky Denison of the Eastside Cats. We see some happy, purrin’ cats in the very near future.

 

          That’s great Raena. Me luvs give aways too. We should also tell everypawdy that the pawsum peeps over at LumaSoothe are still offurin’ $20.00 off the purchase of the LumaSoothe thru April 22, 2017. Just click the foto below and enter coupon code: dezizworld to save.

 

 

LUMASOOTHE-COUPON-20

They were really great peeps to work with sissy. And we should tell everypawdy, to stay tuned. We have another pawsum give away comin’ very soon. (Raena looks around and sees mommy getting dressed) I’s gotta go get ready. Mommy has her regular monthly doctors ‘pointment today, so we’ll be ‘round to visit everypawdy just as soon as we can. We’re also linkin’ up with the Pet Parade.

 

 Pet Parade Blog Hop Badge

 

          What makes you think you’re goin’, Raena? Me just got a new harness too. 

 

 Dezi lays in tiger harness

 

Race ya’ fur it sissy. Ready, (Raena takes off running and meows loudly behind her)  SetGo!!!  MOL 

 

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

 

Raena: Navy Blue 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue

 

Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

RaenaBelle and Deztinee    

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