MeOW and welcome to an unService Cat Monday on Service Cat Monday. Which, due to technical difficulties beyond our control is wayyyyyyyy late. Now that was a mouthful wasn’t it? Anyways, fur mommy’s sanity and to furee up some time, Service Cat Monday question and answer and Training tips will resume in the new year. Altho’ mommy did say that our posty today could actually qualify as a Service Cat Monday posty. So, fur that reason, the followin’ will be in human English fur reader and translator ease. Actually, mommy will be doin’ most of this posty herself. But, you know Raena and me have to have our own meows ‘bout everythin’, so we’ll be includin’ our 2 cents too. Fur now, mommy, take it away.
Disclaimer: This is a Sponsored post. We received the Litter Robot Open Air III in exchange for our honest opinion. As always, we tell it like we see it and only bring products we feel would be of interest to you, our readers and friends.
Thank you baby. As you all know this blog is all about the girls. And, as special as they are, there are still things they can’t do and require a human touch. Most of you know that I’m disabled and need help with a few things. Let me give you a little back story before we proceed. Dezi came to me as a very sick little girl at the age of 2 1/2 – 3 weeks old. She had one of the worst cases of tape worm I’d ever seen in a kitten her size. And, with all that baby fine fur, the diarrhea, and the worms exiting her little body were constantly getting stuck to her bloomers. My response was to clean the litter box and her every time she exited. I must say, it was definitely the right thing to do, but it had lasting consequences. Long after the worms and diarrhea were gone, Dezi expected me to clean the litter box the minute it got used. As far as she’s concerned, we could have 10 boxes and she would still want the one that was used to be cleaned.
When you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense. I mean, would you want to use a toilet that hadn’t been flushed after it’s last “visitor”? So, as much of a chore scooping might be, I didn’t really give it a second thought. But, c’mon now, all of us kitty parents know the litter box is probably our least favorite thing about being owned by cats. As I get older and my health declines, scooping at certain times of the day gets more difficult. And with the wheelchair broken, getting to the box first thing in the morning is almost impossible. That brings us to today’s topic, Automated Litter Boxes. If you missed our post about Litter Boxes, Litter and Feline Urinary habits, you can catch up by clicking here.
Automated litter boxes have been around for quite some time now. So, I began my search for the “purrfect” automated box that could meet all the needs the girls have and still work for me and my budget and ideals. Ideals being no clay litters. As a Vet Tech I’d seen too many kitties come in with blockages from clay litter, to be comfortable using it especially with long haired cats that get it stuck to their bloomers. That right there, made it almost impossible for us to use one of those automated raking systems. Not to mention the actual box size available for kitty to do their business. But, today’s not about the “bads” of certain boxes, but rather the good and bad of the automated litter box we chose.
After much research, reading reviews, watching videos, and studying how and why the equipment works, we decided on the Litter Robot Open Air III. Now I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until I could actually see a video up close that I decided this was a good product. My initial thoughts were that the litter must end up in the top of the box since it rotates around to empty itself. With that thought, I couldn’t imagine why any cat would want to use it. After all, how would you feel if somebody pee’d or worse on your ceiling and you had to sit under that smell when you went to the bathroom? Thankfully, that’s not the case at all. you’ll see in the video below that the roof of the box stays free of dirty litter and smell. Before we get to the video, let me tell you what we were looking for in an automated litter box.
Covered: Raena occasionally still tries to swat Dezi’s tail when she’s in the litter box, so we have to have a covered litter box for privacy issues.
Size: Dezi is a large cat and Raena will be, so they need plenty of room to get in, turn around, stand, squat, dig and exit.
Works with almost any Litter: I’m not changing my mind and using clay litter, so the box we choose must allow for the litter we currently use: Swheatscoop and/or Garfield.
No Continued Expenses’ beyond electricity and inexpensive filters: Being on a fixed income means I can’t afford to by additional expensive boxes, special bags or trays.
Night Light: Yes I Know it sounds silly, but something happened to Dezi when our apartment flooded and she won’t go to the litter box in the dark.
Easy to Use: The girls must be able to enter and exit with ease.
Easy to Clean: Even the cleanest of kitties and “dustless” litter can eventually get any box a little dirty. But, due to my disabilities, handling and cleaning the size box the girls require must be easy.
Safe: The girls can sometimes get a little dig crazy and curious, so I don’t want anything around that could hurt or cut them.
Flexible Timer: Since Dezi will often pee and then need to poo almost immediately after, we need to be able to set a shorter timer than the traditional 15 minutes.
To watch on Youtube click here.
The Litter Robot Open Air III meets all our needs. If I had to say something negative, it would be about the Control Panel. As most of you know, the girls are Service Cats, and as such they are trained to turn on and off certain equipment. And, as a lot of you may recall, Raena’s been turning on all the power toys since she was about 8 weeks old. So, if I could, I would probably have a small door of some kind covering the buttons on the Control Panel. The thing is, there probably aren’t many other cats out there pressing the cycle button besides Raena; so I can’t really fault the Litter Robot peeps for not thinking about that.
They recently launched the Litter Robot Open Air Connect. If you already own a Litter Robot Open Air, you can purchase the upgrade equipment and install it yourself without voiding any warranty you may have or having to purchase a whole new system. The app connects your Litter Robot to your Apple iphone or ipad and allows you to monitor the waste drawer levels, usage and you could even trigger it to cycle if you have a kitty like Dezi that just peed and now needs to poo and can’t wait the 3 minutes.
The Litter Robot Open Air III sells for $449.00, with the Connect upgrade it’s $499.00. Trust me, I realize that’s a lot of money. I don’t make this recommendation lightly. But, after all the research I’ve done, and after having the unit in our home, I must say, the Litter Robot is worth every penny. The company sells replacement parts for the entire unit, so that you can replace only what may break or wear out in the future. They do sell reconditioned parts and units as well, so that may be another avenue to consider. Yes, it’s an investment, but, aren’t your cats worth it? Aren’t you worth it? As cat owners, most of us scoop the litter box without even thinking about it, but it’s really nice not having too. I definitely give the Litter Robot Open Air III 2 thumbs up. I’ll let the girls tell you how they feel.
Fanks mommy. Me luvs PB. It’s pawsum to always have a clean pawtty no matter the time of day or what you might be doin’. It’s an all paws up from me.
Is it mine’s turn now? Well it’s a bout time. I’s luvs, luvs, luvs PB the Litter Robot. I’s luvs to ride the rim sometimes. It’s so much fun. I’s still tryin’ to figger out how to make sissy go ‘round and ‘round like a ferris wheel. Fur some reason, it won’t cycle with her in it?. Other than that, I’s give it 4 paws up too.
(Dezi shakes head.) That’s a safety feature Raena. Fankfully, PB has better sense than you do. Cuz guess who’d be getting’ the whacky paw ifin you did send me ‘round and ‘round?. Anyways, we sure are glad PB’s working in our house. Ifin ya’ have any questions, thoughts or comments, purrlease leave ‘em in the comments section. And, any purchases thru the links in our posty mean we make a few green papers. Our Blessin’ today fur the Blessing Train is Health. We have been blest with good health. Yeah Raena’s eyes might be a bit purroblematic, but overall she’s healthy and we’re both happy.
Till the next time……………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Raena: Navy Blue
Mommy A: Black
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle with
Welcome to a brand new Service Cat Monday. We were really surpurrised by the variations in comments we got last week ‘bout “Designer Cats”. And, we think some of you were surpurrised by our view on the subject. Either way, we really ‘purreciate the discussion. As we said last week, Service Cat Monday has really taken on a life of it’s own and not only covers Service cat stories, but also general Trainin’ Tips/Tricks/Techniques as well as health, behavioral, and well, all things cat. That really excites us. As with all our Service cat posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Ifin you have any questions, purrlease leave them in the comments or send us an email. All Trainin’ Tips, Tricks and Techniques have been used/developed by mommy throughout her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And, not intended to be a step by step Trainin’ manual. Ifin you’ve missed any post in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links below.
First up this week, we want to speak just a little more about those “Designer Cats”. Our sweet friend Pipo thought he was one of ‘em. Truth is Pipo, Siamese, at least the traditional robust apple headed Siamese Cats, are a naturally evolving breed. Now, the Siamese in show rings today are a whole other story. Although technically not “Designer cats, they have been selectively bred to create a kitty that looks far different than their origins. But, the Traditional Siamese isn’t going anywhere. The DNA for the Traditional Siamese traits are in the genes of all Siamese cats today. As for us Ragdolls, again, we were a naturally occurring mutation from the pairings of a non pedigreed white alley cat and her cohorts. Seems Josephine, the mother of the Ragdoll breed, ain’t meowing (telling). Altho’ Josephine wandered the alleys, she actually had an owner. The owner shared an alley with a breeder that thought some of Josephine’s kittens were pretty remarkable and purchased several of those non pedigreed kittens and set out to create a breed she called, the Ragdoll. Unfortunately, disreputable breeders continue to cross breed, and call them “Designer Cats”. Cross breeding is no longer necessary, desired or allowed by the cat registering organizations.
Photo courtesy of PipoandMinkiandMrJackFreckles.blogspot.com
Raena, the result of a Ragdoll to Ragdoll pairing, is a prime example of poor breeding practices and the resurgence of some of those “undesirable” DNA traits. Me is stocky and boxy, with a heavy set of bones, per breed standard. Raena is long, tall and delicate. The Persian cat traits in her DNA have surfaced and resulted in a more smooshed face with those nasty tear duct issues and a longer than normal neck ruff. Her body type is most likely due to the Oriental cat DNA in the breed. This is why even reputable breeders of all breeds have what they call “Pet” quality and “Show” quality. You can’t change DNA, and at some point, kittens will be born with traits resembling some of those in past cross pairings which do not meet the so called Breed Standards. Now, please understand, we LOVE Raena and wouldn’t change her for the world. But, we do wish people didn’t try to play God.
This profile foto shows Raena’s more smooshed face.
Now, We covered a lot about “Aggression” recently in our Calming the Tiger in Your Cat posts (links at bottom). But, our friend Valentine asked, why/how can littermates not get along?. There were no specific issues listed. Naturally, we just assume littermates will be the best of friends for life, right?. Obviously, that would be ideal. But, the reality is that all kitties experience life differently. Two kittens born to the same mother and raised in the same house, will have different personalities and experiences. Even mommy, who is home with us 99% of the time, doesn’t see everything. The possibility exists that something traumatic happened between the cats, or their world that has caused a rift in their relationship. The runt of a litter will often get picked on and/or ignored by his/her littermates and even the mother.
Get back here sissy. I’s gonna be da Alpha Cat.
Two dominant cats may have trouble getting along. Outside intruders, or changes in their household can also cause kitties to not get along. The good news is, that no matter what has caused the rift, it can be changed. With a little love, patience, investigation and training, littermates and housemates can become the best of friends. It may take re-introducing the cats and starting fresh, but you can have a happy and peaceful home. The Tips and Techniques we laid out in the Calming the Tiger in Your Cat posts (links below), will help you reach that goal. Val, we wish your friend the best of luck and are happy that despite the issues, they have kept the kitties instead of turning them in to a shelter.
Oh yeah? We’ll see who da Alpha is!!!
We’re gonna wrap this up fur now. We’ve got a lot to do befur mommy’s dentist ‘pointment on Fursday. We hope to tackle a new question next week regarding Operant and Clicker Training. Be sure to join us fur that. And ‘member, ifin ya’ have any questions, let us know. Purrlease be as specific as pawssible when askin’ ‘bout behavioral issues. The better we unnerstand the purroblem, the better we can help with the correct answers and tips. And, as always, you can ketch up on any Service Cats posty you missed by clickin’ the links below.
Alpha, schmalpha. (Dezi and Raena meow in unison)
Till the next time………………………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
When the Handler Dies Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty Internal Disputes
The Rest of the Story Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4
Stop Kitty’s Begging Calling For Help Options Pt. 1
Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3
Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. We so totally furgot that mommy had an early ‘pointment today. And, that today is Boxing Day here in the blogosphere. That bein’ said, we’re not gonna leave ya’ hangin’. Let me get the business outta the way so we can get on with it. As with all our Trainin’ posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our Trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step manual, but rather, Tips, Tricks and Techniques mommy has used/developed throughout her many years of animal training, cats in purrticular. Ifin ya’ have any questions or trainin’ questions, purrlease leave them in the comments or send us an email. Purrlease be as specific as pawssible when askin’ behavioral questions. Ifin you have missed any posty in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the bottom of this or any Service Cat Monday posty. And always ‘member, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
Well, the last several Service Cat Monday posts have been about dealing with the “Aggressive” Kitty. As we stated last week, that topic is almost unending, but we felt we had covered the issues that had been presented to us and were planning to move on this week. But alas, our sweet friend Valentine left a comment after last weeks post that requires an almost immediate response. The one thing we won’t do, is leave a topic when a kitty or it’s human are in danger or being hurt. And, the reason we’re addressing this here instead of an email is our belief that if one person’s asking, there are more wondering.
After our apartment flooded, we were all packed up and livin’ in
inches fur months befur the remodel was finished and we could get back to livin’.
Let me explain the situation and question as posed to us: A friend is having their house remodeled and one of the 3 indoor kitties is having a very hard time of it and has become “Aggressive”, going so far as to bite and scratch her human. Kitty has been shut in a back room to allow her to decompress, but it’s not really helping. There may also be an outside factor, as there is a family of strays living under the porch. Apparently, kitty has also attempted to escape to the great outdoors.
Fearless sis Lexi cautiously floats on the carpet after the flood while
the noisy fan dryers were blowing.
Well now, sounds like there’s a few problems here, right? The first issue we have, is that we wouldn’t call this kitty’s behavior “Aggressive”. Nor, are we surprised this is happening. As we stated in our previous post, Cats Do Not Like Change or Loud Noises. Having lived through a flood, move, apartment remodel, new roof, new a/c, new hot water heater, and more stranger’s traipsin’ through me’s house than me cares to remember, me’s here to tell you that can really stress a cat out; even one as laid back as us Ragdolls. This is one of those situations, where more information is needed to determine the exact problem. But, we’re going to do our best to help with what we have. Based on the fact this is a remodel and the kitty in question wasn’t presenting this behavior beforehand, we feel pretty safe saying, the feral family under the porch probably isn’t a problem. However, it wouldn’t hurt to feed them a bit further away from the house. We also don’t know exactly where this person lives, but we do suggest providing shelter for the ferals’ away from the house as well. You know, gotta take care of our ferals.
Now let’s get to the heart of this problem, the Remodel. This noise is kind of like the carpet monster (vacuum cleaner), you can’t get rid of it until the job is done. That means, kitty is going to have to learn to live with it. Thankfully, it’s only temporary. Now me knows some of you just said to your selves, What? Your mommy wouldn’t do that to you?. Well folks, let me tell ya’, sometimes, life just isn’t perfect and everybody/kitty has to adjust. What we don’t know, that would really be helpful, is why and when is kitty biting, scratching and trying to escape. A scared kitty will often react with claws and teeth, and that’s what we suspect is happening here. The good thing is this can be fixed.
(While me’s at it, let me give you an example of a “specific”. The workers are in and out and my kitty is trying to run out the door. Or, the workers are hammering and making a lot of noise and my kitty went running crouched down and I grabbed her to put her in the decompression room and she scratched and bit me.)
The Decompression room needs to be a kitty oasis until the remodel is over and the human needs to remain calm and positive when dealing with kitty. The room needs to have a litter box, food, water, cat bed, covered box or cat carrier (with the door open or better yet, off), a few favorite toys, and a well scented piece of clothing. And not the shirt you’re wearing during that fight with the contractor. (MOL) Leave a piece of clothing you were wearing during a time of no stress and happiness. Remember, cats are all about the smell. And trust me, we know happy smell and mad/upset smell. A small perch or cat tree placed near a window would also be good. Before the workers come in the morning, kitty should be taken to the Decompression room for a quick play session and a bite of breakfast. Maybe even a few of those extra special favorite treats you only buy at Christmas and birthdays. Now’s the time to buy them. It would also be good if you could put on some calm music or one of those white noise machines. Or, if you have kitties like us that like to watch teevee, turn on the boob tube (television).
As long as all the cats are getting along, all 3 should be in the Decompression room together. Believe it or not, their presence will help “Scared” kitty to be more relaxed and secure. Make sure there are several hide outs (covered boxes or carriers) available, so all kitties can hide if they need too. If this room is a bedroom, leave the closet door open. Mommy says to please remove any expensive or treasured clothes or quilts. Can you believe we’re not allowed in the closet at all? Anyways, this would be the exception to that rule. And as silly as it sounds, think positively. Yeah, we said it, think happy thoughts. See all of this as a good thing. Tell kitty how wonderful everything’s going to be when all this is over. And each day when the workers leave, let kitty explore and get used to her new territory. Remember, it’s kitty’s newly remodeled home, you just pay the bills. MOL
As for the “trying to escape”, we really don’t have enough information to even guess at a solution. We seriously doubt it has anything to do with the ferals’ under the porch and more likely trying to escape the noise and strangers in her home. But again, we just can’t be sure. It would be irresponsible for us to give a specific answer about that.
We hope we’ve helped a little, and we’re sorry we can’t offer more. The friend is welcome to contact us directly, and we’ll do all we can to help her and kitty. A happy peaceful home is our desire for every kitty in the world. As always, we welcome your questions, comments and post suggestions. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links below. As me said earlier, mommy has a ‘pointment today and one tomorrow, so we’ll be ‘round to visit as soon as we can. In the meantime, have a great Boxing Day. Hope you enjoyed our boxing day fotos and a little blast from the flooded past. (See, we can laff ’bout it now).
Till the next time………………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle