“New Kitty” Issues

By on 4-18-2012 in Uncategorized

“New Kitty” Issues

On a cat blog site, new cat parents asked: We recently adopted a cat… He has diarrhea which we are treating with an antibiotic.

During the day he urinates and defecates (very watery) in his litter box, but each morning when we awake, he has defecated on the hardwood floor, never the carpeted areas.

He has two boxes and we keep them very clean. We are very frustrated with this behavior.

The answer:

Are these litter boxes in an area of the house that’s perhaps too dark at night? If so, try setting up a night light near the boxes so that he can see better. If the boxes are covered or hooded, take the covers off as that keeps the light out. See what happens.

If he urinates in the box at night, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not having vision issues, it just means he’s OK with urinating and not defecating. Or, his schedule is such that the defecation occurs when it’s darker.

Speaking of schedules… you’re keeping the boxes very clean which is great, but think about whether or not your cleaning schedule matches his box use. If you’re not already, try cleaning the boxes twice a day, and make sure one of those times is right before you go to bed so that the boxes are at their cleanest at night.

That’s good advice, but I have to bring up another point: the cat has diarrhea, meaning he is a sick cat. Diarrhea cannot be treated with an antibiotic. Diarrhea is often a side effect of antibiotic use! Did you get this antibiotic through a vet? What did the vet diagnose as the cause of the diarrhea? Whatever its cause, antibiotics will not help. I suggest getting a different vet, unless there is more to the story than we’re reading here. If the antibiotic was prescribed for an infection, unrelated to the diarrhea, the vet ought to have suggested a good probiotic to help counteract the killing off of “good” bacteria and not exacerbate the wet stool problem.

It’s very typical for newly adopted cats to have worms, in which case, adding food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) to each meal may help. Please discuss with your vet. This may be causing the diarrhea. Also, consider feeding a more nutritious diet. Read labels and provide the highest-quality protein you can, no fruits, vegetables, nor grains. Eliminate dry food, and the diarrhea may go away by itself. Some cats may also need supplemental enzymes added to their food to help with digestion. This will probably also clear up the litter box problem.Sourpuss

While we’re addressing newly adopted cat problems, Franny Syufy compiled a list of important things for anyone to know who is thinking of getting a cat:

Questions to Consider

  • Are You Financially Prepared for a Cat?
    If you have children, I know you want to care for them the best way you can, and a new cat will be much like having a new child in the family. This means you need to be prepared for the costs of responsibility for a cat.
  • Are there children younger than five years old in the home?
    Tots usually love kitties, but if you bring a very young kitten into your home you may find them loving it to death–literally. Alternately, the kitten could inflict some painful scratches. You’d be better off either getting an older cat that’s been around children, or waiting a couple of years.
  • Is your silk Queen Anne chair or your new off-white carpet extremely important to you?
    Face it, cats need scratching exercise, and guess where they’ll head first, lacking an approved scratching surface? A good scratching post and regular nail clipping is a must. So is a clean litter boxand the necessary training for kitty to use it.It is critical that you are willing to make the commitment to provide your cat with the necessities, and to put your cat ahead of furniture and other inanimate objects. Stuff happens. Are you willing to live with it? Or will you consider “ getting rid of the cat” at the first sign of trouble?
  • “I was planning on declawing it so I wouldn’t have to worry about ruined furniture.”
    Stop right there! Declawing is actually the surgical removal of the first knuckle of each toe. Whether done with a guillotine tool or by laser, it is extremely painful, dangerous to the cat and patently inhumane. You may find declawed cats at the shelter, and they are usually there because they turned to biting or spraying after being declawed. If declawing is your only solution to having a cat, and you’re not willing to take your chances with a previously declawed cat, you should get a nice aquarium instead, and leave that cat for someone who will love ALL its parts.
  • Will an adult be responsible for feeding the cat, keeping the litter box clean, and grooming the cat regularly?
    This is a serious consideration. Pets are fine for teaching children responsibility, but there should always be an adult around to supervise and make sure the necessary jobs are done every day.
  • Will you have time to be “family” to the cat?
    Contrary to popular opinion, cats are very social animals and love attention from their humans. Your bond with your cat will last for a lifetime. A lonely, neglected cat will soon find all kinds of mischief with which to amuse herself. Also contrary to popular opinion (among cats), you don’t have to be a slave to her, but 15 minutes a day of play time and petting will make the difference between a happy cat and a nuisance.
  • Are you willing to spend the money necessary for spay/neutering, vaccinations, and veterinary care when necessary?
    If you’re acquiring a new family member (and this is how you should view your new arrival), she will come with responsibilities and their attendant costs. You wouldn’t neglect your children’s health and neither will you want to neglect kitty’s medical needs.
  • Are you prepared to keep your cat indoors only?
    There are too many hazards to the outdoor life for cats to list here, however they far exceed any benefits you may perceive of outdoor life for cats.
  • Is your place big enough for a cat?
    This is a frequently asked question by readers. The easy answer is that a cat can live very comfortably in a studio apartment, given the right conditions.

In this cat lover’s opinion, that is a fantastic list and should be mandatory for every potential cat adopter to consider.

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SoldierĀ“s goodbye & Bobbie the cat, ca. 1939-ca. 1945 / by Sam Hood

 

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