Going to the School of Hard Knocks when it comes to feline care can be very frustrating. I have compiled what I hope are some helpful hints for caring for our furry friends. So here goes:
The best thing for eliminating cat urine is Natures Miracle Just for Cats. I buy mine at Petsmart. It is definitely a miracle. I have literally had to cut out carpet and padding in the past due to turf wars between my husbands existing cats and my newly moved in cats. It was truly a nightmare! When I finally convinced my husband to let me adopt my daughters cats, there was one accident on carpet. I used this product and I could not believe that I could no longer smell cat urine and cat urine is very strong and was almost impossible to get rid of. Not only did I get rid of the odor but my cat has not done a repeat performance.
As for litter box issues, I have finally got it all under control. My cat chooses to go outside now but we keep a litter box for rainy and cold days. When I had two of my daughter’s cats, I purchased the “Breeze” system which is great. It uses clay pellets rather than sand or crystals and the urine seeps through openings into a pad located in a drawer below. Poop still has to be scooped but the pellets make it less messy. The really great thing is that the urine pad is treated not to release odor. Even when I changed it out, I couldn’t smell urine. You only have to change out the pellets about once a month depending on how many cats you have. I changed them out once or twice a week on trash days, again depending on how many cats you have.
I loved the Breeze system but Yodi didn’t. I found poop on all three of my guest beds! I couldn’t figure out what was going on until Danny told me that he was convinced that Yodi didn’t like the new litter boxes ( I had bought 2). I read an article that said that some cats don’t like the way a certain litter feels on the bottom of their paws. I talked to my daughter about it and she said “That makes sense, before he went to your house, he had never been outside so his feet are tender.” Aha! So as long as I had both Cozzy and Yodi, I had two litter boxes. I used a crystal litter which pretty well controlled the odor but what a mess though-out the house. After Cozzy went back to live with my daughter, I retired the Breeze litter box. Although Yodi might have been O.K. with it by then, I haven’t wanted to take a chance. I read an article in Cat Fancy Magazine that suggested using a fairly tall clear plastic tote. Tall to cut down on litter tracking and clear so that they can see out of it and not be too paranoid to do their business. At this time, I also found that Natures Miracle makes a crystal cat litter that is really, really good. I broke down and purchased a mat that claimed to cut down on litter tracking. It is made of plastic strips strung together, large and attractive. I used to laugh when I saw them but mine works well for the very small amount of little litter that gets out of the box.
Litter Genie’s work! It is a simple system that I assume works like a diaper genie. You just place the poop that you scoop into the sloped top section, pull the handle which slides out to reveal an opening and the poop goes into a plastic bag. On trash day, you just open it up, pull down on the plastic bag, cut it using the installed cutter, tie it off and toss it in the trash. The refills are readily available in pet stores and Walmart. I have no litter box odor except when Yodi has just used the box. I don’t even have to use a deodorizer in my utility room where I keep the box. Our son even complimented me on how neat my litter area is so I passed along my litter box tips to my daughter-in-law who complained that 5 minutes after she cleans the litter box area, the floor is scattered with more litter.
Next stop, water. Yodi and Cozzy liked to drink out of the bathroom faucet which was cute but we kept accidentally leaving the water running after they finished. It got to be a real pain. So I purchased a large water fountain for him and Cozzy. We kept it in the bathroom on a mat since that is where they were accustomed to getting their water. At that time, I used water out of the purified spigot in the kitchen to cut down on cleaning and better for the kitties even though the fountains have filters. Since then I just fill it from the tap in the bathroom. Anyway, that was great until the pump went out and we couldn’t find the right one to replace it. By then, we didn’t have Cozzy so I bought a smaller stainless steel teardrop shaped fountain for Yodi. It keeps the water cooler and seems to keep it cleaner though I don’t know if that is due to its no longer serving 2 cats and my daughters dog or the design. The only problem I have which is really not too much of a problem is locating filters. The pet stores I use don’t carry the filters for that model. I have found that I can locate them on the internet and I look for the “free shipping” option. I recently purchased a larger pack and also figured out that they can be rinsed and reused several times.
For feeding, glass or ceramic bowls are best to cut down on bacteria. Cats get blackheads around their mouth from eating from plastic dishes according to my previous veterinarian. So, I have several bowls that I switch out not daily, which would be best, but pretty much every other day. Its o.k. to roll your eyes at this, I am OCD about my animals.
I don’t feed wet food to cut down on plaque build up. Having their teeth cleaned can be costly and they have to be sedated which can be risky for cats. He does get cat treats, mostly the hard ones except for his fur ball chews. That being said, we have become guilty of giving him very small servings of people food. He usually only wants a taste except when it comes to ham or pastrami. We have started giving him a very small amount of milk which is satisfactory to him.
Yo Yo only has one cat friend in the neighborhood and his owner is my friend so I know Lyla is well cared for. We have never had fleas since we moved here probably because everyone else treats their animals for fleas so there aren’t any. Besides all the animals except for Yodi and Lyla are leashed. Since he isn’t exposed to anything, I don’t take him to the vet for shots. I have never had to take him for anything. He seems to be very healthy but spoiled rotten.
I have learned all of this from trial and error and am hoping to help others avoid having to go that route.😸