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When Your Cat Avoids the Litterbox

Cats who stop using the litterbox are often experiencing pain. It could be upon urination, caused by a bladder infection or urinary crystals/stones. If...

Litter-Box Avoidance

Q I thought cats were always clean, which is why I chose a feline companion over a dog. I didnt want to deal with I have to go out at all hours of the day and night. But my new kitten says no way to the litter box. She will dig in it and play in it, but she otherwise doesnt use the box. She just seems to quickly hunt down a spot and goes.…

Ask Elizabeth: May 2017

About a year ago, he started to leave feces in non-litter box areas. While he still used the litter box, he would also leave feces right next to the box and also in an area by the front door.

An Anonymous Grant to Evaluate GI Diseases

A grant from anonymous donors in memory of their cat, Speckles, will support feline research to distinguish between gastrointestinal disease caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and lymphoma. The project will assess fecal bacteria and if significant difference is found, it may lead to a less invasive, more accurate diagnosis.

When to Seek Treatment for Constipation

Cats typically defecate one to three times a day, depending in part on the food they eat. Constipation - an inability to routinely and easily produce stool - is a fairly common feline disorder, says Meredith L. Miller, DVM, ACVIM, a lecturer in small animal medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

20 Inspirational Ideas for Cat Owners

At the close of each year, do you find yourself writing a list of ambitious resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more? Perhaps you decide to eat more kale and spend more time at yoga and less lounging on the couch. We often craft New Years resolutions with good intentions but rarely fully achieve them.

When Seniors Lose Bladder Control

If your cat is more than 10 years of age, and you see him arising from a nap in a puddle of urine or with a moist rear, he could have age-related urinary incontinence. The problem, frequently occurring in senior and geriatric cats, has several causes.It often results from urinary bladder or sphincter problems, says Leni K. Kaplan, DVM, MS, a lecturer in the Community Practice Service at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. However, incontinence can also be related to anything obstructing urine outflow, such as a tumor or stone. The bladder may then over-distend, and the cat may leak if he remains in one place for a while.

Marking is a Different Story

Some cats mark vertical objects with a small spray of urine, often standing with their tail upright and twitching at the same time. Its estimated that nearly a third of them have no litter box problems. Theyre simply using communication skills that nature gave them, the ASPCA says.They mark their territory to indicate stressful changes in the environment, the presence of cats outdoors, conflict with another cat in the home or, if theyre intact, their availability for mating. Spaying and neutering significantly reduce marking. Whatever its basis, marking can help keep unwanted individuals away, the ASPCA says, adding, It creates an atmosphere of familiarity that makes them feel more secure.

Ask Elizabeth: September 2013

I understand why you may want to use these devices for cleaning the air with three kitties in the house, and you are certainly not alone in doing this. Although kitties (and their food and waste) smell great to me, households with cats can sometimes generate odors that some people find objectionable, and there are a number of ways that owners choose to deal with this. Ionic air cleaners are one of the newer technologies that have been developed to address air pollutants.

An Unmistakable Sign of Anal Problems: Scooting

Scent is one of the ways cats communicate, and their anal glands help in that effort. The pea-sized glands, or sacs, produce an odor that aids in establishing identity and territory. When a cat defecates, the scent glands empty through two ducts located at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions of the anal sphincter, the band of muscle encircling the anus.

Why Do They Cover/Uncover the Litter Box?

This occasional series explores the reasons for cats’ often intriguing behavior. If you would like to suggest a topic, please write CatWatch Editor, 800 Connecticut Ave., Norwalk, CT 06854, or email catwatcheditor@cornell.edu. One of the enduring mysteries of cats’ behavior is why they cover their feces after eliminating. One theory is that they’re trying to hide their presence from predators, as cats in the wild are believed to do, but no studies support that idea. Another suggests that the behavior is an indication of cats’ fastidiousness, but that doesn’t explain fastidious cats who leave urine or feces uncovered. The real answers are far more complicated.

Ask Elizabeth: October 2012

Toxoplasmosis is caused by the protozoal parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which requires passage through a cat to produce infective oocysts that can subsequently infect other warm-blooded animals. Cats usually acquire toxoplasmosis by eating infected prey, and approximately 20 percent of cats will begin to shed toxoplasma oocysts in their feces after ingesting toxoplasma. Oocysts in cat feces take between 24 and 48 hours to become infective for other animals, so if you are able to remove the feces from your garden within 24 hours (wearing gloves and washing hands thoroughly afterward), you will significantly decrease the likelihood of having your vegetables be a source of toxoplasma infection.