Cat Psychology: Healthy Cats, Happy Cats

My girls have finally both been checked out by their vet, and the results are in.  Image

I really hope to not have to take Apolla in to the vet again in the near future, the car ride was extrememly stressful for her, she cried and cried and cried, louder than I’ve ever heard her meow.  She peed inside her carrier.  The poor girl was just exhausted by the time we got her home. 

Mia was far less upset about the trip.  She likes her carrier, and actually sleeps in it sometimes.  She wasn’t thrilled by the car ride, but the vets office was an amazing world of new smells and things to explore.

They are healthy, aside from Apolla possibly needing to lose a bit of weight.  (This is tricky as Apolla steals all the food and Mia prefers to graze.  Little jerk.)  The good news is that the bathroom problems aren’t health related. It seems that it was just territorial.  Which is I guess good, but it means we will still need to keep looking for things that make her feel territorial and insecure, or she will keep spraying.

One thing that seems to have helped a ton is keeping the window by their litter boxes closed.  My husband had this idea, since some of the neighbours have dogs and we already know that our girls really don’t like dogs.  Apolla especially it seems.  Closing the window has really really helped, as has the NEW feliway plug in I bought from the vet.  This one doesn’t smell like burning plastic, so that’s a bonus.  It seems to be relaxing Apolla and making her feel secure.  

We also bought new litter boxes that are much bigger and seem more sanitary.  Their old ones were quite small so I think these are much better.

So far there has been no spraying since we closed the window, so hopefully that’s the answer.  

Cat Psychology: Feliway smells like burning plastic?

This can’t be right.  My two feliway diffusers smell like burning plastic and are really really hot to the touch.  The last thing that I need is a house fire, and I’m concerned that’s the direction we are going…..  I unplugged them last night since my whole main floor smelled like a ski shop and I was worried.

What a waste.

I’m going to try to return them, but I got them on Amazon so I’ll see how that goes…  I imagine I’ll end up paying for all the shipping.

 

EDIT:  I shipped them back.  I don’t want to burn my house down.  GAH That would be so awful.  I’m going to have to try the spray, I’ll have to go pick some up tomorrow at the pet store.  My picky girls also need new food, I think I MAYBE found some that Mia will actually eat.  YAY

Cat Psychology: Intrducing Feliway, sniff sniff what is this?

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Apolla was intrigued, she sniffed at the air for ages, then walked away once she got bored.

Mia was having a moment of chill, I’m not sure if it was related to the Feliway or not, she does have moments of chill and relaxation.  She was initially kind of interested in the diffuser, but quickly moved on to playing with a toy mouse.  But she does look really cute in this picture, anyway.

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I’ll have to see what happens over the next few days.  So far at least they didn’t outright reject this new product.

Cat Psychology: Litterbox Problems

Confession time:

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Apolla in one of her more relaxed moments

My timid sweet scared cat has been spraying.  The reason we ended up with her was because she was traumatized by a dog that came into her life, and responded to that by spraying, but she seemed to be cured of this problem for the first 6 months we had her.  Now all of a sudden she’s doing it again, in my house.

My deal with Miguel was that if the cats start ruining our house, we would give them back, so naturally this is very distressing to me.  I’m attached to the little brats now, and I know they are way happier with me than they were when they had a dog to contend with.

I need to fix this problem, and I need to fix it fast.

The Why:

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Mia Disapproves

Spraying is something cats do to mark their territory. While it’s more associated with male, not neutered cats, it’s actually common in most cats.  (Though not necessarily on your carpets.) This can also be due to medical conditions, so it’s important to get a vet check with this behaviour starting up.

The Ritual:

Most cats will:

1. Approach a vertical surface (wall, piece of furniture)

2. Sniff the surface and pace the floor

3. Turn his back

4. The spray.

How I Hope I’m Going to be Stopping This:

1. The possibility of medical issues: If I’m totally honest, I don’t think she just sprays, sometimes she just pees on the floor.  I’m taking her to the vet next week (it’s a busy place apparently) to rule out anything medical.  In the meantime, I’m trying to follow all the advice I can find to stop this behaviour, before it becomes her “thing.”

2. The litter box:  A cat who is acting out by doing things outside the litter box that she should be doing inside the litter box, may just hate her litter box.  It needs to be big enough, clean enough, and in a good location.  Some cats may not like their box to be covered, but everywhere I’ve been reading says that Bengals are private and do.
-New box:  I bought them a third, giant litter box.  It’s clean, covered, and convenient.
-Convenient box: I moved one of their existing litter boxes upstairs to the bathroom on my main floor.  They have been ignoring this one, but I’ll keep it available just in case.
-Clean box:  Scoop every day without fail.
-Window by the box:  Miguel thought it was the window that she didn’t like near her box.  He closed it.

3.Clean the carpet:  Cats will go back to where they’ve gone before, so cleaning things completely is essential.  Just because the humans in the house can’t smell anything, doesn’t mean the cats can’t.
Enzymatic carpet cleaner:  I got this from the vet and it smells like alcohol but it seemed to remove all stain and odor.

4. Cat relaxation and comfort:  I’ve put a Feliway plug in on each of the main floors.  One is outside my bedroom, the other is just outside the stairs where miss Apolla has been spraying.
-Feliway: Feliway is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone (what they are releasing when the rub their cheeks against everything to mark their territory) and it’s meant to make cats feel safe, comfortable and secure in their home.  It’s recommended as a way to help comfort and reassure cats and reduce their stress.  Apolla acts ridiculously stressed out all the time, so hopefully this is what she needs. I bought from this Amazon seller, since the price was the best I could find.

Will it work?  Stay tuned, but I really hope so.

http://www.feliway.com/us/Feliway-Where-to-buy/What-is-pheromonatherapy