(By: Samantha Brown) - Live with "Catitude" and you and your cat will live together more peacefully. Part of "Catitude" is understanding that you can solve some of the things that bother cat people and their cats.
Guaranteeing your house never smells like cat. Two simple ways to prevent litter box odors other than cleaning them every day, is to sprinkle baking soda in the box when you clean it or adding some litter. Baking soda is not toxic to cats and it will help keep odors at bay.
Another good idea is to try odor removing crystals. This odorless, eco-friendly product comes in sachets of volcanic zeolite formed into crystals. Simply hang the sachet near your litter box. Also remember kitties don't like dirty boxes so clean often.
Another question often asked is "Should I serve wet food or dry"? The main difference between the two is water content. Canned food has more water. Owners often feed dry food thinking it will help keep kittys' teeth clean. That is not necessarily true as cats don't often chew their food. They tear, shred, or swallow it whole. Although Vets question the dental benefits of dry food, most agree cats are healthier when they drink more water. The water in the wet food can help prevent urinary tract disease and help reduce the work load of the kidneys.
The reason wet food isn't a slam dunk over dry? Studies show a positive link to wet food and thyroid gland problems. So the bottom line is wet food and dry food are pretty equal for dental disease, wet food is better for urinary health, and dry food for thyroid health. You could try feeding them a small amount of wet food morning and evening and free feed their dry food. They seem to regulate their food intake on their own and you won't be bothered by a hungry kitty at all hours.
Sometimes owners think they have a finicky cat. They might not be. If they suddenly refuse to eat the dry food they have always liked, and prefer the wet food maybe it's a health problem. It could be your pet has sore teeth or another dental problem. Some signs would be pawing at their mouth, turning their head to one side as they eat to avoid chewing on the painful side, or refusing to eat. If your cat starts drooling or has loose teeth take them to your Vet.
Ruining your furniture can ruin even the best of relationships. Their are ways to solve this problem. First: make their favorite spot undesirable. Apply double sided sticky tape to the area or drape it with fabrics they don't like to scratch. Next: try directing them to a stable scratching post placed in front of the blocked area. If your cat is a carpet shredder, use a horizontal scratcher too. Finally: when you catch them using the post, praise them or a kitty treat can't hurt.
Kitties and hairballs go hand-in-hand. No-one likes cleaning up hairballs but you can help prevent them. Hairballs are simply fur trapped in their intestines from grooming with their sandpaper tongues. Cats are avid groomers so they swallow the hairs and they end up in the stomach. To keep the hairballs from forming, brush your cat often to prevent them from ingesting the loose fur. If your kitty still seems to have a lot of hairballs check with your Vet to avoid a possible problem.
Understanding these simple facts about your pet will increase your "Catitude". You and your cat will be more comfortable and happier together.
Samantha Brown has loved and cared for animals for many years. She is an advocate for the right of all cats and dogs to live a full and happy life.