taken from New Idea, 10 June 2006, p78.
Urine Spraying (marking on vertical surfaces, such as walls), horizontal marking and urinating or defecating randomly outside the litter tray is a very common behavioural complaint from cat owners. This problem can be caused by behaviour or medical issues. Please check with your vet. Medical issues can include bladder stones, crystals, cystitis and urinary tract diseases.
Diseases of the kidneys cause the cat to drink vast amounts of water, and therefore urinate more frequently. If the litter tray is not kept clean enough the cat will soon go elsewhere.
Older cats can lose their training knowledge, hormonal diseases, such as overactive thyroid and diabetes, can create elimination problems, and arthritis, muscle or nerve injuries can make it uncomfortable for the cat to get into the litter tray.
Medical Issues can be treated by your vet. Once these issues are ruled out and the problem persists, then it must be a behavioural problem. These problems can be caused by stress, frustration and anxiety marking.
Both sexes of cats will urine mark. Getting your cat desexed will stop this spraying in most cases, but 10 per cent of males and 5 per cent of females will still spray. A hormone injection from your vet will help this.
Discovering the reason. If you can discover why your cat is spraying, then you may be able to stop it.
Has a new cat moved into the neighborhood? Have you got a new pet or a new baby in the home? Is the litter tray cleaned regularly? Do you have enough litter trays for the number of cats? (1 litter tray extra). Is you cat worried about something outside, you'll often notice there are marks at doorways and windows. A new threat in the house can cause cat marking at favourite locations, new possesions and even clothing.
If you have more than one cat, and your not sure who the culprit is, you can ask the vet for some fluorescent dye capsules. Feed these to one cat and when viewed with an infrared lamp, this cats urine will glow.
Fixing the Problem. Treatment is aimed at decreasing the motivationfor spraying and re-establishing regular usage of the litter tray.
The cat may need to be confined to a small area where he doesn't spray, so he will use his litter tray, say, in the bathroom or laundry. This process can take about four weeks, but you dont have to confine the cat all the time, for example if he only sprays at night, just confine him then.
If the cat is concerned about something coming from outside, try deterring other cats and consider housing the cat where it carnt see the outside until the problem is sorted. Anti-anxiety drug therapy may also help.
It is vital that you maintain the litter tray properly and always clean up the accidents straight away.
Cleaning it up. When an accident occurs, clean the area thoroughly with an enzyme-based cleaner such as Bio-Zet, Odour Eliminator of a new product called Piss Off. These products break down proteins in the urine, eliminating the smell. Never use any cleaners that are ammonium or chlorine based, as they smell like cat urine. Rinse the cleaned area with water and use a blow dryer to dry the patch. Then apply a fine spray of pure alcohol, which makes the spot unattractive to the cat.
Cats are cleaner and fussier animals than we give them credit for. Litter tray maintanance is a cat's major gripe when they start to urinate and defecate in an alternative place. These tips might help solve the problem.
keep the tray scrupulously clean. This means changing the tray daily or at least removing the faeces every day.
Some cats prefer a clumping litter while some prefer it plain with no clumping or deodorising materials added. If a change in the litter may be a problem change it back again, or add another litter tray with the original litter.
When cleaning the tray, rinse it well. Leave it in the sun for a few hours. A lot of cats hate the odour of cleaners and deodorisers.
If you use a covered pan, try an uncovered one, especially if your cat has gained weight, or is getting elderly.
Make sure you have enough litter trays. The rule is there should be one tray per cat and one extra.
Only those who have had a cat can truly appreciate the contentment and the shared affection such a companion can bring. Cats are, to millions of people, the most fascinating of non-human associates, the most fun to be with, to watch and be watched by in a companionship that is warm on both sides, yet not to the point of slopping over. With a cat, it is a friendship between equals, pursued on a basis of mutual self-respect. A cat is as content to live with you in a room as on a ranch. His throaty purr calms you like a lullaby and his silky coat against your cheeks fills you with peace. Yet he remains utterly independent. We who are interested in cats must remember that the cat is one of the most poorly understood of all animals. Why? Simply because the cat is a realist and does things because there is a reason for doing them. Most animals do things because their master commands or forces them to do so. But not so with the cat. How wonderful this world world be if we human beings did things because they were necessary, and not for show or effect upon individuals less discerning than we.
One big advantage of a pet cat over a dog is the fact that cats naturally use their litter tray and therefore there is no need to turn them out. In fact, if you really love your cat and value him, you will never let him out of doors unless he is with you in a carrier. Unattended, the odds are that your cat will be run over, poisoned, shot or stolen. There is also a danger of your pet picking up a disease, such as feline aids, thus endangering the lives of your family. Fleas, ear mites, fungus skin disease, and intestinal parasites may be contracted from other cats and animals. By fighting with other cats, he may develop abscesses due to bites. When your cat is kept indoors, no one can complain about him. In order to avoid in any way creating a dislike for our pets, we must not let them disturb other people, nor allow them to roam on their premises. A cat which has never been outdoors will have no desire to go out.
People should realize that needless litters are of more harm than imagined and see to it that their pets are neutered or spayed. To prevent the birth of thousands of homeless cats which will not be cared for, humane societies and shelters should not be allowed to give out for adoption unspayed females and unneutered male cats. This rule should apply to all people who allow their cats to breed and then give the kittens away to homes where they may soon be abandoned.
The fascinating hobby of keeping a cattery for the purpose of improving purebred cats is also being attacked by stringent city laws.Catteries consist of one or more breeds of purebred cats. They are kept in the homes of people who are especially interested and willing to devote much time and considerable effort to the hobby of breeding better cats and who avoid the breeding of a surplus of unwanted and neglected cats. Through the national organizations with which they are affiliated, [cat shows] are held annually in various cities. This is done in order to create a better understanding of the various breeds of cats and to develop a greater appreciation of this lovable creature.
Let us all do our part by keeping our pet cat at home! Keep him in clean quarters, properly fed, and above all , loved. A clean litter pan and fresh water should always be supplied and changed daily. Each cat at birth is one of God's creatures and deserves to be kept clean, in pleasant surroundings, well fed and loved. No animals should be treated as a "thing" by letting children mishandle him as if he were a toy.
Everybody who loves and understands cats should make it his duty to carry on an educational program of his own, in order to educate others who have not been so fortunate to have the association of a cat companion. Only by living with one, can you learn to know and understand its feline nature. Text: Clarance F. Wohlrabe, MD Former Pet Pride Executive Field Director for the State of
Reprinted from the Western Abyssinian Cat Club "Breeders' Digest", a guide to the ethical breeding practices and material for kitten/cat buyers.
Everybody who loves and understands cats should make it his duty to carry on an educational program of his own, in order to educate others who have not been so fortunate to have the association of a cat companion. Only by living with one, can you learn to know and understand its feline nature.
Text: Clarance F. Wohlrabe, MD Former Pet Pride Executive Field Director for the State of
Keeping Cats Indoors
Each year, millions of cats are run over by cars, mauled by dogs, poisoned and lost.
Hundreds of millions of birds and small mammals are killed annually by free-roaming cats.
The suffering of both cats and birds is all the more tragic because it is so unnecessary.
Today’s cat owners face an important decision: “Should I keep my cat indoors?”
For your cat’s sake, and that of the birds and other wildlife in your neighborhood, the answer to that question must be “yes!”
Keeping Cats Indoors is for the Cats...
The average life expectancy of an outdoor cat is just two to five years, while an indoor cat may survive for 17 or more years.
Cats who roam are constantly in danger...
Cars - Millions of cats are run over by cars each year. Seeking warmth, outdoor cats crawl into car engines and are killed or maimed when the car is restarted. Motorists risk accidents in attempting to avoid hitting free-roaming cats.
Animal Attacks - Torn ears, scratched eyes, abscesses, internal injuries, diseases, and sometimes death result from encounters with dogs, other cats, and wild animals, like foxes.
Human Cruelty - Each year, animal shelters and veterinarians treat cats who have been shot, stabbed, or set on fire.
Unsupervised cats may also be captured and sold to research laboratories or used as “bait” to train fighting dogs.
Overpopulation - Unaltered free-roaming cats are the single most important cause of cat overpopulation.
As a result, millions of cats for whom there are no homes must be euthanized each year.
Disease - Cats allowed outdoors risk exposure to fatal diseases, including rabies, (there is no rabies in Australia, yet, but we do have these other diseases!) feline leukemia, distemper, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Vaccines are not 100 percent effective.
Parasites - Cats allowed outdoors are more likely to contract debilitating parasites such as worms, ticks, mites, and fleas.
Poisons and Traps - Exposure to pesticides, rodenticides and antifreeze poisons and kills thousands of outdoor cats each year.
Cats are maimed and killed in traps set for furbearing animals.
...And for the Birds
Today, birds and other wildlife face more obstacles to their survival than ever before. Wildlife habitats are destroyed and degraded every day, and many species are declining as a result. Even the impacts of natural predators on their prey is changing based on how humans are altering natural environments. And the presence of an unnatural predator — the domestic cat — is having an impact as well.
Scientists estimate that cats kill hundreds of millions of birds each year and three times as many small mammals. Regardless of the status of the species, each wild animal suffers when captured by a cat. By letting our cats outside, we — perhaps without intent — place a higher value on the freedom of our pet than on the life of that finch, that dragon lizard or that bilby that she kills.
“Is it Nature’s Way for Cats to Kill Birds?”
A descendant of the wild cat of
While cats may instinctively hunt wildlife, it is clear that they are not adapted to life in the wild as are native wild cats like the bobcat and mountain lion. Outdoor domestic cat populations are most commonly found in and around human settlements; most do not survive without direct or indirect support by humans. They are in this way very different from native predators.
Truths about Cats and Birds
We all know that cats don’t have nine lives, but there are three other myths about cat predation we’d like to dispel.
1. “Belled” cats do kill wildlife. Cats with bells on their collars can learn to stalk their prey silently. Even if they don’t, wild animals do not necessarily associate the ringing of a bell with danger.
2. Even well-fed cats kill wildlife. The urge to hunt and the urge to eat are controlled by different portions of the cat’s brain.
3. Once caught by a cat, few birds survive, even if they appear to have escaped. Infection from the cat’s teeth or claws or the stress of capture usually results in death.
There are many types of outdoor cat cages and runs now available, so that your pet can have the benenfit of the wind and the sun on his fur. These also help to keep your pet save from the outdoors, and the wild animals safe from your pet.