Posts Tagged ‘cats spray’

Is Your Cat Scratching Up Your Furniture?

cat scratching up the furnitureIs your cat scratching up your furniture? Many people who own cats can vouch that their cats have four appendages that most know how to use to efficiently destroy the furniture in the humans home or the human’s other belongings.  Every now and then, I am faced with doing a declaw on some our furry feline patients.  Not only can they be pricey, but it can be one of the more tedious and frustrating surgeries with some possible complications arising.

Cats mark their territory by scratching, much like dogs urinate to mark their territory. Cats have scent glands on their paws, so when they scratch, they leave it on that area.  This also marks visually by leaving the shredded material behind as evidence and displaying dominance to other submissive cats. Scratching also allows the cat a way to exercise and stretch along with removing their old sheaths.

So what are some alternatives that owners can try to avoid having the declaw surgery which is actually an amputation of the bone at the distal joint?  Well, a person may supply their pet with a scratching post or pads to develop healthy scratching habits.  By applying catnip or treats, you can attract them to their designated scratching areas.

A no cost procedure would be to trim their nails every one to two weeks.  This will cut down on the need to scratch as much. This is easiest to do if you start when they are kittens.

There are double-sided tapes that can be put on furniture that is unpleasant for cats. The use of pheramones like Feliway sprayed on the tape can also reduce the cat’s desire to scratch.

Lastly, there are nail covers like Soft Paws to place over the nails.  They are only temporary, so they will need to be changed regularly as the nails grow.

To avoid the destructive behavior of cats, cat owners must be willing to invest time and money.  If not, there is always the surgical route one can go.  If you need advice or help with this or any other issues, please don’t hesitate to call us here at the Olsen Veterinary Clinic.  The phone number is (618)-656-5868.

 

Why Cats Spray And Mark In The House

why cats sprayOoh, that smell! That is the reaction when someone gets wind of where a cat might have sprayed or inappropriately urinated. These episodes are really very common in cats and can infuriate the cat owners enough to lead to rehoming of their cats. Before you go down that path, let’s educate ourselves about why cats spray so that we can deal with the problem –  or even better, prevent possible cat urinary problems.

First we need to determine if it is behavioral or medical. Medical issues can cause inappropriate urination or marking and it is best to have them examined by a veterinarian to diagnose the problem. This would include Urinary Tract Infections, bladder stones and crystals, or possibly “idiopathic cystitis”. A medical diagnosis can be made by examining your cat, checking the cats’ bloodwork and doing a urinalysis on it. If there is something medical going on, antibiotics and maybe a diet change will be indicated.

Based on my experience, behavioral issues tend to be more difficult to treat. First we need to determine what factors are causing your cat to behave this way. Causes can include:

  • Undesirable Litter Box: Cats are particular about their toilets. The litter box may be simply too dirty, or it may be clean, but it may be too small. In multi-cat households, there may not be enough of them. The rule is to take the number of cats you have and add one litter box. The location of the litter box may be an issue. Finally, it might be the scent of the litter. Experts recommend that unscented, scoopable litter be used.
  • Stress in the Home Environment: Scent is the primary way that cats communicate. They have scent glands on their cheeks, paws and flanks so when they rub objects, they are putting their scent on that object. This is sending the message that they’ve been there and are staking their claim to tell the other cats to back off. In multi-cat households, this rubbing helps to establish territories and create bonds between the pets. The cats may feel that it is too dangerous to access the litter box. They may also act out if there is a new human in the home. Cats are very sensitive to the smallest changes in the environment.
  • Old Urine Smells: If your cat has urinated on an area and you clean it up, the smell might remain. A cat’s sense of smell is much better than yours. If old urine odors remain in your home, there is a very good chance that your cat is returning to the area because of the smell. She will continue to urinate in the area that smells like urine. Because of this, it is essential to thoroughly clean any areas where the cat has urinated using a special cleaner.

In general, the key to stopping inappropriate urination in cats or avoiding it all together is as simple as being a responsible and attentive cat owner. Keep your cat healthy by visiting your veterinarian with routine health checkups. When issues arise, have the issue diagnosed and treated effectively and immediately. Make sure that the litter box is as attractive to your cat as possible, and clean up urine accidents thoroughly. Minimize stress in your cat’s environment. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us call us here at the Olsen Veterinary Clinic at (618)-656-5868. Do all this, and your cat will thank you.