Author Topic: General Cat Questions  (Read 1998 times)

Offline Accidental Damage

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General Cat Questions
« on: May 15, 2011, 10:07:20 PM »
I have been reading up on this forum about various cat topics and have some questions still.

From what everyone has said the best foods are evo or wellness, are they comparable or is one better than the other for certain cats?

I am also wondering how to control the smell, I am sure her crappy diet has something to do with that but anything else that will help the smell? A covered litter box?

She came with Tidy Cat for multiple cats litter, is that any good? It really doesn't smell like it :yelcutelaugh: I have been cleaning the tray at least once a day and the house still smells :-\

Molly is used to being an indoor/ outdoor cat, we had intended for her to be completely indoor but she is going insane, especially in the past 24 hours, clawing at the doors to try and get out, smashing into the screens in the windows etc. Is making her an indoor cat a lost cause?

We are hoping to get her spayed in the next fortnight, I am apprehensive to go to one of those low cost spay/ neuter clinics, am I better off just going to a vet?

I am sure I had more random questions but that is all I can think of right now!

Offline forkyfork

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 12:26:21 AM »
I feed Pet Guard, no blueberries, cranberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes or rosemary.

Litter box odor is a tough one, I have 8 cats and switched to a litter robot. It has helped considerably. There is a cat litter that has cedar in it. The groceries often carry it. I prefer it for odor control but nothing is 100%. Even if you get the poo smell down through changing food the pee smell can be bad too.

Never let a new to the house cat out of the house. You may never see her again. They will get over it. Two of my cats were in/out for years until we moved then they became in only. It was difficult for a few weeks/months but now they could care less.

Call around. I finally found a new vet that is only $20 higher than the humane society. I prefer to get my cats spayed individually if I can afford it. The low cost clinics do them all at once moving from cat to cat. Its not the worst thing but if I can avoid it I do.



Offline Cari

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 02:05:50 PM »
As far as food goes, the most important thing is that the first ingredient is a MEAT, not a meal or a byproduct. That should help with the smell of her feces. To control litter box odor, scoop twice a day. Avoid litters with fragrances because cats are very sensitive to them. I wouldn't recommend a cedar or wood litter because a cat's natural instinct is to eliminate in a sandy substrate. Many litter box problems start by using litters that aren't scoopable or that have fragrances.

Kudos to you for trying to keep her indoors. Spaying will help her with the adjustment. I would also recommend giving her a job to do. Scatter her dry food around the house so she has to "hunt" for it. That will keep her body and mind active, which is probably what she misses about being outside. Don't forget to play with her for at least 15-20 minutes a day. Shine a laser light pointer for her to chase or tease her with a cat dancer feather toy. She'll adjust eventually, and she'll be much safer and healthier inside.

Good luck!

Offline Sorraia

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 02:44:07 PM »
From what everyone has said the best foods are evo or wellness, are they comparable or is one better than the other for certain cats?

Can't comment since my cats are fed raw.

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I am also wondering how to control the smell, I am sure her crappy diet has something to do with that but anything else that will help the smell? A covered litter box?

Absolutely no covered litter box. That will hold the smell in, so maybe YOU won't notice (until you go to clean it), but your cats WILL. And some cats WILL refuse to use a litter box if it smells too strongly.

Personally, I haven't had issues with odor as long as I clean the litter box at least once daily (depending on the number of boxes you have, the size of those boxes, the number of cats, etc) and using the tightly clumping, unscented clay litter (the sandy kind of litter, not the chunky kind).

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She came with Tidy Cat for multiple cats litter, is that any good? It really doesn't smell like it :yelcutelaugh: I have been cleaning the tray at least once a day and the house still smells :-\

I don't know. I use unscented sandy clay litters. The chunky clay litters are disgusting, they have NO odor control at all and very little clumping power. I actually don't even go by brands, I go by type and sales! As long as its the unscented sandy clumping litter and on sale (or otherwise cheaper), I'll buy it. Usually this is the PetCo generic stuff.

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Molly is used to being an indoor/ outdoor cat, we had intended for her to be completely indoor but she is going insane, especially in the past 24 hours, clawing at the doors to try and get out, smashing into the screens in the windows etc. Is making her an indoor cat a lost cause?

No. Provide her LOTS of stimulation indoors, like go overboard. Provide her with multiple cat trees with different levels and surfaces, different dimensions and sizes. Put up shelves just for her to walk along and lounge on, to get up above everyone else and survey "her" kingdom. Put up shelves under windows so she can look outside, and next to doors so she can jump up and see outside as people come and go (some cats will do this without trying to escape). Provide her a multitude of different toys of different types, and rotate toys so she doesn't get bored. Set up scheduled play times throughout the day after she naps so she can use her energy and tire out. These play sessions should be intense and stimulating to her, something that will trigger her "instincts" as they are used outdoors, and provide her a healthy outlet. Fishing line toys or wands are good for this, they can trigger the "hunt" and "kill" instincts safely, are engaging, will hold the cat's attention, and keep them moving until they are tired out. When engaging in a play session, keep playing until SHE gives up, that is she's laying on her side wanting to play but just too tired to keep going (she won't konk out asleep, but she'll keep laying down, maybe get up and take a few steps, then lay down again). At this point she'll be ready to rest again. Doing so regularly will give her no reason to want outside any longer. If the option is available you can also set up an "indoor" or screened patio for her.

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We are hoping to get her spayed in the next fortnight, I am apprehensive to go to one of those low cost spay/ neuter clinics, am I better off just going to a vet?

Can't comment. Most of my cats were speutered prior to coming home due to being adopted from the pound.
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Offline Cari

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 05:20:22 PM »
The other problem with covered litter boxes is that they prevent the cats from being able to see what's going on around them when they eliminate. Cats naturally feel most vulnerable when they're going to the bathroom, so the vast majority prefer an open box.

Offline nakedrats

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 11:09:27 PM »
 I feed EVO canned.  I like it and it has been wonderful for my cats.  I feed the 95% Chicken, and 95% Beef kinds, as the regular Cat/Kitten food has carrots in it (stain the carpet if the cat barfs) and fish (stinkier poop).  I have noticed less poop volume on wet food, which I imagine is related to the high digestibility of the food leaving less waste.  Wellness is more expensive, and tends to have weird plants/fruits in it.  I prefer the EVO 95% because it is meat and vitamins only.  This is a personal preference of mine based on what I think cats should be eating.

Open litterboxes +1.  I have been using World's Best cat littler lately, and I find it controls odor well.  For full disclosure, I don't have living area litterboxes, mine are in the basement.  If your cats bury well, try a deeper litterpan with more litter so they can get good coverage, which will reduce the smell.  Also scoop as often as you can.  If your cats don't bury, an automatic litterbox sounds like the way to go.

I am a foster home for stray cats, and most of the cats adjust well to being indoors only.  They are confused at first, but adapt quickly to their new lifestyle.  It may be harder for a cat that is making a less drastic change than all outdoor to all indoor, but give her time.  My indoor cats like to chase rolling coins, plain old string, have potted cat grass to chew, and they have bird feeders hanging just outside the window.   They also do a lot of playing and chasing with each other.  If it's in your budget and your cat is social, you might try adding another kitty as a playmate.  My cat is highly social and would be terribly lonely at home alone while we're at work.  It your vet fund can't really take another liability, you can also look into fostering.  Many humane societies and rescues rely on foster care to socialize kittens, care for cats with special needs, or are neglected or recovering from injuries, not to mention being able to give depressed longer-term shelter residents a break from their stainless steel cage.  Plus fostering opens up cages at the shelter for new intakes, so less animals have to be euthanized due to overcrowding.  I know the rescue I foster with is always looking for new foster homes.

Spaying may also help greatly with making Molly happier being an indoor cat.  One of my current fosters has a retained ovary remnant and has wonky heat cycles.  She's perfectly happy as an indoor cat when she's out of heat, but she goes frantic climbing and clawing at the door when she's in heat because one of the neighborhood male kitties has taken to peeing on our front deck.   ::)  It drives her crazy to be in heat and not able to get to the boys. (We're getting her meds that should take her out of heat so she'll be a happy cat again, since her exploratory surgery 2 weeks ago seems to have failed to fix her problem.)   I would suggest getting your cat spayed ASAP before you end up with a cat that's knocked up.  Low-cost vs standard clinics is up to you- the low cost clinics in my area are of good quality, but the pain meds and antibiotics are typically short term treatments designed for feral cats that need to be released.  If you can find a decent price for a regular clinic, I would suggest going there.  Spays take a while to do, and I'd personally  be willing to pay extra to have a trained technician next to my cat monitoring its life signs while it is under anesthesia.  If you're going to be calling around for prices, make sure you know what the quote includes, a cheaper price that doesn't include a mandatory pre-surgery exam or post-surgical meds won't necessarily be cheaper at the end of the day.

Offline Accidental Damage

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 11:49:58 PM »

Never let a new to the house cat out of the house. You may never see her again. They will get over it. Two of my cats were in/out for years until we moved then they became in only. It was difficult for a few weeks/months but now they could care less.


I would never do that, I have the sense to see it would end in disaster even being so cat clueless. I am worried though that when she is used to being around us and comes out from hiding she will slip out one day without us knowing or before we can stop her.

I will try changing the litter and see how it goes, it can't get any worse than it is right now. I will also avoid the covered box. I saw a number of people comment they used the worlds best so I will probably look for that.

She is used to dry food, I think for right now I am just going to try the EVO dry food and see how she does with it.

As for stimulation, it is extremely hard right now. She hides under the bed for the majority of the day and we only hear her at night between 11 and 2 running around crazy knocking things over and clawing at everything. I have tried sitting for hours just talking to her, rolling balls to her, the fish on elastic thing. I do leave cat toys out for her to play with but the house is such a mess after her midnight running sessions that its hard to tell whether she played with them or just knocked into them. I think she would love a friend but right now another cat isn't in our budget right now, hopefully in a few months we can seriously consider it.

We actually bumped into a spay clinic van outside walmart and they actually have good reviews and the lady was very helpful so we may go that route. I will be sure to check what it includes.

Thanks for everyones help!


Offline SSTFLFPS

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 11:51:41 PM »
If she's intact and was fine and now isn't, chances are  she's in heat.  My cousin's cat went into heat not long before her spay appointment.  Let's just say she became the speuter the indoor cat poster child. If spaying doesn't help I would give myself a deadline.  If let's say in a year she hasn't adjusted, let her go back to being indoor/outdoor.  The other biggie, how much time did she spend indoors before?  As for low cost, read the fine print very carefully and make sure you are comfortable with the clinic.

Offline Tamara

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2011, 10:35:19 PM »
I have fed the Evo canned and it worked well for us.  After P&G bought out the company that makes it we switched to Wysong.  Just personal preference for us not to support that company.  Have been very happy with the Wysong, it could be another one to check out.  Here is a link (we feed all canned food here with some dehydrated Honest Kitchen cat food but Wysong's dry food is good too)

http://www.wysong.net/products/aujus-natural-healthy-dog-cat-ferret-food.php

I have never believed in covered litter boxes either but we have a giant dog who would gladly consume the contents of the litter box if he had access so we have to keep the box in our bedroom which has a baby gate on the door to prevent the giant dog from entering at will and joining us in bed  :P  I recently found a covered box that has a huge doorway and is so spacious that I don't feel badly about the girls using it at all and it looks a little better in the corner of our bedroom.  Here is a link to the box that I got

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4313501

The litter that we have been using, again have been very impressed with odor control, clumping and very low dust.  The best litter I've ever used

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2754842&lmdn=SHOP+FOR

Just some suggestions  :)  Hope you find something that works for you

Offline nakedrats

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2011, 08:43:47 PM »
I was really impressed with the Wysong au jus canned until I realized that it's not a complete diet.  It's all meat (except for the beef, which is all liver and no muscle), but it doesn't have the vitamin and minerals needed to meet the full nutritional requirements.  It's a shame, because I would have liked to mix in and or replace the EVO I'm feeding now, but I'm not really interested in going back to feeding dry so I can use this as a supplement.  The other canned complete diets all have random vegetables and grains.

Be careful with how much you feed with EVO dry.  It is very calorie dense food, so a little goes a long way.  I use it to transition new fosters from dry to canned and I find about 1/4-1/3 cup twice a day feeds an adult cat.  When you get rid of all the grain, that takes a lot of bulk out.  They'll poop less too.  :)

Offline OverTheBit

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2011, 12:02:13 AM »
My parents own four cats (I consider them to be mine as well!  :BlueDumboSmileTongue:).

They are fed Royal Canin, which is prescribed to them and purchased at our veterinarian's office.

My parents use the Breeze litter system! It is amazing, and barely costs them any money (after buying the initial boxes/litter, etc.)

We have 5 Breeze boxes (they are open), and the smell is barely noticeable (actually, it is really only noticeable if you don't clean out the litter boxes for a while! (they are usually scooped out at least once per day in my house!)

http://www.breezeforcats.com/?DCMP=KNC-BRZ-Goog-2010-BR&HBX_PK=breeze+litter+system&HBX_OU=50&D=4089583&T=5987516

I can't really help you with the indoor/outdoor situation, as all of our cats have been indoor kitties their entire lives!

Our cats (2 boys, 2 girls) were neutered/spayed by our vet.

Hope that helps!  :)
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Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2011, 04:11:51 PM »
Honestly, I didn't think to ask about the spayed thing.  I 've had PLENTY of cats who were indoor/outdoor who transitioned.  If they had a good "picture window" and plenty of indoor stimulation (cat fishing, etc.) they did fine.  Aside from the male who was fixed only at age about 7 or 8 who pooped in the plants.  Sounds like she's in heat, for sure, DO NOT let her out!  My WEIRD girrly went into heat way early, before her spaying, which back then they wouldn't do nearly as early, and she's FINE being inside (but a bit...um...WEIRD all the same!)  The pheromones are so strong, believe me, I remember.  They would NOT spay before 6 months when I was a kid and even though you could hardly detect the first one in the behavior of our females, the males in the neighborhood were NUTS and we'd know it.  (Old house, no A/C, windows open).  I actually had to go out the door to take out the garbage with a broom in hand.  (No, don't worry, I didn't hurt anyone...it was just to block the door in and out!)

My grrly was doing REALLY WEIRD stuff at 4 months of age (three DAYS before her scheduled spaying!)...dragging herself around the carpet by her front claws...fighting with the boy in a "sexy" way.  He was snipped REALLY young and was like, "WTF?!"  Luckily. 

She still HAS to lay on my tummy with her butt in my face and most people think she's...obscene.   ::)  But it's just her way.  I've gotten used to it (after 14 years) and she loves me.  Oy, vey!

- Raaz.

Offline crazychelss

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2011, 09:56:31 AM »
I switched over to a healthier food natural balance and it completly made my cats poop stop being runny and stinky i know there is no way i could ever switch back. After this i stopped buying expensive litters and just buy my grocery stores brand and as long as your cleaning it every couple of days i dont notice a smell. I noticed my cats love the covered litter boxes the best. Right now i have a boodah one with stairs that goes in.
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Offline crazychelss

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2011, 09:59:23 AM »
I forgot to add my aunt gave me her female who was an indoor outdoor cat and i kept her strictly indoors and she still always tried to get outside and managed to several times. Shed break screens and also run out as we were leaving and then book it so we werent noticing. It drove me crazy but she was a great cat. I think with time it wont be as frequent it will always be her insticnt though.
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Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: General Cat Questions
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 12:11:36 AM »
You know, we had this gorgeous, wonderful, if totally psycho siamese girl kitty who would LITERALLY bust out of the second story windows (we kept reinforcing...and it was always a mystery...and in an big old house with no A/C in Indiana summers...you had to open or DIE!!!)  She was a total psycho, and I don't know how she survived it all, but I understand.  As time went on this became much less of a problem.  (from about once a month to...almost never.)  I will say, anything you can to keep them stimulated will help.  I know I think it stopped when we got this other kitty she loved stalking and trying to kill.  NOT that that was a good thing, but I think it meant that she needed more to do, inside.  (I was just a kid...what can I say?!)

Best,

Raaz.