Some Great Information about Cats
Here at PHS we’ve assembled some great information about your cat. If you’ve just brought your cat home for the first time, want to know why your cat is scratching up your furniture or other behavioral issues… we hope we can be a resource to you and your furry friend.
Simply Click on the topic below and the article will appear.
Welcoming Your New Cat Home
Welcoming Your New Cat Home
With a little bit of time & preparation, you can assure that your new feline family member adjusts easily to you and your home. Cats & kittens can be uneasy in a new environment. If given immediate access to the whole house, they can hide under beds or in closets for weeks. Here are some tips to start them on the road to a happy & stress free life in your home:
New surroundings & large areas can be overwhelming and scary. Provide a small area like a bathroom or quiet bedroom for the first week or so. Furnish the room with all the necessary amenities, such as food, water, a comfy place to sleep and a litter box. Make sure to locate the litter box in a quiet place away from the sleeping and feeding area. Don’t forget some toys and a safe haven like a cat carrier or cardboard box with 2 cutout “doors” so your cat never feels trapped.
Sit on the floor and let your kitty come to you on his/her own. If your cat is frightened, give it some time and try again. For a lifetime of love & trust, be calm & patient while building a bond. Your new furry family member will soon recognize you as their provider of affection, shelter and food.
Some cats may not eat or drink much for a day or so while they acclimate to their new home. Use the food recommended by the shelter to avoid stomach upsets, and refresh the water often. If you decide to change the brand or type of food in the future, do so gradually. Please call the shelter for advice if your cat has not eaten within 2 days.
Once your cat is completely comfortable with you, it’s time to start introducing them to the rest of your home. Let the cat explore slowly when your household is calm & quiet. Keep in mind that cats love high places, so remove breakables from shelves.
Cats need a place to scratch. It’s a natural behavior to wear down and trim their nails. Most cats like to stand up and stretch while scratching, so a nice tall scratching post will work best. To make it more attractive, sprinkle it with catnip or dangle a toy from the top. Corrugated cardboard & sisal rope scratch posts are great choices. Avoid carpet posts because your cat may not make a distinction between the post and the carpet on your floors!
If you have other cats in the home, keep them separate as your new kitty settles in. Start to introduce their scents to one another by using the same brush for grooming, rub them with the same towel, and swap their bedding & food bowls. Eventually you can crack a door open just enough for the cats to see & smell each other before allowing them in the same room. Make experiences together extra pleasurable by providing yummy treats, and supervise their interactions as they become friendly & content companions.
Help your cat transition smoothly into your heart and home for a lifetime of happiness together!
Why Does My Cat Scratch the Furniture and What Can I Do About it?
Why does my cat scratch the furniture & what can I do about it?
Cats need to scratch! They scratch to trim & clean their nails, to exercise and stretch their muscles, and as a way to communicate their location, both visually and through scent glands located on their paws. You can’t stop a cat from scratching; your job is to provide appropriate places for your kitty to fulfill this natural behavior.
Now for some solutions:
The easiest solution is to restrict access to problematic areas. Of course that’s not always possible, so read on:
Trim your cat’s nails. Start by massaging your kitty’s paws when they’re relaxed & tired to get them used to and comfortable with handling. Pick a quiet spot away from other pets. If you’ve never trimmed a cat’s nails, have your Veterinarian or a groomer show you how.
Provide multiple cat scratching posts throughout your home. Most cats like to stand up and stretch to scratch, so a sturdy vertical post at least 3 feet tall is preferred. Long lasting Sisal Rope and inexpensive Corrugated Cardboard posts are great choices. If you have the space, a multi-level cat tree is an excellent option. Sprinkle cat nip or dangle a toy from the top of the post to entice your cat to use it. You can also “hide” treats for your kitty to find on the top of the post or in a tree house.
Make problem areas “less desirable” to your cat by draping a carpet runner with the nubs facing up, a shower curtain, strips of double stick tape, bubble wrap, aluminum foil, saran wrap or some loose fabric over your furniture. Cats generally don’t like unstable, sticky, or slippery surfaces. Provide a scratching post nearby to satisfy your cat’s needs.
With love, patience & encouragement, your kitty will learn to scratch in the right places!
Litter Box Behavior Problems
Litter Box Behavior Problems
The first step with any change in elimination behavior is a Vet check to make sure there are no medical problems which can be very serious and even life threatening.
Most cats naturally use a litter box to eliminate. If your cat stops using their litter box, here are a few things to consider:
- Locate boxes away from high traffic or noisy areas.
- Cats often dislike hooded litter boxes and box liners.
- Box is too small or sides are too high for comfortable use.
- Older boxes can retain unpleasant ammonia odor.
- Use multiple boxes for multi cat homes (at least 1 per cat).
- Keep Litter Clean.
- Most cats prefer a finer, unscented litter.
- Provide a shallow bed of litter 1 to 2 inches deep.
Steps to Resolve a Litter Box Problem:
- Scoop and clean litter boxes often.
- Confine cat to a smaller area with multiple boxes to retrain.
- Use large litter boxes with low sides.
- Clean accident sites thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner.
- Place food bowls to discourage soiling in unwanted areas.
- Offer a choice of litter types to find out your cat’s preference.
- Use a carpet runner with the nubs facing up in problem areas.
Urine Spraying or Marking:
Urine Spraying is not a litter box problem; it’s a territorial or marking behavior usually on a vertical surface like a wall or cabinet. Unneutered males are more likely to spray, but stress and conflict in multi-cat homes can also cause this unwanted behavior. An effective product that may help prevent spraying is called Feliway. It’s a synthetic pheromone available as a spray for specific problem areas, and an electric diffuser used to reduce stress in large spaces. Feliway mimics the natural pheromone scent cats produce and associate with safety & security in their environment.
For more information on Spraying & Marking, click here.