Whether you are a first-time cat owner, or you have years of experience, you may one day encounter a situation that stymies your knowledge. Here are some helpful hints to help you deal with living with a cat (or 2!)
Cats and plants
I planted my garden
and grew a cat!
How do I keep my cats out of my houseplants?
Sprinkle cayenne pepper around the leaves of houseplants and your cat will back away pretty quick-ly. Cats also hate the smell of citrus. Put orange and lemon peels in your pots along with the plants to help deter them. Another option is spraying the leaves directly with diluted lemon juice.
Which plants are toxic to cats?
- Amaryllis (Amaryllis sp.)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
- Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron sp.)
- Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
- Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
- Spanish thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
- Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum)
- Tulip and Narcissus bulbs(Tulipa)
- Cyclamen (Cyclamen sp.) Yew (Taxus sp.)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sp.)
- Lilies (Lilium sp.)
- Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
- Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Facts about declawing a cat
There are many myths, and misunderstandings concerning declawing. If you are considering having your cat declawed, or if your veterinarian has suggested it, please take a few minutes to learn about this major surgical procedure before you make a decision.
What is declawing?
Declawing is the amputation of each front toe bone at the first joint(hind foot declaw surgery is not commonly performed). This is equivalent to a person losing the entire tip of every finger at the first knuckle. The cat loses 1/3 of its paws. The surgery is so excruciatingly painful that it is used to test the effectiveness of pain medications. Initial recovery takes a few weeks, but even after the surgical wounds have healed, there are often other long-term physical and psychological effects.
Well, I "declaw"!
It is my "potty"
Inappropriate elimination in cats is a very common and frustrating problem and can be caused by many different factors. Most cats require little training to use their litter box because cats have a natural desire to dig and bury their waste. But once a cat has developed undesirable toilet habits the problem can be very difficult to resolve.
Litter box issues
Tips to prevent these issues
- Pick the right litter box location.
- Avoid corners and tight areas like closets.
- Select your litter carefully.
- Keep the litter box clean.
- Make the litter box accessible.
- Have one box per cat, plus one.
- Give your cat attention.
- Rule out illness.
- Do not punish your cat.
Welcoming your new cat
Your eyes meet, you hold him in your arms, you coo,he purrs and before you know it, you’re in love. You take him home, but instead of “happily ever after”, he runs amok and cries all night, shreds your sofa, and urinates on your bathmat.
Some cats adjust to new people and environments like they’ve always lived there, but most have a period of adjustment when they try to figure out their new situation and decide if they feel safe and happy. The bad news is that the adjustment period can be frustrating due to displays of bad behavior.
The good news is that cats are simple creatures and we’ve figured out why they’re doing it and how to stop it. The usual culprits are fear, boredom, separation anxiety (from leaving his family), anxiety (because his environment isn’t right), and trying to establish some territory.