Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

Six cats. Gulp. (Sneeze)

Arwen

We’re settling in, all of us. Mark moved into the house in February and with him came Arwen, Thomasina, and Roxanne. Thomasina is the only short-haired cat of the three. The cats adjusted to each other (and the dog) rather well. By day 2, the “new cats” were venturing downstairs but not for very long. Within the week, however, they all freely came downstairs — giving the dog a wide berth. Stella was the least receptive to the new cats; she still is.

Roxanne

Big Old Kitty (16 years old today) was unaffected. I think he’s been through so much by now that nothing much phases him. And now Arwen has decided she loves Greta the Dog and brushes up against her, begging for some grooming. Greta usually obliges her. Greta should be developing hairballs any day now.

Thomasina

More Cats!

Well, there are fewer cats…but soon to be more cats.

Teresa and Reno moved to IUP and they took Cowboy and Frankie with them. So that leaves three cats in the house, along with Greta, the dog. Stella is back to her normal affectionate, pesky self. I think Frankie’s aggression was too much for her and she hid a lot of the time. She’s even rubbing up against the dog and allowing a few grooming licks from her. Cupcake is making herself more present but still does the panther-stalk walk whenever she encounters Greta…which just entices the dog to chase her. Big Kitty is gaining weight and is on at least his eighth life. He still has a grooming problem, however.

So fewer cats, right? Until later today when Mark’s cats join the household, as he is moving in. Arwen, Roxanne and Tomasina will be joining the fray. We will segregate in the back bedroom for a while to allow them to adjust to new smells and new creatures. But oh my! Six cats and one dog.

Suggestions?

There’s litter in my life

There’s litter in my life and a lot of it. I have tried multiple methods of managing the output of three, then four, now five cats. It has been daunting. But I have to come a realization. There is no magic litter box, or scoop, or baggie. One must simply clean out litter boxes on a daily basis. That’s all there is to it.

Think of it like brushing your teeth or combing your hair. It is something that must be done every day. At a minimum, if using scooping litter, each box must be scooped as completely as possible. Once a week, a complete rehaul of the litter box is required–dump it all out, wash out the litter box and start over.

I tried using plastic garbage bags and/or litter liners. This makes it difficult to scoop. So I would end up changing the entire litter box every day. This works and keeps things very fresh because it is new litter daily. For this method, I recommend clay litter (nonscoopable) because it is cheaper. However, I found myself spending a fortune in litter liners and/or plastic garbage bags. Cheap garbage bags don’t work. The litter remains are heavy, too. I’m sure the garbage men did not appreciate having many bags of heavy, used clay kitty litter to haul away.

I tried the ground corn cob litter. I actually like it. It is scoopable to a degree. It has a fresh smell. The cats didn’t seem to object to it at all. It requires daily scooping too…and maybe a complete refresh more frequently than once a week. The big drawback to the ground corn cob litter is the price. It is also harder to find…not impossible but smaller stores may not have it. It’s much lighter, even used, than the clay or scooping litters.

I have not tried the crystals. They seem to be the most expensive of the litter alternatives. Nor have I tried the automatic machines that scoop for you. I have read many reports of them jamming or the whirring sound scaring the cats away from the litter box. One woman even reported being woken up throughout the night when the machine would kick in (apartment dweller).  So I haven’t spent the hundreds of dollars required on the machine.

Boxes! I have tried different box styles. The box-in-a-box with a strainer. Sounds great and even worked well the first time I sifted used, scoopable litter through it. My oldest cat, however, is a heavy wetter and the scooping litter turns cement-like and merely clogs the sifter. I have tried covered boxes, dome boxes, enter-through-the-top boxes, homemade boxes, etc., ad nauseum. 

So the solution. Just do it every day. I bought a wet-dry vac. It is a wonderful, albeit unwieldy, piece of equipment for cleaning around multiple litter boxes–especially with my untidy cats. I rotate boxes. I have some outside, drying in the sun after getting a hose-down in the yard. The others are in use. Then I’ll rotate them. And that’s it. My solution to managing the output of multiple cats. Just do it.

Aren't they comfy

Cat Photo of the Day

Cowboy and Frankie are becoming fast friends. Teresa is planning on taking Cowboy with her when she moves to Indiana, PA for her final couple college years. She had thought of taking Cupcake with her but I think it would break Frankie’s heart! 

Best Friends