We were a featured article in Houston Pet Talk's Jan/Feb 2017 issue discussing cat-cat introductions. Although this is a short article, it's got some important tips! The topic of cat-cat introductions can be quite complex, so if you have further questions, please contact me.
It is with pleasure that we announce our founder has been awarded her certification as an Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant by the IAABC. She worked tirelessly over the last 18 months to acquire all of her necessary hours, case studies and studying. She can be located through the IAABC Consultant Directory, and through her website.
Meet Han Solo. No, not the character from Star Wars, although I'm sure he wants to be. He's a Siamese mix who came to live with a family of 6: Mom, Dad, 2 boys and 2 resident cats. The day he became part of the family was the day he decided peeing all over the house was a good idea since 2014.
Han Solo was urinating and defecating in various parts of the house. Two pees and two poops on the living room couch on clean laundry. A few pees near the door of the youngest boys room. Many many pees on the floor of the master bedroom, which leads to the only litter box in the house located in the master bathroom. You all should have seen us crawling around on our knees with the black light to find spots. It was hilarious.
Han Solo previously had a standard veterinary health exam with no abnormalities or illness reported, so we ruled out a medical cause to his peeing escapades. Detective hat is now on! After discussing with the family, it was clear that Han Solo prefers to wee on clean or new objects that do not smell like home. He also likes to pee in areas of stress, which are when he cannot access his litter box or when he cannot access a room to his favorite person. This room was off limits at night.
Intuitively, and listening from my heart, I could feel that Han Solo wanted to enter into the younger boys room for protection reasons. There was something that was scaring the boy at night. Han Solo felt it was his duty to protect the boy in his sleep, as well as give him the proper wake up full of kisses in the morning. The guardians confirmed this was true because of what the boy had revealed to them previously.
So, what did we do?
- Separate water, food and litter into 3 separate rooms.
- Replace clay litter with non-clay litter in existing litter box, and remove the cover.
- Add 2 more uncovered litter boxes with at least 2 inches of non-clay litter substrate. A floor plan including litter box location was discussed and provided to the client. One litter box was added to the boy's room during the night so Han Solo could also be in the room.
- Scoop each litter box 2-3 times daily. Replace litter once weekly.
- Cover clean laundry and any new items with a "used" towel that smells like home while not under supervision.
- Thoroughly clean the master bedroom carpet with an enzymatic cleaner.
And, what were the results?
- Report #1: No inappropriate elimination. Han Solo was allowed in the bedroom of the youngest boy with the addition of a litter box at night near his door. Yes!
- Report #2: One urination in the master bedroom. One of the other cats started displaying aggression due to extra attention Han Solo was getting for being a well-behaved good boy. Guardians took appropriate action to correct behavior and eliminate smell through previous recommendations I had given. No more accidents. Overall, a success!
Great job! I love it when clients learn in the process of a consultation.
If you are in need of a cat behavior consultation, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am here for you and your family. Furry ones included.