Han Solo and the Pee Wars

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 info@catlanna.com.   I am here for you and your family.  Furry ones included.


Giveaway! Purrfect Play's Holiday Gift Bag for Cats

Who likes free cat stuff?  I do, especially after spending a wad on Black Friday!  I have a holiday giveaway for all of you!  Purrfect Play has created adorable holiday gift baskets, boxes and bags for cats or dogs.  I've done a review for them before (here), so you already know that I am a fan of their organic products.  This gift bag is no different.  

They generously donated this  holiday gift bag for cats which includes a silly sea cucumber and bag of 6 cotton dust bunnies (valued at $26.50 USD) for a our holiday giveaway.

The silly sea cucumber is a kicker filled with fragrant fresh organic catnip encased in organic cotton.  The dust bunnies are small light balls made of organic cotton.  My cats loved the kicker, especially Bailey and Lady Asti who kicked it around.  I think the biggest hit was the dust bunnies, though!  They flung those things across the room in one hit, then picked them up and carried them back across the room again!  Healthy happy cats with healthy happy toys.  So, you want to know how to win this delightful toy bag, right? Read on...

Giveaway Entry

You may have up to 5 entries per person.  To enter:

  • One Entry = Like Catlanna and Purrfect Play on Facebook
  • One Entry = Follow Catlanna and Purrfect Play on Instagram
  • One Entry = Follow Catlanna and Purrfect Play on Twitter
  • One Entry = Subscribe to Catlanna's Email List (on right side bar)
  • One Entry = Comment on this blog post listing how many cats you live with and the special nicknames you give them.  Include your email in the comment on this blog post.
  • All entries must either leave email in comment section of this post or send an email with your social media names to info@catlanna.com.

Winner will be chosen by random drawing.  Winner will be announced on December 17th 2015.  Winner will be notified via email.  Winner will have 48 hours to confirm mailing address or next winner will be chosen.   Winner must live in the contiguous 48 United States of America.

5 Top Tips from a Veterinary Dentist

How many of you have ever looked inside your cat's mouth?

Or tried to glance during an extended yawn only to be met with a paw swat?

Or ever wondered about your cat's dental health? 

 Dr. Boyd from Texas Veterinary Dental Center is going to be performing an extraction and dental cleaning on Bailey in a few weeks.  Dr. Boyd has worked on many different species (including a few at the Houston Zoo) and runs a practice in Stafford, TX.  I asked Dr. Boyd to answer a few questions, so my readers could better understand feline dental health.  I added a few links, too.

Their practice occasionally hosts a clinic radiology seminar for veterinarians and vet techs. Photo courtesy of Texas Veterinary Dental Center Facebook page.

Their practice occasionally hosts a clinic radiology seminar for veterinarians and vet techs. Photo courtesy of Texas Veterinary Dental Center Facebook page.

5 Top Tips from a Veterinary Dentist:

  • Perform a Smell Test for Foul Breath

Foul breath indicates oral and/or dental infection. Also, look for red or bleeding gums, which indicates gingivitis/periodontal disease or dental disease.  Take your cat in for a dental exam as soon as possible.

  • Look for Behavior Changes

Inactivity or loss of interest in toys/treats/food may be an indication of dental or oral problems.  Take your cat in for a dental exam as soon as possible.

  • Look for a Qualified Veterinary Dentist or Veterinarian

Cat guardians should seek out services of a veterinarian with experience in feline anesthesia and proper anesthetic monitoring, since dental evaluation and treatment should only be performed while under anesthesia.  Dentistry should only be performed by veterinarians with experience in dental disease recognition and treatment. Dental x-rays should be part of every dental assessment, so please ask your veterinarian if they have access to this equipment.

Take a look at the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) Directory to see if there is a veterinary dentist in your area.

  • Biggest Misconception: Annual Dental Checks Are Not Required

WRONG! Cats need to have an annual dental health assessment and cleaning by a qualified veterinarian.

  • Every Cat Guardian Should Abide 100% To:
  1. An annual dental and oral assessment to be performed by a veterinarian with a keen interest in dentistry.
  2. Asking your veterinarian to show you examples of healthy cat teeth and gingiva (gums).

Thank you, Dr. Boyd!  Below are pictures from Dr. Boyd's Facebook Page (go check it out!).  Further recommended reading on Veterinary Partner: A Guide to Feline Dental Care.

Update 07/14/15:

Bailey had her oral surgery and cleaning on 7/6/15.  Everything went perfectly!  Bailey only needed one extraction from tooth reabsorption and a cleaning, which cost us about $1400 USD.  This included all of her anesthesia, appointments and blood work.  I dropped her off for pre-op at 7 AM, and Bailey was out of anesthesia earlier than expected, around 11 AM.  She drooled for a few hours due to the numbing agent, but other than that, I just had a very tired cat.

Dr. Boyd was so kind with her and me.  He spent extra time after post-op, during his lunch time, to explain to me what happened during surgery and the details of what he did and why.    Bailey came home with a few syringes of narcotics to help with the pain and inflammation.  She did great, although I clearly need to do better with my clicker training for "mouth open"!

Just a few days after surgery, when she was weened off the narcotics, I noticed a drastic improvement in her mood and behavior afterwards.  It was unbelievable!  Not only was she more friendly towards me, but her behavior towards the other two cats in our house improved.  I actually saw her GROOM Jack's head (my siamese mix) for the first time...ever.  For a little history, when we first adopted Jack in 2012, he would try to mount Bailey in a display of dominance as well as stalk her litterbox.  Needless to say, their introduction was not smooth and their relationship has been tumultuous since then.  It's been a work in progress, and greatly improved since then.  They now live together well, but do not interact much.  Jack has tried to show kindness through grooming to Bailey in the past few months, but I had never seen Bailey return the favor until the week after her oral surgery.

Coincidence? I don't think so.  It is pretty clear to me that good dental health is a must if you want a well behaved cat.