Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Keeping your cat's litter box up to his standards is very important. The following suggestions should keep your cat from "thinking outside the box."
Location, location, location
Most people tend to place the litter box in an out-of-the-way spot to minimize odor and prevent cat litter from being tracked throughout the house. But, if the litter box ends up in the basementnext to an appliance or on a cold cement floor,your cat may be less than pleased.
So you may have to compromise.
Keep the litter box in a spot that gives your cat some privacy yet is also conveniently located. If the box is too hard to get to, especially for a kitten or an elderly cat, he just may not use it.
Avoid placing litter boxes next to noisy or heat-radiating appliances, like the furnace or the washing machine. The noise can make a cat nervous, while the warmth of a dryer or furnace can magnify the litter box smell, which could make him stay away from it.
Put the box far away from his food and water bowls. Cats don't like that smell too near their food and may not use the box.
Place at least one litter box on each level of your house. That way your cat has options if access to his primary box is blocked (the basement door is closed or your dinner party has him holed up in the bedroom.) If you have more than one cat, provide litter boxes in several locations so that one cat can't ambush another cat using the litter box.
If you keep the litter box in a closet or a bathroom, be sure the door is wedged open from both sides to prevent your cat from being trapped inside or locked out. Depending on the location, you might consider cutting a hole in a closet door and adding a pet door.
Pick of the litter
Research has shown that most cats prefer fine-grained litters, presumably because they have a softer feel. The new scoopable (clumping) litters usually have finer grains than the typical clay litter and are very popular because they really keep down the odor. But high-quality, dust-free clay litters are fairly small-grained and may be perfectly acceptable to your cat.
There are several different types of cat litter on the market. The most popular ones are: traditional clay litter; scooping/clumping litter; crystal based/silica gel litter; and plant-derived/bio-degradable litter.
If your cat has previously been an outdoor one and prefers dirt, you can keep him out of your houseplants placing medium sized rocks on top of the soil and/or by mixing some potting soil with your regular litter. A cat who rejects all types of commercial litters may be quite happy with sand. Once you find a litter your cat likes, stick with it. Switching litters constantly could result in your cat not using the litter box.
Smelling like a rose
Many people used scented litter to mask litter box odors, but those scents can put off many cats. For the same reason, it's not a good idea to place a room deodorizer or air freshener near the litter box.
A thin layer of baking soda placed on the bottom of the box will help absorb odors without repelling your cat. And if you keep the box scrupulously clean, it shouldn't smell.
If you find the litter box odor offensive, your cat, with his keen sense of smell, probably finds it even more offensive and won't want to go there.
The general rule of thumb is one box for each cat plus one more. Then none of them will ever be prevented from eliminating in the litter box because it's already occupied.
It's not possible to designate a personal litter box for each cat in your household, as cats may use any litter box that's available. That means a cat may occasionally refuse to use a litter box after another cat has been in it. In this case, you'll need to keep all of the litter boxes extremely clean, and you might even need to add additional boxes. However, it's best not to place al the boxes in one location because your cats will think of them as one big box and ambushing another cat will still be possible.
Some people prefer to provide their cats with a covered litter box, but doing so may introduce some potential problems. To discover which type your cat prefers, you may want to experiment by offering both types at first.
Some cats, especially those who are timid or like privacy. may prefer a covered litter box. Others will not, especially if it's not clean. Covered boxes can decrease the amount of litter that flies from the box when your cat buries his business.
Pros and cons:
You may forget to clean the litter box as frequently as you should, because the dirty litter is "out of sight, out of mind."
A covered litter box traps odors inside, so you'll need to clean it more often than an open one. A dirty, covered litter box is to your cat what a port-a-potty is to you!
It may not allow a large cat sufficient room to turn around, scratch, dig or position himself in the way he wants.
It may make it easier for another cat to lay in wait and "ambush" the user as he exits the box.
Other types of litter boxes
There are wide variety of litter boxes on the market today. Keep in mind that some fancy litter box innovations are for the owner's convenience, not the cat's. In fact, some of these features may actually turn your cat off. It's really best to keep it simple—a basic box, litter, and a scoop.
Keeping it clean
To meet the needs of the most discriminating cat, you should scoop feces out of the litter box daily. How often you actually change (replace) the litter depends on the number of cats you have, the number of litter boxes, and the type of litter you use.
Twice a week is a general guideline for replacing clay litter, but depending on the circumstances, you may need to replace it every other day or only once a week.
If you clean the litter box daily, you might only need to change clumping litter every two to three weeks. If you notice an odor or if much of the litter is wet or clumped, it's time for a change.
Scrub the box every time you change the litter. Use detergent mild dish liquid to clean it, as products with ammonia or citrus oils can turn a cat off, and some cleaning products are toxic to cats.
Box liners are strictly a convenience for the owner; supposedly, the liner can be gathered together and tied just like a garbage bag, but the truth is that most cats shred it to bits while scratching in the box. However, it might work if your cat doesn't work too hard to bury his waste.
Depth of litter
Some people think that the more litter they put in the box, the less often they'll have to clean it, but that's a mistake. Most cats won't use litter that's more than about two inches deep. In fact, some long-haired cats actually prefer less litter and a smooth, slick surface, such as the bottom of the litter box. Adding extra litter isn't a a substitute for scooping and scrubbing.
"Litter Training" cats
There's really no such thing as "littertraining" a cat in the same way one would housetrain a dog. You actually don't need to teach your cat what to do with a litter box; instinct will generally take over. You do need to provide an acceptable, accessible litter box, using the suggestions above.
It's not necessary to take your cat to the litter box and move her paws back and forth in the litter. In fact, we don't recommend it, as such an unpleasant experience is likely to make her afraid of the litter box and you.
If you move, however, you will need to show your cat where the box is, though his sensitive nose will probably find it first.
If your cat begins to go to the bathroom outside the litter box, your first call should always be to your veterinarian. Many medical conditions can cause a change in a cat's litter box habits. If your veterinarian examines your cat and gives him a clean bill of health, your cat may have a behavior problem that needs to be solved. See ways to solve litter box problems here »
Punishment is not the answer, nor is banishing your cat outdoors. For long-standing or complex situations, contact an animal-behavior specialist who has experience working with cats.
The Humane Society of the United States
Sunday, November 27, 2011
The term “polydactyl” means many toes, it is a genetic mutation among felines that gives them extra toes on the front feet and sometimes even on the back. Normally, cats have 4 front toes and one declaw on the inside of their leg, a little bit above their toes. A polydactyl cat can appear to have mitten’s by having several extra dewclaws. Some cats can have 7-8 toes on each front foot!
Famous polydactyl cats live in Key West, Florida at the Ernest Hemmingway Museum. He brought a polydactyl cat to Florida, upon his ship, and a colony has been there ever since. Currently the museum has about 60 resident cats, about half of which are polydactyl.
For more info on the Hemmingway museum and their cats, visit: http://www.hemingwayhome.com/HTML/our_cats.htm
“Apollo” is a polydactyl kitten that was recently adopted from Frederick County Animal Control by one of our clients. He has 7 toes on each front foot and 5 toes on each back foot- a total of 24 toes in all (6 extra)!!!
Owners Paul and Michelle Contant of Ontario, Canada own the Guinness World record holder polydactyl cat. “Jake”has 28 toes, with 7 on each paw, as counted by a veterinarian on 24 September 2002.
For more info and pictures of polydactyl cats, visit: http://www.cat-breeds-info.com/polydactyl-cats.html
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
If you share your home with an older per, never ignore that tiny voice telling you "something isn't right." If you suspect something-anything-is wrong with a pet over age seven, have it checked out. Recently, I saw a 12-year-old dog that "hadn't been feeling well for the past couple of weeks." Sadly, by the time the owners finally listened to that inner voice, it was too late. Their dog was now bleeding internally from a ruptured splenic cancer. Emergency blood transfusions and surgery failed to save the dog's life. While I don't fault the owners-there was nothing obviously wrong with their pet and they loved him dearly-I can't be helped but be nagged by "what if?" What if I'd been able to diagnose the tumor before it ruptured? What if I'd performed surgery before it had lost over half it's blood volume? I'll never know, but I can be more digilent in telling my clients not to ignore even the most seemingly insignificant signs. The best news you can ever hear is, "It's nothing to worry about."
Fetch Spring/Summer 2010
Sunday, November 20, 2011
In today’s economy, the cost of living is expensive. With gas costing nearly $4 per gallon, budgeting household expenses is a must. We love our pets and want the very best for them, but veterinary care can be expensive.
The solution: Open a savings account for your pets routine expenses. Of course, illnesses and accidients cannot be planned for, but by having some money set aside for your pets annual care, you won’t be cringing when that reminder card comes in the mail.
By saving a relatively small amount of money monthly, you will be prepared for pets’ annual exam and prevention.
Preventative care may seem expensive, but in the long run, it can save your pet from illness and discomfort and ultimately your wallet. Sick visits, medications, supportive care, surgery, and hospitilization can be 3-4 times as much as routine care. Plus, you want your pet to be healthy, happy, and pain-free.
For example, a routine dental cleaning under anesthesia is around $340. The bulk of that price is anesthesia. Pets won’t hold their mouth open so we can clean their teth well and take a good look, so anesthesia is imparative. Pets are sedated, intubated, and maintained on general anesthesia. IV fluids are aministed to support their blood pressue and flush their kidneys. They are also monitored by a registered veterinary technician during and after the procedure.
It may seem like a lot to go through to clean their teeth, but dental disease can be very painful,cause infections in other organs, and extractions and dental radiographs are costly compared to a routine scaling, polish, and flouride application (about $100).
An average annual veterinary visit for a healthy,indoor adult (1-8 years of age) cat plus the year’s supply of Frontline to prevent fleas and ticks is about $315. Assuming you are unable to brush your kitties teeth daily (most people aren’t), kitty may need a dental cleaning too. That’s a total of about $655. For a lot of people, that’s a large sum. But broken down and saved monthly, that’s only $55 per month or less that $14 per week! Only $2 per day! I bet most of us could manage to cut $2 per day out of our budget. Just packing your lunch and making your coffee at home could save you as much as $10 per day!
Now the doggie example. Dogs can easily be infected with heartworms, intestinal parasites, and other diseases like Lyme disease and Leptosporosis that kitties don’t get.
So, they require more vaccines, blood tests and preventative products. An average annual veterinary visit for a healthy, medium/large (30-60 lbs) adult (1-8 years old, depending on breed) dog plus a year’s supply of Interceptor heartworm prevention Frontline flea/tick prevention is around $500. (Keep in mind that the DHPP and Rabies vaccines are good for 3 years, so at age 2,3,5,6 they will not need these vaccines).If your pup also needs his teeth cleaned, that’s a total of $840. Saved over a year, that’s only $70 per month or less that $18 per week.
Not every dog will need their teeth cleaned anually, while some dogs need them cleaned twice per year (usually small breeds or dogs like Greyhounds that are predisposed to dental disease). Dogs have larger mouths and teeth and may tolerate brushing more. Brushing your dogs teeth daily with a pet-approved, flouride-free toothpaste, giving them chewy bones like rawhide, CET chews, Greenies, and feeding special diets like Science Diet T/D, that is formulated to help remove tartar build-up, will keep teeth cleaner, longer.These products are great for the pre-molars and molars that dogs chew with, but the K9’s and incisors that aren’t used for chewing will still accumulate tartar.
We love our pets! They are part of our families and their healthcare is just as important as it always has been. In this tough economy, planning for the future is the best thing we can do ofset annual large bills.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
"Over the past several years, consumers have become increasingly
interested in knowing more about their food. Is it locally produced?
Were any pesticides used on the crops? How was the livestock treated
and what sort of diets did the animals receive? Knowing more about
food production represents a healthy step towards becoming
With the holiday season approaching, families might be interested in
continuing this trend by ordering their turkey, goose or other fowl
from one of the many local Maryland farms that raise these animals.
Rather than buying a shrink-wrapped bird with a plastic thermometer
button jammed into the breast, families can head out to the farm and
see where their bird was raised."
There are various places to purchase locally grown, pasture raised
turkeys. Many local farms emphasize health and sustainability and use
no hormones, antibiotics or added chemicals.
Visit the following websites for more info..
Monday, November 14, 2011
The Halloween Candy Drive for our troops has been a success. With the help of our generous clients, our staff has collected 123 pounds of candy. It has all been boxed and is ready to be shipped to our service men and women stationed overseas. Thank You!!!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Looking to name your new puppy and think you'd like to brand your new loved one just like your favorite celebrity?
Ben Afleck/Martha Stewart
Christina Aguilera/Chewy & Cocoa
Jessica Alba/Nancy & Sid
Lucille Ball/Tinker Toy & Whoopee
Halle Berry/Bumper & Petey
Orlando Bloom/Essa & Sidi
Adam Brody/Penny Lane
Mariah Carey/Jackson P. Mutley
Courtney Cox/Hopper & Hardy
Hilary Duff/Chiquita & Lola
Jake Gyllenhaal/Atticus & Boo Radley
Jennifer Love Hewitt/Charlie
Paris Hilton/Tinkerbell & Bambi
David Letterman/Bob & Stan
Liberace/Baby Boy & Lady Di
Mary Kate Olsen/Luca
Kelly Osborne/Boris & Piglet
Brad Pitt/Purty & Saudi
Nicole Richie/Honey Child & Cleopatra
Don Rickles/Clown & Joker
Anna Nicole Smith/Mommie
Britney Spears/Bit Bit
Tori Spelling/Mimi La Rue
Martha Stewart/Teeney & Weenie
Liv Tyler/Neal & Mylo
Naomi Watts/Bob & Chicken
Reese Witherspoon/Frank Sinatra
Doris Day/Autie Murphy, Autumn, Barney Miller, Biggest, Bobo, Bubbles, Bucky, Charlie, Chipper, Daisy, Daisy-June, Dillon, El Tigre, Heineken, Honey, Muffy, Rudy, Schatzie, Snowy, Tiger, Tiny, Trixie & Varmit
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Frederick County Humane Society’s First Annual K9K will take placeSaturday, November 12, 2011, at Baker Park, in historic downtown Frederick. Proceeds will help support affordable spay/neuter and rabies vaccines for Frederick County companion animals. The event will be held rain or shine at 8am and registration starts at 7am. You can even participate with your dog. (They must be leashed and have proof of current rabies vaccination.) The first 150 registrants are guaranteed a t-shirt.
Visit http://www.k9kfrederick.org for more information and to pre-register for the event!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Andre, Sea Turtle Nearly Killed by Boat's Propeller, Returns Safely to Atlantic off Florida.
They called him Andre -- an endangered green sea turtle that washed up in 2010 on a sandbar on Juno Beach in Florida, nearly dead after a boat ran him over with its propeller and tore huge gashes in his shell.
Today, healed by a team that included veterinarians, a biotech company and even an orthodontist, Andre was safely returned to the Atlantic.
Eileen, Melissa and Jen got to meet Andre at a recent trip to West Palm.
View the full story at:
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
With the wonderful fall weather in full swing, take your pup out and about to enjoy some fresh and burn off that extra energy!
Several state parks in the area welcome dogs from Oct 1st-April.
Visit the website below for more info: