Litter box issues, such as going outside of the box, are one of the most common cat behavior problems experienced by owners. Sometimes these problems are solved with an easy fix, like adding extra boxes in a multi-cat household, cleaning the box more often, or placing the box in a quiet, isolated area.
Another major factor that contributes to litter box problems? The type of litter you are using may be bothering your cat. A recent study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior examined litter box filler preferences among a group of 18 cats.
The researchers gave the cats a choice of clay granules, silica granules, silica microgranules, and wood pellets. The cats demonstrated a significant preference for clay and silica (both sizes) over the wood.
A second phase of the study gave 12 cats a choice between clay and silica. The researchers found that the cats showed a significant preference for eliminating in the clay litter over the silica.
If your cat is not happy about that fancy new litter you bought, consider switching back to good old-fashioned clay and see if that makes a difference in your cat’s litter box habits!
Still having problems? Check out this guide to solving litter box issues.
The warm weather means that kitten season is here! Kitten season is the time of year when unaltered cats allowed to roam outside will mate and produce litters of kittens. Sadly, many of these homeless kittens (and their moms) will end up in animal shelters.
This is a great time to open your heart and home to a kitten or adult shelter cat. Many shelters and rescue groups provide valuable cat adoption incentives in the spring and summer months.
It’s also a good time to remind cat owners to spay and neuter their pets and keep them safely indoors.
You can search for available cats and read more about cat adoption on the Petfinder website.
Need some inspiration? Check out this adorable and funny “Prescription Cat” drug commercial parody video!
Many studies have been done on the benefits of therapy and emotional support dogs for children with autism. A group of researchers wondered about the role of pet cats in helping children with autism. The findings of this study were published recently in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
The results? Most parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) reported that a cat in the home was beneficial in calming and soothing the child, and even acting as the child’s protector or guardian. This was especially true for children with mild to moderate ASD.
Some parents reported that their normally non-verbal children would initiate speech when talking to the family cat. Others reported that kids who had an aversion to touch would feel comfortable when petting or holding the cat.
The researchers also found that the most successful and affectionate cat-child relationships occurred when the cat was adopted as a kitten rather than an adult.
The downside? Interactions between cats and children with ASD classified as “severe” could be less positive. Various factors can come into play in this situation, such as a child being fearful of animals or the cat becoming nervous around a child’s problem behaviors.
In most child-animal studies, research has shown that interactions between autistic children and pets such as cats, dogs, and guinea pigs are very beneficial.
In the case of cats, the authors recommend adopting a young kitten, making sure that it is well-socialized from an early age, and looking into cat breeds that have a reputation for being affectionate and outgoing.
Zuca was a pregnant stray when she was taken in by an animal welfare agency in Oregon. All her puppies were adopted, and eventually so was Zuca. This sweet pup became best friends with a cat named Stout in her new forever home.
Sadly, Stout passed away and Zuca was depressed…until her human mom Ronda started taking in foster kittens! Zuca has been lovingly caring for nearly 100 foster kittens since 2015.
Her mom reports that she gets excited whenever new kittens arrive, and she immediately starts licking them and cuddling with them, knowing instinctively exactly what kind of care each one needs.
This upcoming kitten season, Zuca (now 12 years old but still going strong) and her mom hope to foster at least 20 more babies, bringing their total to over 100.
An added bonus to all this great mothering from Zuca…. all of her foster babies are very comfortable around dogs and do well in adoptive homes with canine siblings!
Check out this adorable video of Zuca in action with her foster kittens, and follow Zuca and her kittens on this irresistible Instagram account!