Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How To Stop Your Cat Urinating Outside The Litter Box

It can be very unpleasant, frustrating and upsetting when your cat starts to shun their litter box for other places in your home. 

Cat urine present anywhere in the house can make you feel like you are living in one big litter box. 

Present in a cats’ urine are strong-smelling proteins used to mark their territory with a scent that is almost impossible to get rid of. 

In order to help eliminate the potent urine scent and prevent your cat from continuing to urinate in inappropriate places, consider these four steps.


cat hiding


1. Identify The Reason


The first step to solving your cats’ urinating problem is figuring out the reason why. If your cat is urinating in inappropriate areas of the house, he/she is trying to tell you something.

They could be unhappy with their litter box, anxious or even sick. It may take some time to find the exact reason behind your cats’ behaviour, however once you find it, you can begin to find a solution. Here are three possible reasons behind your cats’ urinating problem:


Medical:

Common health issues could be the cause behind your cats urinating problem. If these symptoms apply to your cat, he/she should be checked by your vet.

Bladder stones or blockage

  • Goes to the litter box often
  • Exhibits any sign of pain or distress (crying or mewing)
  • Abdomen is tender to touch
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Urinating small amounts often
Feline interstitial cystitis
  • Sudden urination (caused by inflammation of the bladder)


Behavioural:

Behavioural issues could be the reason behind your cats’ urination problem:

Change Of Environment: If you have recently moved house, have new people in your household or have a new pet your cat may be feeling threatened. Changes within your cats’ environment or schedule can have negative effects on its training.


Familiar Areas: If your cat has become used to urinating in a specific spot, he/she will keep returning to that same spot as to them it smells like the right place.


Territory: Make sure to identify if your cat is urinating or spraying. Your cat will want to mark its territory, especially if they are feeling threatened. Neutered and spayed cats are less likely to spray, however they may have a reason for feeling the need to claim or reclaim territory.



The Litter Box:

Before ignoring the obvious and rushing your cat to the vet fearing the worst, consider problems that can occur with your cats’ litter box. Consider these questions as another potential reason behind your cats’ urinating problem.
  • Has their litter box recently been moved?
  • Is the litter dirty?
  • Are there enough boxes to serve all cats in your household?
  • Is something preventing your cat to access their litter box?
  • Is the litter box placed in a cramped area? Could they have reason to fear becoming trapped or not being able to easily escape?
  • Is the litter box located in a spot that offers them privacy?
  • Does the box have a hood or sides that are too high?
  • Has your cat ever been interrupted or upset while using their litter box? 


outside cat



2. Clean Up The Mess


If your cat has been urinating where it shouldn’t, all traces of the smell need to be removed. If the urine is not successfully cleaned up, your cat will continue to return to its preferred area as he/she can pick up the scent. 

Incorrect cleaning can sometimes wet the crystallized proteins and reactivate the odour. Even if you can’t smell it, your cat can! Here are some tips for cleaning the mess:
  • Clean the urine as soon as possible
  • Use paper towels
  • Use a disinfectant and odour neutraliser
  • Avoid ammonia-based disinfectants (cats will think its urine)
  • Cleaning sprays with orange oil ingredients
  • Citrus! Cats hate the smell of it.
  • Use a black light to see if cat urine is still present
  • Place your cats’ food or water bowl in the area (they won’t pee where they eat!)
  • Place aluminium foil on the area (they hate the sound and texture of it)
Here are three great cat cleaner/repellent recipes you can make at home.


cat on the floor


3. Consider Adding, Moving, Changing The Litter Box


The Location 

Ensure your cats’ litter box is located in an area they can easily access which still provides them with some sort of privacy. Try moving the box to their preferred location and slowly moving it back to where it should be or move it to several different areas until it becomes comfortable with one.


Add an Addition

The general rule of thumb is one litter box per cat, plus one extra. Ensure if you have more than one level in your house to place a box on each floor.



Alternative 

Although an enclosed litter box may suit your decorative standards better, it does not mean it fits with your cats’ toilet standards. Ensure their litter box is not enclosed or has sides that are too high.



Clean Regularly

Dirty litter is one of the first things that will send your cat in the other direction. Cats have a very clean nature and therefore need a clean are to do their business. Ensure you are consistent with cleaning out the box and changing the litter.



Type of Litter

Litter that is heavily perfumed may seem like the best choice, however cats tend to disagree. Studies have revealed that majority of cats prefer a loose, clumping and unscented clay litter containing activated charcoal.


cat in box


4. Love Your Cat No Matter What



  • If you have a new guest in the house (cat, dog, baby, roommate) or other changes, give him/her time to adjust and get used to the change.
  • Moving to a new home is not only a big change in your life, but also your cats’. Your cat will have to adjust to a new territory and maybe a new scent from a former tenant’s pet. You will need to ensure you remove all odours so your cat doesn’t feel the need to mark its territory.
  • Make sure you are giving your cat extra, affection, attention and praise.
  • Reassure him/her that they are loved and an important part of the family.


cat and owner cuddling


What Not To Do:


Training your cat to continue to use their litter box is all about patience, not punishment. Here is what not to do:


  • Rub your cat’s nose in its urine or faeces
  • Yell at your cat or physically drag them to their litter box
  • Place their litter box where they eat and/or drink

Hopefully these tips help with keeping your kitty in its litter box and out of your living room!

Wondering why your dog is channelling their inner cow and eating grass? Here's why. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Take Your Dog To Work Day - 23rd of June 2017

Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWD) will take place all around the world on Friday the 23rd of June 2017.

TYDTWD was created to celebrate the companionship dogs provide and, and just as importantly,- to encourage adoptions from rescue groups and local shelters.

On this special day, employers are asked to open their businesses to pet dogs to promote the benefits of pet ownership and encourage the adoption of animals.

Are you going to participate and take your dog to work on June 23rd? Here's why we think you should.

There are  a number of physical and mental health benefits associated with bringing your canine companion to your work.

Yep, that's right. Both workers and dogs in an office environment can be a very positive experience. However there are a few guidelines that should be followed before allowing your pooch to join you at work.

Here are some tips for the special day, three key benefits taking your dog to work can bring you, as well as how you can work on convincing your boss.



dog and girl at computer


Before Taking Your Dog Work


  • Ensure you check with the entire office that it is appropriate to bring your dog into your workplace and that it will not affect the health and well-being of your fellow co-workers. 

  • Unfortunately, some work environments may not be safe or fitting for dogs. If this is the case you could plan an alternate celebration with your co-workers such as a meet up at the park. 


  • Make sure your dog has been micro chipped, wears an ID tag and is up to date with all needed vaccinations.


  • Your dog should only enter the workplace if they have been well socialised with other dogs and people and do not have aggressive tendencies. 

man holding dog showing girl




    In the Workplace


    • Take your dog’s favourite things with you, including their bed, blanket, toys, food and water. This will help them to feel comfortable in the new environment and preoccupied while you are working. However, keep an eye on their belongings to ensure they don’t become a tripping hazard.

    • Dogs should stay at the work area of their owner, or if needed, another chosen persons’ work area. Depending on the behaviour of the specific dog, they may also need to be tied on a leash to their designated area for the day. This will ensure they can’t go wandering off to possible unsafe or unsuitable areas.

    • When you first arrive at work with your pooch, ensure you allow some time for them to meet and greet with other dogs and your co-workers. 

    • Allow breaks in the day to take your dog to the toilet and on small walks.

    • Be prepared to clean up after your dog. Accidents may occur in new environments due to excitement and from being confused. This can be minimised with frequent toilet breaks; however, accidents may still occur and if they do, ensure you do not punish your pooch.

    • Keep your dog out of kitchen areas. If they do happen to enter the area, have treats on hand and lour them back, rewarding them when they come to you.

    • Reward your dog for their calm behaviour in the office. They will more likely continue to behave if they are rewarded for their behaviour. 


      man and dog at desk


      3 Key Benefits of Taking Your Dog to Work


      1. They can keep you active

      Dogs in the office increase opportunities for exercise, giving dog owners an excuse to get out of the office take a walk. 

      It has been proven by research that remaining seated for long periods of time is bad for your health and can be linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and even premature death.

      It has been discovered that most adults spend more than seven hours per day sitting or lying. Therefore, taking regular breaks away from your work station is a very important part of your day.

      This is where your dog comes in handy. They are a constant reminder for you to get up, stretch and to take a break from your screen.



      2. They can reduce stress

      If you frequently find yourself in need of a mental breather in the office then you may just need you dog.

      Petting or playing with an animal can boost levels of the stress-reducing hormone (oxytocin) and reduce production of the stress hormone (cortisol).

      A study conducted on workplace health management discovered that access to dogs creates a calming influence and reduces the levels of stress. This included a person having access to their own dog or another person’s dog.



      3. They Can Improve Job Satisfaction

      A study conducted at the Virginian Commonwealth University focused on a manufacturing company that allowed their employees to bring their pets to work. 

      Lead author of the study, Randolph Barker praised dogs for their positive impact on the workplace which they found boosted confidence and the performance of employees.

      He compared the differences of stress between days when a dog was and wasn’t at the workplace, discovering that there was a significant difference with the majority of employees being much more satisfied with their jobs on day dogs were present. 

      Taking your dog into the workplace isn’t just benefiting you – it’s also benefiting your pooch! Their day at work will assist in developing their confidence in public and social interactions and exercise them mentally, which is equal of importance to physical exercise.

      Everyone’s a winner!



      girl and dog at desk



      Convincing the Boss


      If your boss is sitting on the fence about letting you and your employees bring your dogs to work for the day consider sliding these points into conversation.


      • The background and purpose of bring your dog to work day
        Remember that bringing your dog to work day is all for a good cause, promoting the adoption of dogs from shelters and to thank your pooch for their companionship.

      • Benefits of dogs in the workplace
        Dogs in the workplace can bring so many physical and mental benefits to you and employees.

      • Media attention for the company
        Each year, media outlets from across the United States and abroad contact Pet Sitters International, creator of Take Your Dog To Work Day®, to request to be connected with participating businesses. If your company will be allowing dogs at work on Take Your Dog To Work Day (or anytime during Take Your Pet To Work Week™, June 19-23) and you would like the media notified about your participation, complete this form.

      • Let them read this articleThis article contains everything you need to know about bringing your dog to work day and what the point of it is.


        man woman and dog at desk



        So remember to save the date and bring your pooch to work on Friday the 23rd of June!