Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Good morning!  Mother nature is so confused  :)   75 today,  cold front coming in,  45 tomorrow...

Thank you so much for all the gifts for the blind cats from our wish lists!    and 
our Amazon wish list

Sadly Amazon NEVER gives us your contact information so we can not personally thank you.  Please know how grateful we are to you for your kindness!!

Thank you Clyde Moseley for the food!
Thank you Michael Krogan for the freshstep!
Thank you Ahva Davis for the food and fresh step!
Thank you unnamed for cat litter

Thank you Dr Ulrike Thies for the food!
Thank you unnamed for the toys!
Thank you Nicole Huffman for the lysol!
Thank you unnamed for the trash bags!

Thank you unnamed for locomotion toy!
Thank you unnamed for the cat food!
Thank you Kristina Crofut for the toys!
Thank you Cynthia Crisafulli for the scratch and rest!

Honey loves the scratch and rest :)

Martha O'Brien for the cameras!
Thank you Sarah Lewandowski for the toys and scratch and rest!
Thank you Alison Chambers for the babbleball!
Thank you David Dunn for the paper towels!

LT smiles about your gifts :)

Thank you Sarah Lewandowski for the toys!
Thank you Leslie Peckerman for the ear cleaner !
Thankyou Michael Leone for the floor cleaner!
Thank you Elisabetta Antichi for the food!

Thank you Valerie Jemison for the food, Gain, Softener and toy!
Thank you Judy Mari Peterson for the trashbags!
Thank you Sam DeRenzis for the carrier!
Thank you Anthony Thompson for the food!

Thank you Kim Clopton for the trash bags!
Thank you unnamed for the dish soap!
Thank you Laura Kavesh for the clock!

Thank you ms Hazel Jones for the food!

Thank you Mary Blake for the toys!

Thank you unnamed for the food!

The cats hope you will please vote for the cats to win in the following contests  

DAILY (category LARGE RESCUE Shelter, Blind Cat ) 

2.     DAILY


Thank you for helping the cats!! Please like & share

Are you going to win the number 1 Fan shirt this week?  Results will be
on Friday.  Like & Comment on our Facebook page  and of course share ;)
You will get your choice of one of a kind limited edition shirt.

Litter Box Lowdown

Cats are very clean animals and it is reflected in their litter box habits. If your cat doesn’t use the litter box, the causes could be anything from illness to an unclean box. It’s reported about 10% of cats develop an elimination problem.

If your cat starts to avoid the litter box for urination, observe if he/she shows any signs of medical issues, such as bladder infections or stones (see Sunday, March 2 blog on Lower Urinary Tract Problems in cats for the symptoms and what to do). Even if you do not see any symptoms, your cat needs to be evaluated by your vet to rule out any medical causes, such as diabetes. Physical exam, urinalysis which may include urine culture, and labwork should be done. Radiology studies may be done to eliminate presence of bladder stones or blockages.

There are very common reasons for litter box problems. The solutions depend upon the reasons why the cat cannot use the box. Sometimes, you will have to try different solutions to find the successful one!

Can the cat get into the litter box and is it the right size?
Is the box large enough for the cat to get in and scratch around, squat and urinate?

This is what BCR uses - WITHOUT the lids of course :)

Are the sides too high and the cat cannot get into the box? This may happen with older cats or cats with arthritis and other mobility problems.
Are the sides too low so the cat is actually in the box but the urine flow is outside the box?
Does the litter box have a top or hood? This may impede the cat’s ability to scratch around and get into proper position to urinate.
Most cats prefer two inches of litter. Don’t use litter box liners which tear easily, have cover-up scents and some cats are allergic to plastic.

Where and how many litter boxes are available in your home?
Are the boxes easy to get to in your home? Elderly cats may not be able to reach boxes in time, especially if they have mobility problems.
Most recommend the number of litter boxes should be the number of cats plus one.
Is there conflict with another cat in the house? This is one reason why more litter boxes may be needed so conflict and stress can be reduced. (Conflict may have behavioral interaction components that should be addressed by your vet.)
What about location of the box? Does your cat have privacy and multiple escape routes? Many cats prefer litter boxes in a quieter room and to be able to have escape routes if they feel cornered. Safe, quiet areas promote regular litter box usage. Make sure children cannot access the box.
The litter box should not be beside (or in view) of the food and water bowls. They should not be where the cat sleeps most of the time.
Some cats will tolerate the self-cleaning litter boxes. Occasionally, the box will start its cleaning cycle if the cat steps out and steps back in. This may frighten your cat.
Has your cat developed a new preference for urinating on certain surfaces or textures, i.e. carpet, potting soil or bedding? Potting soil would be seen as an acceptable litter material!

**  If your cat has started urinating outside the box, be sure to clean the area well! There are many products on the market for cleaning cat urine – some cover the smell only. To get rid of cat urine smell, you need an enzymatic cleaner to break down the urine and it must saturate the surface. If the cat urine is on the carpet, it has certainly soaked into the carpet padding, and probably into the surface below the padding. The area must be cleaned thoroughly to prevent the cat from being attracted to the same area. You can use a black light to locate soilage areas. Do NOT use ammonia to clean any urine stained areas! You may wish to place a litter box in this area to encourage the retraining of litter box use instead of the carpet.

What type of litter does your cat prefer?  ** Cats want clean litter boxes! If the box is not clean or smell clean, it will find somewhere else to use for elimination.

Does your cat prefer regular clay, clumping-scoop clay or crystal litters? (There are other litters such as pine or corn based litters. The cat may not like the feel or scent of these.)

Regular clay litter absorbs the urine and stool is scooped out. The urine remains in the litter and box until the entire litter material is changed. If not litter is not changed frequently, it will have a strong urine and/or ammonia smell which will repel your cat.
(Frequently being defined as daily or every 2 days at most)

Clumping-scoop litter allows stool and the urine clumps to be removed with every cleaning. Litter boxes should be scooped at least once a day and more frequently as needed. Add fresh litter to maintain.

BCR Uses Freshstep

Crystal litter also absorbs urine and states it can absorb more with better odor control than regular clay litter. It is recommended the crystal litter be stirred daily as crystals that have absorbed urine may become saturated. If they are saturated, the urine will pool on the bottom of the litter box and the cat will not like walking in a wet litter box. The crystal litter needs to be replaced regularly too.

BCR Uses crystal litter in the quarantine room

Is the litter very dusty and makes your cat sneeze? Negative association with dusty litter can lead to avoidance.

Does your litter have a ‘scent’? Some cats do not like the scented litter. Unscented litters may be preferred by your cat.

Some cats may be allergic to the chemicals in scented litter. If your cat gets itchy feet every time it uses the litter box, it will avoid it. If your cat does have itchy feet, a vet visit in order. Any irritation of the paws and paw pads can be serious and requires medical intervention. (See BCR blog, “Feline Allergies” on Feb 27)

Have you changed litters? Was your cat used to one type of litter and you suddenly changed the entire box contents? Sudden changes in the type of litter, its feel on their feet and any scent may prevent the cat from using the box with the ‘unfamiliar’ litter. If you change litters, gradually change by mixing products if you can. i.e. If changing from scoop litter to crystals, add some crystal litter to the scoop litter. The crystal litter will be removed when scooped too but add both litters to replace, gradually increasing the crystals. Changes should be gradual – don’t rush the cat into sudden changes. We don’t like changes to our routines and they don’t either!

If you want to determine the litter preference, place several boxes side by side, filled with different litters. Observe which one is used most.

How much litter is in the box? Too little or too much? The cat should be able to scratch around and have enough litter to bury its elimination. Cats bury it in nature and will want the same in their indoor litter box!

Is there a strong urine odor? Ammonia? Cat’s sense of smell is a hundred times better than human’s. If you can smell the box, they smell it a hundred times more! Does that odor bring tears to your eyes?

Was your cat declawed? Sometimes, the type of litter used when they were declawed caused pain – negative association of pain may be related to a particular litter and the cat will avoid that litter.

Cats will use clean litter boxes! Be sure to clean the box itself by regular washing! (washing weekly with baking soda or unscented soap is recommended)

Are there other reasons related to stress?
Are there changes in the house? New family members or pets?
Have you moved to a new home? Moved the litter box in the same home?
Are there outside stressors, such as stray cats hanging around? A stray cat may cause stress in  your cat causing elimination outside the litter box, but it is not necessarily spray marking.

Have you suddenly changed foods? Dry foods may not provide enough water for your cat’s needs. Be sure you provide plenty of clean fresh water everyday! Use stainless steel bowls!

Do NOT punish, yell at or hit your cat for inappropriate urination. If you observe the cat starting to sniff or squat at the area, if you can, pick them up and take them to the litter box. It will help to have one close by. Once they use the box, praise them!

Once the cat has urinated and a couple minutes have passed, taking the cat to the scene of the ‘crime’ and scolding them does not do any good. They will not associate this with bad behavior. 

There will NOT be boxes tonight