Saturday, April 5, 2014


Thank you so much to everyone that made my birthday so special yesterday!  Thank you to my wonderful staff for the cards, balloons and cake! Thank you Diane for the Tea and Stevia!,  Thank you Linda Carden for the tea and cash gift! Thank you Sharon El-Saadi for the tea and coffee mug!  You guys are wonderful and I am so lucky to have you in my life!!

Thank you so much for all the wonderful gifts that the cats have received in the last few days from our Amazon wish list!!

Thank you Gena Anderberg for the gift card!
Thank you Jessica Merchant for the cats litters and bird feeder!
Thank you Kimberly Guerra for the toys and bird feeder!
Thank you Gigi Leung for the cases of food!
Thank you Ivy Allen for the cases of food!
Thank you Andy Swope for the toys and bird feeder!
Thank you Ilene Farry for the toys and play cube!
Thank you Karie Baker for the toys!Thank you Linda Sullivan and Spotty for the toys, sponges, batteries and freshstep cat litter!

Thank you Suzanne for the toys, cleaner, food, batteries, toys and Chocolate!
Thank you Lora for the bird food, bird feeder and toy!
Thank you Cynthia Green for the cases of food and toys!
Thank you Lois Collier for the cat food!
Thank you Christie O'Brien for the rainbow toy!
Thank you Arlene Barr for the toy!
Thank you Karin Burns for the bird feeder, cases of food, and toys!
Thank you Christine in Michigan for the food!
Thank you Caroline Carter for the toys!
Thank you Glorimar Gonzalez for the food!

Thank you Deborah Was for the toy, case of food and cat litter!
Thank you Melissa Whittinghill for the toy and cat litter!
Thank you Brenda Cozad for the cleaner!
Thank you Nancy Hyson for the toys and case of food!
Thank you Kaci & Liam Lecheler  for the beautiful blankets!
Thank you Kelly Shankland for the toys and tunnel!
Thank you Katherine and Wayne Groth for the cases of food!
Thank you Sylvia Bearcroft for the case of food!
Thank you Anna Lloyd for the cases of food!

Thank you Crystal Griffin for the case of food!
Thank you Ann Grimes for the case of food!
Thank you Koren Wheatley for the bird feeder, toy and case of food!
Thank you Dale Wiegert for the toys and undercover mouse!
Thank you Colby Reed for the case of food!
Thank you Phyllis Brown for the case of food!
Thank you Brandon Hartford for the toys!

Thank you Donna Lee for the privacy tents and play cube!
Thank you Joan Black for the case of food!
Thank you Warren Connors for the case of food!
Thank you Penny Dunn for the case of food!
Thank you Ashley for the petfusion and food!
Thank you Karen Smith for the litter, case of food and toys!
Thank you to all the wonderful unnamed people for their gifts!  Sadly Amazon did not tell us who you are.
Thank you for the blankets, toys, cases of food, trash bags , laundry soap, dish soap, cat litter

Spray, spray, spray…or is it?

House soiling refers to inappropriate urination or defecation outside the litter box and is a common problem in cats. It can be caused by medical issues or behavioral problems.

First, you must determine if the cat is urinating or spraying? The cat’s posture and the locations it is marking are two different behaviors for urinating and spraying. Different behaviors will have different solutions!
Spray marking cats hold their rear legs very straight so the hindquarters are slightly higher than the
rest of the body and the tail will be straight up or forward at a 45˚ angle. The tail will quiver and the cat will make treading movements with the rear feet while spraying urine. Typically, spraying occurs on vertical locations. Sometimes urine can be found on horizontal surfaces, usually on objects, such as shoes, clothes or new, unfamiliar objects.

Yoshi,  one of our "special spray babies"

Urinating is not the same behavior as spray marking! There may be medical reasons why the cat is not using the litter box to urinate. The most common are lower urinary tract problems (see BCR blog, Sunday, March 2). Cats may squat frequently but pass only small amounts of urine and they may cry out while straining or passing urine. Urine may be blood tinged or have strong odor. The need to urinate frequently will be so strong the cat cannot reach the litter box in time. Common medical conditions are:
Bladder infections, cystitis (infection may be caused by bacteria or fungus)
Bladder stones or bladder tumors
Defects in bladder shape

If the cat is not using the litter box, all medical causes must be ruled out. A complete physical exam, urinalysis and urine culture, and serum labs need to be done. The bloodwork should include a chemistry panel to rule out kidney disease, thyroid disorders and diabetes. Radiographs (x-rays) may be done to rule out bladder stones and partial urethral obstruction. Cats suffering from bladder infections or stones may not behave normally and have changes in eating, be lethargic or hiding.

Ray,  another of our "special spray babies"

What does your vet do with your cat’s urine specimen?
There are three ways that a veterinarian can get a urine sample from a cat. Some vets will catheterize a cat to get the urine sample. To catheterize the cat, the veterinarian will have to sedate the cat, so this is not the most popular method of urine sample collection. The most common way a veterinarian extracts a urine sample is by using a syringe and needle that inserted through the abdomen wall directly into the bladder. The veterinarian uses the needle to extract a sterile sample of urine. The other method of collection is free catch. Free catch is where the owner collects the urine from the cat at home, but this requires the owner to catch the cat urinating. This sample will not be sterile, however.
Visual Examination
When a veterinarian extracts a feline urine sample they conduct a visual test of the urine before they do any further testing. In the visual inspection of the urine, they look for abnormal things in the urine. Cat urine is usually clear and a yellow or amber color. Cat urine that requires further examination will appear cloudy or may even contain blood and sometimes there are crystals present in the urine.
Specific Gravity Test
The Specific Gravity test or SG test helps the veterinarian understand how well the cat is concentrating their urine and the number of substances dissolved in the urine. Veterinarians use the SG test to determine how well the cat's kidneys are functioning.
Dipstick Test
A dipstick test of the urine is a quick way to analyze the cat's urine to look for protein, blood, glucose, bilirubin and ketones in the urine. The dipstick test is an easy way for the veterinarian to find substances in the urine that should not be there and to help determine illness.
Microscopic Examination
When conducting a microscopic examination of the cat urine, it is necessary to use a centrifuge. The centrifuge will separate any sediment from the rest of the urine. The microscopic examination also helps the veterinarian determine the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, casts (a symptom of renal failure) and if there are any bacteria in the urine.
Cat urine is an integral part of determining illness in your cat. Cat urinalysis is very important particularly in older cats where renal failure is much more likely and in male cats that can easily develop crystals in their urethra.
(from website)

Keller,  another one of our "special spray babies"

If the bloodwork for thyroid disease and diabetes are negative and x-rays are normal, cystitis is the usual diagnosis. Antibiotics will be given for several weeks and the cat’s condition should be followed up with the vet. Be sure to ask the vet about side effects or allergic reactions to all medications and observe for them – call your vet if you see any of these.

You may still need to retrain your cat to re-establish normal litter box usage. While your cat is still experiencing frequency and difficulty in reaching the litter box in time, set up disposable litter boxes throughout your home. Make sure they are big enough for your cat to use as some disposable boxes are too small for bigger cats.
Sometimes, keeping the cat in a quiet space will ease stress of the situation. If you will be away from home and cannot observe your cat, it may help to keep him/her in a large crate with small litter box, food and water bowls. Provide blanket or small pet bed for comfort. A 75-80 lb brass dog crate will be large enough for most cats and comes with a plastic lipped floor. It’s easy to assemble and clean – also comes apart for easy storage. If you need to have your pet on “cage-rest” or limited activity, this is a good option.
As your cat’s condition improves, rather than remove all the extra litter boxes at one time, gradually move them closer together until they are using the original boxes. Once your cat has bladder-urination problems, they may return from time to time. Leave one or two boxes at extreme ends of your home. Also as your cat ages, it may not be able to get around as well and may need more time to reach the litter box. Remember, you love your cat and your cat loves you. This is not spiteful behavior! You both will appreciate having a clean home!

During this time, do NOT punish, yell at or hit your cat. This will only increase the cat’s stress and he/she cannot control the feeling of frequency or dribbling of urine. Your cat does not feel well and does not understand why they do not feel well or have pain. Be sure to give them lots of love. Provide clean fresh water daily! Keep the litter boxes clean!