Good golly, it still amazes us that in 2013 we still need to have this conversation about spaying. Dr. Richard Orzeck, DVM who calls himself Dr. Oz the Wizard of Veterinary Medicine tells us why it’s vital to spay a female cat and he’s funny about it too. We are presenting two of his articles, one which is very funny, and one which is more scientific. Both are well done and informative, you’ll enjoy both and if you have friends who need coaxing about spaying, please forward this newsletter.
Our customer Kit asked us this question recently and we thought everyone would like some insight (and a sale!).
The manufacturer says the diffusers typically function well for 6 months and after that they should be replaced. However, we find this is far from typical! Our customers report that most of their Comfort Zone with Feliway diffuser plug-ins are still going after years of continued use. Personally, we have many of the same diffusers we installed over 10 years ago.
You will notice on those older diffusers that residue collects on the white ball shaped portion. This is normal. It’s the oil which has migrated upwards. And it’s easy to clean off – remove the diffuser from the outlet and take a damp Q-tip to remove the oil and the dust which is clinging to it.
If your Feliway refill bottles are running out in 4 weeks time then your diffuser is still working perfectly. If your refill bottles take longer than 4 weeks then it’s time to replace the diffusers.
I purchased Past Abuse flower essence formula for my other cat and it worked beautifully. My male cat is having problems as I lost my husband a year ago and the cat really loved him. Now he is getting ornery and hard to get him to mind and he picks on the little female cat who is a lot smaller then he is. I need to get him calmed down.
Sharon in Arizona
I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband and that your cat is taking it so hard. This isn’t unusual as we know that cats do feel love and can bond very deeply with their favorite person.
It’s possible he blames the other cat for your husband’s “disappearance” from his world. He might also be afraid that he’s next to vanish or die. The two formulas used together should help him feel better, feeling safe and secure. You can use one formula in the morning and the other in the evening. Or one in his food and the other in the water bowl. And it’s perfectly ok for the smaller cat to consume the flower essences – she could use some calming down too!
Bart’s inappropriate elimination ramped up. He is now 16 and hasn’t used a litter box for the past month. I don’t want to put him down for this! He is such a lover boy!
Diane in Minnesota
Sometimes when a cat gets to be Bart’s age the kidneys are starting to shrink and not function as they once had. Shrinking kidneys lead to various stages of renal failure, and it’s time to begin diet changes, and often sub-cutaneous fluids. But what we often aren’t told is that it can lead to behavior changes including avoiding the litter box. So have your vet examine Bart and run some blood work.
A few other medical conditions come into play as well. Arthritis is another big one for many cats as their back legs and lower backs become stiff and sore so that getting in and out of a little box can be painful – when that happens your cat might pee next to the box or on a surface like a bathmat. Or they can enter the box but they don’t squat – the urine flies out their back end and hits the wall or spills over the sides of the box.
The solution for this is easy pie: a box that’s shallower for easy in/out access. Or even better, get a large storage container and cut out an opening that’s low enough for easy entry. The high sides are tall enough to contain urine that might be sprayed out. See below – that’s some of our washable waterproof pads in front of the box opening. This box is from Rubbermaid. Another option is a semi-transparent box such as those from Sterilite – some cats may feel less closed in that way.
(click image to see it larger)
Another factor in renal failure is that cats often lose some or all of their hearing. This can lead to loud caterwauling both in the middle of the night and during the day. When a cat goes deaf their world can shatter and this can affect their behavior and out of panic or not understanding what’s going on with their body the cat could stop using the litter box. But the cat’s sense of smell is still very much intact, one of the many reasons we love Comfort Zone with Feliway so much. It works with your cat’s sense of smell. If your cat is feeling rotten from malfunctioning kidneys (it will feel like a hangover to your cat) or scared from not hearing well, Feliway will be soothing and comforting and allows that the negative behaviors can be corrected. You and your cat will be much happier with the smell of the Feliway pheromone wafting through the house. But don’t be concerned about the smell, only your cat can detect it.
Recently we got an email from a long time favorite customer who wrote to say that shortly after her beloved cat Puck died she went going through his things and found a few Comfort Zone with Feliway refill bottles for her diffuser. She told us that they had expired two years ago and wondered if she gave them to a friend if they would still work. She also asked us if there was any way expired bottles could be harmful.
Very good questions and we love these! The expired diffuser refill bottles will not be harmful. And because she had never taken them out of the box or removed the cap they will still work – but they won’t be as strong. In the name of being thrifty and being generous they’ll be of benefit to her friend’s cats.
To customer B.F., we are so very saddened to hear of your loss of Puck, we know how dear he was to you. We are pleased that his things will help other cats.
Friend of Cat Faeries, Aldyth Beltane of All Creatures Healing Network in San Francisco places kittens in foster care until they are old enough or socialized enough for their forever home. Recently we talked about how those rambunctious kittens can drive older cats to a meltdown.
What to do?
Multi Cat Household to the rescue! It’s all about acceptance, tolerance (oh boy, you can say that again), giving space when it’s needed, not feeling your space is encroached upon, feeling that family bond, and chilling out from just about anything which annoys the modern housecat.
The other thing you can do is install as many Comfort Zone with Feliway diffusers as budget permits. The feline delighting pheromone spreads calm and friendship throughout the house as well as buys you insurance that someone won’t start peeing outside of the box.
Happy Spring! And hey: spay, neuter! Aldyth tells us that every year, it’s the same thing… far too many kittens are being born with few homes ready or able to take them and love them. Come on! Spay! Neuter! Donate to your shelter so they can help pay for spray/neuter for people who can’t afford it. Let’s solve this problem!
PS – you can tire out kittens with our cat toys and allow those older cats do get their beauty rest in peace!