Ask the Cat Expert!

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Kitty Condos-Luxury Cat Boarding Kennel-Professional Cat Care & Sitting

ask the cat expertHave a question about kitty cat or kitten care why not ask the Cat Expert?

I have had over 18 years of HANDS on experience caring for 1,000’s of cats. All different personalities, health issues and ages. I have shared in the care of many cats who began coming to board with us when they were wee little kittens and continued to care for them well into their senior years. I have seen it all! Many of my clients call and discuss their cat’s current health issues with me to get my take and more info on new options I might be aware of. I am always happy to help! I enjoy hearing all about it and often learn from their experiences. I have decided to ask my clients to post their best cat questions so we all can learn about the most popular issues your cat might face.

 

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Comments (38)

Open to your cat related questions. Some questions may not be posted and maybe answered via email response.

i thought i saw a cat with another cat or kitten on its back. it was night and very dark out and the cat was black and promptly went down an alley before i could catch up to see if thats really what i saw. i have never heard of that before. i know cats carry thier kittens in their mouth but on their back?? ever heard of this before? i googled but got nothing.

Never heard of that before either, but maybe she was raised by possums they carry their babies on their backs? Hate to say for sure it was not a cat because they are so many videos of cats doing amazing things, like the cat that was raised by the crow. The crow fed the baby black kitten worms caught on video then they continued to play and be friends for years also caught on video. It was Amazing! So you just never know.

What type of Cat Litter do you use or prefer? I am using the Pine pellets my breeder recommended but it smells strange after a couple days? I thought it was just cat litter smell, but I remember when I was at your place I didn’t notice anything. I thank you for your time.

Hi Lori,
We currently use “Tidy Cat” Clay (not clumpable) It seems to do a good job, but the biggest reason we are able to keep the place smelling clean and not like cat litter is we scoop the boxes right after the cats use them or as soon as when we hear them doing some series digging.
Also we dump the entire box often usually every 2-6 days depending on the cats habits or health.
Not a big fan of the Pine stuff it reminds me of the smell of dirty horse stables after a couple of days, I think it is because they use cedar chips in stables to help keep them dry so cedar or pine + horse or cat urine PEW!
Thanks for visiting Kitty Cat Condos!

What is the easiest way to give my cat his pills? He hates it and runs and hides under the bed as soon as he sees the pill bottle. Does this get easier? He may have to be on this medication long term.

Hi Ben,
I get asked this a lot! And I get a lot of practice since I deal with tons of cat with lots of different personalities.
But we have somewhat of an advantage because the cats we are trying to medicate are in an enclosed room not able to run all over the house avoiding us. But I have learned some tricks:
1. Look into new Options:
Ask your vet about the new liquid compounded medications they blend the pills into flavored liquid. (tuna, beef, chicken) and some medications like blood pressure meds and thyroid meds are available in flavored chews, similar to soft cat treats. Both are easier than pills.

Also ask your vet about the new compounded topical creams, many medications are now compounded into a ointment or cream that is administered by rubbing on the hairless inside flap of your cats ears.

2. Hide the Pills:
If you decide to stick with pills which are normally the least expensive route, you need to figure out a way to make it fun for your cat. Try cutting the pill into small 1/4 pills and hide them in a small ball of Science Diet canned AD food. You might want to start by putting a small ball of it in front of your cat with no pill to start. If your cat eats it and looks for more (most do) then put a 1/4 pill inside the next ball and place in front of him most will pick it up whole and eat it pill and all. If this fails I sometimes pill the cat with the 1/4 pill wrapped in a small amount of AD the cat taste the AD and swallows easily. Good idea again to start with just AD no pill until your cat starts to trust you putting things in his mouth.
Also another trick I use is Soft Pounce Hairball Treats. The ones that are small soft pockets with hairball jelly inside. I open them up and pop a 1/4 pill inside and give to cat. Try the treats alone first to be sure you cat likes them. If you can not find Pounce Soft Hairball treats then try Pill Pockets which are soft treats you can mold around the pill. But I find that cats tend to like the Pounce treats more than the Pill Pockets. Oh ya forgot sometimes soft cheese molded around the 1/4 pill works too!

3. Crush the pills:
This almost never works but occasionally we get a cat who is a huge canned food hog and if he only gets the canned food as a treat with the pills crushed into it, it does sometimes work. I find it really works best with Hyperthyroid cats as they usually have a ferocious appetite.

Hope this helps Thanks for posting!

Can you recommend or suggest a product to help keep my cats eyes from draining so much? She is part Persian and has weepy eyes. Vet has checked her and found no infections he says just a common issue with short nosed cats.

Hi Siana,
Sorry I am not too familiar with the many products for weepy eyes. I know there are many kinds to chose from, some that are administered as additives to your pets food or water to help with the staining of eyes and some you use as eye drops for same purpose. But have not had any clients who have come in that say their cat/s have had great results with any of them…

But If you are looking for an easy way to keep your cat eyes looking clean and bright rather than trying to treat the problem, I have learned from going to cat shows that the breeders of Persians always have a small tube of household Vaseline and Q-tips for cleaning their perfect show kitties eyes.
IT WORKS wonders. Not only does it instantly soften and dissolve the eye goobers it keeps them from coming back by keeping the fur around the eye area slick.
I use it all the time at Kitty Condos for cats who need their face and nose washed often because of short nose syndrome. It is so much easier than plain wash cloth or tissue. You just take tiny dab and pat around the eye and nose area and then a minute or two later you clean with small damp wash cloth. No rubbing needed, comes clean so easy and does not cause irritation that can happen from over rubbing cats eyes. Try it, you might find that is all your cat really needs is a little help keeping them clean.

My 14 year old Cat George was just diagnosed with Kidney failure. The vet recommended a special food called KD but he hates it. Would it be ok to feed him what he likes even if it is not made for cats with kidney disease?

Oh Joanne I am sorry George is not feeling so well. We get a lot of cats who stay with us that suffer from kidney failure, it is quite common in older cats. Most cats you can barely tell other than they begin to drink and urinate larger volumes and some vomit occasionally.
But other than that most do just fine for many years, with a little extra care.

1. NEVER change his food to something he does not like. Not to sound to harsh but my guess is your vet sales KD right? I have had so many clients who are in your same situation who come in with a cat who is not eating the newly prescribed cat food, the cats are weak and “appear” to be deteriorating from the newly diagnosed condition. Once I see they are not eating I change them to something they will eat like Fancy feast or Eukanuba, NOT EATING IS DEADLY for cats. Then once the owner comes to pick their cat up they are so surprised to see how well the cat is doing. “What did you do? His eyes are bright, his tail is up in the air again he looks great!” Which I reply, “I fed him food he likes, he was not getting sicker from the kidney failure he was getting sicker because he is barely eating what you are offering him.”

2. Make sure he gets plenty of fluids. Try and feed more canned food less dry, even add a little water to his canned food or maybe wet his dry food a little so he gets plenty of water.

3. Talk to your vet about sub-q fluids, really easy, very cheap and can really help your cat feel better by assisting the kidneys to filter out impurities.

4. If he seems to be vomiting after eating try adding a little Pepsid AC (over the counter acid reducer) by crushing a 1/4 tab into his canned food once a day, barely any taste to it most cats do not even know it is there. Will really help settle his tummy. Many cats are on this for years with great results.

Other than that just make sure he enjoys his golden years, he deserves it!

FYI: I do not sell or profit from the sale of any brand of cat food or any medications I mentioned above. Make your own conclusions.

What do you recommend for getting cat urine smell out of carpet?

Hi Chad,
Hmm, Well I am lucky I really do not deal with this issue here at the facility. All the carpet and rugs in our rooms are washable meaning after each guest they are picked up and laundered in our huge capacity washing machine. And as far as carpeted cat trees they are thrown away if a cat urinates on them.
But I did 22 years ago own a African Servel cat who for a short time urinated in two corners of my living room and kept going back to the same area as long as it smelled. So I hired a carpet cleaning company who specialized in removing pet odors. They did an awesome job they shampooed the carpet then they lifted each corner replaced the padding and shampooed the back of the carpet and re-attached to the carpet strips. It was like brand new, he never went back to this area again and used his box perfect from them on…
Thanks for visiting Kittycondos.com

My cat has worms the kind you see on his behind and when he gets up from sleeping. EWE! How do I rid him of these icky things? I tried de-wormers from the store and it does nothing. Any suggestions I really do not want to pay for an office call to his Dr just to buy worm medication.

We sell worming meds but we have a hard time keeping them in stock. I use and recommend Purrfender for Cats it is applied just like Advantage (on the back on the neck) and kills all kinds of worms. So no pilling required and very effective on all worms.
But it is kind expensive. If you are on a budget I would recommend going to Coastal Farm & Ranch. They have many locations in Oregon/Washington area. They sell a product called Tradewind Tapeworm Tabs which will kill Tapeworms only which is what you are describing. The medication will run you about $11.00 for a bottle of 3 doses. Tradewind Tapeworm tabs contain the same active ingredients ( praziquantel ) the vets use, only they are available OVC. Most over the counter wormers you get from stores do not contain praziquantel and are formulated to kill Round or Hook worms only, they will not touch Tapeworms as they have a strong shell like body that these meds can not penetrate. So be sure to treat your cat with a Tapeworm med that contains praziquantel and also be sure and keep up on your cats Flea treatments as that is most likely the source of your cats tapeworm infestation. Good luck and thanks for visiting http://www.kittycondos.com

hi, i hav a 12 weeks old kitten nd ther is a continuod gurgling noise coming from its throat region. i thnk she is a female. wen shes asleep the gurgling stops, bt wen shes awake, its continous. any ideas wat it is?

Hi Daawood,
I deal very little with baby kittens. Love them but we very rarely board babies, so this is not something that triggers a past experience or knowledge. It could be a defect of sorts that is effecting the purring mechanism or a respiratory issue or? Would need to experience it first hand to know exactly what it might or might not be. A professional cat breeder who deal with babies even more than a vet would have the answer. I would email a breeder from pets4you.com Thanks for visiting dryfur.com

What are the best ways to reduce stress for a cat that is boarding?

All depends on the cat. But the most important aspect to making a cat feel less stressed is to make them feel safe. The way you help them feel safe is to give them a place to hide. We never force them out of their carriers, we set the carrier in the room and let them come out when they are ready…We also use square carpeted tunnels with no bottoms so we can access them if we need to in a hurry, but they can climb in and feel hidden. Once they start to realize no one has harmed them in the new surroundings and no cats are able to get into their own space they begin to venture out slowly and check out the new environment as they feel more confident, safe and comfortable. We also use large blankets draped over the shelves or beds so they can hide. The best thing you can do at this point is just monitor them (but no contact at this point) and make sure they are eating and coming out and using the box if not we put these items behind the blanket so they can use them without feeling frightened. After a few days they almost always come around and begin to ask for attention and many times begin to roll around on their backs exposing their most vulnerable spot , their bellies…..that’s when you know they are feeling no stress and right at home… I guess short answer is make them feel safe with a nice place to hide.

we have four cats, 1 inside(who we’ve had for 10 years) and 3 outside cats(1 who is 3, 1 who is just over a year, and one that’s like 6 months). Since it’s been cold out lately we’ve been letting the youngest one come in. when we first let her come in my oldest cat would sulk but doesn’t do anything now except fight through our screen door. a couple of days ago our oldest one started meowing almost exactly like our youngest one, is this because the other cats got her sick, or is she just trying to act like the baby cat?

I am not sure I understand, Cats meow to communicate with humans not with each other. They can snarl, hiss and growl at each other but they almost never meow at each other that is a communication they use to talk to us only.

Your older cat may have seen the attention the youngest one gets from you when he meows and is mimicking this behavior since it appears to work. If I misunderstood the question please feel free to re-post. Thanks for visiting KittyCondos.com

I have two cats, both 5 and a half months old and from the same litter. Last friday, I took both of them and had them fixed. After getting home, they were back to their usual selves within a couple of hours, but my boy cat began misbehaving very badly, and is still misbehaving. The biggest Issue I have is the water bowl. I have a tank style water bowl that is pretty convenient. He has decided that he wants to first play in the water, and then knock the bowl over and drag it across the room. I don’t know how to make him stop. Every time I fill it back up, he knocks it over again. I have even tried only putting a little bit of water in it. It keeps soaking my carpet, and its quite annoying. Any advice?

That is an annoying behavior and I have no idea why some cats do this and other cats never get close to water except to drink…At Kitty Condos what we do is put a heavy stone ceramic bowl in a Large New Litter Box pan. That way they can splash and play and it all spills in the tray and hopefully he stops on his own after it gets boring.. But I really have no other suggestions and have not came up with a method to stop the behavior either. Sorry wish I had better suggestion..but thanks for visiting Kitty Condos!

Hi I have a behavior question on one of my cats. This cat has always been somewhat rough around the edges..somewhat moody as some would say but I love her very much. However recently my older niece has started visiting and well it was strange. I had warned her about the cat and her small attitude but with my niece she acts like a cute adorable kitten. The cat will actually come sit with my niece. on her lap or next to her, will let my niece hold her and she will play with my niece. She is even somewhat defensive of her when it comes to kids or other cats even myself at times. Also when my niece leaves her mood seems to worsen…should I be concerned?

Maybe when you warned your niece she was cautious of your cat and then the cat was able to take the initiative in that relationship. Not sure it is anything to be concerned with. Sounds pretty normal. Never fails at my house the people who are cat nuts end up chasing my cats all over the house and never do make a connection. The folks who really are a little cautious of my cat and maybe even a little scared.. my cat can’t stay away from them. On their laps playing with their purses or coats etc…I think cats like to be the boss when it comes to making new friends and prefer to do it on their terms rather than the new peoples terms.

What is the best way to teach my cat to take to a leash so I can eventually take him outside for a short walk around the garden area?

One of the biggest reason cat parents give up on harness training their cats is they pick the wrong harness. They purchase a harness with multiple buckles and straps usually positioned on the underbelly of the cat. They try putting it on the cat and fastening it. Just that step can be overwhelming and seem impossible. Cat begins to squirm and thrash making fastening impossible. Most cat owners give up before they even get it on. That is why I love this New CAT Harness it goes on your cat in seconds usually before they even know it’s on. Making step two possible – allow the cat to get used to the harness being on, while indoors. Next is to add the leash and after many weeks you are finally ready to take your first trip outside. Make sure you are in a secure area first. At first take short short trips outside and if you cat is like mine the reward of going outside begins to be the only reward they need. Pretty soon all you need to do is bring the cat harness out and my cats come running wanting to go out and patrol their wonderful backyard full of birds and bugs and swaying grass…

My cat gave birth to only one kitten today. Do I need a heating pad or anything else special since this kitten is all alone when the mom is not there?

Hi Amanda and congrats on the new baby. It is rare for indoor cats who have plenty of food to have only 1 kitten, so watch her closely in case there is more to come. As far as heating pads, my opinion is the kitten will be fine without any assistance, this is summer time and the kitten will not need help staying warm. Stray outdoor cats often have 1 kitten in the summer and they do just fine. You kitten has a house and if you make sure she has blankets for the nesting, I am certain she and the kitten will be fine. Thanks for visiting KittyCondos.com

I built a cat condo in my back yard for my two sister cats. They are four years old and have been indoor cats. They cry when I take them out there. I’m thinking of building a tunnel for them to get to the enclosure from the house. That way they can acclimate themselves to the enclosure. Do you think this will work and they will eventually go out there themselves? My mom thinks it’s a waste of time and money, but the enclosure is already built.

If you have things in the enclosure they enjoy they will eventually like going outside. Wait till it is nice warm day be sure you have things like a secure tree so they can get off the ground. (not wobbly) One of my cats walk across the yard through the grass when on a leash but my other one jumps the stepping stones and walks along top of the concrete flower bed boarder to keep her feet from touching the dirty ground or grass… So be sure you have something they can get up on and feel safe. Some indoor cats hate the feeling of the ground outside. Also they may be worried they are vulnerable outside not understanding no other critters can get in to the enclosure. But give it time they should come around.

4 years ago we rescued a male about 6 months old. Upon introducing him to our female cat, then 10, also rescued and living with us for 2 years, he attacked her and tore out a mouthful of her fur. She became so frightened that she peed where she stood, then hid. Husband has insisted we keep them in seperate parts of the house. They are aware of each other, there is growling and hissing from either sides of the door. I want to try again but I do not know where to start. The female is now 14 and I do not want to upset her. She barely even tolerates me, pulling away when I pet her. She adores my husband, and spends a lot of her time near him or in his lap. He refuses to help me try again. Any suggestions?

Maybe try a Kitty Play Pen Cage… They have shelves for her to get high and you can roll her in the room let them see each other yet they will be safe from one another. Spend longer and longer times with one in the cage the other outside… get used to seeing each other move etc..
Here at Kitty Condos many cats come in knowing cats are in the building and seeing them across the haul and they hate them. But after a few days they don’t seem to mind them being in the same building and some even enjoy watching each other. If yours get that way eventually you can let them out. But Be sure you get the Play Pen with high shelf so she can get high and watch him walk around the room. We have high shelves in all our rooms cats feel so much safer and they all use them to give the sense of security.

My husband and I adopted two cats (brothers) about 5 years ago. We never had any problems with them until about 22 months ago when we brought our newborn home. Their litter boxes (2) are kept in a spare bedroom. After we brought the baby home, they began pooping in the carpet around their litter boxes. Then, we chose to get rid of the spare bed in their room because we have future intentions of converting the room to a play room. After we got rid of the bed, the pooping on the carpet got even worse. We took them to the vet and they were both treated for bacterial infections. This did not help matters. We bought brand new litter boxes. This has not helped either. Though we are constantly shampooing the carpet to attempt to remove stains, they have already ruined the carpet and any future plans to have a play room for our daughter. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. We are at our wits end……

If you have already taken them to the vet to be tested for anything medically wing and that’s all ruled out then it must be behavioral. I would recommend trying a couple of feliway diffusers throughout your home. They are small plug ins that dispense a smell to cats that mimic the scent of their facial pharamones they user to mark their territory. This scent let’s them know this is a safe place. You can buy them online or in pretty stores or from most veterinarians. One for each room in your house is recommended. You can read testimonials on their website about people using them for the exact same problem your having. They also sell the spray which I use in my building frequently for high stress cats and it works well.

My cat had a baby last night, her first, and it’s been seven almost 8 hours, and she still hasn’t had the rest. She’s sleeping with the first now, is this normal?..

My 8 year old cat gained 3 pds in one year! Everyone was telling me that she is getting too fat so I could down her snacks. I just want to know if this is healthy for her he can gain 3 pounds in one year!

3 pounds is a lot for a cat. It really depends on what her ideal weight is. That is something you would need to talk to your vet about. Finding her ideal weight will help you to know how much you should be feeding her.