2016 is coming to an end, and I think we can all agree it’s been a big one! Over the past 12 months I have knocked over 6 plants, killed 2 mice, peed on a couch, and scaled a wall to sneak into a dark, cob-webby attic space! It’s been a fantastic year for mischief.
For Throwback Kitten Week, I’m remembering how it wasn’t so long ago that I was a kitten myself. Here’s what I looked like when my mom found me in 2012, compared to what I look like today. Big change, huh?
Through all of my growing and changing, some things have stayed the same. My mom has always loved me, no matter how many of her favorite things I destroy. My sister will always give up the top tier of the cat tree if I bop her in the head enough times. And Tidy Cats is always there to make sure I have a clean place to poop.
Check out this Throwback Kitten Week playlist on YouTube, then tell me how your cat has matured (or not) since kitten-hood for your chance to win TWO manufacturer’s coupons, each worth a free Tidy Cats product!
How much time do you spend standing in the cat litter aisle, reading all of the different jugs and boxes to choose the right one? For cat parents who always want the best for their furbabies, the time can add up quick! Tidy Cats is always coming up with solutions to litter box problems, whether it’s creating a lightweight litter or a litter that tightly locks away odors. Now they’ve designed a system that’ll save you time and hassle! It’s called Tidy Cats Direct.
Tidy Cats Direct is a disposable all-in-one, one-month-use litter box, which cat lovers can order online and have shipped straight to their front doors! The anti-leak coated box is pre-filled with Tidy Cats Lightweight 24/7 Performance clumping litter, which features Tidy Lock Protection™ to quickly lock away urine, fecal, and ammonia odors. Each Tidy Cats Direct box contains just the right amount of litter to last a cat one month. All you have to do is scoop regularly and toss the box when your fresh one arrives!
Sound like a dream come true? One lucky winner can try out Tidy Cats Direct for FREE plus win an Amazon Prime membership! (If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, that’s cool. You can win an Amazon gift card instead!)
To enter to win, simply tell us what you’d do with all the extra time you’d gain by using Tidy Cats Direct. One lucky winner will be chosen on Friday December 9th!
My 14 yr old cat has become very vocal in the last few weeks And it happens at night, when I am trying to sleep! She will sit in the doorway of the bedroom and meow. If I close the door she will sit outside the door and meow. Not sure what she wants. I get up and check her food….she has lots.. During the day she is not so annoying. What’s going on?
A: There are lots of reasons a cat can become more vocal during different stages of their lives or at different times during the day or night. When you’re being kept up at night it’s hard to remember that your cat isn’t midnight-meowing with the intentions of driving you crazy. She’s simply trying to communicate something to you. Given her age and the fact that this behavior is new and is only happening at night, I suspect that your cat’s vision is declining. This can make her feel disoriented or confused at night, causing her to call out to you. Try installing a few night lights throughout your home to help her get around. If this doesn’t work, or if her meowing escalates beyond nighttime, it’s worth a vet checkup to see if there is a medical cause for her behavior change.
Q: Dear Nora, My medium-haired cat sheds like you wouldn’t believe. It’s not possible for me to vacuum every day, so my home is always covered in hair. I have tried brushing her, but she is scared of the brush and won’t let me go near her with it. As a medium-haired cat yourself, do you have any ideas of how I can help reduce the amount of hair she is shedding?
A: There are lots of ways to keep the furball situation under control, even if you live with a medium-haired cat who is afraid of brushes. Here are some ideas:
Get a Love Glove. This grooming mitt may not be as scary as a brush and I bet she’ll love how the little nubs will feel like the best back scratch she’s ever gotten.
Depending on the climate where you live, consider giving her a haircut (I like a dignified lion cut, myself). Never give her a haircut by yourself though; beneath our coats we have very thin skin, which can be dangerous if accidentally cut or nicked. Always get your cat’s hair cut by a trained professional such as a groomer or veterinarian.
Having a small, hand-held vacuum on hand (rather than always dragging out a clunky full-sized one) can make it easy to zip up stray hairballs.
Adding a 1/2 teaspoon of a omega oil (flax or fish) to her daily diet can help reduce the amount that she’s shedding. Be sure to choose a high quality oil from a reputable company.
Hopefully one or all of these ideas will help reduce the amount of hair in your home. If you believe that your cat is shedding an abnormal amount, of course, take your lil’ lady to the vet!
My cat has a million toys—everything from squeaking mice to feathers on a wand—but the only one that she seems to get really excited about is the laser pointer. Just curious, why is this one toy so fun for her? I want her to be able to play with the laser more, since she is so engaged with it, but I don’t have the time to do it every day. Suggestions?
A: In my opinion, laser pointers are one of the best things to ever happen to indoor cats. They’re unpredictable, can disappear from one spot and reappear someplace totally different, climb walls and dart under furniture. What’s not to love?!
Indoor cats can easily become bored or depressed if they don’t have adequate mental stimulation. Boredom and depression can lead to cats who are overweight and lethargic, potentially triggering further health problems. If you’ve found that you can keep your cat engaged, curious, playful, and active with a laser pointer I’d say keep doing it!
I understand that it can be hard to keep up with the level of play that your cat will need or want. Luckily there are electronic laser pointers out there, like this one, that can engage your cat even when you aren’t home or able to play.
Q: Dear Nora, My youngest cat (who is two years old but still acts like a kitten) constantly chases my older cat. The one who is being chased is getting skinny and anxious. Why does my younger cat do this, and what can I do to provide some relief?
A: I do this to my older sister, Pippi, too. My intentions are good– I just want to play, hone my hunting skills, and work off all the energy I have from being a kitten. Pippi, though, doesn’t like to play with me and just hisses a lot when I chase her.
When my mom sees me chasing Pippi (or just lurking, ready to pounce), she knows it’s time to play. My favorite is when she throws my favorite toy and I get to run and find it. I could really play this game for hours. I also like it when I get to chase the red dot around and when mom breaks out the wand toy, which really looks like prey and gets my hunter instincts satisfied. The more mom plays with me, the more likely I am to chill out and sleep when she’s not around the save Pippi from my mischief.
If you aren’t around to play with your cat as often, look into some battery operated cat toys that your cat can play with and chase. Make sure sure that your cat has all kinds of toys, vertical space, and scratchers to keep him stimulated and active. His instincts to chase, play, and hunt are real (and core to his catness) and simply need to be channeled to a better place.
Q: Dear Nora, I hear that vertical space is important for cats. I want to make my cat as happy as possible, but I can’t afford a cat tree. What are some alternatives?
A: It’s true that vertical space is important. As hunters, we like to observe our surroundings from above. Vertical space that is inaccessible to dogs and children is also a great option for escaping chaos and danger, which allows us to let our guard down to rest. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on it– in fact, my mom has found me creating my own vertical space for free on bookshelves (which work great, once I knock all of the books off) and on the top shelf of the pantry.
You can create vertical space for your cat for free by clearing off a dresser, unused desk, or window sill. Add a cozy blanket (and maybe even a sprinkle of catnip) to entice her. If you happen to be crafty, you could also build your own for a fraction of the price. Check out this tutorial for ideas. Remember, your cat will be the one who will ultimately dictate what she wants to climb and sleep on, so look for clues about her favorite places in the house when choosing where to make cozy vertical spaces for her.
Q: Dear Nora, I feed my cat a combination of wet and dry food. Even though she only eats a portion of the can of wet food, I have to toss the leftovers because she won’t go anywhere near it the next day. Any ideas on how I can keep her food fresh so I can trick her into eating it?
A: We smell things much more strongly than humans, and I’ve been known, too, to stick my nose up at something that wasn’t as fresh as I’d like. How are you treating the leftovers? I recommend a lid that is specially made to fit over the top of cat food cans to seal it up tight. Also make sure that your fridge is cool enough.
The problem, though, may not be about freshness at all. Many cats don’t like food that is too cold. When we’re eating, we like to pretend that our food is freshly-caught prey, and as such, we like it to be room temperature or slightly warm. I suggest heating your cat’s food up a bit (not too hot– you don’t want to injure her). About 30 seconds in the microwave should do it.
Q: Dear Nora,
My cat kicks litter all over the floor. I’ve heard that cats don’t like covered litter boxes, so I want to avoid them, but I’m running out of patience. Do I have other options?
A: You’re right to steer clear of the average covered litter box. We’re wild at heart, and always assume that there’s someone waiting to pounce. So when it comes to litter boxes, we like to be able to see what’s around us and have multiple exits– especially if there are other animals living in the home.
There are litter boxes on the market that have tall sides. Boxes with high sides are great, as long as your cat isn’t a kitten or arthritic. This box is also great– it has the benefits of a covered litter box, but gives your cat the ability to see if anyone is lurking outside.
Have you heard about Stank Face? Even if you don’t know it by name, I bet you’ve encountered it if there’s a litter box in your home.
My fondest Stank Face memory was when my mom was hosting a get-together of some old friends in our very small house. They were all lounging around the living room drinking tea while I lurked around under the bed because I don’t like people very much. Eventually I ventured out to use the litter box and I caused quite a stink! Her friends were holding their noses and wafting their hands in front of their faces as I raced back under the bed. My mom told me later that she and her friends had to finish their tea on the porch because the home become unbearable. If I wasn’t a cat, I would have been embarrassed.
Tidy Cats takes Stank Face seriously! That’s why they’ve improved their already-awesome litter to include TidyLock™ Protection, which does an even better job of locking away Stank Face inducing odors. To create as much awareness as possible about Stank Face and its antidote, TidyLock™ Protection, they’ve even teamed up with actress Angela Kinsey (who you may know as Angela Martin from NBC’s “The Office”). Watch the important PSA:
TidyLock™ Protection is available in both traditional and lightweight versions of your favorite 24/7 and Instant Action Tidy Cats clumping litter.
Are you ready to kick Stank Face out of your life for good? Visit www.StopStankFace.com to learn more. Also…
We’re giving away FIVE free Tidy Cats litter coupons to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment telling us about one time you experienced Stank Face for a chance to win!
One lucky Dear Nora winner will be chosen at midnight on Saturday August 13th.
I’m not a veterinarian (obviously. Cats aren’t allowed into veterinarian school). The information you’ll find here is strictly for educational and entertainment purposes. Dear Nora is not intended to diagnose and we encourage regular visits with your local veterinarian to address any medical or behavioral problems.