Common problems +

Helpful Hints

Cat Pee on the Carpet?

Is your cat urinating or defecating outside the litter box? Here are some hints to encourage the kitty to use the box:

  • Take to your veterinarian to rule out medical problems.
  • Do not punish the cat. He or she doesn’t understand why and will become less friendly and more anxious.
  • Hygiene
    • Scoop (but do not stir) daily
    • Empty box, wash with mild soap and put in new litter every 2 weeks
    • Replace box annually
  • Litter
    • Clumping
    • Non-scented (no odor control)
    • Most preferred litters are Cat Attract, Ever Clean, World’s Best, and Swheat Scoop (give your cat a choice of several boxes each with a different litter)
  • Box
  • Number of boxes = one per cat plus one
  • Open box
  • Large enough for cat

What if the urine is not on the carpet, but on the wall, the stereo speaker, or the microwave? The cat backs up to a vertical surface and his tail twitches while he produces a small amount of urine. In that case, the cat is spraying- a form of marking. Spraying is more difficult to treat because, in addition to all the steps outlined for elimination problems, the spraying cat usually must be treated with anti-anxiety medication. Spraying usually occurs in multi-cat households and males are most likely to spray, but females can also spray. Tomcats normally spray and neutering will eliminate the behavior unless the cat is socially stressed. Ask your veterinarian about medications.

Fear of Storms: Thunder Phobia

Is your dog afraid of thunder or fireworks?

There have been many thunderstorms in northern Michigan and the Fourth of July is nearly here and some dogs are afraid of them. Your dog may shake or try to hide or pace. Some dogs are destructive, especially if all alone. They may scratch at doors or windows or try to burrow under furniture.

There is a new medication Sileo ® that can help reduce your dog’s signs of fear within minutes. See your veterinarian.

What else can you do to help your dog deal with his fear? There are many products that may help mildly affected dogs. First, try to eliminate the frightening stimuli by closing curtains so he can not see the lightning and play loud music to muffle the sound of the thunder. The next step is to try gadgets. There is a coat called a Thundershirt that soothes some dogs and a cage or crate cover called a Thunderhut that helps some dog by giving them a place to hide. An odor that calms dogs, DAP or Adaptil, is available as a collar or as a diffuser. It is available in pet stores or online.

If these do not help your dog, other medication and desensitization may be necessary. Please fill in and submit a history form to make an appointment for a behavior consultation.