One of the great things about cats is they are typically very clean. They usually like to keep their toilet behaviors to a litter box or a garden. This means that if you smell cat urine in your house, somewhere other than the litter box, or find cat poo in the corner of the room, this can be a cause for concern.
There are a number of different reasons a cat might have an accident.
Marking– Cats use urine as a way to mark their territory. This is more common with unaltered males, so make sure to get your boy cats neutered. Sometimes even if your cat is neutered and you get a new cat your old cat may be feeling a bit encroached upon. They may start spraying their scent, aka urine, in corners of rooms or on furniture, to let the other can know whose house it is. If they are doing this you will want to use a cleaner that will get rid of 100% of the cat smell. Cleaners like Natures Miracle work to get rid of the smells you can smell and the ones you cant. If there is a lingering smell, even if you cant detect it, your cat will be more likely to continue to spray in that area.
How can you tell if your cat is peeing or marking?
When cats urinate to relieve their bladder they squat down. Typically they will have a fair volume of urine and will prefer to pee on a flat surface. If a cat is spraying they will stand up and often make a treading or running in place motion with their hind legs. Their tail will be up an quivering or twitching. Typically it will be a small amount of urine and it will be sprayed straight behind them onto a vertical surface like a wall. They will often pick spots near doors or windows. Curtains are often a favorite.
Retraining Your Cat
If your cat is spraying you will need to retrain them to use the litter box.
Keep the litter box very clean. If they poo, remove it immediately. Leaving a little bit of urine in there so they can identify their own smell can help.
If you see your cat getting ready to pee, pick them up and put them in the litter box. Doing this means you can only have your cat out when you are able to watch them because success is based on catching them doing it every time.
Place litter boxes in all the places they spray. If you can’t catch them every time, the make sure you have litter boxes everywhere they spray. As they get use to standing in the litter box, start moving it away from the spray area and get them use to only going in the box.
Keep it clean. Any area you do not want them to spray you must keep it very clean and make sure all smell of previous sprays are gone. You need to use special cleaners such as Natures Miracle to get out all the odors.
If your cat is spraying because of anxiety due to new people, new pets, or new enviornment, you will want to help quell their anxiety. Do not leave them alone with the new person of cat. Offer gentle and supported introductions. If you are in a new environment, keep them in one small room and slowly let them explore the new house a little at a time. Putting things out around the house that have your scent, like shirts and blankets that you use, can help your pet start to feel more at home.
If your cat is spraying because they see a neighbor cat outside you may want to consider putting up blinds that go up from the bottom so he can’t see the neighborhood tease.
Feeling secure. Cats are less likely to spray if they feel secure in their environment. Give them places to retreat too, like boxes or perches up high.
Spraying can be a sign of a health issue. If your cat won’t stop spraying make sure to speak with your Albuquerque vet about it.
With so many of us working from home we should have all our fall planning and prep in hand! Oh wait…I was watching that show on Netflix. As fall officially starts next week a lot of us are laying out our fall preparations. Many of us are ready to dig into some big projects or wrap up some projects. Then there is the winterizing! WOOF that can be a lot of work. As you are planning your fall prep make sure that you keep some pet safety in the back of your mind so you don’t clean your pup all the way to a vet check.
There are more rats and mice in the fall as they try to seek shelter. You may be laying out mice traps or rodenticides. These are toxic and dangerous for your pets. Make sure you put them in places that are not accessible to your pets. If you think your pet ingested rodenticide, call your vet immediately!
We also suggest looking for alternatives to poison or dangerous traps. There are some great ways to trap rodents that won’t put your pets or kids in danger or poison or hurting themselves. If you are working with a pest control company make sure they are aware of what pets you have and where they spend their time. They will make sure to use pet safe rodenticides and traps.
This is a great time of year to change our your car’s coolant. But did you know that coolant smells sweet and pets like to drink it. Engine coolant can kill your pet. There glycol-based coolants that are less toxic than the ethylene glycol coolants, but both are dangerous. If you have any coolant spills, clean them up immediately and don’t leave any open coolant out for your pet to drink. If you think your pet ingested coolant, call your vet immediately. This is not something to “wait and see”. Poisoning from coolant is fast acting and very dangerous. If there is ANY chance your pet drank coolant call your emergency vet immediately.
Mushrooms grow in the fall
Though New Mexico is a dry place we still grow mushrooms. Most mushrooms have little to no toxicity, some still do. The ones that do can be highly toxic and cause life-threatening problems in your pets. If you have mushrooms growing in your yard, put on some gloves and pick them. If you encounter mushrooms on hikes, do not let your pet eat them. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom.
Rattlesnakes and others
It is a great time for hiking! Snakes are also preparing for hibernation, this can make them more aggressive when they have been discovered. Make sure you get the rattlesnake vaccine to keep your dog protected and try to keep them from sticking their noses in holes or under rocks where snakes may be trying to sleep.
School is in session…well, kind of. Covid-19 has really caused a lot of changes. Only 10 people allowed in Vetco at once, everyone is wearing masks, and kids are going to school from their computer. However, Fall is fall and we all get the itch to start getting things done before winter sets in. As you are doing your kids school shopping and buying those end of season garden necessities, you may find yourself with a new dog. Here is a great checklist to make sure your pet is getting “back to school”.
Back to School Checklist for Pets
Enroll them in school! It sounds funny, but if you have a new puppy, or even an adult dog, now is a great time to enroll them in dog training classes. You may not want to bring your pup to an in person training school. Thankfully there are a lot of great resources for online dog training. Check with your local dog training school to see if they will zoom instruction with you. You can also look at Youtube and binge watch some of the Dog Whisperer (We like to do that anyway, its our guilty pleasure).
Flea and Tick Treatment: Make sure you get them started, if you are not already, on their monthly Frontline flea and tick treatment. In Albuquerque we have flea’s year round, so you must stay vigilant and consistent with your flea and tick treatment or you and your pet will be at risk of a flea infestation.
Microchip: If you pet is not yet microchipped, now is the time to do it. It is require by Bernalillo county to have your pet microchipped, but it is also a really good idea. If you pet ever gets separated from you and can’t find their way home, a microchip will help ensure that if they are picked up they will be returned to you quickly.
Fresh Toys! It is a fun time to go shopping for your pet. You are getting all the great school supplies for the kids, what about getting some new bowls or chew toys for your pets. Give them something fun to play with.
Spay or Neuter. After your pet gets spayed or neutered they need time to recuperate and with the kids in school, they get all day at home to relax and heal without having to worry about the kids.
Vaccines! If your pets are not up to date on their vaccines, after you take your kids for their pre-school physical, bring your pet into get their annual checkup and vaccinations.
Albuquerque Vetco would love to help you with your back to school pet checklist. Bring your cat or dog into one of our daily walk-in shot clinics to get them up to date on their shots, microchipped, and pickup your Frontline Flea and Tick.
The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.