Cat Litter Tray Trials
I think from my last cat blog, and my nighttime antics, it was obvious I love cats. At times, though, they do test my devotion to the limit. My latest adventure has been with one of my other little boys, Blake, a four year old black tabby.
Blake loves to drink water. He has been checked out by a vet and doesn’t have kidney problems, diabetes, urinary infections, or anything else. He has a lack of the hormone vasopressin, which regulates the body’s retention of water. It is a manageable condition so long as he always has access to water and a litter tray. He does – problem solved.
About a week or so ago, he decided he doesn’t like to use his tray. He will go anywhere he pleases, behind the sofa, in the corner of the kitchen and on electrical devises being charged. Since he has very dilute urine due to his excessive drinking habits, it’s not always easy to find. I have spent many an hour crawling on my hands and knees, pressing my nose to the carpet and feeling it for wet spots with my fingertips. Does he think this is funny? I tell you, it is not!
One night, my husband had had enough. Since we had successfully house trained our puppy in about 4 weeks using the crate method, we decided to do the same with Blake. He had been outside for a couple of hours by the time bedtime arrived, and was placed inside a cat carrier containing a wodge of newspaper, which is, believe it or not, his preferred sleeping material. The instant the door closed, he sprayed at the back of the cage.
Expletive! Expletive! Expletive!
Hubby decided to teach him a lesson and moved the stack of sprayed paper to the rear so he would have to cope with the smell. This, we thought, would act as a reminder not to do it again. So then, having put some fresh paper inside at the base, we returned him to his bed.
To say he was displeased was an understatement. Using his teeth and claws, he shredded the paper in seconds. Even when his task was complete, he carried on, shaking the bits from side to side in his jaw. He just wouldn’t stop. Maybe seeing our dog at the other side, watching with a bemused look on his face, didn’t help, so we turned the cage around to face the wall so they could not see each other.
Finally, with all his adrenaline depleted, he settled. By the morning, he had forgiven us . . . and he hadn’t wet his bed.
The following night, I assumed hubby was going to do the same. Blake, though, had other ideas and pulled at his heartstrings. Apparently, the little cat was curled up on his sweatshirt and purring, so he left him alone. And guess what? Yes, another puddle on the floor. Grrr!
So what now? I could leave Blake outside for longer – although he has an amazing way of holding it when he wants – or I could keep a constant eye on him. Since I wasn’t able to do either, I decided to return my attention to the tray. I remembered, when he was a kitten he didn’t like standing in the litter. He got over it eventually, but it did make me wonder if his dislike had returned. So, I covered the litter in a sheet of newspaper. It worked. Blake has started to use his tray again!
And guess what . . . he’s now decided he prefers going outside. And they say cats have a sense of superiority . . .
Until next time . . .