The Three "C's" of Cat Litter Box Behavior

Tattle Tails: Maine Coon Newsletter
September, 2012

In This Issue:

Cat Quote
What's New On The Site
Maine Coons In The News
Leo's Health Tip

"A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through."
~ Jules Verne

What's New On The Site:

  • The August Photo Album is a big one, and what gorgeous boys and girls it has!

  • Brooklyn
  • The September Photo Album is growing daily! Some of the beautiful Maine Coons featured include Brooklyn, Nefertiti, L.J. Gibbs, Lunar, Saimar, Lizzy, Pumpkin, Floyd, Ralphie, Milo the Dairy Queen Cat, Poo (who is turning 20 this year!) and more! Come check them out!

  • RIP, Gandhi


    has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. Since his entry is on the shorter side, it is included in the September Album as well.

    Our Favorite Cat Water Fountain!

  • New on the site; My review of the Big Max:
    (including a video of Leo & Alice "meeting" it!)
  • Leo and his Cat Water Fountain

    Our favorite cat water fountain is sleek, attractive, and easy-to-maintain - but that's not why Alice and Leo are so obsessed with it! Check out my complete review here!
    Click Here to See the Review and Video

  • Going Social:

    Did you notice the social toolbar at the top & bottom of this newsletter? I'm in the process of adding it to all our pages (slowly - page by page). It is included on our most recent photo albums, and I'm adding it to the previous ones. So, if you are on Pinterest and you want to pin your cat's (or any cat's) photo, now you can!

Maine Coons In The News - A Happy Ending For Cupid!:

Cupid is a big and beautiful pedigreed Maine Coon cat living in Austria. He was snatched by thieves from and enclosed backyard garden, and returned two weeks later. Police surmise that Cupid's enormous appetite was too much for the thieves to handle!

He was mysteriously returned to his owner, Stephanie Frey after, police believe, he ate the catnappers out of house and home. Apparently he was catnapped from her mothers garden, and later returned to her house, 9 kilometers away. He showed up in the living room while she was taking the trash out.

I have to wonder, though, could Cupid have simply escaped and found his way home? I guess we'll never know!



Featured Mini-Article:

Although Maine Coon Cats are known for being well-behaved and easy to have around the house, sometimes behavior problems arise when it comes to the litter box. It seems I am asked to help with a variation of this problem regularly. If your cat has never "misbehaved" in this area, great! It's still a good idea to review the following, though, just in case it happens in the future:

The Three "C's" of Cat Litter Box Behavior

When a cat goes to the bathroom in the wrong place it almost always is a result of one of the three "C's" - Comfort, Caution, and Creatures of Habit.

Creatures of Habit: Cats know what they like. They have their favorite food, preferred place to sleep, daily routine, and they have preferences when it comes to the litter box. Here are some of the areas we might overlook:

  • Size of box: is it big enough?

  • Number of boxes: One per cat, plus one more is the rule of thumb.

  • Style of box: if it's covered, maybe s/he would prefer to sit on the rim. If it's not, maybe s/he lacks privacy.

  • Type of litter: Some are noisy, smelly, and from clay to shavings to pellets there are a lot of ways to get it wrong (in kitties opinion).

  • Location of box: if it used to be here, and now it's there, that may not "sit well" with a Creature of Habit.

  • Cleanliness of box: We all know cats are known for their cleanliness. If the box is out of sight and mind we might forget that our clean cat must have it scooped as much as possible (daily).

Comfort: Inappropriate elimination is one of the most common ways a cat lets us know something is wrong. He may seem healthy, but a myriad of things could be going on. They do not have to be related to elimination, like a bladder infection.

There could be something stuck in his foot, a tight mat pulling on the skin, discomfort due to declawing, fleas may have found a way in, it could be the heat of summer, cold of winter, a resistance to a new food, a real health issue, or any number of possibilities. It's a cry for help.

Caution: This is the most overlooked, most easily fixed, and so perhaps most important. Cats are cautious. They need to feel safe and secure to do their business. If they have to go down a stairwell or hall where Alpha kitty is (or a young child, or a harmless dog) they will just go elsewhere.

A cat will not put himself in what he perceives to be "harms way" just to go to the bathroom where you want him to. So if she's being bullied by another cat (even occasionally) or if there is a dog barking nearby, or a noisy lawnmower, laundry room, or any number of "scary" things nearby this is a problem!

A solution is to have multiple boxes in multiple areas, be in tune with potential conflict, and make the litter box easy to access and in a "safe place."

Lastly, cats do not eliminate inappropriately due to spite. They don't "get mad" at their people. It may seem that way, but more likely it's an adjustment process. For example if you were gone for a month and now you're back and Kitty seems mad at you - she's just re-adjusting. It's the Creature of Habit thing.

Leo's Health Tip:

"I'm still young but as we cats age we are susceptible to senility. If a cats in his or her golden years starts howling/meowing for no reason, pacing, or acting otherwise confused, it could be age-related senility. Your kindness and patience is what's needed most.

Warding off senility can be helped by keeping a cat's mind active with play and other activities. No boredom, please!"


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