Litter Box Basics

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All right folks, I’ve been
hassled about this forever. We’re going to talk
about litter boxes. As cats are all little
individual snowflakes,they all come from the same
place, from that big cat cloud,right?And like any other cloud,
a little bit of peemust fall, or dingleberries,
or– let’s get catified. All right, folks, we’re
going to break this downin a very fast fashion
because there’sa lot of information to cover
in a very short amount of time. Now here’s the first thing. If your cat is peeing or pooping
outside the box, number one,go to the vet. Rule things out. Get a urinalysis done. Get a full blood panel done. Make sure that your
cat’s not acting outfrom a very simple
physical place. You got to know. I’ve had cases in the past
where a cat has actuallybeen acting out– this was
in the shelter environment. The cat was within a
day of being euthanizedbecause of this
behavior problem. And a friend of mine
who’s a fantastic vethad the presence of mind
to check the cat’s mouth. And sure enough, that cat
had an abscessed tooth. And that’s why the
cat was acting out,not using a litter box. And that abscessed tooth
almost cost that cat her life. So let’s think about this. Again, rule number
one, go to the vet. Now here’s the next
really important chunk. You have to know the
tools of the trade here. You’ve got to know
what you’re goingto need in order to
solve the problem. You know I’ve talked to
you about this before. It’s the power of journaling. This helps you in a
number of different ways. You step away from the pee. You step away from the poop. It’s not all about you and
it’s not all about the factthat you’re angry
because your cat peed. You’re looking for the
whats, the wheres, the hows,the whens, the whys. Now if this wasn’t
happening a week agoand now it’s starting
to happen regularly,what changed in my home?All about observation,
not interpretation. Also use blue tape. Now I’ve talked
about this as well. You have paper tape
that painter’s useand every time
your cat pees, youput an x down on the ground. The anti treasure map is
what I call this guy, right?You’re going to look at that
after a week of cleaning upand put that x down, you’ll
know exactly what’s going on. The thing that you called
random, not so random anymore. You know that there’s a pattern. Also a black light,
really important. If you want to discover
what’s going on in your house,I’m telling you,
take a deep breath. It’s not something
you’re going to likebut it will give you the tools. Clean it up. Put your anti treasure map
X marks the spot down thereand you are going to have
a glimpse into what’smaking your cat insecure. I believe that almost all
litter box problems come downto two things. It’s either a
physical problem or itrevolves around territorial
insecurity slash anxiety. Really important. You got to know the difference
between peeing and marking,spraying. Is your cat backing up
to a wall and sprayingthat wall, spraying the
vertical world there, the walls?And then it comes down
and drips onto the ground. If they’re squatting
on the floor,it’s probably something
a little differentalthough it still can be
a very insecure statementon their part. But take a look at where
your cat is marking. Now a lot of times
marking is goingto happen by the front
door, by the back door,under the windows. I call that perimeter marking. Now you’ve got to take a look at
what is causing your cat to go,there are barbarians
at the gate. We have got to keep
the Alamo safe here. It’s the Alamo effect, right?What’s going on
outside that window?Chances are, you’ve got
cats in your neighborhood. What can you do about
cats outside your house?We’ll get into that
in later episodes. Right now, this is
all about diagnosing,not just quick fixes. We’ve got another one
that I see a lot of. If your cat’s going right
outside the litter box,in my experience anyway,
here’s what’s going on. Your cat wants to go
in that litter box. They are– they
know that this isthe place I’m supposed to go. But they can’t do it. Why is that?Because something– I
believe, almost always,when it’s right
outside that box,they’re telling us something. Now, could it be
territorial insecurity?Are they marking
right outside that boxto send a message to
somebody else in the home?Possibly. But here’s the great thing, if
you’re doing your journaling,if you’re doing your cat
detective work, you’ll know,is this a one off thing, that
they’re going in this one spotright outside the litter box?Or are they creating
a semicirclearound that box to
protect that box?From what?From a dog, from a kid. A lot of this is rational
thinking after the fact. And if you notice,
there’s no roomin here for emotional reactions. That’s what causes cats
to lose their homes. You think I’m
kidding here but I’vebeen working in this
business for 20 years. I have accepted more
cats into my shelterbecause they peed on the floor,
they peed on the pool table,they were pooping in a bed. And we had no idea
why they were doing itand emotionally we
could not handle that. And that’s what cost these cats
their homes and a lot of timestheir lives. Please step back. Start looking at things like a
detective, like a journalist. You’re going to get
where you need to go. All right, folks,
until next time,don’t forget you can find
me on Twitter and Instagramand Facebook and Google Plus and
YouTube, all these fun places. Watch the Animalist Network. There’s all kinds of fun
stuff happening on Animalist. And catch me soon, we’ll be
doing another live GoogleHangout. Lots more fun stuff, giveaways
aplenty are all coming. Until next time, all light,
all love, all mojo to you. Love you. You’re a bad cat. I’m not a bad cat. You’re a bad cat. I’m not a bad cat. You’re a bad cat. I’m just misunderstood. Meow.

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