Why is it that when I tell somebody to add another litter box in their house they look at me like I just told them to cut off their own arm and eat it? Seriously, when the alternative is to have your cat urinate all over your house, isn’t it advice you may want to consider? Instead, I just get “oh no, there is NO possible way we can do THAT”. I’ve never understood how adding another box could be more inconvenient that cleaning cat pee out of your carpet.
Litterbox problems are so common that I have a 5-10 minute soliloquy on the issue. Here is a quick summary of some of my “rules”:
1) If there are 3 cats living in your house you should have AT LEAST 3 litter boxes. At least one box per cat is recommended. However, if you have only one cat, I’d recommend two boxes.
2) Scoop the litter at least DAILY. Do you like using an outhouse? No, neither does your cat.
3) Use unscented litter. Cats don’t like perfume in their litter. Companies put strong scents in their litter to help lazy people ignore the fact that it should be scooped regularly.
4) Avoid covered litter boxes. There are MANY reasons for this, trust me. Avoid self cleaning boxes. Using a toilet that moves, vibrates and makes loud noises while you sit on it would scare you too!
5) Chose litter box location wisely. They should be spread over your house and placed in quiet, somewhat open areas. Most people want to stick a litter box in a place where they can’t see it. Laundry rooms and furnace rooms are very popular but poor choices. If your cat is using the box and suddenly the furnace kicks in loudly or the washing machine makes a noise to scare your cat, voila, you have successfully created a litter box aversion. By the way, if you have a three story house and you put 3 boxes side by side in the basement laundry room, that counts as ONE large box and presents many possible problems.
Think about this scenario: You have a 15 year old cat. He is on the top floor of a three story house. He has to pee. He may have arthritis in his back that makes going down the stairs uncomfortable. So, instead of going all the way to the basement, he finds a place upstairs to pee. Makes sense right?
Inappropriate elimination may have an underlying medical cause (urinary tract infection, crystals, kidney disease, diabetes, just to name a FEW) so it is important that your cat be checked out by a vet before assuming it is a “behavioural” or “toileting” problem. And please don’t wait until Fluffy has been peeing outside the box for a year to seek help. The longer it’s been going on, the more difficult it will be to correct it.
This is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. Litter box issues are the main reason that cats are surrendered to shelters and subsequently euthanized every year. This breaks my heart.
All cats are different. One of my sisters breaks almost all these rules and her cats have NEVER peed outside the litter box. My other sister has not been so lucky. She too breaks most of the rules and has had problems with her cat. He likes to pee in duffle bags now…
So, if your cat is peeing outside the box, please take them to the vet right away to determine if there is a medical problem. But please consider my suggestions to help create good litter box habits. And yes, I know dogs and babies can complicate things, but that’s what baby gates are for. Get creative. Your cat will thank you for it 🙂
Now let’s talk about brownies. This recipe was a huge hit at work. Thank goodness for that, otherwise I would have eaten the whole thing myself! Doesn’t a mixture of chocolate and mint cheesecake sound delicious? Plus, they are very easy to make. Enjoy!
From Miss…in the Kitchen
For the brownie layer:
1/2 cup butter
6 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
For the cheesecake topping:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate & mint chips (or candies that have been chopped)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square baking pan.
In a medium sauce pan, add butter and chocolate and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until all is melted and smoothly combined.
Remove from heat, stir in sugar and vanilla, add eggs and stir until combined. Add flour and cocoa and mix until thoroughly combined.
Pour into baking pan smoothing out evenly.
Add cream cheese and butter to a mixer bowl and beat with electric mixer until well combined. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add powdered sugar and flour beating until all combined. Fold in chocolate and mint chips.
Dollop over brownie batter and swirl with a knife.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until brownies are set. Allow to cool completely before slicing.