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More Cat Care Information:

For the most part, cats are quite clean in what they do and how they take care of themselves. They spend a lot of time grooming themselves and usually tidy up before leaving the litter box. Sometimes something happens and a cat with stop covering up their mess or stop using the litter box altogether.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

If your cat has completely stopped using the litter box you need to figure out why because this can become a nasty little problem. First, you will want to make sure your cat is in good health. Make sure your pet can get in and out of the litter box without help. Health problems could prevent him from being able to climb into the box. There is a possibility that your cat has decided he doesn't like where the litter box is located. There are cases where the cat feels alone to go to another part of the house to the litter box or there is too much activity in the area where the litter box is located. You could try moving the box to another area and see if that makes a difference. There is also the possibility that something happened while your cat was using the litter box. If he was scared or thought he was being attacked while in the box there may be some fear of going back.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

If the problem is more liquid than solid, your cat may be marking his territory. This is usually done but males that haven't been neutered but females that haven't been spayed can do it as well. Cats can mark their territory inside of a house if they see cats or other animals outside or if they feel crowded inside. Cats aren't overly social animals and if you have more than one cat they might feel crowded. Even bringing home the smell of another cat can set of the instinct to mark their territory.

One common problem is when a cat doesn't cover her mess in the litter box. This could be because of something simple like a new litter being used or the cat not thinking there is enough litter to use. Male cats will sometimes leave their business uncovered as a means of marking their territory. Try more litter in the box, then a different kitty litter. There is also the possibility that your cat has suddenly decided she doesn't like the type of litter box she has.

Another easy thing to check is to make sure the litter is clean. Cats, being the clean creatures they are, don't like to do their duties in a box that is already dirty. A litter box should be cleaned once per day and if you have multiple cats you might be better off to clean it more than once a day. Sometimes multiple cats cause a territorial battle with the litter box and one or more cats will decide they want their own box. Adding another litter box in a different area of the house is another option to try.

Problems with cats not using the litter box or not covering their mess are quite common. A little trial and error can usually solve most of these problems. If you try everything and it doesn't help consider seeing a veterinarian as there may be a hidden health concern bothering your pet.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
Updated: February 24, 2017 — 5:38 pm

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