How to teach your cat litter box lessons by tyh12035


									4D | LAREDO MORNING TIMES                                                                                                                                  SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2007

                                                            How to teach your cat
     A domestic
    cat in South
 Easton, Mass.,
  looks into the
 camera. Sadly,
a great number
of cats are sur-
   rendered for
  behavioral is-
  sues that can
                                                              litter box lessons
   be corrected                                                       By LINDA LOMBARDI               Best Friends animal sanctuary in      the litter in it.
with just a little                                                     ASSOCIATED PRESS               Kanab, Utah.                              “Use different types of pans in
    thought and                                                                                            Your vet can also rule out un-   different areas of the house,” sug-
  experimenta-                                                 Americans adore their felines          derlying medical issues, such as      gests Iampietro. Some cats may
            tion.                                           — or so it seems. We own more             urinary tract and bladder prob-       prefer the covered type of box and
                                                            cats than any other type of animal        lems. “Also, diabetes, kidney dis-    others may dislike it. Older cats or
                                                            companion. Still, millions of them        ease, thyroid disease or other dis-   kittens may have trouble climbing
                                                            end up in shelters every year,            ease where the urine is less          into a box if the sides are too high.
                                                            where, according to ASPCA esti-           concentrated and the cat is drink-        Experience matters, too.
                                                            mates, 70 percent are destined for        ing more can lead to urination out        “If something falls with a loud
                                                            euthanasia.                               of the pan,” says Iampietro.          “bang” next to the litter box while
                                                               Sadly, a great number of these                 Take a look at your litter.   they are in it, they’ll avoid it from
                                                            cats are surrendered for behav-                There are many different vari-   then on,” says Monsma.
                                                            ioral issues that can be corrected        eties of litter — experiment to de-          Keep your litter box clean!
                                                            with just a little thought and ex-        termine your cat’s preference.            Finally, we like cats for their
                                                            perimentation. And one of the                  “I like the clumping kind be-    cleanliness, so we shouldn’t be
                                                            most frequent problems is often           cause you can get all the waste       surprised if they don’t want to use
                                                            simple to solve.                          out every day. But clumping is not    a dirty bathroom any more than
                                                               “One of the most common com-           good for kittens under 6 months.      we do. “I am absolutely adamant
                            Photo by Robert E. Klein | AP   plaints is ‘won’t use litter box,”’       The fear is that they might lick it   about scooping every single day,”
                                                            says Jim Monsma, director of              off their paws and get a blockage,”   Monsma says.
                                                            communications at the Washing-            says Monsma. “But ultimately, it is       More than one box helps as
                                                            ton Animal Rescue League in               your cat who will decide, and         well. Dr. Iampietro says “provide
                                                            Washington, DC. But “at least 95          some are pickier than others. If      one more litter box than the num-
                                                            percent of the time, the same cat         you should want to change litter      ber of cats.”
                                                            uses a litter box fine at the shelter.”   for any reason, you can mix the           And don’t forget to clean the
                                                               So what can you do at home?            new sort in slowly. If you go slow-   whole box out periodically.
                                                                  Visit the vet.                      ly enough, your cat won’t freak           “I let my nose tell me when to
                                                               One of the many reasons to             and go on a litter strike.”           dump out all the litter and start
                                                            neuter your pet is that it will usu-              Consider litter box place-    with fresh,” says Monsma. “Then I
                                                            ally stop them from territorial           ment, and litter box type.            wash the pan out with a mild
                                                            spraying, especially males. “Neu-              “Bear in mind that cats like     bleach solution and make sure it’s
                                                            tering helps cut down on spraying         privacy,” says Monsma. “You can’t     dry and no longer smells of bleach
                                                            because removing the testos-              put a litter box in the middle of a   before refilling it.
                                                            terone reduces the tendency for           busy hall and expect a cat to use         “It helps to have two pans so
                                                            male cats to want to be dominant          it.”                                  that if one is being cleaned and
                                                            and mark their areas,” says Dr.                And cats can be as picky about   your cat feels the urge, he won’t
                                                            Patti Iampietro, veterinarian at          litter box type as they are about     end up going on the floor.”

                                                                                                        DOGGIE VACATION
                                                                                                                                                                           Kea, a 6-
                                                                                                                                                                           month old
                                                                                                                                                                           Bichon Frise,
                                                                                                                                                                           owned by
                                                                                                                                                                           Valerie and
                                                                                                                                                                           Larry Wilson
                                                                                                                                                                           poses on a
                                                                                                                                                                           lounge chair
                                                                                                                                                                           at The
                                                                                                                                                                           Kahala Hotel
                                                                                                                                                                           and Resort in
                                                                                                                                                                           Honolulu on
                                                                                                                                                                           April 7.

                                                                                                                                               Photo by Lucy Pemoni | AP

                                                            West Highland terrier crowned
                                                             El Rey Fido in San Antonio
                                                                      By JESSICA BELASCO              denning after the ceremony. “We       paigns. Ami Gordon’s terrier mix,
                                                                  SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS            love Fiesta. We’re really looking     Elle, raised $2,905. Gloria Garza’s
                                                                                                      forward to it.”                       corgi mix, Elmo, raised $2,400,
                                                                All things considered, the king          Making up Kyle’s court were        some of which came from barbe-
                                                            was very well-behaved through-            Andi Ramsey’s Labrador mix,           cue plates sold by Garza’s parents
                                                            out his coronation. It was only at        Dixie, whose $4,647 in raised         in Corpus Christi.
                                                            the end of the ceremony that he           funds earned her the title of             “He had the most people do-
                                                            put his front legs on his duchess’        Duchess of the Perpetual Food         nating money even if he didn’t
                                                            back and happily wagged his tail.         Bowl; Alexandria Benningfield’s       have the most money. May I say he
                                                                Kyle, a West Highland terrier,        Lhasa apso mix, Chewbacca, aka        is the Barack Obama of the El Rey
                                                            was crowned the fifth El Rey Fido         Chuy, who was named Duke of           Fido race,” said Jennifer Till,
                                                            on Saturday at the Humane Soci-           the Indestructible Chew Toy af-       friend to Garza and Elmo.
                                                            ety/SPCA of Bexar County on               ter raising $3,105; and Donna             In the audience was last year’s
                                                            Fredericksburg Road. He and his           Montemayor’s Chihuahua, Elvis,        El Rey Fido, Prince. His owner,
                                                            royal court will be ambassadors           named Duke of the Ever-Present        Luci Pitman, said the Pomeran-
                                                            for the society at the Pooch Pa-          Hydrant after raising $3,065.         ian still gets recognized on the
                                                            rade, the King William Fair pa-              New to the court this year were    street, even in Austin.
                                                            rade and other events during Fi-          the Knight and Maiden of the              “He says congratulations to his
                                                            esta and throughout the year.             Round Food Bowl, outstanding in       successor, the new El Rey Fido,
                                                                The 11-month-old, 12-pound            the number of contributors who        and wishes him a wonderful year,”
                                                            pup won his title by raising more         supported them in their cam-          Pitman said.
                                                            money for the shelter than any
                                                            other dog. That is, his owner, Lisa
                                                            Worth-Glendenning, raised the
                                                            $12,475 through donations from
                                                            friends, family and businesses.
                                                                All together, the Humane Soci-
                                                            ety came out $31,744 richer from
                                                            this year’s El Rey Fido race.
                                                                Kyle rode to the stage on an
                                                            elaborately decorated silver, black
                                                            and fuchsia wagon equipped with
                                                            a bubble machine. He wore a sil-
                                                            ver crown, bejeweled collar and a
                                                            black and white robe emblazoned
                                                            with the letters “ERF” and
                                                            trimmed in fur (faux, of course). It
                                                            and five other royal robes were
                                                            designed by Cheryl Trevor of Fur-
                                                            ry Tail Fashions.
                                                                Once perched onstage on a
                                                            brown cushion, the royal pooch
                                                            accepted a treat from his owner
                                                            amid accolades from the emcee,
                                                            radio personality and El Rey Feo
                                                            1989 Sonny Melendrez.
                                                                “It was very fun. And it’s a
                                                            good cause,” said Worth-Glen-

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