Sunday, July 4, 2010

Interview with Linus, Feline Advisor for Home Alone

Happy 4th of July to all my peeps. Today I am interviewing Linus, the Feline Advisor for Home Alone. We will be talking about all kinds of feline issues.
Tiny:Hello Linus. Tell us a little about yourself.
Linus: I was born 17 years ago in a feral colony near a very busy street in Petaluma. I lived with my mom and my two sisters. My mom and my one sister were trapped. My mom was spayed and released again. My sister was socialized and adopted. Me and my other sister took three months before we finally went into the trap. By that time we were very afraid of people and would not let them touch us. Our human did a great job with us but we still didn't trust people. Four years ago my sister accidentally got out of the house and disappeared. Now I was the only kitty in the house and I started to let my human pet me and pick me up. And as you know, Tiny, you are my best friend and I like to cuddle with you.
Tiny: Great. Tell us about litter box issues.
Linus: Well, us felines are usually pretty good about using the litter box. However, there can be reasons why we go outside the box at times.
A bladder infection can be a good reason why we go outside the box because that's the only way we can show our human that there is something wrong. So, it's a good idea to bring us to the vet and have the urine checked for bacteria to rule out a bladder infection.
Another reason could be the location of the litter box. It should be easily accessible.
Now, I have to tell you, most of us felines don't like the litter box liners because our nails get caught in them when we try to bury our business. It might be easier for the human to clean the box with a liner but most of my feline fellows hate them.
Also, size does matter. A kitten litter box does not work with an adult cat. The box needs to be bigger than the kitty so we have enough room to fit in and turn around. Otherwise, we might pee or poop over the sides.
Another thing some of my feline buddies don't like is a roof on the box because it keeps the smell and the dust in. And who wants to do their business in a smelly and dusty place?
I also would like to talk about the litter. Most kitties don't like the clay litter since it stays wet for a long time. We like the clumping litter a lot better since the box stays dry. I personally prefer "The World's Best Litter". It is non toxic, all natural, has good odor control and is corn based. That means it clumps like polenta and doesn't require toxic clumping additives.
Tiny: Wow, that was a lot. What can you share with us about water?
Linus: We like a fresh bowl of water every day. Some of us prefer drinking water from the faucet since it tastes fresh. If your human doesn't have time to turn the faucet on and off for you, you can suggest a water fountain that can be purchased at a pet store. It works just as well as the faucet.
Tiny: Personally, I like to drink from the toilet when the lid is up but I am a dog. What are your thoughts on food?
Linus: Some of my buddies like canned food, some like kibbles and that's ok. I am getting up there in age and I am getting a little picky. So I get to eat whatever I like at the moment. The important thing is, it should be served in a clean food dish and the food should be fresh, not stale.
Some of my peeps have health issues and need special diets. It is important to make the change to the special diet gradually because an abrupt change of food can cause diarrhea.
I get a certain amount of canned food twice daily and I free feed on kibbles. Not all kitties are good with the free feeding. Some get a little out of control and end up being obese. That is not good at all since obesity can lead to illnesses such as diabetes. So, if you love your felines, don't overfeed them.
Tiny: Now, your favorite subject, toys.
Linus: Yes, I like to play. Little balls and toy mice are fine when I am by myself but I really like it when my human uses anything hanging from a wand. It's much more fun when she plays with me than when I play alone. And I also enjoy the occasional catnip. It makes me roll around and gets me really happy.
Tiny: Argh, hairballs!
Linus: Kitties get hairballs since they groom themselves and can't digest the hair. They come out in the shape of a sausage the same way they went in. Hairballs can be prevented somewhat by grooming us which gets rid of all the lose hair before we ingest them. Also, hairball remedies are sold by vets or pet stores. They lubricate the hairballs and move them through the system more easily.
Tiny: Maybe you can tell us about those dangerous weapons of yours - nails.
Linus: I love my nails. They grow and grow and can cause serious damage. My human trims them regularly with her finger nail clipper. She says they work better than the ones from the pet store because she has better control with them.
For kitties that don't like pedicures, the vet can apply "Soft Paws". These are little plastic caps that get glued to the nails and have to be re-applied ever so often. They work pretty good and even come in different colors for the lady felines.
It's a good idea to provide a scratching post or pad and if you put a little catnip on it, we might even use it.
For the very determined felines that just can't stop ripping up that very expensive sofa, they can be fooled by putting double sided tape to the preferred scratching site. There are also lots of different sprays available at the pet store but they don't work very well.
As you can see, there are many things that can be done instead of declawing us. Declawing a kitty is like amputating the first joint of the finger or toe. It hurts! We do experience phantom pain and if we ever get out of the house by accident, we have no way of defending ourselves from the neighbor's dog.
Tiny: Well said, Linus. What are your thoughts on spaying and neutering?
Linus: People, spay and neuter your pets! Here are some facts:
* Every year there are 6 to 8 million homeless pets at shelters in the U.S. due to overpopulation.
* Only half of them get adopted. The other half is euthanized.
* Intact male cats mark their territory by spraying strong smelling urine on furniture, curtains, and about every corner in the house.
* Intact female cats can come into heat every two weeks until they are pregnant.
* A cat that is not spayed can have three litters of kittens a year.
* Each litter can have anywhere from 2 to 10 kittens.
* One litter of kittens can result in hundreds and thousands of unwanted pets.
I would like to show you a statistic that explains that.
In the 1st year = 12 offspring
2nd year = 144 offspring
3rd year = 1,728 offspring
4th year = 10,736 offspring
7th year = 370,192 offspring
That shows, cats might not be able to add, but they sure can multiply.
So, please: Prevent a litter. Fix your critter.
Tiny: Thank you Linus, we have learned a lot.
So, people, keep your pets save from the fire works and happy 4th of July!

1 comment:

  1. Wow lots of excellent information in this interview. Very helpful to me being a cat owner.

    I was also interested to find out about the statistics of non-spayed cats since we all need to be educated on the impact we have on this marvelous, beautiful planet.