My 5-year-old cat started to urinate on a throw rug in our hallway. We would wash it, but as soon as we put it back, he would use it again. Then he started to go on any cloth that was on the floor.
Our vet checked him out for a urinary tract infection, but he told us the cat was OK and really could not give us an answer.
The cat has a litter box on the same floor of the house that he lives in and he does poop in it all the time. But the situation with the urination has gotten so bad that if a jacket draped over a chair falls on the floor, then he pees on it right away.
A: Cats do not use a litter box for elimination out of any sense of virtue. They use it because they are creatures of habit, and the first thing they usually learn when they come to live with a family is to find the box and eliminate in it.
The texture of the litter satisfies their instinctive urge to bury their waste to hide it from predators. So, in a perfect world, a cat will go through life always thinking that the only option available for elimination is the litter box.
Should the situation arise that the litter box is really dirty or perhaps the cat could not reach the box in time, then the cat has learned there are choices apart from the box.
Since these choices are usually in more convenient areas and are always cleaner than a litter box, the cat feels entitled to use these areas. Since the vet cleared the cat, all you can do is prevent it from any opportunity to use a bit of cloth on the floor for elimination. You must do this for at least six months.
Plus, you need to put more litter boxes around your house. After the six-month intervention, you can start to reintroduce the throw rugs back into your home.
Q: My daughter just got a guinea pig, and it is a really nice pet. We read that these animals need their teeth trimmed periodically. How do we know when the teeth need to be trimmed?
A: Actually, it is not a common situation for a guinea pig to need its teeth trimmed. The upper set and lower set meet in such a way that they grind together all the time and thus are kept at the perfect length.
But if you see the front teeth are growing at an angle or the guinea pig is drooling or having problems eating, this is an
indication that there is a malocclusion.
Most guinea pigs do need their nails trimmed by a vet every six months or so. When you bring your pet in for this procedure, any vet who knows small animals will auto- matically check the mouth to be sure all is OK.