Unwanted Cat Urination 101

[ Unwanted Cat Urination 101 ]

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With a look that could only say: “I swear I didn’t pee on your shoes!”

Written by Ioana Busuioc, August 2018

All photos thanks to the very talented Debby Herold at Debby Herold Photography! Special thanks to our kind Cat Program Manager Kelsey Scoular for her help with illnesses that could cause this issue as well as helpful tips and solutions!

A common behavior problem found in cats is inappropriate urination. Because cats cannot communicate with us the same way we do with our human peers, it is important for us to pay attention to other signals that something may be wrong. Sudden or frequent cat urination outside the litter box is not a sign that your cat hates you and wants to ruin your life (and floors or carpets), on the contrary, it means that something is wrong!

Bladder stones or crystals are a very common cause for this sort gof problem in cats, or inflammatory diseases. Unwanted cat urination can be also a sign that something is wrong with a cat’s kidneys, a potential bladder infection, or a diabetes related issue, especially if a cat is also suddenly drinking a lot more water. When it comes to kidney related issues, their kidneys might not be able to properly break down the protein, which can cause a buildup that would ultimately lead to crystals building up in the urethra. Additionally, if there are stones in the bladder, depending on factors such as their size, surgery may be needed. These sorts of illnesses could also make it difficult for a cat to reach its litter box as well, which means that they might be trying to do their business where they should, but simply cannot make it there on time. All in all, these are serious issues that mean your beloved furry friend may be acting out of character and needs medical attention as soon as possible. Keeping in mind that if it is a serious issue that would require surgery, there are options to help ease the financial strain of committing to treatment and potential surgery, such as pet insurance. These are very treatable issues, and even in the case of surgery, cats recover relatively quickly with the help of a special diet post surgery. A sign to watch out for that may indicate a medical concern is if a cat is howling while they try to pee, and if that is happening it is crucial to get the cat to a vet for an assessment as soon as possible, as the discomfort is extremely painful for our feline friends!

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Betsy, a sweet senior lady who is still looking for her forever home! Clicking the photo will take you right to her profile, and maybe to your future best friend!

If the issue is not medical, it could be due to any changes in the house, perhaps even something as simple as furniture being moved around, or maybe a family member moving out/in, and especially moving to a new home altogether. If a cat is peeing on a specific family member’s clothing, keeping those hidden away and out of reach might be the solution. If a cat is peeing in multiple places, considering how many litter boxes there are in the home and where they are located might be the key! When it comes to multiple cats, AARCS Cat Program Manager Kelsey recommends ensuring there are as many litter boxes as there are cats, plus one! So if there are 3 cats, there should be 4 litter boxes in relatively different areas. Cats are resistant to change, and bringing a new feline family member into the house might spark up this resistance as well as territorial issues, which is why it is important to make sure litter boxes are separated. Something Kelsey swears by and that vets use in their own clinics is Feliway, which is a product bought at vet clinics and is a diffuser with synthetic pheromones that humans can’t smell, which is designed to  help cats feel more secure and calm. It gives them the impression that they might have already marked their territory, so that they are less inclined to urinate in unwanted areas. Pet owners should also be aware that sometimes the resolution is as simple as changing the location of they litter box, as it could be in a place in which the cat feels too stressed to do its business (ex. maybe close to a window from which they can hear a lot of car traffic). Cats might have a preference as to the substrate they urinate on as well, with options ranging from clay litter to wood shavings. Another simple solution could be simply cleaning the litter box more.

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Jumping for joy over how easy it is to stop unwanted cat urination! Eclipse, another darling adoptable kitty photographed by Debby Herold for AARCS. Follow the link in the image for his profile!

In my own experience, our cat started doing her business outside of the litter box as she grew older. She started going in the basement quite frequently, but we had noticed that this was more significant when we had guests over. Her litter upstairs is close to the back door, and beside the kitchen area, which is where most house guests would hang out. Since she does not immediately take to strangers, we thought she might be relieving herself in the basement to avoid the commotion upstairs. We ended up leaving her litter there, and putting a tray downstairs with her litter as well, and she immediately took to it. Now she only goes there once or twice a week, so we have to make sure to remember to clean her area there as well, but there are no more issues with her relieving herself where she shouldn’t anymore. What also helped was taking the cover off of her litter box upstairs, when she had a brief stint relieving herself on my father’s shoes! In the end, there was an easy solution that didn’t require a lot of change for anybody, and our cat had the option to go downstairs and relieve herself in peace without the stress of people around her, as well as with us not having to clean up behind her anymore.

Thank you so much for reading, and as always, I hope you found this informative!

Check out more of Debby Herold’s work and all the AARCS animals she photographs at www.debbyherold.com/rescue-me!

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Oliver, one of Debby’s two AARCS kitties, enjoying a cozy cat nap!

Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at blog@aarcs.ca!

August 1, 2018

 

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2019 Calendar Sponsors Wanted!

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An Opportunity for Sponsorship and Advertising


The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) is preparing to launch the very popular annual Animal Rescue Calendar; featuring 12 stunning photographic portraits of AARCS rescued animals. All funds raised from sponsorship and calendar sales will go towards helping even more animals in need.

We are looking for companies/organizations to purchase advertising spots in the calendar to cover the cost to produce the calendars. By being involved, you will be helping us raise funds for animal emergency costs, veterinary care, food and supplies. In addition, corporate sponsors will gain brand recognition among our rapidly growing support base. Calendars will be distributed to local businesses for distribution. AARCS typically circulates over 1500 calendars.

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Rates and ad sizes are as follows:
  • Monthly Tall Block Ad $350 [ 2 ¼ ” x 5 ¼ ” ] vertical (12 available /1 per month)
  • Business Card Ad $100 [ 3 ½ ” x 2 ” ] horizontal or vertical (Unlimited available, placed on dedicated page within the calendar)
Additional Benefits:
  • Fosters corporate responsibility in supporting local charities
  • Company name mentioned on social media (our Facebook page has over 77,000 followers)
  • Brand recognition with AARCS’ rapidly growing volunteer/support base

 

Registered charity Number 80718 8479 RR0001

[ Download 2019 Calendar Advertising Form here! ]

Save completed form and email to amber@aarcs.ca


CONTACT INFORMATION

5060 74 Ave SE
Calgary, AB T2C 3C9

Amber Perry, Creative & Marketing Specialist

Email: amber@aarcs.ca

PH: 403-250-7377


 

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OVER CAT-PACITY – Emergency Adoption Event

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[ OVER CAT-PACITY ] 52 ADOPTED!

EMERGENCY CAT ADOPTION EVENT – PICK YOUR OWN ADOPTION FEE!

 


WE’RE OVER CAT-PACITY — INTAKE IS CLOSED until we find homes for hundreds of cats and kittens!  PICK YOUR OWN ADOPTION FEE for cats and kittens over the age of 6 months THIS FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2018.

“With over 300 cats and kittens in care, our shelter and foster homes are full,” says Kelsey Scoular, AARCS Cat Manager. “We are finding it tough to keep up with the dozens of surrender calls we receive each week. Currently, we have over 100 cats that are available for adoption on our website with more being added each day.”

As a result of the increased number of cats and kittens, AARCS is encouraging the public to come forward and adopt a cat or kitten. AARCS will be having an Emergency Cat Adoption Event this Friday, July 20, 2018 between 2pm – 9pm at Safe Haven located at 5060 – 74 Avenue SE and will be able to pick your own adoption fee for cats over 6 months of age.

All kittens and cats are up to date with their medical, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, deworming and are microchipped. There will be information on fostering an animal and volunteering with the society. AARCS is calling on the community for help in finding homes for these very deserving felines and is also encouraging everyone to please spay and neuter their pets.

In addition, AARCS will be accepting donations of dry and wet kitten food, gastro medical food, cat litter and financial donations to cover mounting veterinary bills for the homeless cats in their society.
For more information visit aarcs.ca/wish-list  Thank mew!

 

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Donation Match Campaign!

 

[ Stuff the Clinic Cupboards ]

UNLOCK your CHANCES TO WIN with each $2,000 RAISED through this Campaign!

 


She’s at it again! Heather Waddell has generously given us a challenge and we need your help! When we approached Heather about the need for medical supplies for the AARCS’ Veterinary Hospital, she was willing to MATCH YOUR DONATIONS up to $10,000 — which will fill the clinic cupboards with much needed medical supplies for the animal patients in AARCS’ care!

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YOUR GIFT WILL CHANGE THE LIVES OF ANIMALS!

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[ Rescue Pet Mythbusting ]

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Written by Ioana Busuioc, July 2018

Special thanks to our fabulous Animal Behavior Coordinator Natasha Pupulin for her help on behavioral and temperament-related content!

When considering adopting a pet, many people wonder where the best place to get their new furry companion will be. There are numerous options, such as pet stores, breeders, even online on websites such as Kijiji, but the best option by far is through a rescue organization. That being said, rescue pets can often be at the center of misunderstandings due to various myths and misconceptions. Read on for some informative debunking!

Myth #1

One of the most common misconception about shelter pets is that they have behavioral issues that cannot be fixed.

Reality: It’s important to know that rescued animals come from all sorts of backgrounds, and yes, some of those backgrounds might be rooted in an undesirable or harmful situation for an animal, but the majority are happy-go-lucky pets who are ready for their forever home. Some animals end up in a shelter because they grew up without a family, their family can no longer care for them, their owners have passed away, from being lost and unable to reunite with their owners. Beyond this, there are animals who are rescued from hoarding situations, abusive situations. Naturally, animals who come from the aforementioned situations might experience cautiousness, fear, shyness, and so on. The most important thing to remember is that many of these  issues are resolved with time, love, patience, and training from their fosters and adopters.At AARCS, it is why fostering and daily interaction with animals is crucial in order to help rescues come out of their shells and feel safe and secure so that their personalities may shine through for their future families. If there are ever issues related to the training of an animal, more commonly dogs, they are also addressed within shelter, and  they continue into foster care to increase the animal’s adoptability. A reputable rescue will always disclose any existing concerns for your consideration prior to adopting, and will advise you about the prognosis for resolving those issues so you and your family can make a choice that is right for you.

 

An example of behavior we deal with that can be a concern to prospective pet owners is resource guarding. Contrary to popular belief, resource guarding behaviours do not originate from dogs raised in free-roaming environments or a history of scavenging behaviour. In fact, we see this behaviour reported in less than 1% of our dogs when observed in shelter and in home environments. Resource guarding can happen to any breed and at an age, and studies show that there is no clear correlation between genetics and this type of behavior. It is considered a fear-based behavior, and it is more often seen in dogs who are stressed and lack confidence. There are various ways of approaching this type of behavior, but ultimately there is a solution through consistency, patience, and care. Resource guarding is highly manageable, and in many cases, can be resolved quickly and easily using desensitization and counterconditioning techniques.

Myth #2

I don’t know what I’m getting with a rescue pet.

Reality: While it is true that shelters may not have significant information on various animals as they get taken in, organizations aim to put in the time and effort to get to know the animal before putting it up for adoption. AARCS is fortunate enough to have an Animal Behavior Coordinator. Natasha, and more than 600 dedicated caregivers and foster homes  who take it upon themselves to improve adoptability rates, enrich the shelter environment, and deliver effective, kind and entertaining training activities to improve the quality of life for the animals in AARCS’ care as well as for their post-adoption lives! While breeders and retail stores might concern themselves more with quick turnovers, shelters like AARCS aim towards making great matches! It’s important to know that many of the animals taken in benefit from staying with a foster family prior to adoption. This is helpful for a few reasons, but most importantly it gets an animal the chance to get socialized with people, as well as potentially children or other animals, so that their personality can shine through and they can ultimately get adopted into the perfect family. All in all, animals that come through shelters get a lot of time and attention given to them so that rescue workers can be able to pinpoint any issues, address them, and cultivate positive traits and behaviors.

Myth #3

Getting a puppy is the best option because you know what you’re getting.

Reality: Not necessarily true. There is the appealing prospect of being able to shape the puppy as it grows, however puppies do not reach emotional and behavioural maturity until about 3 years of age. During this time, puppies go through a series of experiences, development stages, and fear imprinting periods that will shape their behaviours into adulthood. Adult dogs older than 3 years old will afford you more reliability in assessing behaviours long term. If there are ever any traits that may seem undesirable to you as a potential pet owner, adult dogs typically already have their own characteristics and behaviours set out, so it is much easier to know what you are getting. Additionally, puppies require A LOT of work, attention, and training, whereas adult dogs may already have some training!

It is fair to state tough, that based on experience, any adult, puppy, or adolescent may experience behaviour changes throughout their lifetimes, however the variation is greater in puppies when compared to adults after a period of assessment in foster care or in your home.

Thank you kindly for reading, I hope this was helpful and informative!


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Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at blog@aarcs.ca!

July 5, 2018