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Now a question – within 2 months of each other. both of my male cats have developed a bladder obstruction. One is an inside/outside cat, one strictly indoor. They are now both on prescription food (Royal Canin S/O – expensive) and we are going to bottled water, not just filtered fountain water. Any other suggestions for keeping their bladders healthy (as well as my bank account)?? I have never had this happen to any of my cats before and I have had 7 others. Of course, now I am realizing these are the first males.

I didn’t have any helpful suggestions here, but Doodle Bean did:

Are your boys related? My Fuzz had all sorts of bladder crystals in his first 3 years, mostly due to a restricted urethra. That restricted urethra can be genetic. However, he never had an actual blockage. Just plenty of infections due to the irritation of his bladder from struvite crystals.

He had surgery to enlarge his urethra at about 3 years of age and has been great since. Before the surgery, what made it worse was hairball prevention food (the magnesium in that food can lead to struvite crystal formation) and feeding him dry food. What made it better was feeding him Friskies Urinary Tract Health wet food with a bit of extra water in it and keeping the litterbox incredibly clean. I’m talking scooping several times a day and changing all the litter and disinfecting the box every week.

He’s had several UTI’s since the surgery, but nothing out of the ordinary for a neutered male. Also, none have gotten as bad as the ones he got before the surgery.

You know, I’m just realizing how much I’ve learned from that cat! I guess when you have a cat for 17 years the lessons add up – especially one who was neglected and abused for the first 6 months of his life!!

Thanks, Doodle Bean!


About Miz Poo’s bed – it’s the blankey that’s supposed to be self-warming, right? Because I’ve been thinking about getting one for my senior girl. She’s always cold and I’m afraid of getting anything I have to keep plugged in.

Yes, that’s the self-warming/ thermal cat bed. We have several of them, and they’re all pretty popular. You can find them on Amazon right now. There were some cheaper ones (the same bed, but a different color) a few weeks ago, but they seem to have gone out of stock. I didn’t find them any cheaper elsewhere on the web, but that changes by the minute, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask Google for help.

I should add here that the beds make a crinkly sound when the cats walk onto or across them, because they’ve got (I assume) mylar in the middle (that’s what reflects the heat back at them). It doesn’t bother my cats or any of the kittens who’ve tried them, but it might disturb a more sensitive kitty.


Three Beans mix makes a lovely tasty chilli….

Or a three-bean salad! 🙂


Quick question-Is there a reason kitties start clawing on the wall? We are pretty sure there is not a dead body behind it. So why is the wall getting clawed up and what can I do about it?

I don’t know the reason why they’re clawing on the wall – aside from some kitties just love to do that – but if you’ve got a vertical scratcher, I’d move it near where they’re scratching. If you don’t have a vertical scratcher, I’d get one… and put it near where they’re scratching.

Also, Connie mentioned that citrus might help deter them from scratching the walls, and suggested rubbing lemon or orange rind on the wall. (Bonus: your wall will smell good!)


The game cam video is hilarious. Who is that at 0:42-0:50? I love the staring and waiting, and then the pouncing prep — and the pouncing. So cute.

That’s Percy! (Direct link to that section of the movie here.)


I love the shelter for the ducks. Has Fred thought of putting a floating one on the pond so they have someplace to escape to if predators come around. I suppose you don’t have to worry too much about that with the Gs on the job.

I don’t know if he’s thought of that, I’ll have to ask! I’ve seen the ducks out there, floating around, sound asleep with their heads tucked beneath their wings. It’s the neatest thing. But with George and Gracie on the job (ie, dead asleep in piles of leaves), I think the ducks are safe.

Actually, I think that George and Gracie’s presence does deter a lot of predators. I can vouch for the fact that EVERY time George and Gracie see a plane go overhead, they chase and bark at it, and we’ve never had a plane land and mess with the ducks and chickens. True story!


I hope the Baby calms down and gets more brave. Do you know his background? With that face and knuckly paws, I wonder if he has Bengal in him and that’s what makes him skittish.

I’ve been meaning to mention Baby Beans’s story. He was found by the side of the road by a good Samaritan and taken to a vet. He was about 7 weeks old and half-dead, with very pale gums (anemia caused by fleas). He was nursed back to health, syringe fed, and eventually became healthy. His name was originally “Babee”, but his first foster mom added “Beans” to his name because he apparently has great love for pork and beans. Isn’t that cute?

Of course, we don’t know if he’s got any Bengal in him, I’d sure love to know!


I do wonder about the kittos from the beginning of the year because you didn’t include an adoption status with some of the ones at the start. Did all of your fosters from 2012 find permanent homes?

All of my fosters from 2012 did, indeed, find permanent homes! In fact, all the fosters I’ve ever had have (excepting the Beans, of course, who aren’t up to date on their vaccinations just yet) have been adopted. Isn’t that awesome?


Those two little orange guys are adorable. They could snuggle with me all the time. When do they go to their new home?

They’re scheduled to go home the weekend of January 12th. Which means I get another week to love on them. As you can imagine, it is SUCH a hardship!


Thought of you, Robyn, when I saw this towel – I think they need to double the # of cats, at the very least, tho! LOL

Oh good lord, that is so cute! I totally need a set of those, don’t I?

And hey – I don’t need it doubled, I ONLY have 12 cats, you know. 🙂


As always, the shots of Cruella and Rock Star made me laugh. Are the fancy hens good layers also, or are they just for pretty?

This reminds me that I completely forgot to point out the way two of the Rock Stars’ head feathers seem to be forming a little heart. See it, straight up from her beak? Isn’t that neat?

The fancy hens are not great layers. They’re more for our entertainment than for their egg-producing ability. I should add, though, that the white Silkie (the one I refer to as The Angry Muppet) is the best mother we’ve ever had. She’s super protective of her chicks, and those babies stay with her until they’re practically as big as she is.


So, is Sheriff Mama ALWAYS angry? Or, does she lower herself to accept some lovin’ now and then?

She’s really only angry if her humans are outside the back yard. Otherwise, she’s very sweet and likes a good snuggle. She’s kind of intense and always looks like she’s going to snap and remove your head, but she’s never snapped on her humans (and only on kitties who are misbehaving), so I think it’s just the way her face is arranged.
Kind of like Mister Boogers, who always looked intensely filled with hate, but was actually a complete and utter lovebug.


I have a question for the Fount of Kitteh Wisdom. We have a dog who’s been staying with us more or less permanently. Her owners sent over a couple of really nice dog beds, and one or more of our cats has been peeing on these beds. We’re pretty sure it’s either Murphy (12-year-old black male who intermittently pees on the tile floor by the back door) or Gabby (18-year-old calico who spite pees on occasion). I don’t know what to do, and my husband is at the end of his good nature over this, and keeps threatening to put these cats outside (neither has ever been an outdoor cat). He tried wrapping the core cushions of the dog beds in garbage bags, to make a moisture-proof barrier (the covers are washable), but someone’s still peeing on them every night, and the dogs won’t use the beds.

It seems like a territorial thing: something that doesn’t belong to this house has been brought into this house, and someone’s not happy about it. What can I do to make the dog beds part of the cats’ accepted universe (the dogs themselves don’t bother the cats)?

It definitely sounds, since they’re targeting the dog beds, that they’re not happy with the dog’s addition to the household. It is entirely possible, though, that there’s something about the dog beds themselves that is setting the cat or cats off. Could it be the location? Have you tried them in different spots? You may want to try spraying the dog beds with Feliway – it might work.
Honestly, if it were me, I’d put the nice dog beds away, buy a couple of cheap (easily washable) ones, and wash them as need be. Alternately, I’d buy some of those washable waterproof pads and put them on the dog beds to protect the beds from the angry pee-ers.

Come on, readers, I know y’all have some great suggestions for Noelegy – feel free to weigh in in the comments!


Doodle Bean took the picture of Maggie and her brothers and did a bit of photoshopping. It made me giggle, I figured y’all would enjoy it too! (Thanks again, Doodle Bean!)


If there’s one thing those Beans – especially Barney and Bitsy – love to do, it’s sharpen their claws.

Baby Beans has a straw obsession. If it’s even vaguely straw-like, it’s HIS. He’ll come flying from across the room to grab it and chew on it.

“Dat my straw, lady, you don’t touch, okay?”

“Yeah, feathers are OKAY, but straws are BETTER.”

Bitsy and her pretty, pretty eyes.

Baby’s eyes are awfully pretty, too.


Sungold, keeping an eye on things.

I love how it looks like Sungold is trying to pose with Miz Poo, who’s having none of it.

Stripey looks particularly cuddlesome, no?


Another Game Cam video! This is of the Pickles and Weeds, running and chasing. There are some pretty good gymnastics! Also, you see more of the Weeds girls than in yesterday’s video. 

YouTube link


Today’s permanent resident: Joe Bob!

I’ve had these next four pictures for months now, I got them from his foster mom/ rescuer Winnie. I’ve been meaning to share them with y’all, but kept forgetting!

Here’s Joe Bob as a kitten!

I love that he’s got that same Joe Bob face, only smaller. The black and white cat you see in a couple of the pictures is his sister, Moondance, who we nicknamed “Myrtle” (Joe Bob’s first name was Moonman).

Jobey-Joe, the tuxie-do, sure does love that wagon, yo.

Also loves his daddy.

Joe Bob’s Eyes o’ lurve.

Smilin’ Joe loves him a boot bed, y’all.


2012: She climbs up there and is like “I’m sure you were wondering where I was!”
2011: Meet Alice.
2010: I’m still not going to talk about it yet because I don’t want to jinx it into not happening, but I wanted to make sure y’all know about it in advance so you’re not caught by surprise!
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: The boy – Moonman – was perfectly willing to get into the cat carrier, but the girl – Moondance – did NOT want to get into the carrier, and I had to chase her down and wrestle her into the carrier.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



1-4-13 — 26 Comments

  1. If I wasn’t already totally in love with Spanky I’d have to put Joe Bob in first place, but he’s only just in second 😉

  2. I’ve got so much to say on urinary issues 🙂

    a) the dog bed thing. You should take your kitties in to the vet to be tested for urinary issues. Stress can do a number on a kitty and start up urinary issues – infection or crystals – which makes it painful to pee. Cats tend to associate the pain with the box and seek out other areas to pee. Are they scent marking the dog beds simply because there are dogs there – yes, it is very possible, but it is also pretty likely that there is something medical going on

    and for those of you suffering from kitties with known urinary issues, let me start off with http://catinfo.org/?link=urinarytracthealth catinfo is maintained by a vet who studies feline nutrition.

    I had two cats that blocked with urinary crystals, both while I was dealing with a diabetic cat. I learned so much about feline health and nutrition at this point that I completely changed how I fed my cats. They do not know why some cats get crystals while others do not, they do know how to control them if they show up. you want to keep your cat well hydrated (aka not dry food which by its very nature is dehydrating because cats have a low thirst drive) and you want to acidify their urine. Vets do this with ‘prescription’ foods that include an amino acid methionine. Most dry foods include it as do some canned foods that put a lot of plant based ingredients in it. Plants are alkalizing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkaline_diet meat is acidifying. I know first hand that when my Jack gets into dry food (that I bring home for fosters) his urine goes from the 6.0-6.5 PH that it should be to 8.0 You can buy PH strips to test urine yourself if you are so inclined.

    Jack also has a VERY narrow urethra. I was told more than once that the PU surgery might be his only option. When he eats the food *I* give him he no longer has a problem (when he gets into the kitten food I keep an eye on him and often find he pees in the tub – first sign that he isn’t feeling well) I feed raw, but you can find good grain free canned foods that are lower in plant based ingredients that work wonders. You do NOT need “prescription” food. I’m not opposed to feeding it for a short time to get the PH down, but you really can do better both in quality of the food and in terms of his general health.

    Because of Jack being highly highly food motivated (he chews through bags to get to corn and wheat based litter let alone food and treats) I keep some L-methionine on hand to help keep his PH lower. It is risky though, because if you over supplement you risk getting oxalate stones which are much more difficult to deal with.

    also as an aside. Most cats who deal with urinary crystals are often NOT dealing with an infection. If your vet wants to give you antibiotics, ask if they saw an actual infection. The over use of antibiotics in pets is just as much of a problem as it is in humans. I did have a vet tell me that the clavamox they offered will help acidify the urine.. and I stupidly accepted that and took and gave it. There are better options that won’t risk the gut flora. Antibiotics are great when they are needed but are pretty bad when given as a placebo to make the vet and or the owner feel better.

  3. Thanks for all the suggestions on the cat urinary/bladder issues. I will definitely be following through with them. My cats are not littermates, which us why the Dr suspects food or water as the culprits.

    I love a smiling cat; makes me want to scoop them up and squueze them!

    • Thanks! I had several on order from Amazon – I had gift card balance left over from Christmas and why shouldn’t I share the love with my kitties? I only got two, let’s see how they like them before buying more.

  4. What Connie said about the vet (especially because the cats are older); What Robyn said about replacing with cheaper and easier to wash bedding; Adding my own two cents about reducing the smell… I once had a professional carpet cleaner tell me that the cheapest and most effective way to get rid of animal urine was by using vinegar (he said a half and half solution of vinegar and water). Vinegar breaks down the protein in urine (which makes the smell). It has the additional benefit of repelling the cat… they can’t smell the marking urine and they don’t like the smell of vinegar, so they will be less likely to repeat the peeing. You then have the vinegar smell to deal with but, in my opinion, vinegar is far more pleasing than cat urine and it dissipates. I’ve been known to put a cup full into a load of laundry if someone has been marking blankets, etc. It really works.

    Scratching on the wall? Yep, vertical scratcher. Some cats are vertical scratchers and some are horizontal scratchers. Kitty needs to be provided with the right one (and preferably in the place where she is scratching the wall). Also… sounds like it might be time for a nail trim. I know Ruby’s ready when she starts climbing my pajama pants.

    Awwwww…. Baby Beans. I think I love him (oh, you know I do)

    • YES YES YES on the vinegar. When I dump litter and hose out the box, I clean it with soap and water from a hose, rinse the box clean, then add a cup of plain white vinegar and slosh it around until all surfaces are coated. Let air-dry, then fill with fresh litter. Works an absolute treat. No litterbox issues.

      For those of you who are geeks- the major components of urine are urea (CO(NH2)2) and water. NH2 when dissolved in water becomes NH3+, or ammonia, which is why a dirty cat box sometimes has a strong ammonia smell. Vinegar (which is just acetic acid in 5% solution) carries out an acid/base reaction with ammonium ions – they end up as NH4+ – and denature the ammonia so that it no longer smells like pee. </chemistry geek>

      • so that is why the vinegar breaks up the soaked on urine clumps 🙂 I used it all the time to clean up after my bunny… the urine tended to cake on the bottom of the litter box and no amount of soap or scraping would pull it up.. but a little vinegar and a good soak and poof it just falls off. I used it once for an old kitten litter box with little drabbles of urine on it that once again would not come off, and I practically had a new box. I knew it worked, but I didn’t know the geek behind it 😉

        love vinegar. I often buy a few large containers just after Easter and donate them to my local shelter..

        • Never thought to donate to a shelter, but I love vinegar too. I use it to descale my coffeemaker too (much cheaper than the packets they sell and does just as good a job) and I bake with it (don’t look at me weird, vinegar goes in my chocolate cake recipe).

          Another side note: all mammals base their urine in urea, the amide salt I mentioned, so vinegar will work on any mammal’s urine, including human.

    • I use the white vinegar ALL the time to kill the smell. It goes in 1/2 my loads of laundry nowadays that (my) Jack has been having issues. I’ve also poured it in spots on the floor where we had issues. Someone once said to me “It will smell like a salad for a while, but then it’ll go away pretty fast.” and it does have a really strong smell for a few minutes, but yes, it does dissipate quickly.

      We’re going to the vet tomorrow for (my) Jack because he’s still peeing in inappropriate places. and I know it’s happened since last we talked here, because he did it on one of my kids Christmas presents. ::sigh:: (Nerf tactical vest) so this helps me as well to know what to talk to the vet about!

  5. I make self-heating mats – very easy. Go to an auto parts store and buy a windshield sun shade, the kind with a silvery reflective surface on a thin foam backing. Cut to desired size. Then make a “pillow case” – fleece from a fabric store is nice, a couple of (old) dish towels work too.

    Place silvery side up, slide into fabric cover. When cats lay on it their own body heat will be reflected back up to them. My elderly arthritic old lady especially likes it but so do the two 2-year-old boys.

  6. On Xmas Eve, I got Cystitis diagnosis on my 6yr female (ER Vet@ $675, OMG!) & I was given antibots. Luckily, I can’t pill this little monster to save her or my life, so the pills are sitting on the shelf. 2 weeks later, poor thing is still in/out of the box every 10 minutes. We are struggling to hydrate her; adding water to her wet food, Drinkwell fountain is on its way, along with Feliway. We are running out ideas to get h2o in her. Any other suggestion out there? Would love to hear

    • you really need to get the antibiotic into her! Can vet give the cat one of those 2 week antibiotic injections?
      And sometimes cats like drinking from water fountains – where the water is gently moving
      off dry food and keep up the canned.

  7. A suggestion for an alternative to Royal Canin S/O: if the primary issue is that your kitties need this food to keep their urine acidified (check with your vet!), you could try regular food + supplement instead of the prescription food. The supplement that I’ve used successfully with my boy kitty to keep his urine at proper pH (and avoid recurrance of crystals) is called Methioform. Contains methionine which is what is usually added to the prescription diets to make them work. Comes in tablets which are theoretically chewable “treats”, if your cat will eat them – I have to break them up and shove down my cat’s throat like pills. If you buy in bulk (look for the 500 pill containers on amazon) they are QUITE affordable. You’ll want to get your cat’s urine pH checked to make sure you have the pill dosage correct, but in the long run….. way more affordable than prescription diets.

  8. On the chrystals issue: Completly eliminate fish in their diet. When my Leo had his chrystal issue the vet said, in an off handed way, that food with fish causes it. I’d never heard that before and if it was that important, you’d think he’d make a bigger deal of it! So we questioned it and yeah, no fish. We changed to no fish wet food, easy enough, but a little limiting, and no fish hard food, not as easy because they sneak it in everywhere, even food labeled beef and chicken will have something like herring oil in it. But we finally found some that wasn’t too expensive and Star even goes bananas over it. Leo has not had chrystals since. He did a course of antibiotics and you can’t pill him either. So we emptied the capsuls (you could crush pills) and mixed it in a few teaspoons of his wet food treat, when he finishes that, which he will wolf down, we give him the rest of his treat. He doesnt seem to notice the pill taste.
    Ok, that’s my two cents!
    Joe Bob! What a cute kitten! What an adorable mancat! I could kiss that lurve face!

    • I don’t know if this holds true in the US but in Australia we are told to limit the amount of canned fish to give a cat cause it frequently has high mercury levels! eek! For Australia, usually the fish comes from poorer asian countries where there can be pollution and so the fish is cheap and not human grade – but is going into our cat food.
      Do you know what it is about fish that is problematic? is it a certain type of fish? or an attribute of all fish?

  9. Hi everyone – I’ve told you all before about my sad experiences with my Oscar’s urinary problems – like a few of you I learnt a lot! I would back up everything I’ve read on here. Have to say I have thoughts/doubts about the dubious worth of royal canin. the ingredients list on those products freak me out! everything is a derivative – “meat derivative” “derivatives of vegetable origin” and lots of grain and corn. I believe these ingredient cannot be healthy for the cat.
    There are now so many grain free, human grade meat products in wet food it is very easy to get. I have decided with my new kittens to not give them any biscuits/dry food. To balance off the cost I do feed them 50/50 canned and raw – chicken wings, rabbits with bones and organs (butchers saws them into little pieces for me) and I make my own chicken mix with mince, hearts and livers, omega oils and a vet produced raw food vitamin supplement.
    I’ll know if this approach works in about 15 years! Although I think and feel better for giving them a grain free diet.

  10. Baby Beans loving pork and beans- that is adorable. I’d be calling him Porkpie or Lord Van de Kamp or something.

  11. For all kitties, but especially males: wet food, not dry. Can add a little extra hot water to it, too (increases smell, which kitties like, and increases water content, good for their bladders). And no grains in their food is all-around good for any kitties’ health.