5-13-16 Friday

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Wow, Joe Bob is an old man! I had no idea! Is he your oldest cat?

He’s actually 11, not 12 as I initially said in yesterday’s post (grrr, math!) Maxi’s our oldest cat at 12 years old, and Joe Bob’s the second oldest. Our cats are getting old!


Wow, maybe it is the perspective or the size of the baskets, but Newt looks so much bigger than Stefan. I thought it would be the other way around.

It’s partly the perspective, but Newt is bigger than Stefan by about a pound and a half (almost 16 pounds). Stefan’s also a pretty muscular 13 1/2 pounds, whereas Newt’s weight is… less muscular.


I will never, ever know how you can get seven cats (kittens!) to sit still, line up, and look at the camera, all at the same time. And you make it look EASY!

Believe me, it is NOT easy. It requires a feather teaser, the ability to wave it wildly, and the willingness to take a LOT of pictures!


I find it funny that Fred’s nicknames for Susie and Ken Adams are the same. To me, Ken Adams and Art Vandelay look the most similar – I always get them mixed up!

It’s ’cause Susie and Ken Adams both have the same “haircut” – though I think Susie’s is less noticeable because she has the gray splotches on her face that detracts from the hairline. I find it easy to tell Art and Ken apart because of Art’s “part.” It’s all about the hairdos with these kittens, I guess!


Okay, so I have a question for you all. It is gross, but I know you can handle it because, as cat keepers, we know gross. So we have a two year old male cat, a very large (though not overweight) and friendly orange dude. When he came to us a year and a half ago, he was kind of a mess–upper respiratory infection, giardia, etc. He is, thankfully, over all of that, but he has the. Worst. Smelling. Poops. Ever. We’ve taken, ahem, samples to the vet, and they come back clean. He eats the same food as our other two cats (high-quality grain-free stuff), and we’ve tried probiotics. With the latter we’ve seen some improvement, but things are still pretty horrific. (It doesn’t help that he doesn’t cover.) Any thoughts for how we can save our noses? Every time he poops my husband and I quote that Seinfeld episode where Kramer feeds Rusty the horse beef-a-reeno…

Would you be interested in trying raw feeding? I’ve heard from raw feeders that there’s pretty much no smell at all when it comes to litterbox leavings. If that’s not an option, and given that he’s on decent food and probiotics (which would have been my other suggestion), maybe a small air purifier next to the litter boxes? It probably wouldn’t completely kill the smell, but it might make it a little more bearable.

Rest assured, I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I used to say that Sugarbutt (who also suffered horribly from Giardia and Coccidia as a small kitten) had an intestinal tract that detoured through the depths of Hell and he’d leave fire and brimstone in the litter box. It was the most horrific smell, and I swear it was just about visible coming down the hall from the litter box. GAH.

Readers? Y’all got suggestions? Chime in, I wanna hear!


My computer wasn’t working correctly before but I wanted to talk about Jake. Every time I see his picture or you mention him in this blog, I hear, “It’s Jake! Jake from State Farm!” Does anyone else do this?

Well, I didn’t do that until now! πŸ™‚


I have a question for Friday-and I know you have gone over this before…but I need a bit of advice.

My daughter adopted a year old cat a week ago. Right before her finals-and she came home yesterday, to a 2 cat, 2 dog household. I was pretty unprepared for this, but our beloved cat Simba (who from first glance, many years ago, fell headfirst in love with my daughter, and never wavered in his affection) died in January. She told us 3 days ago about the adoption, and honestly-now that I see this adorable face, I can totally understand how she couldn’t leave her college town without this cat.

My question is this-the cat was in a free range shelter, and was fine with other cats. We put up a baby gate so the new cat could see the dogs, without being bothered-but the problem was she saw one of our cats, and they seemed to hate each other on sight. She saw the older cat (19 yrs old) earlier, when we let her wander around the living room when the dogs were outside. She didn’t pay any attention to him, but the young female cat? Growling, flattened ears, hissing.

I realize now, we rushed things, she only got to our house yesterday. I consulted several sites, and I realize that we should have moved much slower. BUT…our young female cat isn’t friendly at the best of times, but she leaves everyone alone. This was a level of aggression from both cats I am not used to, because we have only had 3 cats in 30 years, all brought in as kittens.

Sorry this is so long, but I would really appreciate any thoughts on how to integrate the new cat into the household. Luckily, she seems happy to hang out in my daughter’s room for now-but I would love for her to have the run of the house at some point in time. The two dogs really aren’t the problem, it is the 3 yr old female cat I am afraid will cause the problems.

I’d say back it way, way off. Make your daughter’s room the cat’s territory for now – put a litter box and her food and water in there, and keep her in there for now, with the door closed. Plan on doing this for several days, if not weeks. Then, go watch this Jackson Galaxy video, and do everything he says. Plan to take it SLOW. And maybe add Feliway plugins to the household for the time being, it might help smooth things over.

If anyone else has more to add, I’d love to read it!


What is the white “box” in the video with a black cat stencil on the front?

That box – shown above with Susie in it; can you tell she just woke up? – is a hideaway that I bought from Zulily last year. Zulily doesn’t have it in stock any more, and I’m not able to find a place online that offers them. The official title is Wooden Cat Hideaway House/ Litter Box Cover, and it’s made by Etna Products.

Ours sits in the hallway upstairs – Stefan likes to sleep in it at night sometimes, and the kittens have started hiding out in there to snooze during the day. I think it’s adorable – I don’t know that I’d recommend putting a litter box in it, though.


Stretchy, sleepy Ken Adams.

Princess Consuela, ::thlurrrrrp!::ing in the pie plate.

Chanandler Bong checks out the ceiling fan.

Then bites the wand of the feather teaser.

I don’t know what I did, but Art Vandelay looks appalled by it.

I like how you can see Princess Consuela’s swirls (she’s staring at the ceiling fan.)

Snoozing Chanandler.

Regina, hanging with the babies before she went off to Petsmart yesterday.

And Princess Consuela got in one last snuggle (and nursing session).

The trip to Petsmart went okay for Regina. She was pretty quiet unless I slowed down or stopped, then she’d send forth an inquisitive “Mwrowr?” I worried that she’d go into her litter box to hide once I put her in the cage, but while she checked out the litter box, she came back out. I think she’ll be fine – and will probably welcome a respite from 24/7 mothering.

The kittens seem to know that something’s different, but aren’t sure what. At nap time yesterday, I started out with Bert Macklin laying on me, then Art and Ken joined the pile. Eventually, Susie (who had been sleeping on the cat tree) came over and piled on. I imagine that, given a few more days, I’ll be laying under all six of them.


“Kittens, you say? And no mama to hiss me off? Don’t mind if I do (eat their kitten food)!”


2015: Skelton is all β€œOh, these kitten ears are PARTICULARLY moist and tender!”
2014: β€œNo, seriously. I can nap now?”
2012: No entry.
2011: “Yeah, come on down here, BRING IT ON!”
2010: “Mooooom! The couch is eating kittens again!”
2009: No entry.
2008: Here’s a hint: Mister Boogers? Not the man.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



5-13-16 Friday — 38 Comments

  1. Re the two-year-old orange male, perhaps he’s allergic to chicken, an ingredient that crops up in most cat foods, I’m afraid. This was the case with my youngest and is apparently so for many cats. Schroeder now lives in a chicken-free world and no longer gets (affectionately) called the Toxic Avenger.

    • Was going to say exactly this. Try a limited protein canned food (ie. rabbit or venison, etc.) and see if the smell clears up any. Keep up on the probiotics though, that should continue to help.

      I raw feed two of my cats and their poops are not very smelly at all, and even the ones on canned food only are not too bad. What I did find was that the dry food gave them the smelliest, ickiest poops. So for the last few years I haven’t fed dry at all, and none of them have fussed. So if you’re feeding dry food, perhaps cut back? πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, folks! Unfortunately I don’t think raw feeding is in our future, but I’m going to look into chicken-free food and less dry. Right now all of our cats get dry food in the morning and wet in the evening. I just wish his momma had taught him how to cover properly since I think that is part of the problem.

  2. To the lady who has the daughter with the new cat:
    What Robyn said. Also, if your kitty investigates the door to your daughter’s room, give your kitty a treat. Good things happen when that new cat is around. Also, rub each kitty down with a dry washcloth and put that washcloth in the area where the other cat is. Keep doing it. You want to smoosh smells around. Swap beds, etc. Jackson Galaxy, I think, would tell you to also feed at that door. When all is smooth, replace the door with the baby gate and keep feeding them at the gate. Best of wishes.

  3. Lol, Archie! Such a kissable little face!

    Oh, I hope Regina is adopted soon! How long until the babies head out to Petsmart?

    I’m happy to report that my (soon to be) 18-year-old Atticus was quite calm when he went off to the vet yesterday thanks to his Cat in the Bag. He actually dozed off on the way there (a barely 10 minute walk). No issues getting it over his head, or zipping him up, and best of all, he didn’t put up a fight or pee on me, and I didn’t angst over whether I was going to hurt him while while trying to stuff him into his old carrier.

    Now. Mind you. Mr. Man was PISSED OFF when I went to pick him up. So, trying to get an angry (and I mean “Bitch, when we get home? You’re mine.” kind of angry) cat back into it did not go over well, and I ended up having to borrow a carrier from them to get him home.

    (But best of all, he’s in fabulous shape for an 18 year old, and his diabetes is pretty much under control!)

    • *(and I mean β€œBitch, when we get home? You’re mine.” kind of angry)*

      Sorry, but this made me guffaw. I have a man cat like that, but no way would I try the Cat in the Bag product with him. My vet is all, “Come by and pick up this tranquilizer for him before his visit, because we want to keep our blood, thank you.”

      • LOL

        I am soooo lucky. All 4 of mine are dolls…even at the vet’s office! Whew!

      • One of my cats recently had to go to the vet. Due to past experience, I tried to go the tranquilizer route with her ahead of time. No effect at all. While at the vets, they gave her an injection of sedative similar to what they give cats before surgery. She fought that sedative the whole way. She never once fell asleep, never once closed her eyes, and continued to growl and hiss her displeasure thru the whole exam and vaccination process. The only thing it had an effect on was her mobility. At least she couldn’t move fast enough to fight back. I think she even scared the vet a little! They told me that next time, we need to plan ahead and come up with a better sedative plan! LOL! I was convinced that I was dead meat and that she would murder me in my sleep that night from the death stares I was getting from her during the exam…but happy to report that I’m still here!

      • I’ll have to ask my vet about that.

        Still laugh at the time I showed up late for a vet apt and apologized. They just stared at me and asked, “do you know that there’s blood coming down your neck?

  4. I don’t have any advice for stopping smelly poops, but I do know that there is a wonderful product that will help deoderized your room. We have a cat who won’t cover poops and the litter box is in our master bath, so our bedroom can be smelly at times. So I got “Fresh Wave” from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. It’s a jar of gel (sort of) that is safe around pets and works without heavy fragrances. It works remarkably well.

    • Thanks! I’ll look into it. Right now we just scoop as soon as it happens and light a match. We’re classy like that…

  5. I’m so identifying with your cats today. Old (Joe Bob), umm less muscular (Newt), stretchy sleepy (Ken Adams)…LOL. Best of luck to Regina-hope she gets her new people quickly. Happy weekend to Crooked Acres!

  6. I just about died laughing at: “… had an intestinal tract that detoured through the depths of Hell and he’d leave fire and brimstone in the litter box.”

    You are the best, Robyn πŸ˜€

  7. Is that the Eyes of Lurve coming from the resting bitch face of Archie? I do love that cat!

    I wish Ms. Bong could come home with me and actually ALL of those little Fakers, but CJ will not share his human. No way. Sigh

    • Those are the Eyes of Lurve – he looks so mean, but he’s really such a sweetheart (unless your name is Stefan, of course).

    • Out of stock, and twice as much as I paid for mine. I think it’s available on eBay – it is, here, but that’s still more than I think anyone should pay for it (I paid just under $50 for mine).

    • I have a friend who makes fab things like this. If he is willing to make it for you all, I will let you know and give you all his website. He currently makes catbeds, etc.

      Look for All Paws Furniture on facebook….
      I just sent her a text with pictures. If Steve (her hubby) is willing to make them, I asked what the cost and shipping would be. I am pretty sure it would be all wood and no pressed board.

  8. Thanks so much for featuring my question! The new cat is all set up in my daughter’s room, with her food bowl, litter, water, massive amounts of toys πŸ™‚ We will take it very slow from here on out.

    • Over do on the ‘resources’ for the resident cats too. Lots of food, lots of play and snuggle time. Do the same for the new cat.

      Cats get territorial when they fear they have to compete for things. When a new cat enters they don’t realize that the resources will expand to care for them all, they only know that up until now they only had enough to sustain themselves..

  9. Robyn, thanks for posting my question. As soon as you mentioned it, I remembered that Sugarbutt had a similar issue. It’s like a tire fire in our litterboxes sometimes… Stinky orange boys. They’re lucky they’re cute.

  10. I’ve read that stinky poop is common for cats that have lived on the street. It is related to their poor diet at that time.
    We “acquired” a new cat when my old siamese was 19. Things did not go well. She smelled the interloper and was incensed to put it mildly. She refused to eat and sat outside under our lemon tree in the garden and glared. She was 19 and I was hysterical that loss of nutrition would hasten her demise. My vet prescribed a human antidepressant that worked like a charm and boosted her appetite! She was able to ignore the newcomer and focus on food.

    • The irony in our situation is that of our three cats this is the only one who never lived on the street! Of the remaining two, the one who spent the longest on the mean streets of Brooklyn (6 months) has the fewest litter box issues…

  11. In my experience some male cats, for some reason orange ones are more prone to this; have poop that smells like a teenage boy after a junk food marathon.

    When there is no other cause (or if they are working cats like my Loki who catches mice inside and out) the best solution I’ve found is a poop scoop right near the pan with a small plastic bag to place the turds in (Loki doesn’t cover much either).

    Quick removal combined with low odor litter and even cat litter powder seem to help the most (once you’ve eliminated potential medical causes and realize you just have a “Smelly Cat.”

    • Thanks–quick removal has been our method when possible, but sometimes I come home from work and I can smell it in the common hallway of our apartment building (the litter boxes are right by the door)! Our poor neighbors.

  12. oh the poop bombs. My cat went through way too many rounds of antibiotics and ended up with those hellish poops, just in time for the arrival of our new daughter — and times when I was physically unable to get up to scoop!! Oh man, good times.

    What *helped* was charcoal in the litter, like the pellets you buy for an aquarium (actually, exactly those). Also, probiotics are supposed to help if you remember to use them. We don’t. So her poops are better but not great.

    Our dearly departed 22 year old cat also dropped bombs until she ate a raw diet. Not homemade, one of those frozen pellet raw foods that you can pick up at petco/smart. Yes, more expensive, but it did clear up the smelliness. Also was easy to give her since the other cat didn’t like it, and it thaws quickly.

    Good luck. Those litter bombs are horrendous.

    • Thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to try everything people mentioned, one thing at a time, and see what helps without breaking our already tight budget

  13. Going raw can seem like a huge expense, but when you break down the numbers it isn’t that much more expensive than a decent bag of kibble, especially if you are making your own.

    Realize that the cat doesn’t have to eat as much raw food to feel nourished, so you won’t be feeding as much. My cats easily want double the canned food vs what they get of raw food. I feed 4-6 oz per day per cat… and yes it cuts down on the odor of the stool, but it also cuts down on the size and the stickiness of it. My cat’s poops often look like hairballs in size and texture. My foster mother cat (who eats a LOT of dry food) had poop that is probably eight times or more the size of my cat’s raw fed poop… so you use more litter when you feed a lower quality diet..

    Also, there is a strong correlation between diet and long-term health of a cat, so investing a little more in food now will most likely save you a lot of money down the road in vet bills. No, we can’t know for certain, but kidney issues (eating dry leaves them chronically dehydrated which is hard on the kidneys), diabetes (eating a diet high in plant matter causes huge swings in blood glucose levels in cats) and even urinary crystals all come from a poor diet.

    “grain free” is a marketing term, and usually means there is a good deal of plant matter in the food, usually from peas or potatoes neither which are good for cats, and are basically fillers to bulking up the stool…

    Probiotics are important. I recently had my cat’s stool tested and the foster kitten who is conventionally fed had a poop sample that basically had only one kind of bacteria in the gut. Having a diverse biome in the gut helps with breaking down the food and digesting it properly and keeping the kitty healthy. Digestive enzymes can also help in this, and there are several brands on the market for kitties..