Wednesday, March 22, 2017
My husband rescued an older cat that had been abandoned in our woods a few months ago. This cat is a nice with people but is not crazy about any other animal. The veterinarian confirmed that this cat has arthritis and suspect that this is the reason for his bad behavior as well as the anxious behavior from being abandoned.
Know that it is difficult to find adopters for mature cats with health concerns and bad behavior. This cat will undergo therapy for its behavior, then be placed with a animal foster or we will keep the cat.
We tried the usual therapy for cats with behavior issues; feliway diffusers and rescue remedy treatment for drinking water. They helped some but this rescue still suffered from not being able to go outdoors. (Meowing loudly, scratching on the side door and becoming aggressive when not let out of the house)
The cat wants to go outdoors and we have been reluctant due to the coyote that reside close to our home. Fearful that this rescue cat would become an afternoon snack for the predators that cross our side yard to get to the pond in the woods.
I decided to teach rescue cat to walk on a leash. I bought him a cat harness and a leash and took him outdoors. Talk about a happy cat, he rolled around in the grass, did his nails on the bark of the oak tree. Marked his territory and yes walked me around the yard.
Know that taking a cat for a walk does take practice. I presently walk this cat 4 times a day. I also walk him on the leash to my greenhouse. I do not have to worry about the cat in the greenhouse as he has his routine and the door is shut so he can not go outdoors. He stays with me while I garden.
The outdoor activities has greatly improved the rescue cats behavior The cat seems to get along with our cats and dogs. His territorial behavior is under control thanks to outdoor exercise. By allowing this cat to go for walks and be outdoors was the right therapy.
Note: We are still using the feliway diffuser as it is a good way to lessen cat stress overall.
Here is a video of cat walking on a leash.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Where I reside the winters are long, cold and windy. The stray cats in my area go into my shed to sleep in plastic and cardboard boxes that have thick layers of straw. The cats rest well during the daylight but at night they all leave my shed. I decided that they must be cold and that the straw is not keeping them warm during the night hours. To remedy this situation I decided to buy a heated or insulated cat house.
Here is a photo card that I created that will show you a stray cat sleeping in straw bed in my shed.
While shopping at Amazon.com I saw a heated outdoor cat house by K&H and read the customer reviews. They were very good however, I did learn that the house was not intended to be freestanding, it had to be kept either on a covered porch or in a garage area as it would not withstand rain or snow and would need to be tied down if left on the porch and weather was windy. My needs for this house met the requirements because it was intended for my shed.
The cat house came with a heated pad or without I bought the heated pad with an electrical cord because it would only add warmth when the cat was lying on the pad. (The pad would not heat up if there was no cat in the house.) The cat house was easy to put together all pieces connect with Velcro. It is heavy cardboard with a plastic cover that is water resistant.
Set up for cat house was in the back corner of the shed where there was an electrical outlet. The stray cat's food and water bowels were to the front of the shed and the stray cat arrived to eat right on time. When cat went into the shed I ran to the side window to watch the cat. The cat did see the house and went to investigate, the house was not met with cat approval, the stray hissed at it and left the shed.
|Stray tabby cat in my garden|
I decided to unplug the electrical cord and put a self-heating pet bed on the floor of the cat house. This bed was sprayed with catnip and so were the interior walls of the house. There is a plastic door flap on the front and back. I removed the front flap because I thought that it might scare the cat.
When the stray cat went into the shed an hour later he did not come out. When I looked in the window I could see the stray inside the cat house lying in the bed.
I sprayed the bed daily with the catnip and the stray cat comes to the shed and sleeps in the K&H cat house nightly. Eventually, I was able to replace the flap on the door and this was a way to keep the cat warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
When the temperature dipped bellow zero I did add a layer of straw to the interior of cat house for extra insulation. The self-heated bed was set in the middle and straw was like a cocoon around the bed.
The heated pad was never met with the approval of the stray cat. I tried several times to plug in the pad for the cat but each time the cat hissed at the pad and left.
I am satisfied with my cat house purchase because The heated/insulated house will keep outdoor cats cozy and comfortable throughout the winter months as long as it is located in an area that is protected from wind, heavy rain or snow.
Here is a photo of the cat house set up on my covered porch. I needed to move it indoors because the windblown rain was damaging the top of it.