A Cat Clinic

Tips for Living with Cats

Posted on: September 24th, 2013 by Dr. Dale Rubenstein

Some tips on living with cats. We all have favorites we’ve learned, so please post your favorite tips in the “comments” section!

Use baking soda to clean litter boxes – “green” cleaner and no residual odor.
Use the empty cardboard tube from a paper towel roll to make a “food puzzle” for feeding dry food. Cover the ends of the tube and cut a small hole, so the cat has to work to get the food out.
A great way to get young cats started on home dental care is letting them lick the cat toothpaste (designed to be swallowed, unlike human paste). Then, get a child’s toothbrush, put paste on and let the cat chew the paste, so your kitty gets used to the feel of the toothbrush in their mouth.
If kitty is getting too heavy because everyone in the household is feeding “just a handful” of dry food or treats, measure the amount for the day into a covered container and let the family know they need to portion out.
“Stair-steps” may help your older cat reach its favorite chair or bed, if they can no longer jump. (Also see your veterinarian, to make sure there are no medical problems or medications needed).
Heated pet beds are great for older or arthritic cats.
I used to rinse food dishes but after my cat developed chin acne, drying the dishes well (I use glass) has prevented any further acne problems.
For medicating cats, ask your veterinarian for a 3 cc syringe, cut off the tip (so no narrow tip), put pill in meat baby food and use the syringe to administer.
Another tip on medicating cats: mix a jar of strained meat baby food with a jar of water, or mix a can of tuna with can of water and blend. Freeze in ice cube trays, and take out one “cube” as needed.
And, a couple of tips from Maryland Veterinary Behaviorist, Dr. Marsha Reich:

Pain can cause or contribute to behavior problems. Omega-3 “fish oil” products may help; talk to your veterinarian about stronger pain meds if needed.
For cats that bolt their food: try mini-muffin tins or a food puzzle to slow the cat down when eating.
As always, please consult your veterinarian any time your cat “isn’t right” or if these simple steps aren’t enough to help your cat.