Cat Project Archives for May 21-25,
21, 2018: "If we treated everyone we meet with the
same affection we bestow upon our favorite cat, they, too,
would purr." - Martin Buxbaum
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Because food always tastes better with a little
cat hair in it.
Cat Mewvie: Wow!
Feline Art: "Cat Funeral"
by Zoey Tu.
that litter box clean.
by Jessica Booth
If you have a cat, especially more than one of them, then you already
know that cleaning their litter box is the biggest downside to owning
them. Sure, it's beyond frustrating when they scratch up your favorite
chair, and yeah, their food smells pretty awful. But these annoyances
don't really compare to getting on your hands and knees and scooping
their waste out of a small box, trying to breathe clean air without making
yourself gag in the process. It's gross, it smells, and it feels quite
unsanitary — but it has to get done, and so, as a cat owner, you
suck it up and do it. And if you don't do it often enough? There are
some pretty gross things that happen if you don't change a cat's litter
You might wonder how long it's safe to go without changing the litter
box. However, it's better to get into the habit of cleaning their box
regularly, at least twice a week, more if you have several cats. For
one thing, if the box doesn't get cleaned regularly, it's going to smell
bad. Like, first thing that hits you when you walk in the house kind
And unfortunately, that's the least of your worries. Not changing the
litter box can lead to some serious illnesses, not just for your cat,
but for you as well. Check out some of the things that can happen when
you let the box go for too long, and I promise it will never happen again.
UTI And Other Bladder Problems
For the most part, cats are very clean animals who like their surroundings
to also be clean. If their litter box is full and super dirty, they aren't
going to go in there to do their business, even if they really need to.
One of two things will happen: they'll go somewhere else, or they'll
hold it in until the box is clean. If they do the latter, that can lead
to some serious issues, like a UTI, bladder infection, or kidney problems.
For humans, bladder issues are obnoxious, but not too serious. For cats,
they're a big deal. When a cat has a small bladder issue, it can very
quickly become a bigger issue, like a blockage or failure that could
result in the need for surgery and even death.
Overexposure To Ammonia For Humans
A dirty litter box isn't just hazardous to a cat, it can also be bad
for you or whoever is cleaning it. One negative thing that can happen
is an overexposure to ammonia, which gets produced as urine and feces
accumulates. Ammonia is a toxic gas that can lead to mild problems like
headaches or nausea, or something more serious, like pneumonia.
Spreading Of Bacterial Infections
Bacterial infections can pass through cat feces to humans, one of them
being cat scratch fever. It's also known as bartonellosis, and is one
of the most recognized zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be passed
from animals to humans) associated with cats. This can result in fatigue,
headaches, body aches, and a fever.
Parasite Transfer To Humans
Parasites are another icky thing that can be passed onto you from a filthy
litter box. The scariest one would be Toxoplasma gondii, which can produce
fever-like symptoms and has even been linked to increased suicidal thoughts
and tendencies. These parasites can also get into your cat as well, making
the animal sick.
Salmonella isn't only transmitted through food - you can get it from
dirty litter boxes. E.coli can also be found in there. Don't let it build
If your cat uses a dirty litter box too much, it can end up contracting
fungal infections like ringworm or hookworm. And then, if you're in contact
with an infected cat, it can easily pass to you. Avoid that with regular
Accidents Around The House
A disease or parasite might be more serious than bathroom accidents,
but still: no one enjoys coming home to a puddle of cat pee on their
rug (the smell never goes away). Your cat will probably find somewhere
else to go to the bathroom, and once they pick a spot, it can be really
hard to get them away from it.
22, 2018: "Cats always know whether people like or
dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything
about it." - Winifred Carriere
Gratuitous Kittiness: "I've broken through the firewall."
Cat Mewvie: Understanding the
Feline Art: "Untitled" by
23, 2018: "If a cat does something, we call it instinct;
if we do the same thing, for the same reason, we call it
intelligence." - Will Cuppy
Gratuitous Kittiness: Sooooooo shiny.
Cat Mewvie: Meet the caracal.
Art: "Closer", by Kurukuru.
24, 2018: "There's no need for a piece of sculpture
in a home that has a cat." - Wesley Bates
Gratuitous Kittiness: "No, you can't be TOO comfy."
Cat Mewvie: Rubbish cats.
Feline Art: "Untitled" by
25, 2018: "The trouble with cats is that they've got
no tact." - P. G. Wodehouse
Gratuitous Kittiness: "I vant to dreenk your meelk."
Cat Mewvie: Ridin' the Roomba.
Feline Art: "Untitled" by
cat finds a new home.
Laura Cassiday, was searching on Facebook recently, looking at the different
animal rescue pages, when she saw Baltimore County Animal Services’ plea
for a cat named Thomas.
The 26-year-old feline, then under the care of the Animal Allies Rescue
Foundation, had been put up for adoption after his owner fell ill. The
geriatric cat, too, had several medical conditions of his own, including
severe dental disease, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and an abnormal liver
that may be caused by his hyperthyroid disease. The cat needed out of
the shelter immediately but as a rescue, he needed special care.
Cassiday, 27 – surprised that the senior cat was just a year younger
than her – said she read the post “three or four times to
make sure it wasn’t a typo”, and then she resolved that she
would foster Thomas. She picked him up the next day.
“I went and got him and everybody at the shelter was so excited because
he had been there for a month,” she said.
“I really wanted to get him out of there. I know the toll that shelters
take on animals, especially senior animals,” said Cassiday, who works as
an admissions co-ordinator and animal care technician at Maryland SPCA and has
fostered dozens of cats over the past few years.
Today, Cassiday has seven cats in her care, but Thomas has undoubtedly
gotten the most fanfare, resulting in several articles about him and
his old age, and more than 1,000 followers on his Facebook page “The
Adventures of Thomas the 26-year-old Cat”.
“All the fame he’s getting is incredible,” she said.
Cassiday said Thomas is getting used to his new home, in which he has
his own room. He’s a bit shy, she said, and doesn’t like
taking his medicine. It’s likely that he’ll be spending his
last days with her.
“We considered putting him up for adoption. At this point, he’s so
old. There aren’t many people who would want him,” she said, and
taking care of him would be a task.
“His teeth are terrible – some of the worst that my vet has ever
seen,” said Cassiday, adding that because Thomas cannot go under anesthesia
for surgery, the cat is now on antibiotics to help clear up infections.
Cassiday also noted that Thomas does not have much muscle mass and that
her vet found a mass that could be a tumour. With his old age, however,
there’s not much they can do.
Cassiday said Thomas will be prescribed the necessary medications to
make him more comfortable. Her vet has advised her to “feed him
as much as he wants, let him do what he wants”, she said. “I’ve
been pretty much letting him live like a king.”
Though Thomas has required more care, the fostering experience overall
has been rewarding, Cassiday said, especially knowing that taking in
one animal can save two lives. When one animal gets a home, a space is
freed up at the shelter for another animal in need.
And though she encourages other pet lovers to “adopt, not shop” for
their pets, she challenges them to go one step further.
“Don’t just go there to think you’re going to get a puppy or
kitten. Take a chance on a different kind of animal,” said Cassiday, adding
that animals that are older and have health issues or are not as gregarious often
get overlooked. “Take a chance on fostering. You’re saving a life,
and the alternative for the animal is not a good outcome.”